Kindle Forum banner Now Has An ARC Program

5228 Views 25 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  nadinucca
Back in November when the first reports of Amazon not looking kindly on free ebook promotion sites were mentioned, our team got hot planning for a future that was more deal priced books and market research/giveaways. We were already in motion on those plans when the news dropped last Friday about the strict criteria on free ebook downloads. is now, and we no longer promote free ebooks.

We do have a number of new advertising options, including a new section just for blog posts and articles from authors to promote their books and links in the bio section (like a free blog hop stop). We have added genre-targeting week long ads for only $10, and we now offer banner ads for the big sales authors like to put together for $10-$30 a day.

This weekend is the earlybird special, 10% off any ad purchases as the author site is still under construction (

I've had a number of very nice emails from this community and Private Messages asking about the new site and when it would be open for advertising. So I just wanted to share that we are doing great (a very healthy paid ebook sales to free downloads since no longer linking to free ebooks) and our link conversion rate more than tripled. The author in me is very relieved to see free ebooks become more rare, and the online marketer in me knows there are other ways to drive traffic than just free, free, FREE! :) I can now be reached at [email protected] (but I still have the old email address as well for a few more months).
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I have a group of authors who only have print versions with scam private publishers whose contracts have run out. I will be scanning them and releasing 6 titles over the next year. Will defiantly keep you in mind Elizabeth.
Looks good. :)
Bookmarked!  :)  Thanks Elizabeth!  (Do you guys still take erotica?)
JanneCO said:
Bookmarked! :) Thanks Elizabeth! (Do you guys still take erotica?)
Latest info says they take it with tasteful covers on a case by case basis.
Very nice site, Elizabeth!
Mathew Reuther said:
Latest info says they take it with tasteful covers on a case by case basis.
:) I love this community. We are all taking these changes on the chin!

We do take erotica, the cover just can't double as a porno movie cover. No, we don't have an issue with those images, but we do know our reader group. The LAST thing I want is for my more conservative readers to comment on a risque book cover, especially on a paid ad. As an author, I don't want to see negative comments on an advertisement I paid for! But we do have a group of readers that love those books. But I will say, the more the book leans towards erotic romance the better.

Love the new site, Elizabeth! :D Very clean and concise.

EDIT: Love the advertising options too. Just bought an Earlybird fiction slider for the week. :D
J. S. Dunn you should click on a Bit of Irish Reading :)
GWakeling said:
Love the new site, Elizabeth! :D Very clean and concise.

EDIT: Love the advertising options too. Just bought an Earlybird fiction slider for the week. :D
Thank you! :) Been working on it for about 6 days straight now. I'm SICK of HTML.

Your book cover is definitely very eye catching!

Oh, and for all, I really want to emphasize you can advertise for FREE if you write a blog post or article that is reader oriented.
Advertising options are open for the entire month of March.

You can email blog posts to [email protected] if you have a reader oriented blog post to share. I have a blog post going out tomorrow on hand bags for example. It can be anything.

A good way to differentiate what works and what doesn't:

A blog post musing about your WIP and if your male lead should be a policeman or a fireman.

A blog post "What's in a Profession?" Do you find as you're reading you are drawn to certain careers and roll your eyes at others? I do. I LOVE a hero with xyz, blah blah blah.
If I had a nickel for every "my favorite genre" I read where the hero was a "blank" I'd be able to at least buy a few more ebooks! LOL. Seriously, though, heroes with "xyz" job just make me roll my eyes. Maybe it's because my father, uncles, and second cousin twice removed are all "xyz." Or maybe it's just because I had a bad boyfriend with that job. You'll never know... ;)
What about you? What career in your favorite genre just makes you cringe? What's a career you've never read a book about? Tell us below!

See how the second one is you talking but you as a reader yourself, not as an author. Until a reader is your FAN, they don't really care about your writing work. That's the behind-the-scenes stuff they'd rather keep magical and mystical. At the bottom we will link to your books etc. and if you have an author picture, we'll add that too! :)
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The Cheap featured a box set of mine Tuesday and while I can't attribute any specific number of Kindle sales to them (since I was doing some other Kindle promotion, too), I for certain got 20 Nook sales at $2.99 from their promotion, which in itself more than paid for the ad. I've always enjoyed working with Cheap and would recommend giving them a try.
I have exciting things to announce! :)

Our genre guessing game is getting more than 50 readers giving feedback on the book covers each week. That promotion is half done. I am putting the finishing touches on Summer Sampler, a joint event between and Kboards. Right now, only the early reader sign ups are open. Author sign ups will be open next week.

I've just opened up our blog post ads ($25) through June, and our new genre targeted ads ($10) as well.

