IT’S MY BLOGIVERSARY MONTH AAAHHHH. I can’t hold any big giveaways or whatnot so I’m just going to try my best and publish helpful posts about the things I learned in my one year of blogging which—I hope—can help most of y’all. This is my way of giving back to the community which has given me so much love and appreciation. No, definitely not crying right now.
Today, I’m sharing my Edelweiss Plus experience featuring some tips and tricks that I hope will be useful to you. Just a little disclaimer: I am not the greatest expert on this platform and everything I’m going to say in this post is purely based on experience. Edelweiss is like the ocean. I know maybe 10% about it and the remaining 90% is just waiting to devour me whole. Just kidding. Only 78% of Edelweiss is scary. Trust me, everything gets more friendly if you give it time.
First off: WHAT IS EDELWEISS PLUS?
Edelweiss Plus is one essential platform in a book blogger’s life. It’s where we request and download ARCs (advance reader’s copy) from publishers which we will then read and review.
HOW TO START YOUR OWN EDELWEISS PLUS ACCOUNT
The first thing you need to do is sign up (gee, that’s so obviously helpful thanks Rain) and make sure that your profile is as strong as possible. Put your blog and social media platform stats, along with your basic information and what kind of books you want to read and review. You should also update your profile once in a while. All them numbers don’t stay the same for too long.
✨ Evelina @ Avalinahsbooks wrote a very helpful Edelweiss + Netgalley guide which helped me a lot when I was starting. Please check her post out here. It’s really one of the best guides you’ll ever read. Evelina is a gem to this community.
EDELWEISS VS. NETGALLEY
One thing that encouraged me to start book blogging was the fact that I can read books before their public release. All I could ever think about at that time was how glorious of a feeling it would be to get inside a bookstore and shout, “OH I’VE READ THAT BOOK WAAAY BEFORE IT WAS RELEASED THAT’S COOL RIGHT”. Yeah. It’s unbelievable how petty past-me was.
What past-me didn’t understand was that requesting ARCs is no easy feat. I didn’t even know where to get ARCs before or if I will be able to get them at all. Eventually I learned that I can request ARCs on Edelweiss and Netgalley. I also got the impression before that Netgalley was the ‘better’ site. Most bloggers I knew said, “No one ever gets approved on Edelweiss but try your luck anyway.”
This bookdragon really did try her luck on Edelweiss and now I’m saying that it’s infinitely better than Netgalley. I mainly request books from Edelweiss now. still use my NG account but I hardly request books there anymore. It’s just useful when I get auto-approved for titles because of blog tours and author requests.
Here are some of the reasons why Edelweiss is better than Netgalley:
• It has more features than Netgalley
I admit that Edelweiss was intimidating at first because it had so many buttons and features that were utterly foreign to me. NG, on the other hand, was easy on the eyes so I found it easier to use. I learned too late that the things that make Edelweiss complicated are the things that make it such a helpful site to book bloggers.
My favorite Edelweiss feature is the saved filters feature which can help in organizing what books you want to request + it can be handy in keeping track of all the releases you’re looking forward to.
✨ You can even put tags on books and bookmark them for future perusal. Kaleena wrote a very insightful post on how you can stay on top of your Edelweiss game. She’s 100 times better at explaining things than me SO YOU SHOULD CHECK HER POST OUT. Everything about her guide posts is helpful and detailed. You won’t regret supporting her content.
• It has no feedback ratio in sight
Edelweiss has none of that feedback pressure AND I AM SO GRATEFUL. When I was still active on Netgalley, I kept worrying which arm to sell or which sacrificial ritual to conduct just to have a decent feedback ratio. In case you’re not aware of how Netgalley works, it actually has this ratio that keeps track of the books you’ve reviewed vs. the books you’ve been approved for. Low feedback ratio = low chances of approval from publishers.
I understand the importance of a feedback ratio but I already receive a lot of pressure from school. I don’t need more from Netgalley thank you very much.
