FAQ: Publisher Contacts

Happy Hump Day readers! If you’re stumbling across my blog for the first time let me extend a big, hearty welcome! You aren’t far behind as this is only the second post in the series, but if you’d like to catch up and read about getting your blog started you can do so HERE. For those who are already on board, today we’re discussing how to develop contacts with various publishers. I’m going to backtrack a bit first and discuss NetGalley and then segue into how we can deal directly with publishers in an attempt to secure those golden paper arcs. As will always be the case with this series, I’m simply offering what has worked best for me, which won’t always work best for you or any other blogger. Please feel free to take these posts and tailor them to fit your schedule and style to best suit your goals. 

NETGALLEY VS PAPER ARCS

As I don’t like assuming that everyone already knows any one thing, I’d like to take a moment and touch on the different type of Advanced Reader Copies (ARCS) that bloggers can secure. With the wonders of technology advancing rapidly, many publishers are offering (and pushing for) bloggers to accept e-galleys instead of paper review copies. Economically speaking it is the best option, but for some bloggers like myself, I can only read for so long per day on my e-reader due to the strain on my eyes (and let’s be honest, for many readers we prefer the experience of holding a paper book, the smell of a fresh printing, realistically flipping through the pages, etc. It’s ok to admit that). However, most successful bloggers must be willing to accept e-books on occasion as a bare minimum, and it does have it’s perks. For instance, I can carry hundreds of books in my purse and not look like I just robbed my local Barnes and Noble. All that to say, NetGalley has quickly become the leading website to procure e-galleys, and it’s honestly the most efficient way for a blogger to keep track of their digital TBR.

If you are unfamiliar with NetGalley, take a moment and visit the site HERE. The sign-up and membership are free and you can create an account based on what type of reviewer you are. Once you’re signed up, you can browse the books available and, depending on the type, start grabbing freely. Some books are available as a “READ NOW”, meaning you can download it immediately based on the type of file you choose. I prefer MOBIs as they are compatible with my kindle and virtually idiot proof <— AKA CHELSEA PROOF. For most books on the site, you have to send a request through the book’s page and be approved to view it by the publisher. Once you’ve been approved, then you can download the file and start reading. All the instructions for how to download to various tablets and e-readers are available on the website. One thing to keep an eye on is the fact that NG keeps a ratio on your profile, meaning your percentage is calculated by showing the amount of books you’ve been approved for and the amount you’ve actually read and submitted feedback for.

My biggest piece of advice to new NetGalley users who are getting denied for books regularly? Pick some of the less popular titles until your profile is established and your ratio is secured at a minimum of 80%. As a new blogger, I did this for the first 6-8 weeks and noticed a huge improvement in the amount of books I was being approved for. There is no easy/quick way to getting the popular books, but if you put in the hard work by bringing up your stats and improving the quality of your reviews, I promise it will come. Feel free to ask any questions I may not have covered in the comments below.

MEDIA/PUBLICITY CONTACTS

Whew! Wipes sweaty brow. Glad we got through that; now for the fun part! How do bloggers gain contacts from various publishers? I’ll be honest, some of my contacts have found me through random channels and those are unpredictable and unplanned. I’ve found the most consistent way to develop those relationships is through the publisher’s website! You heard right; Google is about to become your best friend. I’m stating up front that what we’re about to discuss is very time consuming, but can be very rewarding if you’re willing to put in the hard work. This stage of marketing your blog is typically where a lot of newbies flake out; this stage is where the dedicated bloggers are separated from those just looking for free books, and the publishers know that.

First, you’ll want to make a list of all the specific imprints of various publishers that you enjoy their books regularly and would like to feature on your blog. Keep in mind this is just a starting list; there’s no reason why you can’t add to and include a greater variety down the road and this simply makes things less intimidating at the beginning. Please make sure you are searching for the contacts listed in the country you reside in. I’m just going to take one for example and go with Berkley; they are an imprint under the Penguin/Random House publishing house, so you would start by going to their website and hunting down the Media/Publicity Contact page. You can also do this by Googling <insert imprint you are searching for> publicity contact. You’ll be brought to a page similar to this one:

Next you’ll want to scroll down until you find the imprint you are searching for. Our example Berkley is listed below:

The email listed under Berkley/Nal/etc… is where you are going to send your email. Instead of asking for a specific book right off the bat, I’ve found it’s best to introduce yourself in the following (or similar) way:

“Hello, my name is Chelsea Humphrey and I run a book blog titled “The Suspense Is Thrilling Me”. I’ve found I’m really partial to the books you have to offer, especially those in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. I would love to be entered into your blogger database and kept in mind for future reviews. If interested, I’ve included my address below for your convenience. Please find all my social media links below my signature and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.”

