Author Topic: Ideas on Starting an ARC Group?  (Read 589 times)  

Offline LovetoWrite

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Ideas on Starting an ARC Group?
« on: February 05, 2017, 11:59:38 AM »
For those of you who have an ARC group, would you be open to sharing some tips as far as what's worked for you, what's hasn't worked--and why?

Some questions that come to mind are: if you've found a certain size group to work best, how you go about communicating with your ARC group (is it a secret Facebook group?), if you get your book edited before you give it to your ARC group--or if you wait until after you get their feedback, how you go about planning for your release and encouraging them to give reviews. 

Any and all feedback is much appreciated!

Offline CarolynVMurray

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Re: Ideas on Starting an ARC Group?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 10:32:08 AM »
First - join a genre fan group, Facebook or otherwise. Exchange a few pleasantries, and then post your cover and ask for ARC readers. A lot of people are happy to read free books in their genre and some actually enjoy leaving reviews. The first time I did this on my pen name series, about a dozen people responded. And I continued to ask with each release - growing the ARC reader list. I sent it to about 2 dozen on my last/fifth release.

Early on, they were usually looking at something that had already been with my editor. The last two, I explained to them that they were reading it at the same time as my editor, and apologized for any typos they might stumble over. No one was bothered by it. Then I sent an email out the day of the release to remind them (and thank them) about leaving a review.

It's not a big ARC effort compared to some people. I just wanted to have 5 or 6 reviews to get the ball rolling.
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Offline Evenstar

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Re: Ideas on Starting an ARC Group?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 10:47:22 AM »
To me, ARC's are about getting reviews. So I contacted my mailing list and asked if anyone wanted to be in my advance reader group and get the next book free. I got fifty responses and put them into an ARC list.

When the book was totally edited and ready, I sent it to my ARC list a week before release. I put out the paperback and asked them to leave reviews there so that they were in place when the ebook went live.

I got 6 reviews - out of fifty people!

I have sent two harassment/reminder emails and it gained one more. Pitiful! I guess I need an arc list of a couple of hundred at least to get anything decent.

My new plan is to put an ARC option in my mailing list sign up form, I'll let you know how successful that is (in a few months when I actually have something to show for it, lol)

Offline Rick Gualtieri

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Re: Ideas on Starting an ARC Group?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 12:57:13 PM »
I keep a closed FB group (Secret was a pain for adding new people) for my ARC readers.  That's how we communicate.

However, to get the ARCs, they need to give me an email.  I send out the ARCs themselves via bookfunnel (which is well worth the price).

That said, I'm keeping a close eye on it.  Amazon's ever changing rules, plus the ratio of ARCs sent vs. reviews received are things that I'm looking at to see if this is a permanent fixture for my launches or a temporary thing.

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Offline Robert Fluegel

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Re: Ideas on Starting an ARC Group?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 01:30:48 PM »
I sent out an ARC request to my subscribers and had 52 sign up to review in about 90 minutes. I gave them the rules up front and asked them to find typos and any other issues as well as leaving a review. Out of 52 I received 20 reviews in 2 weeks. I have a well engaged subscriber list, so that helps. When book 2 is release in April I now have a nice list of 20 reviewers who will follow through for me on the next.  Crazy enough, I found many of them went and bought the book just so they could be listed as a verified purchase as well. Love these people!

Offline JessicaPAuthor

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Re: Ideas on Starting an ARC Group?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 02:53:21 PM »
I've done similar things to what others have listed above - for my last release, I sent out a "readers wanted" email to my mailing list, and was pleasantly surprised by how many people replied to volunteer to read and review an ARC. I think about 15 people replied, and I got a handful of actual reviews. While the turnout wasn't amazing, I felt like I was making friends with readers. And the reviews I DID get were glowing. So I'd definitely try that.

I've also reached out to bloggers in the romance community for each of my three releases. I like their Facebook pages, comment on their posts, and generally make sure I engage with them often, especially if they review my books or share my sales, promos, etc. One awesome blogger then invited me into a Facebook Group she started with a bunch of readers who try out new authors. I've contacted her about having readers review the ARC for my next book, and she was super excited about the idea; we're hoping to distribute as many copies as we can to the readers in that group when we have a finished ARC. Such an amazing, and random, opportunity! If you write romance, the group is Quirky Blind Date With a Book - worth checking out for sure.

You never know when opportunities like that come up. So keep engaging with your community, keep reaching out, keep networking. Hope that helps!
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Offline Nancy_G

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Re: Ideas on Starting an ARC Group?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 04:30:38 PM »
I have one that was built by putting the link out there looking for ARC readers, like my Goodreads, blog, etc. I've also asked my subscribers. I currently have 44, which is shorter than it was for my last book because I deleted. It can be disappointing when they don't review like they agreed. I just released on Friday and have 17, a mixture of my ARC team and InstaFreebie readers. For my next one, I think I'll just request those that definitely reviewed and have it out there on IF again, which worked well. I might just put it up on IF again and not use a team. I did send out a reminder one more time after it went live, which I hate doing. There are some great people on my list and love them, so am grateful for them. I keep up with a few on Facebook and have gotten to know them better, which is really cool. Then there are some I will be dropping.  I have enough to grab some promotions now, which is the best part. :)
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