Note: Publishers could still be monitoring your reviews (or lack thereof) so it’s still better to post your reviews on Edelweiss once you’re done reading your ARC!
• You actually get to request books on Edelweiss and not just wish for it
What irks me so much about Netgalley is that I can hardly request any book that I want. When a book blogger or an author announces on twitter that a certain book is up on request on Netgalley, I immediately check the site in the hopes of requesting it but guess what? NETGALLEY JUST ALLOWS ME TO WISH FOR IT. Now that’s the part where I feel like I want to burn the whole Internet to ashes. I think this “wish for it” thing happens because of some territorial rights issue or whatever (at this point I’ve lost hope in understanding this) which is what crushes me the most. As an international blogger, I have next to no chance to receive physical ARCs and now I can’t even request e-ARCs???
It’s a good thing that Edelweiss lets me request books I want. Of course, I still get declined for a lot of titles but that’s better than just wishing for a book you will never be approved for. I understand why some reviewers like NG but it’s just not for me.
HOW TO REQUEST BOOKS ON EDELWEISS PLUS
Now here’s the tricky part. In most ARC request guide posts I’ve read, most bloggers recommend requesting e-ARCs on Netgalley or Edelweiss when you’re six months into blogging or when you have 300 or so followers but because I’m an impatient ball of fire, I started requesting ARCs from Edelweiss three months into blogging. When I first made my account, I felt like I was stepping into alien territory (which of course I was). I also requested about 30+ titles and got rejected for all of them except one. It was disheartening but not at all surprising.
What I want to say here is that you need to take a leap of faith sometimes and even though things will not work out immediately in your favor, everything will work out fine in the long run. SWEET SNOW BELOW I SOUND LIKE A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER.
Anyway, here’s how you can request a book on Edelweiss:
1. Click on the “Review Copies” button (or you can just search the title you want to request and skip step 2).
2. Choose a book you want to request. You can use a saved filter to make things easier or you can refine results to narrow down your search.
3. Click the request button and write a reason why you want to request the book.
IMPORTANT: I know people get disenchanted with Edelweiss because they don’t have the energy to compose an essay everytime they want to request a certain book. I’m telling you now that you actually don’t have to write a new request from scratch. I actually have a default response which I just copy and paste when I want to request a book. I just tweak little details or add more reasons depending on the book I’m requesting but other than that, I basically send the same response to publishers everytime I request a book.
Here are some of the things you might want to say when requesting books in Edelweiss:
1. Why you’d like to be given the chance to review the book
2. Say that you’ll write a review and share it to your social media platforms.
3. Say that you want to support the author.
4. It’s important to point it out if the book represents you in any way (there are publishers who consider this while some heartless pubs don’t even give us a chance).
5. Mention related titles or other books from the publisher you’ve reviewed in the past.
✨ thebookprescription published a post about how you can request titles from Edelweiss where he covered a lot of helpful points too! Check his post out now.
WHERE DO WE STAND WITH PUBLISHERS?
I wish I can claim to be best buddies with publishers but alas, I can’t. There will always be instances where publishers say no to your requests and that’s totally normal. Rejections sting but
you eventually get numb you won’t be approved for anything if you don’t try.
Here’s the first thing you need to know: HarperCollins is the best ally you can get in your Edelweiss journey. They have great titles and they’re really generous in approving ARC requests. At first, HarperCollins rejected me for EVERYTHING (it wasn’t a great experience) but now they approve me for any title that I want (I just hope this post won’t jinx my good luck). I actually don’t know what changed the minds of everyone at HarperCollins. Maybe I annoyed them with my incessant requests and they gave in because they could imagine my silent screams of frustration. Or maybe the rituals under the full moon really worked. Either way, I’m happy that they’re always so kind to me. I will forever remember that time when they approved one of my review requests 30 seconds after I sent in the said request. ‘Twas a wild ride, chums.
Main point: Don’t ever stop requesting books from HarperCollins. Maybe one day they’ll hear your desperate screams too.
