SPA Girls Podcast – EP240 – BETA Readers, ARCs and Reviews


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By SPA Girls podcast - self publishing for authors. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Have you been told you need more reviews, but you don’t know how to get them? Are you wanting to find some BETA readers, but can’t figure out where they lurk? Ever wondered who you send an ARC to, and what you get in return?

This is the episode for you!

We go through each topic, explaining the terms, telling you how to find more of them, and why they’re all so important to us as writers.


Beta Readers
A BETA reader is a (non-professional) reader who receives a pre-edited (NOT first draft- give them your best writing!) copy of your work. Ideally, this person will be someone who is in your target audience and who reads plenty of books in your genre.
Once the BETA reader has read your work, they can provide helpful insight on how to improve your important elements of your story: characters, setting, and plot (point out plot holes and continuity issues). They can also provide suggestions for spelling, grammar, and fact-checking.
You should begin gathering a list of BETA readers as early as possible so that you can send your work to them during the revision stage. Do this as soon as you can, giving them enough time to read the book and make notes.
A good place to find BETA readers is to reach out on your own social media platforms (if you’re planning on releasing a book, you should already be developing a strong social media presence) or from your mailing list. Make a post for your sites or ask your mailing list if anyone would be interested in providing feedback for your work-in-progress. Make a list of who agrees to do this so you can keep track.

ARC Readers – Advanced Reader Copy
An ARC (Advanced Review Copy) reader is a person who receives a pre-published copy of your book (usually after final editing, but before proofreading). ARC readers are given a free copy of your book in exchange for leaving an honest book review (typically on Amazon and/or Goodreads) once the book is available for distribution.
You should also make a list of ARC readers early on and send the copy of your book at least eight weeks prior to your book launch date.

Where do I find ARC readers?
There is no rule on who you can ask to review your book- although avoiding family and friends do so is better. Amazon will remove any review they might assume come from these sources, including other authors!
Book club, fans, book bloggers or anyone who you think might be interested in reading and reviewing your book are best. Use the same tactics for Beta readers.
Just be sure to keep track of who signs up so you can update and follow up as the launch date gets closer.
Be aware that you could ask 100 people to review your book and only get a fraction of those people to say “yes.” Of those maybe 75 people who agree to review your book, there might be 25 who actually do, if you’re lucky! It’s a tedious process, but if you’re starting your book launch with 25 positive reviews right off the bat, it’s totally worth it! Be sure to send out a friendly reminder a week before your book launches to your list of ARC readers to have their reviews ready to post.

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