An Easy, Low-Cost Way to Get More Reviews

Have you ever been envious of other authors who debut their books with lots of reviews? Most of those authors have a big mailing list, and they tease their faithful readers with cover reveals and other goodies so that their books will make a big splash when they debut.

So, what’s an author without a giant mailing list to do?

Or, what if you want to make a successful ARC team?

Before I continue, I want to make sure you understand what an ARC is. ARC stands for Advanced Reading/Reader’s or Review/Reviewer’s Copy. As the name suggests, this is typically distributed before a book’s launch. Currently, however, the term seems to be used as shorthand for any review copy, not just ones distributed in advance of publication.

While reader reviews are crucial to the ultimate success of a book, trying to get those reviews can be worrisome for an author. There’s an easy way to build an ARC team without having to vet participants … send out MOBIs, ePUBs, or PDFs … or send gentle reminders to leave a review.

Several companies will manage review teams for you for a fairly reasonable price (from free for limited services and a monthly rate for more services to a fee-per-book-and-download basis). I have personal experience with two of them, Booksprout and BookSirens, as an avid reviewer.

Read more about Booksprout in Part Two; read more about BookSirens in Part Three.

There are key distinctions between Booksprout and BookSirens.

  • Booksprout is geared toward getting reviews by a certain date; BookSirens is geared toward getting a certain number of review downloads over a longer period of time, giving ARC readers a month to share their review.
  • Booksprout is a subscription-based service that allows for multiple ARCs for one price in a given timeframe; BookSirens is a fee-per-book service.
  • Booksprout limits the number of reviewer downloads based on your level of subscription, with the highest level allowing unlimited downloads; BookSirens has authors choose the number of downloads they desire. (I’ve seen anywhere from 5 to 250.)
  • Booksprout does not appear to vet books, while BookSirens does.

By the way, my only affiliation with Booksprout and BookSirens is as a reviewer.

Do you know of any other services like these? If so, let me know through one of the contact forms on this site! Continue to Part Two


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