Getting ARC reviews before your book's official release date is a great marketing tool used by authors to get reviews for their book. Reviews are a power tool that, if largely positive, push others to purchase your book. Reviews can be added to any online retailer, like Amazon, Book Depository or Barnes and Noble, as well as book community sites like Goodreads and BookBub.
In this article, I'm going to walk you through how to find ARC reviewers and send your novel to them.
Prepare your novel for ARC sending
If you really want to, you can send physical copies of your book to readers as an ARC review, however this isn't preferred as it can be quite expensive. Ideally, you want between 10 - 50 ARC's. Some authors have even more than this. A sweet spot is between 10 - 30, so you can see how the cost of sending physical books would add up. Most authors tend to send eBook versions of their books, but in order to do this you need to ensure your book is ready for eBook form. For example, most eBooks won't let you display a map without it being rather small, and you'll have to format your page titles and chapter headings to display correctly on e-reader.
The standard format for e-readers is either a .mobi file or a .epub file. You can find many converters online, to convert your .docx file to one of these. You can find the one I use here.
Consider using BookFunnel
I used BookFunnel to send out my ARC's and it made the entire process much easier. BookFunnel allows you to send out ARC reviews by uploading multiple files, such as .mobi or PDF. It also creates a landing page for your book, and tracks who has opened your email, and downloaded your file. Unfortunately, BookFunnel isn't free to use, however I've found the cost to be quite cheap and definitely worth it. Click this link to head to BookFunnel.
Build a Google form for ARC sign ups
In order to send ARC's, you need to collect email addresses and the best way to do this is to create a Google form. In your Google form you can collect information such as:
• Social media handles
• Why they want to be an ARC review
• What they found about your book’s blurb so interesting
• If they’ve read any of your previous books
Link to your Google form on your social media and when directly messaging people.
Find ARC reviewers using social media
You can ask your friends and family to be an ARC reviewer, but ARC's are also a way to build your fanbase. A perfect way to get ARC reviewers is to advertise on social media. You can do this organically by posting to your social media channels, but you can also use paid ads to help increase the reach of your post.
When I marketed my ARC's, I asked readers to be a part of my launch team. They would get an ARC and I also set up an online Facebook group where we did a group read of the book throughout the month. This ensured that everyone was motivated to read and feedback their thoughts each week.
Make sure reviewers know what is expected of them
An ARC review is sent to readers for the purpose of gaining a review. Ensure that your readers know that you will expect a review after they’ve finished reading. You can even give a timeframe as to when you want them to read and review by. Some sites won't let you leave a review until the book's official release date, so make sure you send all ARC reviewers an email on release day with links to sites you want them to leave a review on.