Let’s Talk About: Problems of Being an International Reader & Blogger… ARCs

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Hey people! Last week I started this whole “Problems of Being an International Reader & Blogger” thing talking about the difficulties we have accessing books. But did you know that we also have a major drawback when it comes to obtaining ARCs? Yep… so let’s see what’s up with that, shall we?


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This is as much as a common problem to us, international book bloggers, as not being able to access a published book whenever.

If you’re just starting out this whole book blogging thing, you might be a little clueless, because I know I was when I first started out. Heck, I didn’t even know what an ARC was. And just to clarify (in case there is someone out there doing this o_O), ARC stands for advance reading copy, and it’s a copy of the book given to librarians, booksellers, bloggers, etc, to create a buzz around said book and get the reviews going.

So, back on topic, if you’re like me, you’ve probably already gone to google and typed out “how to get ARCs” or any variation of those words, and you’ve come across a bunch of amazing posts telling you exactly what to do, who to write to, how to word your request, …, everything. Those posts are awesome! Except for the fact that they don’t really apply to us, international peps.


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You’ve read those tips, and they all tell you some important points, like you should blog frequently and for a few months before attempting a request, you should review books frequently on said blog, you should have an X number of followers and daily views, etc. When I first read this, I jumped and down from excitement, because I ticked all those boxes at the time.

So I kept following their advices, like explaining to the publisher why you want to review that specific book, and so on. I then gathered a list of books I was dying to read (and knew the arcs were starting to make their way out), compiled the mails, wrote and rewrote my email to them, and then clicked “send”. I repeated the whole process a few times, until it dawned on me that every single blogger I had seen with physical arcs came from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Philippines.

I was dismayed!

The right thing to do here would be to write the publishers from YOUR country and ask them for those ARCs, but again, most books don’t make it out of the English speaking market, and those few that do, take time to do it. Also, that would mean that I would have to read in portuguese or spanish and I don’t have enough brain cells for that.

Now, I’m not saying that they NEVER send out physical ARCs to international bloggers, because I’m sure they do. I’m just saying that said bloggers will have to have worked 5 times harder, have 5 times the following, and so on, to even make it worth their while.

And while I do get it, because for publishers the goal is to market the book where it will actually be sold, it sucks big time nonetheless.

International Bloggers, raise hands if you ever got a physical ARC from the publisher! Go ahead, tell me!


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You’re probably thinking: “yeah, that kind of sucks, but there are other ways to get physical ARCs”, and sure, you would be right.

Events like BEA are huge in the US. And there are similar things going on around some other countries. Not here though! So when the whole commotion starts around the conventions time, or the “selling” drama starts on twitter, we are left wondering what would it be like to actually stand in line and grab an upcoming book, because we have no clue.

There are some other ways to get one, like several contests and giveaways, but those are random and some of them don’t even apply to us either.


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Resigning myself that I would probably never get a physical ARC, I focused my efforts on getting digital galleys. Netgalley is probably the paradise for us International people who love to read and review, given that they are a little more flexible on the whole “where the heck you’re from” thing. But still, have you’ve ever been denied because you don’t live in the US or UK? I know I have! Look at some examples:

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I mean, I’m not saying that they can’t have refused me because of other factors, but it’s pretty clear in some cases that the problem is that you simply do not live in some places.

I remember back in March I was denied for two ARCs from the same publisher, telling me that the country was the culprit. This bugged me at the time because I had reviewed the previous books by both authors just a couple of months before through Netgalley too, and from the same publisher, of course. So, what the hell, right?! I really wanted both books, so I went ahead and wrote to them, and in no time I had the two widgets on my email. With this I’m saying that it’s not that they’re not allowed to allow for international reviewers, it’s just that it’s completely random sometimes.

It’s very hard to do your best, when the decision factors are a random mess.

In several cases I was denied, I went through the trouble of writing to them, because people… I have a reasonable number of followers, I do OK in views, I mean, these are my Netgalley stats:

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… so I think I do ok, right? I post everyday. I try to post at least 3 reviews per week, both in YA and NA, so unless we’re talking about a pretty sought out book, I would think that I would manage some more approvals. Still, approvals for titles from bigger publishing houses never come, and it’s really hard to get books that I’m dying to read.


Sometimes I feel like there are totally different standards for ARCs approvals depending on where you’re from. And while I understand the different countries’ rights, I also think that if we are all blogging in the same language and putting up much of the same content, it doesn’t make sense for someone with 400 followers and who blogs twice a week, to receive an ARC that I won’t be allowed to read. When in reality, we’re targeting the exactly same audience.

Hey guys, so, this is nothing against US/UK/… bloggers. Just the opposite! Also, no ARC envy here. I’m just pointing out how unfair it is for us international people, ok?

So, hit me. Tell me your experience with ARCs as a blogger, international or otherwise. I wanna know if I’m alone in this :P.

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35 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About: Problems of Being an International Reader & Blogger… ARCs

  1. Rê @U.S. - Brazil Book Review says:

    Perfection! Just like the first post.

