Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. I also offer virtual assistance to authors and web maintenance services. rabidreads.ca
Digital galleys, often called advance reading copies, or ARCs, are distributed to professional readers (reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators) and help promote new and upcoming titles. —NetGalley
Whether you’re a newbie blogger or a seasoned pro, you’ve probably seen the term ARC thrown around quite a bit; some readers can’t get enough of them while as others prefer to hold-out for the finalized product for a number of reasons—the main one being the editing / formatting. For me, the perks are worth their weight in gold because I like to keep a buffer of blog posts, and receiving books months before their publication date plays a big role in that. The majority of the titles that I read are galleys while as audiobooks are mostly reserved for my someday pile, or kickass narrators. It should also be noted that I do occasionally receive advanced audios for review as well. So far in 2015, my ratio is listened: 19 (2 ARCs) & read: 26 (15 ARCs) which puts me at right around 38%.
Most publishers typically offer physical and digital galleys, but I seem to have more luck with the latter because there’s no shipping involved, distribution rights are more lax, and you can access them right away from anywhere. Over the years I’ve acquired a number of industry contacts, but NetGalley still remains my #1 source. They have the largest selection, their site is super user-friendly, and you’d be surprised by how many books aren’t listed in the public catalogue—that’s where networking comes in.
My second go-to hook-up is Edelweiss; you can browse upcoming release catalogues, follow your friends’ updates, and submit reviews for ANY title, although it does take a while to master their interface. Penguin Random House also has its own version in First to Read, however it works off a point system, so they make you work for it. Simon & Schuster offers a program called Pulse It, but it’s exclusively YA, their ARCs are only available for a period of 24 hours, and must be read online. Their adult version via XOXO After Dark is similar except you have 30 days.
Manic Readers is a great option for indie / small press lovers while also acting as an automation service for those of you with multiple reviewers. There are a number of tour organizers that feature a request section on their websites, and don’t require you to sign-up as a host including: Xpresso Book Tours, YA Bound Book Tours, Pure Textuality ARCs & BookBlogging.net. And, although there aren’t many resources for audiobook listeners, Audiobook Jukebox and Audiobook Blast are good places to start. If all else fails, check the author’s FAQ section.