Do you ever hear about Edelweiss and wonder what the heck it is? Check out this post. It has tons of info about the signup process and getting started. Wondering about how to polish your profile? Check out this post on the amazing, the wonderful, the beautiful Avalinah @ Avalinah’s Books‘ blog! Avalinah is such a wonderful part of this community, y’all. If you’re not already following her, you really should! If you’re wondering how to request and review titles on Edelweiss and use FILTERSSS then you are in the right place! So stick around, don’t click off.
Now, I have previously leaned into the assumption that Edelweiss is hard to use. It’s confusing at first, but here’s a bit of encouragement: Once you know how to use it? it’s second nature. So have no fear! That Book Gal is here and I’m telling you all you need to know, and pretty quick you’ll be an Edelweiss pro! I also keep saying it’s simple, but yet I keep making super long guides. It’s understandable if you’re confused by this.
(also if you’re new here, I’m a nice person but I have a rude-ish sense of humor? I’m legit really nice but I get kind of sarcastic when making these guides. It’s sometimes funny)
Part 1 – Using Filters
So this part of the process starts out on the homepage. You’ve seen this place before. It’s one of the only place on Edelweiss that both makes sense and makes you confused. Up the the right corner, I’ve circled “Saved Filters”. You’re going to need to click on that. For reasons. Because I’m bossy. and because it’s vital to what I’m teaching you to do.
Success! You’ve done it. To the left of the page that loads after you click on that, there’s this fun little sidebar. This is where you make your filters. You need to click on “add new filter” and I’ll show you how to customize it. I’ll be using my favorite filter, which I’ve called “Middle Grade & YA”. Because that’s what I read and I’m super original. That’s why I keep making new Edelweiss guides.(not not not)
So this is the innards of “Middle Grade and YA. This is the screen that pops up when you click on it. It’s like magic. As you can see, there’s a list of publishers, or “Edelweiss Vendors”, to the left. I personally don’t use those to customize my filters, but if you want to click through and find your favorites, then your filter will only show you titles by those publishers. And you’d be deviating from what I’m telling to do. RUDE.
If you click on the menu up above the list of publishers, you’ll see your whole array of options. You can choose anything from pub dates to imprints. I personally use “Age” and “Review Copy Availability” to customize my filters. Because I am in charge here, that’s what I’m going to show you. I like to read YA, and occasionally middle grade. I also like to stay open to publishers I maybe haven’t read from before, so that’s why I customize this way rather than through the publisher list. I read generally all corners of YA, so I don’t really customize by subject.
As you can see, there’s a whole array of age options, and you can see, on the right in orange, what my preferences are. Some publishers do it by grade, or by age, so I go ahead and throw both in there. It’s a fun little cocktail of my own making.
When it comes to the “Review Copy Availability” tab, I like to put “Available for Request”. I don’t always understand what this does, but it works better than the other options.
You can really customize your filter however you want, but I thought I’d show you how I do it, because that takes less time. Now that you’re done, however, you can name it and save it! After that it’s ready for use.
Part 2 – Requesting Titles
So assuming you’re coming from the filters tab(if you’ve followed my guide), or even the homepage(if you don’t take my advice as gospel)(understandable), all you need to do is click over to the “Review Copies” tab.
If you’ve never used a filter, the automatic view of the Review Copies is this. Number one, make sure you have “Available DRCs” selected. This ensures you will see all DRCs, not just ones you can request or ones you can download. It’s fairly snazzy. Next, click on “Apply Saved Filter”. This, as you may have guessed, allows you to use your filters!
This handy dandy little tab will pop up, and you you’ll see your filters, your recently used filters, and genre filters. You can scroll through genre filters if you want–they’re actually really handy if you don’t want to or don’t have time to make your own personalized filter. But if you aren’t going to do that, go ahead and click on the filter we’ve just made, circled in red.
So this is what your review copies tab should look like. It’ll save your last used filter for next time you open this tab. If you see a title you’re interested in, you can click on the name of the book. This is if you don’t know if you want to request it and you want to read the synopsis. If you see the cover, know the author, heard of the book, and you want to request it without reading the synopsis, just click the request button. We’re going to read the synopsis because I’m interested in this title for real. Because nothing, not even a blog post, will make me stop constantly requesting every interesting title.