If you are a new blog and have yet to establish stats and a following, I think it’s best to leave out any numbers and see where the chips may fall. Some publishers aren’t as concerned about numbers, while others require a certain following before they’ll start sending you book mail (that number is usually a base minimum of 1,000 followers across all platforms you use). If you have an established following anywhere (for example, I had established a following on Goodreads before creating my blog) then include those numbers there. If you don’t have a following yet, don’t panic! My next post is geared on various ways to cultivate your following in a healthy way. Make sure and clarify your expectations in your email; be upfront in what you expect and desire from a publisher while being gracious and humble.

I’ve found in most circumstances another way to be noticed by publishers is by interacting with them on social media; Twitter and Instagram especially. Don’t forget they too can send you arcs; not just the people behind the email! Joking around, helping retweet and promote their books, etc. makes them notice you. Stand out! Be proud of your blog and the books you read; persevere and you will be noticed. That in mind, always make sure you are reaching out in a respectful way. Many publishers don’t like being sent direct messages on social media, so the best advice is to let them approach you. Keep in mind people are watching Twitter (and possibly your blog) that you don’t see! Example-my first big breakthrough was with Berkley (hence why I used them as an example). My blog was around 4-6 weeks old and I had spent a month in back and forth banter with them because they are hilarious and post the best gifs. One day on Twitter they started following me and sent me a DM stating that their publicity assistant had noticed my account, and in turn my blog, and wanted to contact me about being a part of their blogger database. I’m not even embarrassed to tell you that I squealed like a teenage girl and danced all around my kitchen. No matter how long you blog and how successful you are, it’s still exciting when you get to start working with a publisher you’ve been previously invisible to. 

I apologize for how lengthy and wordy this post is, but I wanted to make sure and include everything in as much detail as possible for those who are new to the blog scene. Hopefully some questions were answered today that seemed daunting and intimidating before; if you’re thinking “well GREAT Chelsea, that helped me NONE because my following is lower than I’d like”-don’t fret! That will be the very next post, I promise. As always, if there is something I wasn’t clear on or another question popped up regarding today’s topics, feel free to ask it in the comments! Have a great day, and happy blogging! ❤

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About The Suspense Is Thrilling Me

Chelsea is a happily married mother of two who's love of mysteries can be traced back to her first Nancy Drew experience. When not reading and writing book reviews, she likes to drink wine in her jammies and pretend that she exercises.
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54 Responses to FAQ: Publisher Contacts

  1. Fictionophile says:

    Awesome post Chelsea! It is so good to warn new bloggers that blogging can require a lot of work and dedication. I’ve contacted publishers this way in the past and have always been satisfied with the results. Great example letter!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marie says:

    Thank you so much for writing this, this is so helpful! I only recently started approaching publishers outside of NetGalley a couple of weeks ago, despite blogging for more than two and a half years now. I have very little hope that I will get answers or physical ARCs of any books because I’m not lucky enough to live in an English-speaking country, but this definitely makes me feel a bit reassured about the whole process. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Yvo says:

    Thank you so much for writing this fantastic post! I’m not sure if I will actually be able to receive paper ARCs due to the country I decided to settle down in, but once I have finished my NG ARCs I will at least try. I love living in Argentina, but since I blog just in English I don’t think the publishers here will send me their books since they are in Spanish. xD

    Liked by 1 person

  5. THANK YOU for writing this post!! I’ve been blogging for a little over a year, but have yet to find the courage to approach publishers directly to request ARCs. I feel a little less intimidated after reading this! I will 100% be taking this advice after I clear out my back log of NetGalley ARCs. I even wrote it all down lol Looking forward to your next installment of FAQ!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. katyreeve says:

    Another corker, I found you last week and got really enthused and inspired by your wise words. This week I needed another nudge in the right direction…thank you so much as a new blogger your advice is so helpful. I am not alone!!

