Build Buzz, Get Blurbs and Reviews with ARCs (Advance Reader Copies)
There are people waiting to help you improve your book and get the word out. And, they can help you before you publish. They can give you valuable feedback and start generating buzz. I am talking about Advance Readers!
An ARC is Different from the Boat Noah Built
In publishing, ARC is short for “Advance Readers Copy.” It is a preview of your soon to be released book. Seeing a book in print is exciting. Getting a printed ARC is worth the time and effort. With options like createspace, the cost is lower than ever before. I’ve been a designer for more than 20 years and it is really amazing that until you see it printed, you may not catch typo’s that are impervious to spell check, or those odd bits of formatting that need attention that will literally jump off the printed page yet hide on the computer screen.
Sending out ARCs to helpful and eager readers will provide you with insights and testimonials you can use in your book marketing. Advance readers can also pinpoint areas where you need to do some fine-tuning before you publish.
Advance Readers Are Invaluable
These folks are different from the editors you hire to improve your book. Advance readers are willing to read your book, give honest reactions and criticism, for free. They don’t replace the expertise of editors. They complement it. If they love your book they will tell other readers, even before your book is available!
Ask for Help
Ask for beta readers and potential reviewers before you go to press. Reach out to book critics too. Look for top influencers in your field of expertise targeting those who can boost the visibility of your book and help you reach a larger audience.
Don’t have to wait until you have published your next book to reach out to reviewers, readers and influencers. They can help you refine your book and improve it before publishing. Allow about 8 weeks for them to read your book and send back comments. You can select the best comments and use them (with written permission) on your back cover, in your publicity, and on your website.
- Clearly label your “Advance Reader Copy” as such.
- ARC’s are not for sale.
- ARC’s can be a pdf.
- You can print ARCs using a service like createspace.
- Offer a finished copy of your book when it is published in exchange for an honest review.
Edit Before You Send Out an ARC
While an ARC is not a final copy and doesn’t have to be perfect, be sure you have done your due diligence and have had your book professionally edited first. Evaluations you receive from ARC readers will be different from those of the editor(s) involved in your project. Advance/beta readers may identify issues of readability, grammar, or plot, but if you have done a good job working with your editor(s), it is more likely beta readers will give you positive comments not potshots. If you learn that there are some fixes needed, you have saved yourself from prematurely publishing your work.
Where To Find Advance Readers
Goodreads is a great place to start. Reach out to thought leaders in your field or genre. Ask for advance readers by making a request to your email list. You can also use social channels like Facebook, LinkedIn or twitter to find readers.
Advance Reader Copies are part of a successful book marketing strategy.