So this page is fairly straightfoward. You can read the synopsis, peruse further information on the title, or, if you’ve made up your mind, request it by clicking on the circled little “REQUEST” button. It’s probably the easiest part of this whole guide. Much easier than all that clicking I had you do.
So when requesting, there are lots of ways to do it, because nothing in life is completely simple. The first way featured, is if the book features a POC protagonist and you’re a POC, or if it has a protagonist with anxiety or a mental illness you also have. I would suggest keeping this short and sweet, and here’s what I wrote in case you want to copy and paste: “I am requesting this because it has rep that I identify with and I would love the chance to read and review it.” It’s short, to the point, but portrays your purpose. The other way I’ve put, which is one I use a little more often, is one that works well if you’ve just read the synopsis and it sounds good, or you fell in love with the cover. Here: “This sounds really good. I would love the chance to read and review it.” I would recommend always including that you would “love the chance to read and review it” or something along those lines. At all costs, avoid sounding entitled to the DRC. Entitled people are rude. that is a fact. This would, however, be a good place to include if you have some meme you’d like to use or you’re participating in something (sci-fi month, diversity bingo, some readathon), I would add that the book would be featured there.
If you’re happy with what you’ve written, or pasted, go ahead and click submit. (are we ever completely happy tho?)
So now you’ve requested. You probably have questions. How long should I wait to be approved? Will I be notified or do I need to check my dashboard periodically? Does my cat really love me?(just me? okay.)
I would recommend waiting at least 1.5 to 2 months. Some publishers approve pretty quickly, some take a month, some take two. Even if you follow my instruction to the letter, I can’t guarantee approvals for everyone. I still get quite a few rejections, and even super huge bloggers like Cait @ Paper Fury get rejections as well. Nothing is guaranteed, but this advice should increase your chance. You will be notified, by email. Sometimes it doesn’t happen for rejections, but with bigger publishers you’re almost always notified. Your cat is indifferent to your existence. mostly.
Part 3 – Reviewing Titles
So if you’re wanting to review a title, there are two ways to do this. You can search the title in the search bar at the top of the page, which I recommend for titles you’ve had awhile. For some reason, titles disappear from the “Not Reviewed” tab after a little bit, which is why I also recommend keeping some sort of list of all your ARCs and their release dates in a notebook, or the Notes app, or on your computer. (I use cute little notebooks and colorful glittery pens and it’s super fun) But for the way I use most often, click on the orange circled filter name on the left.
So just clear your filter. Don’t worry, despite the misleading trash can, this WILL NOT DELETE YOUR FILTER. It just unselects it, basically. The trash can, however, was invented to torment you with worry that you just deleted the filter you spent all day on. The trash can and I are friends. 🙂
To the left is that super fun little menu, and all you need to do is click on “Not Reviewed”. Super hard, clicking is the worst.
This is what you should see, or something similar. It’ll show most of the titles you’ve requested and not reviewed. Find the title you want to review, it click on the speech bubble with the dots in it. I’ve circled the one on MONDAY’S NOT COMING. (I haven’t read this yet so I’m not actually reviewing it, just showing you what to do)
If you aren’t finding your review copy which you know you’ve downloaded, it might just be in a different region. Actually, you can request from any region! (Take that, NetGalley!) Switching your region to check is easy: you will find it at the top of the screen on the left, and if you can’t see your title, try switching the regions around until you find it. You can also do this while looking for new titles to request.