    NetGalley is the reason I read over 100 books this year, but I still get rejections because I’m not in the U.S.A/U.K./Australia and that is so sad (it also pisses me off). I read in English, I write reviews in English, so I don’t see the problem. I honestly don’t. If only they knew how hard it is for us to have access to books…

  2. Nerdybirdy @ Daydreaming Books says:

    Oh my gosh yes so freaking trueeee!!! I have given up any hope of getting physical arcs, I just have to be satisfied with Netgalley. But I sooo hope I can attend those bookish events one day. I don’t have anything else to say because you wrote every thing on point here.
    Great post!

  3. Zainab Sheikh says:

    I agree with everything that you said! I do get ARC from a publishing house but that’s the only one. It’s really unfair to all of us International Bloggers that we don’t get to avail many opportunities. I hope it gets better someday!

  4. Kat Impossible says:

    You already know that I LOVE this feature. Everything you say is 100% true. I think your last point, the target group being the same, especially resonates with me. Like 80% of my readers are from the US, Canada or the UK. Followed by, oh what? Another English speaking country? Yes! Australia. And even if they aren’t from those places, WE ALL READ IN ENGLISH. So, I don’t get it!!!
    With physical arcs there’s always the mailing fee to consider I guess but for earcs? There’s no excuse …

    • My Tiny Obsessions says:

      yep, that’s my target audience too. Like most of us, right? that’s why we blog in english, etc. this stuff pisses me off… i don’t want other bloggers to receive less, you know, I just want to play in the same game, and I don’t think we do. All things said and done, US bloggers with much lower stats than ours get a lot more perks, and that’s really not fair.

  5. RibbonReviews says:

    I know the Netgalley problem, though usually don’t try to request books I know Im not likely to get approved for. But once or twice, I actually got approved, so I’d say just request and then wait 😉 I actually haven’t tried to get any physical ARCs because I thought they wouldn’t do it because it does cost more to send a book to wurope than to US. But I might try and tell you what my experience is. Though I just started and I don’t have hundreds of followers though I try to post 3-4 times a week. How do you even post so many reviews within a week?

  6. cw @ readthinkponder says:

    I relate to this SO MUCH. You’re definitely not alone!

    Whenever I see big bookish events, I feel really left out. (Though, it’s come to a point where it doesn’t bother me anymore; I’ve accepted it!) I do agree that we should ask our local publishers for books, which I do already and appreciate a ton, but there’s definitely a lack of variety. 😦

    I don’t really understand the restrictions of eARCs. I’m sure there is a good reason, but at the same time, there are so many of us in countries outside UK, US, and Australia! I’d love it if those of us outside those areas had better opportunities – we could do so much good spreading awareness of books within our own communities!

    • My Tiny Obsessions says:

      YES! You’re right!!! we, as international bloggers, have the advantage to have a foot in both “worlds”, and yet things are still very limited to us most of the times 😦
      The bookish events don’t bother me, like Comic con doesn’t bother me… it’s something I would love to do, but I was born in the wrong place… one day though.

      I never tried to request a book from a national publisher, though I’m not even sure that it’s something they would be up to… but my problem is: I honestly can’t read in portuguese… Which is embarrassing because it’s my mother language, but reading in portuguese makes me sleepy like hell.

  7. Yvo says:

    As a fellow international blogger I can totally agree with every single point you make and I feel your pain. It just feels so unfair sometimes… But at least Netgalley does accept quite a lot of requests despite the country restrictions. Awesome post! ❤

  8. Michelle says:

    Totally agree! The whole Netgalley thing has happened to me a couple of times before, and it sometimes makes you feel like your blog isn’t good enough. I get that they might sometimes have restrictions, but I work hard on my blog and I also get good views. I can understand if it was a physical ARC, but it’s digital so it shouldn’t cost you as much. As for physical ARC’s they’re pretty non-existent for international bloggers. I’ve also had it happen once or twice where I was approved for a book from a publisher that had a restriction and the next time I was rejected?! Great post for all the international bloggers out there 😊

  9. vrushali says:

    So so true! I live in India and they don’t send ARC’s here. I mean there was this once instance where I got an ARC and I was like “Whoa how did this happen? For the first time???” But yeah I think it was probably luck. But anyways it’s true that we don’t get any books from publishers. And the thing about bookish events really bugs me! Like we don’t have any BEA sort of thing here. And BEA means free ARCs and meeting the authors!

  10. Book Huntress says:

    “I repeated the whole process a few times, until it dawned on me that every single blogger I had seen with physical arcs came from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Philippines”

    Oh! I didn’t know that publishers are also favoring book bloggers from Philippines. I thought it was just the 4 of the countries you’ve just listed. 🙂 I read that sentence twice to make sure I’m not just dreaming haha! 😀

    I also agree with what you said here especially with that e-ARC problems. I don’t get it too but maybe it’s their way of marketing the book. Like, only giving a limited copies and for those who don’t get it, if they really like to read that book, then they should buy their own copy when it’s out in the market already.

    ~Aly from Book Huntress’ World

  11. Joel says:

    Thanks for this wonderful post. Now I know why on earth I’ve been always denied with my requests. I do hope to still have a physical ARC’s.
    Really unfair for us international bloggers.
    I’m from the Philippines so maybe that’s a factor and I understand that the fee is much to consider though.
    Thanks again with this helpful tip.
    I followed your blog by the way to see another great post.

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