In September 2020, after 4 years of blogging, I decided to give it a try with reading eARCs (electronic Advanced Reading Copies) – the books that are sent to bloggers / librarians / other interested parties before they are officially published.

Why haven’t I tried before? Well, mainly because I was afraid that it involved reading books I do not like (I know, it sounds weird). I had the false impression that books you receive for free are not good books. Something was clearly misunderstood.

Out of curiosity, in September I created my blogger account on Edelweiss. I remember reading on a bookish blog that Edelweiss is more friendly with non-American bloggers than Netgalley, so Edelweiss was my choice.

Keeping in mind my initial fear, I only requested books that I really wanted to read. My reading time is quite limited, so I am not interested in reading books only for the sake of receiving free books.

✅ Approved

Here are the books for which I was approved to download. You can see that I also reviewed all of them on the website (the rating appears in a red circle). When it comes for reviews on my blog:

  • Red Island House – amazing book, I will post my review on the blog in March 2021 (when the book will be published)
  • Love in Amsterdam – I do not think I’ll post a review, I did not finish it because it was not something I enjoyed
  • Midwinter Murder – oh, Agatha Christie! ❤ I already posted my review, as it was published during autumn time

❌ Declined

Here comes the sad part of the story – the requests that were declined. As I said, I really want to read these books, so most probably I will buy them at some point.

The frustrating side is that you do not receive any feedback about why the request was denied. Also, the approval criteria are not transparent (I imagine an example could be: the book will be approved only for readers with more than 1.000 followers on Twitter) … so you just have to try.

❓ Pending

And here is where the surprise element is possible! I requested two of these books more than 60 days ago, and still no answer. However, they will be released in spring / summer next year, so there’s still time for a YES 🙂

My learning points

I would like to conclude this post with some of my learnings. Please be aware that they are results of my own experience, I hope they can help you as much as possible!

§ It is very important to have “Excellent” profile strength

This can be easily achieved if you fill in all required fields (including 2 links on social media). I asked for a book while having profile strength “Very good”, got denied, then updated my profile for “Excellent”, asked for the book again using the same message, and got approved!

§ If your request is denied, try again!

As I said before, I asked for a book after being denied, and I got it! It also happened to be denied twice for the same book … will try again for sure!

§ For most book requests you need to explain why you want to read it

Before sending the book request, you will get a pop-up window where you explain why to want to read that book. I usually write 2-3 paragraphs (I enjoyed reading other books of the author, I am intrigued by the story, etc). This is different from Netgalley, where I understood you only have to click a request button.

This is how the request form looks like

There are also some books (approx. 10%) that can be downloaded without requesting them.

§ eARCs are available only for a limited time

After downloading a book, the document is available for you only for a limited number of days. After that, the file is not working anymore. So when you download a book make sure you have time to read it. In my case, the books were available for 60 – 90 days.

§ Check the website for notifications

I recommend to check the Edelweiss website if you want to find out the news. They also send notifications via email, but in my case it did not work all the time.

I am curios to find out – how was your experience with Edelweiss? Do you have any tips and tricks for getting more approvals?

‘Till next time … happy reading!


15 thoughts on “My experience with requesting books (eARCs) on Edelweiss

  1. I had about the same experience with Netgalley, but after a few years, I decided I didn’t like reading books online enough to continue requesting them. I still keep my profile up in case something comes up that I can’t resist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also encounter the same issue – reading e-books is not so great for me, so that’s why I only ask for the books I really really want to read. I would not read more than one e-book a month …
      It’s always good to have an “open door”, just in case 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to say, Edelweiss sounds a bit scary and harder to use. I get on OK with NetGalley, only request books I really want to read have only been declined 3 times while approved over 30 times 🙂 I actually have a blog post coming up about my experience with NetGalley.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can’t wait to read about your experience with NetGalley! I might try it as well. From what I understood, on NetGalley you only have to click a button “request” – is this correct? No need to explain why?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s correct – the button says Request Now and it does ask you to check the boxes of what appeals to you (cover, author, description, I keep hearing about this book) after that, but I don’t know if publishers take that into account or if that’s just a data gathering thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. After the short discussion we had I tried NetGalley as well, and few minutes ago I received access to a book. What a smooth and quick process! I hope it is not only beginner’s luck 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My experience was pretty good. I use NetGalley and edelweiss. It took a while but now I get a lot of approvals. Some publishers are easier to get approvals than others. I’ve had some books i got declined 3 or 4 times before getting approved. Some publishers only approve librarians and booksellers which I agree with you and wish that was listed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for sharing about your experience! In the meantime I also started using NetGalley, let’s see how it will treat me 🙂

      Did you notice any specific publishers approving more requests from bloggers? Or maybe some genres might have a higher approval rates than others?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think most publishers approve bloggers. Not necessarily for all books but for some. Berkley is difficult to get approved. Harper Collins seems easy to get approved on edelweiss while Macmillan doesn’t approve bloggers for most imprints on edelweiss but do on NetGalley.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I also have to refrain myself from buying and asking for too many books!
      I am trying to keep my new paperback stack at a manageable size – buying only 4-5 books every other month, for instance. And online I only ask for books that I really really want to read.

      Liked by 1 person

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