Welcome voracious readers to my first guide & tips post: Edelweiss 101! For those of you that haven’t heard of it before, Edelweiss Plus is a free website where you can not only request digital review copies (DRCs, also known as advanced reader/review copies or ARCs) but also browse publisher’s catalogs.
Edelweiss is a fantastic catalogue of books (both backlist and frontlist), but it’s also pretty difficult to navigate. It has a steep learning curve – one not many readers are willing to tackle. That’s why I am here for you with this Edelweiss 101 guide all about setting up your homepage!
Why use Edelweiss?
✔️ Search catalogs of all major publishers and never miss a new title
✔️ Receive alerts about new books of interest to you
✔️ Network with over 100,000 book reviewers and other book professionals
✔️ Download digital review copies and access reviews by other book professionals
So Edelweiss is pretty amazing, but it is also very confusing and not intuitive to learn. I legit signed up months ago, logged in and stared in abject horror at all the options, couldn’t find a “how to use this website” and kind of clicked off. I revisited the site a few days ago after having forgotten the initial trauma to discover I had been approved two DRCs. Somehow. A few followers on Twitter shared how confusing they also found Edelweiss so I decided it was time for me to figure it out.
Setting Up Your Homepage
Once you sign up for a free account, you are brought to your homepage. Think of as your dashboard. I would highly recommend turning on the ‘new homepage’ function at the top left of every page. Once I made that switch things kind of started falling into place for me, and you are able to customize it to your heart’s content with widgets!
So once you toggle to the new homepage, I highly recommend that you play around with the various widgets to get your homepage to work for you! For my purposes, I removed most of the default tiles and settled on ‘Affiliate Buzz,’ ‘DRC Requests,’ ‘Anticipating,’ ‘Notifications,’ and ‘Saved Filters.’ I will get into each of these a bit more below.
Set Up Saved Filters
Do yourself a favor and before going anywhere else (seriously, avoid being overwhelmed) set up your Saved Filters. As of writing this post there are currently 3,231 DRCs available for request on Edelweiss, and if you just click to Review Copies you are going to be greeted with tons of options. While you can drill down your options on the Review Copies page, I find it way easier to set up my saved filters and just click to the results via my Saved Filters widget (see right).
So now that I have convinced you to set up your custom filters, let’s go over how easy it is to do! What I opted to do was create filters for each main genre I like to read, selecting the sub-genres that I like for each. As you can see by the below screenshot, there are a lot of sub-genres available in Fantasy.
📖 Related Post: How I Stay on Top of New Releases // Edelweiss 2.0 Guide
Browsing Custom Filter Results
Now that you have your filters set up, click on one of them from your homepage. You will be brought to the results for that search without you having to drill down every time. Nice! You can resort the results depending on your preferences, as seen below.
When you are scrolling through the results you will initially see basic information about the title: genres, author, publication date, number of pages, etc. What I really like about Edelweiss is that if you see something that catches your eye you can get additional information without having to load a new page (looking at you NetGalley and even Goodreads)! AND You will find both backlist (already published) and frontlist (upcoming publications) listed in your results and easily denoted in bold.
➡️ Content will bring down an accordion view of the synopsis, and review buzz.
➡️ Comps will bring down an accordion view of comparable titles. Not all titles have comps listed but many do, and it is a good indication on whether a book may be for you.
➡️ On the far right there often will be a green or orange button. Green (download) means that it is available to download, and orange (request) means that you need to submit a request to the publisher.
While browsing titles, you will see the green ‘download’ button and the orange ‘request’ button. These vertical buttons indicate that review copies are available through Edelweiss!
Once you find a title that you would like to request, click the orange request button and a little window will pop up. Unlike NetGalley you have the option to include information about why you are requesting that specific title.
I recommend always filling this bit out, as with any upcoming title there are often limited DRCs available and anything that you can do to differentiate yourself in the publisher’s eye cannot hurt. You won’t get approved for every request, but I have found that filling this out also helps remind me why I do what I do and keeps the passion I have for books alive. 💖
✨ For a more in-depth explanation of requesting ARCs on Edelweiss, please check out Hamad’s guide – he did a GREAT job discussing what has worked for him and breaking it down simply!
Downloading Approved ARCs
When you either find a title that is available for download or are approved by the publisher, you will be able to download the DRC to read! You have two choices, as seen in the screenshot below:
Standard essentially downloads a file that can be read in Adobe Digital Editions
Kindle sends the mobi file to you
I prefer using Kindle because I avoid Adobe Digital Editions unless necessary (looking at you, Penguin First to Read!), and below is a screenshot of the added step to get your mobi file:
I don’t know personally what the Amazon charges are for sending directly to Kindle (NetGalley doesn’t have fees, but whatever), so I just have it sent via email. Within a couple of minutes you will get an email like this, where you can download the file by clicking the link (this was an .azw file) and send to your Kindle device(s) using Send to Kindle.
Set Up & Use Shelves
I set my filters up so that only books that have available ARCs show up; however, I also have the Affiliate Buzz widget active on my homepage and I might come across books in catalogs (which you can read more about below!) that are not open to request yet. Because I have the memory of a goldfish and my Goodreads TBR is turning into a hot mess despite my best efforts to keep it organized, I decided to take advantage of Edelweiss shelves to not lose track!
The shelves are: Anticipating, Highly Anticipating, Currently Reading, Finished Reading, Didn’t Finish, Favorites
I am sure that you noticed on the homepage there are widgets for the shelves. I decided to use ‘Anticipating’ to keep track of books I essentially will sell my soul for but hadn’t yet submitted a request for. In the below screenshot you will see that Courting Darkness does not have the little orange banner along the left of the image which means that it isn’t available yet for request/download; Grim Lovelies is available to request but I haven’t yet (mainly because I was denied on NetGalley and submitted a request for a physical arc that hasn’t been responded to yet).
➡️ Affiliate Buzz: books that are receiving a lot of buzz among other reviewers
➡️ DRC Requests: so I don’t lose track of what I have already requested
➡️ Notifications: I cleared mine, but when you get a new approval it shows up here
➡️ Saved Filters: THIS IS MY FAVORITE. Filters are love!
➡️ Anticipating: I am using this shelf for “books I will sell my soul to obtain”
Another amazing feature that is especially helpful to all bibliophiles is the publisher catalog section! Not all publishers list their catalogs on here, but many do (and many have backlist catalogs as well), making Edelweiss kind of a bookish one-stop-shop. Gone are the days of Googling for ages, or scouring a website trying to find information! For instance, say you love Penguin’s adult books. Well you are in luck because they uploaded their Fall 2018 catalog in February of this year. Seriously, Edelweiss is wonderful for seeing what is on the horizon!
For an in-depth guide on how to use Edelweiss for publisher’s catalogs as a book blogger, check out this amazing post by Tammy over at Books, Bones, Buffy!
Honestly? Now that I have figured out Edelweiss and set it up to work well for my own personal needs, I love it! I hope that this post encourages you to dive in and check it out because it isn’t as scary as the site makes it look.
What are some tips & tricks that you have for Edelweiss users? Or do you have any other burning questions that I can answer for you?