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. This is fantastic! You answered so many of the questions I had encountered when starting a year ago 🙂 I hope many newer bloggers will see this. So useful!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. TeacherofYA says:

    Very good advice, Chelsea! People are ARC crazy and don’t realize that with ARCs come great responsibility. All they think is that we get free books and we roll around in them and laugh to ourselves! 😂🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I seriously love this series so far. It is really helping me and getting me thinking about how best to grow my blog and blogging experience. Thank you for this! I eagerly await your next post in this series. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is such a wonderful post/series of posts! I SOOOO wish I would have had this when I started my blog! Everything your saying is so spot on and will absolutely be so helpful to new bloggers! I feel like I just stumbled my way through all of this when I started mine, so it’s so amazing of you to put this out there as a guide!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post, Chelsea! I’ve never thought about reaching out to Publishers directly. Still being a fairly new blogger, these hints will help! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. LairOfBooks says:

    I’m really enjoying reading this series Chelsea! very insightful & helpful. I’ve had much success with eGalley myself from most of the big publishers but haven’t really put myself out there for physical arcs. I’ve set the goal of 1,000 on my blog but your advice, to have that as a minimum across all platforms is actually really helpful. I will def be using these posts as reference for when I do start requesting & crossing my fingers for an approval…hopefully by then we’ll still be seeing physical arcs lol! look forward to your next post in this series <3! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is such a helpful post! I emailed a few publishers a while ago about being on their database and was largely ignored, but you’ve given me the inspiration I needed to give it another go!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is such a great series of posts, Chelsea! Most of the advice out there is so generic; I love how detailed and specific you are! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. stslusher says:

    Yes! This is such fantastic advice & ideas. Thank you so much for sharing. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Susie | Novel Visits says:

    Great advice! Interactions with publishers are always so much fun. Personally, I would rather read eARCs than paper books. In fact, if sent a hardback that I’m interested in, I still will read it in digital. I think the preference for digital is growing.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Another brilliant post, Chelsea!

    I don’t really know if contacting a publisher is the way to go for me since I’m not in the US or the UK. That being said, I’ve been contacted by publishers and authors merely by tweeting other people’s reviews and getting my own name out there. I’ve been very lucky with netgalley too, having only read two “read now” before having requests approved and I’ve not looked back since.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Dr. Stacey L. Camp says:

    This is so helpful! I never thought about reaching out to publishers. I think if and when I ever have the time to cultivate a bigger following (looking forward to that blog post 🙂 ), I will try to connect with them. I feel a bit overwhelmed with all of my NetGalley books right now, but maybe someday I will get through that queue lol. I have a bad habit of requesting too many things on NetGalley, most of which seem to get accepted. My rating is only 34%, though, because now I have WAY too many to read. AHHH! My fault. Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Awesome post Chelsea!! Love the advice. You helped me right out when I first started blogging!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. susieqlaw says:

    Excellent post! So helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. As a new blogger, this in invaluable! Many, many thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Whitney says:

    Chelsea, I’ve been using Netgalley for awhile now and I’m at a 60% ratio. I’d like to improve that, but I have several books on there that I’m just no longer interested in reading for various reasons. Any advice? Is it okay to just tell the publisher that or should I force myself to read and review?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve had that happen as well too Whitney. You most certainly can message the publisher in your feedback explaining what happened. The only downside is that publisher may start being picky about approving you for further requests, but there’s no way to know for sure if they are one of the nitpicky ones unless you try. It’s a gamble, but totally up to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Very well said and explained! Contacting and building a relationship with publishers is hard, stressful and time consuming. I bet this will help quite a few people! Great post

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Thanks for putting this info together!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. What a super write up xx I have never approached a publisher they have always asked me. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  27. This is a great feature!! 🙂

    Our blog has been around for about 18 months now – so still in a baby blog in comparison to so many out there. Your posts are certainly giving me some food for thought 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Jessica's Reading Room says:

    Another great post! It was helpful for me. I may have to reword my email I send to publishers to something similar to yours. I thought mine was good.lol

    Liked by 1 person

  29. ronnieturner says:

    Brilliant post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Justine says:

    This whole series is going to be so helpful. I’ve been waiting for this particular post ever since you mentioned it in the previous one! I think I’m at the step where I’m ready to reach out to publicity teams. However, I’m looking to grow my following first and am going to dedicate some time to Twitter. Blogging is a lot of work but I’m finding that it’s the best part of my day!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Justine; these post take the longest to write but they are the ones that feel the most enjoyable as well, since they feel almost like a discussion instead of just talking at people with reviews. Keep me updated; I can’t wait to hear how things are going for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Haïfa says:

    Fantastic post and very helpful advice !
    I’ll keep your recommendations in mind as I’m pretty new to blogging ! ;))

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Another great post in this series! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you for the great tips! Will def try some of these x

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Can you please check my blog and give me suggestions how can I make it better? I would be very grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Hi Chelsea, I hope you remember me from Instagram and GR. I found you here as well. I am not a stalker, I swear 😉
    Thanks for the post. I have recently started my blog (last week) so yeah I will be needing a lot of tips from senior bloggers. Keep them coming please.

    Liked by 1 person

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