Okay, back to reviewing! I’ve included a ton of red… circles? I’m terrible at making shapes, y’all. But if you’ve been around for very many of these Edelweiss tutorials, you already know that. So the thing at the top is basically a rating device. It’s fairly self explanatory, but you move it around until it matches you feelings for the book you are reviewing. To the left are specific ratings, because one isn’t enough. If you select one, a ratings bar will appear(YOU’RE A WIZARD, READER) and you can rate that specific part of the book. I use all but the “Image/Illustration Quality” one because I don’t often get DRCs of graphic novels, and while some writing is consider imagery, this is for photos, not perfect writing OKAY. To the right is where you can write in or paste your review. I write my review on my iPad, so I usually paste it in. Because I am very lazy. Will avoid work at all times. At the bottom, you can add themes. Themes could be “ownvoices”, or “anxiety”, or “romance”, “castles”, “unicorns”, “paw patrol”, “my little pony”, “peppa pig”, oh. Sorry. Those are kids birthday party themes. Excuse me while I go turn off my little sister’s movie. You could just a few words that are kind of what the book is about, separated by commas.
If you’ll notice the yellow circle up in the corner(wow, they’re wayyyyy better at circles than me!)… CLICK ON IT. just do it. It’ll drop down into this cute little menu, you can select the different places you want this review submitted to. Here’s a rundown of what those options are. “Publisher” is what it sounds like. This submits your review to the publisher you’ve gotten the book from. “Indie Next”, from what I understand, is primarily for Librarians and Booksellers, as is “SIBA” so you if you’re a reviewer you don’t need to worry about those two. If you’re a Librarian or a Bookseller, I can’t tell you much about those two. As a reviewer, I don’t know much about them, so just do your research, or ask someone at Edelweiss. Once you’ve selected what you want, just click the little X I’ve circled. They have also circled it, much better than I have.
So once you’ve customized all the ratings, pasted your review(or written it!), added themes, selected where to submit it, just click the little floppy disk in the bottom right corner. That’ll save it, and when it saves with the publisher or whatnot selected, it automatically submits it. Voila. You’re a wizard. Congratulations, expect your Hogwarts acceptance letter sometime from now to never.
You’ve done all the things. You know all the things. You can now use filters, request books, review books. You’re all set! Whoo! Before we go, however, I’m going to do a little bit of Q&A!
Q: Can I get physical ARCs from Edelweiss?
A: No. The main purpose for reviewers is getting the DRCs(Digital Review Copy). Booksellers, however, often use Edelweiss to order books.
Q: Is there a time limit on my ARCs?
A: Not that I know of. There is a time limit for downloading them, but I think as long as you review them within a reasonable amount of time near the release date, you should be fine. Some publishers have a time limit, or a time they want the review posted within, so it’s always good to check. That time is usually included in your approval email.
Q: How long should I wait to hear back with a rejection or an approval?
A: I usually hear back within two months of requesting, but it’ll be different with every blogger, and every publisher.
Q: What does the publisher see when approving or rejecting requests?
A: They see your profile info, whatever you write in the message, and a rating (which is feedback from other publishers about how often you write reviews)
Q: How do I get approvals? I wrote the essay for the request, but I’ve had all my requests rejected.
A: I covered this a little above, but I recommend keeping things short and sweet, and also your profile does go into the approval process. I would recommend checking out Avalinah’s post, which I linked at the top of this post. There’s going to be a lot of rejections when you’re trying to get that first approval, but just keep requesting!
Q: Do I need to have a big blog following to get approvals?
A: No. Some publishers are more picky, but I’ve seen people with 100 followers and people with 100,000 followers get approvals.
Q: I’ve tried to get approvals, but I keep getting rejections. My blog isn’t very big yet, and I think that’s why. What publishers should I be requesting from?
A: Sometimes publishers like to see bloggers with a few review under their belt, so here’s what I recommend. Some smaller publishers have books you don’t have to request, that are instead up for immediate download. Download some of those, read, review them. Then come back and request. I haven’t personally run into problems requesting books when my follower count is small, but I just recommend to keep requesting until you get that approval!
Q: Wait… I’m confused. What the heck are catalogs? Should I be using them? Or are they for booksellers and librarians?
A: Listen. While catalogs are targeted towards all Edelweiss members, if you’re there to request and review books you don’t really need to use them.
Q: As a newer blog, should I bother adding my stats to my profile or should I leave them off?
A: I didn’t start adding my stats until my blog had grown a little, but it’s really up to you. Sometimes it helps to have them there, sometimes it doesn’t.