ARCs — What are they? And why do writers need them?

ARCs—advanced reader copies—are important in the publishing process for every writer.

The one major thing to do before publishing a book is build hype. You want your readers to jump up and down with excitement for your upcoming book. Quite similar to how many people freak out every time Marvel releases a new trailer. And ARCs do just that.

ARCs are usually a PDF or on a Kindle, which makes them cheap to send out. They also still have grammatical errors throughout since they haven’t seen a proofreader yet. Even though they haven’t seen a proofreader, they still should be well-edited and readable.

Writer should send ARCs out to influential book reviewers—not friends and family—months before release. These book reviewers already have a trust with their fanbase and can get your book in front of more people. It’s also good to get someone influential in your field to review your ARC if you can.

NetGalley and BookSirens are two of the best places for ARCs out there that I know of. For those, readers see a book cover, a blurb, or a sample (depending on the site) and decide if they’d like to request a copy. Once they get a copy, they read your work and write a review for their blog, Goodreads, Amazon, etc.

All these reviews together get the ball rolling even more. More people will want your book, especially if someone they follow already gave a good review.

This can lead to more preorders too, which are important in the book world. The more preorders there are, the more the publisher can see that people are taking an interest in your book. That might get them to help with marketing more.

Some places will ask you to pay them for an ARC book review. Look into those places though because sometimes they’re not always the best.

Hope this helps! If you have a question, leave a comment down below!


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