Do you like writing reviews? Do you love free books? Why not join my ARC Team and get my latest releases sent straight to you. You don’t have to leave a review to get free books, but it helps.
How does this work?
Step One: You sign up to my ARC program via Mailchimp.
Step Two: When I have a new book coming out, I contact a selection of ARC readers and offer them a free copy for review.
Step Three: I run my ARC program through Prolific Works, so
you will have to be signed up to their service to get your copy you do NOT have to be signed up, but you will have to give them your email address. Signing up is free, and you can get a lot of other free books through them, so I recommend it anyway.
Step Four: If you accept a copy, you have two to four weeks to read it. If you liked it, and you feel inspired to write a review, you can leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. (Read more about leaving reviews here.) The closer to launch day you can leave your review, the better. The idea is to help other people find the book as soon as it’s released.
Step Five: If you did leave a review, drop me a note to let me know you did it, so I know to offer you more free books in the future. (I mean, let’s be honest, if you make a habit of requesting review copies but not leaving reviews, I’m probably going to stop offering you review copies. Seems only fair.)
What’s going on here?
What I want: People to leave honest reviews on my newly released books. I’d prefer it if they were positive reviews, which is why I ask my readers who (hopefully) like my books already. But they don’t have to be 100% five-star positivity. In fact, that kind of review is good for my ego but no good for potential readers. So what I want is a review that will tell people who might like my books that this one is a great one for them. At the same time, it would be great if a review could warn away people who wouldn’t like it, which is why it’s totally okay to say thing you didn’t like about my book in a review. It’s all good information. (Plus, just because you don’t like senior accountant tentacle monsters doesn’t mean they’re not someone else’s favourite cup of tea.)
What I don’t want: You to feel like you HAVE to leave a review just because you got a free book. You don’t have to. I would never make you. I mean, if you make a habit of getting my books for free and never leaving a review I’m going to take you off the ARC. list eventually, but honestly, I would rather you left a review you felt good about than one you resented having to write.
What I really don’t want: Misleading reviews. Please don’t say you loved a book you didn’t like or didn’t read. That’s all.
So, it used to be that best practice meant stating that you had reviewed a free copy or ARC of the book. These days, Amazon actively removes reviews that state that, for reasons I don’t understand. As it is, it’s probably best not to mention it. If anyone asks you, (unlikely) please be honest.
Leaving reviews on Goodreads
I believe it is still best practice when reviewing on Goodreads to state that you received a free copy or ARC of the book. You can use this wording, if you like:
I received a free review copy of this book.
What if you don’t like the book?
If you don’t like it, that’s fine. You can still leave a review. It can be negative. It can be one or two stars. Please be clear about why you didn’t like it, for the benefit of other readers.
But again, you don’t have to. If you want, you can let me know the book wasn’t your cup of tea, so I know why you didn’t end up leaving a review. I won’t be mad. Not all books are for everyone after all.