Ask an Agent: Best Way to Get ARCs for Teens?

askanagent2You’ve got questions,  we’ve got answers! Our volunteer Agents are on the job! Here’s what they have to say this week….

Question: How do you awesome teen librarians get advanced reading copies, free swag (book related & otherwise?) I enter drawings for free books, I pick up cheap fun stuff for my teens when I can, and I use left over summer reading prizes. But getting advanced reading copies of books on a regular basis & book related swag foxes me.

 Elizabeth (Commerce Township Community Library) says:

I register for lots of free webinars from publications like Library Journal, School Library Journal, and Booklist.  Not only do I find out that way about awesome books coming soon; I usually end up with a few ARCs from those, plus contacts to receive more to give away.  I say register for webinars because I can rarely listen to them live, but if you’re registered and can’t attend, you get a link to listen to the webinar once it’s recorded and archived.  Also, watch listservs like YALSA-bk for authors and publishers giving away books and other swag.

Jenni (South San Francisco Public Library) says:

Attend as many Booklist webinars as you can, and contact the publishers right after the webinar (most give out their email addresses as part of their presentation) and ask for ARCs. You can also contact publishers directly from their websites and tell them you are a librarian and ask for ARCs. It does help if you have a book review blog or some similar outlet where you can share your opinion of the books, but this is the best way I’ve found to get ARCs.

Paige (Lethbridge Public Library) says:

I get boxes of ARCs from various publishers about 2-3 times a year.  I just emailed their PR team, and explained that I use the ARCs as prizes for our weekly teen programs.  (every teen who attends gets to take home a book)  Most of them were happy to send me ARCs and other small swag (booksmarks, buttons, postcards) to share with my teens.  Especially useful were Harlequin Teen, Orca Books, Scholastic, and Harper Teen.  (Canadian librarian, so these were all the Canadian divisions of the publishers)  I always tell the publishers that if I get feedback or reviews from the teens, I will pass that along to them.  I’m doubtful they’d ever actually use it in their promotions, but I’m sure they’re happy to hear from actual teens in advance of the book’s release.

Thanks to our volunteer agents for the awesome answers. If you have a question about anything teen services related ask it here! Your question will be featured on the blog with answers from our agent volunteers or TSU team members. If you’d liked to be a volunteer agent, please submit your info here.

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