Too many indie authors don’t take advantage of the opportunity Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) offer. Here is how you can tap into this opportunity.
What is an ARC?
An ARC is an advance review copy of your book. It is not formatted and may not have gone through the final proofreading round either. You send a copy of your book out to people prior to its release as part of your launch. Having people read advanced copies is part of your marketing, including getting early reviews.
To whom to send ARCs?
Send your ARCS to bloggers, reviewers, media, booksellers, podcasters, anyone who might read it and
- Talk or write about you
- Give you a review
- Interview you
Or in some other way, help you launch your book into the world and create book buzz.
Why send ARCs?
A big reason to send out ARCs is to receive a few reviews you can put in your book before it is published. You can also send it to someone who might write your foreword for you, someone who is well known in your industry or well known to your potential readers. A foreword is a stamp of approval by a well-known person who readers trust and which they use to decide whether or not to buy your book.
Aside from a foreword, if you can have book reviews in the inside cover of your book, when people are browsing, this helps them decide the value of the book and if they want to read it or not.
When to send ARCS?
If you want someone to write your foreword or give you reviews for your book that you can put in the front matter, you need to work out the timeline to give them enough time to read the book and write something.
Work backward from your publishing date. Think about the following milestones:
- Publish date
- Proof received for final approval
- Uploading the manuscript to get final proof completed
- Final revisions and edits
- Adding reviews and forewords.
How much time does each person need to read and send you a review? I’d give them each four to six weeks.
So thinking about all these tasks, you will want to get ARCS out at least three months in advance if you want the reviews IN the book.
This is why traditional publishing takes so long.
How to send ARCs?
Most reviewers and media accept and often prefer digital copies of your book. I would suggest having an ePub and a MOBI file. Some might want a paperback or a PDF, but these are less common these days. You can send a link that has a one time use or expires for security. Services such as BookFunnel and StoryOrigin offer easy ways to get ARCS into the hands of readers.
When it comes to ARCS, dream big! You’d be surprised who might have a few kind words for you. Plus, you can pay for a foreword. That is common practice.
Make sure they know the book has not gone through final edits. You don’t want them to say that the book is full of mistake and needs to be proofread.
Be clear about your expectations when working with ARCS. You don’t want to send them out and not get what you want or need back.
Don’t make ARCS a lost opportunity in your book launch.
For more about getting reviews, join Author Nation to access all our resources, including a complete guide to getting book reviews.
Let me know what you thoughts in the comments!
– Keep writing
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