Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Writing Wednesday: ARC hot spots

Reviews seem more and more like unicorns, as Amazon puts more weight onto them in their algorythms. So finding good spots to ask for -- and actually receive -- reader reviews is important for authors. Tricky perhaps, time consuming definitely, but important nonetheless.

Now, if you have a NEWSLETTER and a dedicated reader following who gives you a review for everything you write, you're lucky. And rare.

As dedicated a reviewer as I am, I still have several books I've bought and read from authors I love and respect that I haven't posted reviews for Quite Yet. I will. But, you know, life.

So where to find reviewers?

One easy way is to ask fellow AUTHORS from your same publisher, or from a group you belong to, to do review exchanges. Tit for tat sort of thing. Which works well if you know your books are comparable and you can trust the other person to post their review. If they like your story (and you like theirs) it's a good idea to keep a list of names and email addresses, and hit them up the next time you have a new release. Some newer authors are afraid to do review exchanges as they fear Amazon "catching them." My opinion? If you read a book and post your honest opinion, there's nothing to "catch". Unless you promise a 5 star review or charge them money in exchange for posting a review, you aren't doing anything wrong.

Then there are FACEBOOK Reader Groups, where you can offer ARCs in exchange for reviews. I've had a mixed bag of luck with these and am leary, as basically you have no leverage to follow up with a stranger. For my latest release, Quinn's Resolution, I offered ARCs in the Trashy and Terrific page, and got an immediate response from one blogger/reviewer who loved my book and posted her review earlier than promised. But I also offered ARCs a few other spots and got lots of thumbs ups and hearts but no takers.

NET GALLEY is a paid service that gives away ARCs to readers who request copies. Net Galley does no followup on whether reviews get posted, and it sounds like some authors I've heard from have been burned in the past, giving away books with no reviews in return. The other downside I see to the ervice is that a lot of big name publishers use Net Galley, so the readers are.... jaded? prejudiced against indie authors? downright mean sometimes? Choose your favorite. On the one hand, any reviews are good for the algorythms. On the other hand, ouch. My skin is not as thick as it should be.

BOOK SPROUT is an up and coming service, and will probably charge more in the near future. Right now, I've signed up for a free account, and get to offer 20 free ARCs of new releases. They have a reminder feature to send auto-emails to reviewers, and allow you to block reviewers from receiving future ARCs if they don't post reviews as promised. You can even specify where you'd like them to post. (i.e. my current release is only available on Kindle, so they don't need to post on itunes or B&N, etc.)

Where else have you had luck asking for - and receiving - reviews?

By the way, I post reviews every Monday. If you'd like to submit your book for review, shoot me an email or leave a comment on my website at

Happy Writing to all!


  1. As always, dear girl- totally informative and spot on!!! great post. I signed up for Booksprout and found that you can upload the app to your phone so you can follow authors! Fun. I put up three books yesterday at 10 copies a piece and they are already gone. Let's see if I get any good reviews ( here's hoping! Heehee)

  2. Great post. I'm one of those authors that lost several reviews when Amazon decided to clean house. That was a book published in 2012, so I figure I'll never get those back. My forth book was never promoted by the publisher, (Even though I received a confirmation on the returned promo info) and reviews greatly suffered. I can only look forward now, and I believe I'll look in the direction of booksprout.

  3. Thank you for the post Katie! And thank you for your reviews of my books! It's much appreciated! I'll have to try Booksprout. I've tried NetGalley in the past and had good luck with the reviews, although there weren't many of them. There's been a lot of nice things said about Booksprout so I'll head over there. :)


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