Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, advanced reader copies (ARCs) of your edited manuscript are important. Here is why…
What is an ARC:
ARC is the shortened term for ‘advanced reader copy’. An ARC is a copy of your work that you send out to a group of readers ahead of your publication date.
Note: an ARC copy is not the same as a beta copy. Beta Copies are usually sent out before the final edit to garner constructive feedback during the editing process. ARCs are edited, finished copies of your work that are ready for publication.
Why send an ARC:
- ARC reviewers can offer honest feedback before your book is even on the market. You can get a good idea on how well your work has been received
- Free promotion. ARC readers tend to be reviewers. Having reviews on blogs, Goodreads, and social media etc is brilliant promotion before publication. Authors need reviews, plain and simple.
When to send an ARC:
Of course, it would not be an ARC if it wasn’t received in advance of the publication date, however, there are differing opinions as to how early to send an ARC. I have received ARCs up to seven months before publication, and some within two weeks of the release date. Ultimately, it is the choice of the author/publisher. I would not advise sending unedited ARCs, but again, that is personal preference, but please be fair in your time allowance. Give the reader enough time to read and review your work comfortably, unless they specifically agree to last minute reads. 4-8 weeks before publication is acceptable for sending ARCs (especially indie books/ eBooks).
How to find ARC readers:
ARC readers are everywhere, you just have to know where to look for them.
- Blog: If you have a blog, do a shout out for ARC readers and reviewers.
- Twitter: Write a tweet requesting ARC readers. OR search hashtags such as #bookbloggers #bookreviewer #bookblog etc. You can DM or find blog links to reviewers in your genre.
- Social media: Post requests for ARC readers and reviewers on all your platforms.
- Research: Use search engines to find book blogs etc. Most book bloggers have review policies for you to study.
- Netgalley: You can pay a fee to have your ARC signed up to Netgalley.com. Members can request copies of your work to review.
- Friends: Send out copies to honest friends. Make sure they will give you a review. The more reviews the merrier.
Keeping ARC readers for future use:
Once you have found ARC readers, you ideally want to keep them.
- Always thank them for reviews, even if it is not the 5* review you wanted!
- Reblog/ share their reviews and links. Not only does this help you, but it helps them get traffic to their platforms.
- Build a list of trusted reviewers. Ask all of your ARC readers if you can call on them in the future. Avid readers are a valuable assets to all authors.
Content belongs to KJ.Chapman
GIF sourced from giphy.com