Let’s Talk ARC: 3 Reasons Advanced Reader Copies are Worth the Cost
As you’re getting ready to publish, you’ve probably started hearing about ARCs. Advanced Reader Copies are something the traditional publishers use to get early reviews.
Why do you care? You can do the same thing! Here are three reasons you should be giving out ARCs!
Early Reviews: Reviews are key aspect of your marketing campaign.Don’t have a marketing campaign? Well you should, and at the top of the list should be reviews. Customers look at your cover, then read your blurb, then read your reviews if buying online. Sometimes they won’t even open your book if you don’t have reviews. So, give away ten ARCs about three months prior to release (If possible, earlier is better but sending anything out pre-release is better than sending nothing). Tell readers that the reason you are giving them the copy is for an honest review. The reason I say to give ten out is because not every copy will get a review. Life happens, people get busy and reading the average novel takes 6-8 hours. That’s a lot of time you’re asking for so don’t be a pain and DO NOT ask the readers about the reviews until the three month period has passed. When you do ask them about it be gentle not demanding. A simple “Hey, did you get a chance to read my book yet?” will do.
Typos: Every book has typos. They’re really hard to avoid. So when you hand out those advanced readers copies ask readers to use a post-it or take notes about typos and give them to you. One of the beauties of being an indie is you can update the book anytime. Hopefully you catch most of the typos prior to release but if you find one after don’t hesitate to fix it.
Word of Mouth: Before Amazon and Goodreads, most readers found new books and authors when a friend or family member pointed them in that direction. The more ARCs you give away the more readers you will have at your launch. While the launch is more important to traditional publishers, you still need to pay attention to it. If you can get your book in Amazon’s top 20 for its genre or category you will be more likely to have steady sales simply for being seen. Having those early reviews and recommendations are well worth the cost of the ARCs themselves.
BONUS: eARCs are just as helpful and don’t cost anything to create or send!