Updated: Jun 28
A lot of authors wonder where to find ARC readers. This brief guide will help you to understand what an ARC is and how to successfully recruit ARC readers for your novel.
What is an ARC?
An ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy. More specifically, an ARC is a book that is complete but has not yet been published. Authors and publishers often give away free ARCs prior to publication in order build buzz and garner early book reviews.
Why do I need ARC readers?
Reviews are a critical component to selling books. On Amazon, your book will get a "lift" in the rankings for the first 30 days (give or take). That means the traffic on your book sales page will it be at its highest. Great, right?
Only if you have reviews. Book browsers are far more likely to convert to book buyers when your books has social proof, aka reviews. Nobody wants to buy a book with no reviews from an unknown author (to them). Don't believe me? Browse the Kindle Top 100 for your favorite genre.
If you're thinking you'll get lots of organic reviews, you're wrong. I've seen dozens of authors estimate these ratios in popular forums. The cold reality... 1 in every 500 purchasers will review your book (at best).
Now, on to the meat of this article.
How do I get ARC Readers interested in my work? What does a good ARC reader recruitment post include?
When you are seeking new ARC readers, you will need to include the following information:
Review Deadline (When do you need reviews submitted by? I suggest giving your readers 4-6 weeks lead time.)
Where do you want them to leave reviews? (If you want reviews on Amazon, don't assume that's where your readers will put them. They might post to Kobo, Google Play, GoodReads, or their blog. Be specific.)
Tell them how to apply. Make it simple. (Good resources to help you manage this process are StoryOrigin, BookSprout, and BookFunnel. Some authors also use Facebook or plain old email. I prefer StoryOrigin. It allows you to see how many books a reviewer has requested and followed through on. It also allows you to see their review profiles.)
Where can I find ARC Readers?
Check out the compiled list below. Please note, inclusion on this list does not indicate endorsement. If you have a suggested group for me to add, please add it in the blog comments.
Reddit ARC Readers
Your Social Media Platforms
YA Book Stop
Fantasy ARC & Beta Readers
Reading Owls ARC Team
ARC Group for Readers & Authors
Indie Alpha, Beta, and ARC Readers for ALL Genres
Beta & ARC Readers
YA Fantasy Readers
GoodReads ARC of Authors
GoodReads Advanced Copies for Review & Book Giveaways
GoodReads Read 4 Review
GoodReads FREE BOOKS for Book lovers: ARC & Polished Manuscript Readers for Authors
GoodReads Authors & Reviewers
GoodReads Book Review Club
NetGalley (can go through co-op for best pricing)
*This is the resource most traditional publishers use.*
If you go direct, it is very expensive. Most indie authors use co-ops for the best pricing.
Victory Editing - $45/month https://victoryediting.com/services/netgalley-co-op/
Xpresso Tours - $65/month http://xpressobooktours.com/xpresso-book-tours-netgalley-co-op/
Edelweiss (must go through a co-op, cannot post directly)
*This is the resource most traditional publishers use. It is also the most expensive in the market. Not recommended.*
Voracious Readers (first book, first 20 free)
BookSprout (free plan available and upgraded plans)
Not only will StoryOrigin manage your ARC process, they will also publicly list your ARC to readers (if you choose to allow them to do so).
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