This next piece really makes me tickled. About a year and a half ago, I had contacted a popular electronic galley site to get my book up there. I was quoted $200+ a month to have 3-5 titles. It aggravated me that there wasn't a cost-effective ARC system for indies who may only have one or two books out. By the time an author has a number of titles, they usually have an army of beta readers or a street team that reads their books as they come out to post honest reviews. I've always wanted to put together a full out ARC program to bridge a gap between authors and regular readers that like to blab about books they love. We all know to get on some blog schedules takes months of planning, some begging, and a dash of luck. There is just more books needing reviews than book bloggers out there. A pool of readers can read a number of books in a month, and as they don't also have blogs to maintain, have the time to write a quick little reaction to the book.

After hammering out details with our readers, and some of our authors, we have put together an ARC program for authors, featuring up to 10 books each month. I am really proud of how it's going to work, part giveaway, part traditional ARC program, and then a word-of-mouth blog post at the end. I was shocked when I shared the link on Facebook and less than 5 minutes later, an author snagged a spot for April! I have really high hopes for the ARC program.

The latest and greatest is available at :)

Thanks, friends here, for always being willing to support our cozy community of readers and for being guinea pigs sometimes on my more adventurous ideas. Also, though I fought off bronchitis and laryngitis over the last 3 weeks, I've crunched the "easiest blog post you'll ever write" data and will be posting those posts into next week. Really surprised shark vs. whale was 50-50 split! :) And a big thank you to the 70 authors that took the time for those silly questions.
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I can recommend using Elizabeth's site for advertising and what all. It's sparked a few sales for me, and I think the rates are more than reasonable!
I love the idea of an ARC program, but the only thing do you know your book will go to the right reader?  It's a disaster waiting to happen to get your book in front of 600 people who hate your genre.  I'd never do this with any of my SF books, and even my more mainstream NA/YA stuff I'd still be hesitant.  Street teams work for a reason - these people are already your fans, you know that even if they hate it, they will not two star your book on Amazon and make you feel stupid.  They will send you feedback privately.

And even if you have a big warning tell people straight out - hey, this book has the F word on every page or the sex is "steamy" you will STILL get a one star review from some offended person who just wanted a free book and happened to get yours, that says I hate the swearing and there's too much sex.

Bad reviews are far worse than no reviews.

So if there was a way to pre-screen readers I would totally be on board.  The one good thing about Net Galley is that they do offer this. Although I agree - they are way too expensive and I've seen a lot of the bigger book bloggers moving away from Net Galley.  I hardly ever take a free book from them because I can't stand reading uncorrected ARC's and that's mostly what you get over there from the traditional publishers.
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How many reader do you reach?
It is the author who prescreens the readers. :)

Week one, readers apply for the ARC. That spreadsheet goes to the author who decides who does or doesn't get the arc. I ask questions on the form like what genres do you like to read, where are you comfortable sharing your review of the book, what about the book sounds interesting to you?

Some authors are electing for all readers to get it. Some are screening them. But I built that into the system.

Readers get two weeks to read the book.

Then our staff emails them to remind them their reviews are due. They can share those reviews elsewhere.

The following two weeks, we highlight each book that was an ARC on a different day, sharing the responses that came from OUR readers as a word of mouth blog post.

It's really explained well here:

I took what was best about ARC programs, then figured out how could we do this on a smaller scale with a more focused readership and less cost all around? Also, our site does not promote free ebook anymore, so our ARC program is the way our readers can get free ebooks, so the ARCs won't be competing with other free books on the site.
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Martitalbott said:
How many reader do you reach?
I anticipate between 20-50 readers on the more niche genres, and 50-100 readers on the more popular genres (mystery, romance, YA). Our Facebook pages have 30,000 likes between them and the new blog is getting 2,000-3,000 views per day. We had close to 10,000 before we moved domain names, so it is a rebuilding process.

Bottom line, and authors who have worked with me know this, I care about the authors. If I see an ad not working our for an author, we do a refund or add on more things at the author's choice. I'm cheap when it comes to my own advertising! :)

But we have readers who love everything from horror to Christian books who are more than willing to give an honest review for a free copy. Back during the height of freebies, we even reminded our readers all the time that the best way to say thank you for a free book is to give it a review.

Also our community is unique in that we are about 50-50 Amazon and Barnes and Noble readers. So if you're pulling out of Select, we're a great place to introduce your book because we don't discriminate based on ones' ereading device. :) I don't have a hundred thousand readers to propel books up best-seller lists. We have a community of readers that love books, love to talk about books, and are the kind of readers who become your fan when they like your material.

And I do also take reader oriented blog posts for free anytime. Our readers loved a recent post by J.S. Dunn for St. Patrick's Day.
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