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What Is an ARC Reader?

by Kristena Mears
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

What Is an ARC? 

I guess the first question is… what is an ARC?
An ARC, is an Advanced Reader Copy of a book. It’s a copy sent out before the assigned release date. ARCs are new copies of a book sent to a limited number of readers. They sent these pre-publication when a book is complete or almost-complete.
Those who review books for magazines, newspapers, or websites sometimes used ARC, but they are most commonly used by Indi authors (Independent, self-published authors.)
An ARC is commonly a paperback or e-reader edition. Most of the finished content of the book is in place, but may require a final proofread or final cover design.

Reasons writers use Advanced Reader Copy.

There are many reasons a writer may use ARC copies and readers. We’re going to look at the top two reasons today.

Advanced copies allow readers to read the book before its publication date. This sentence sound redundant, but let’s look closer. It’s the readers that are reading, not the author. Up to this point, the author and the editor are often the only ones who have seen the book. If there are any mistakes or errors: spelling, grammar, setting, timeline or holes in the plot, it can be hard for the author or editor to pick them up. They have read the manuscript over many times and know what it’s supposed to say. Our brains are amazing things and can correct structure when it knows what the expected the outcome is to be… so it does. A new reader can pick up on things the author and editor miss.

The second reason is to allow the author to have the book read and reviewed before the scheduled book release date.
It is important to have reviews coincide with the book’s debut.
Reviews make or break a book.
They tell readers if the book is worthy of the money they will shell out.
They bring attention to high-end professional book reviews, like the New York Times. Authors highly coveted an excellent review in the NYT.
Having many reviews on a book at the release date can also increase advertising for the book. Amazon, the largest bookseller in the world, bases how they promote a book on how many reviews and how many stars the new book has received.

Responsibility of Advanced Copy Reader

Advanced reader’s copies are sent out free to the reader. There is no cost, but when agreeing to be an ARC reader, you agree to a few responsibilities.

Advanced copies are not the final draft of a book. There may be errors in spelling, grammar and plot holes. This is a principal reason for sending out ARC. When reading an ARC, note any errors you see and send them back to the author or editor who sent it to you so they can correct the error before it’s published.

Advanced readers need to leave a review of the book. Reviews are crucial for a successful book. When agreeing to become an ARC reader, you receive a free book in exchange for an honest review.
The key word here is honest.
It is illegal to pay for a good review and that act along can get an author banned from the site that is selling their book.
Yes, an author is hoping for an excellent review, but receiving an ARC copy is not payment, it only facilitates the ability for the reader to read and the author to receive. Never accept payment for giving a good review. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t professional reviewers that are paid to review book, There are. But these professional reviewers can’t legally guarantee they will give a certain type of review. Their review has to be honest.

Looking for ARC Readers

I have some exciting news of my own. I have finished my debut book and am planning the release date the last week of May. At this point I’m planning on May 23, 2021, but the 23rd in on a Sunday, so the date may shift slightly.
I’ll be looking for ARC readers in the next couple weeks.
I will send out a link to a form for all those interested in signing up.
Not everyone will be picked, I can only send out so many. But if you are interested, keep an eye open. My subscribers will be the first to receive the information, so be sure you are on my list. I will also send out the sign-up link on my Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook accounts.
I’m excited! I’ve enjoyed writing this book and I’m hoping you’ll have as much enjoyment reading it.

ღ(¯`v´¯)ღ About Kristena Mears ღ(¯`v´¯)ღ¸

Kristena is an award-winning author,
speaker, blogger, and self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur. She lives near Cincinnati, OH, where she is a supervisor at a large company. She’s been married to her “better half” for 39 years.and has three grown children.
When Kristena’s not busy writing or working, you’ll probably find her nose in a book. She also loves spending time with her family, traveling,
cooking and dabbling in photography

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