By some unknown miracle, this dragon is actually auto-approved by Macmillan on Edelweiss. Again, I don’t know what everyone at Macmillan ate to come up with this decision but no one will ever know what publishers think. I’m just happy that I can automatically download Macmillan ARCs without requesting. They also have a great selection too! Most of my most anticipated releases are published by Macmillan so this is really a win for me.
Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, ABRAMS, Hachette, Independent Publishers Group, and Ingram Publishing Services have approved me for some titles in the past. Penguin Publishing has approved me for titles before too but they seem to hate me now (they declined me for Patron Saints of Nothing despite my heartfelt essay oh well). Oh and Sourcebooks just blinks and rejects all my requests immediately. I don’t even stand a chance.
TIPS AND TRICKS
I’ve been using Edelweiss for almost a year and I picked up one or two tricks here and there with the help of my blogger friends. I really hope these tips can help you in the future:
• You can request a book again even after you’ve been declined for that title
Update (03/12/2021): Unfortunately, it seems that you can no longer do this (correct me if I’m wrong but it’s not working for me anymore). Edelweiss has updated a bit lately and this is one of the changes to the site. Such a shame, really. I’m still keeping this part of the post for posterity, though. I’m sentimental like that.
YES YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE. You can’t request a book again if you view the title in your “Declined” page but you can request it just fine if you search the title instead. Last year, I requested The Wicked King about a hundred times to no avail. That’s still one of my most painful Edelweiss experiences but I’ve long since moved on.
I may not have been approved for TWK after requesting it over and over again, I can still attest that you can still get approved even if you’ve been declined for a title before. An example: I requested The Tiger at Midnight when I first started my Edelweiss journey and was declined for it after a few days. However, I requested the title for the second time and was approved for it. IT WORKS CHUMS. Hope is still here.
• It’s a trove of high-quality book covers
This is one thing that I’m very thankful for. Before Edelweiss, I found it difficult to find HD book covers for my blog posts. Goodreads definitely doesn’t have them and Amazon is even worse (this makes sense because Amazon owns GR). Edelweiss, on the other hand, is a treasure trove of high-quality book covers.
• Find yourself some Edelweiss buddies
This is an important tip. I wouldn’t have learned so much about Edelweiss if not for my blogger friends. Noura @ theperksofbeingnoura is my #1 Edelwiess buddy. She never fails to respond to my questions and she gives me a lot of encouragement whenever I want to request books. She was also there for me during my why-won’t-little-brown-approve-me-for-The-Wicked-King days and I’ll forever be thankful for that.
Having friends who can tell you how Edelweiss works can make your life brighter. If you want to ask something about Edelweiss, don’t hesitate to message me on Twitter. I will also answer your questions below if you have one. I’m willing to be your first Edelweiss buddy.
• Check your homepage regularly
Once you’ve started requesting books on Edelweiss, always remember to check your homepage regularly. Edelweiss doesn’t send emails all the time about the titles you’ve been approved for so it’s best to remain on alert. Who knows? You can be approved for your most-anticipated release and you won’t even know it. Stay vigilant.
• Keep requesting
This is the most basic tip I can give you and the most important one too. It’s painful to be rejected for a highly-anticipated ARC but you won’t be approved at all if you give up so easily. It may take a lot of time for publishers to notice you so it’s important to keep on requesting. Also, PLEASE ONLY REQUEST THE BOOKS THAT YOU REALLY WANT TO READ AND REVIEW. Being approved for a lot of titles is a great feeling but drowning in ARCs is not the life I would ever wish on someone else. Keep your requests at a minimum. Trust me, you don’t want all those ARCs to eat you alive.
There you go! I really hope this post helped you in one way or another. I’m not an Edelweiss expert so this is the only thing I can offer for now. If you have more tips and tricks up your sleeve, please share them on the comments below. Let’s all help each other to become Edelweiss wizards in the future.