In this post I want to share some tips to make the most out of your ARC team. In a previous post I talked about how to set up your ARC team and today I want to expand on that topic by providing some more tips about how the hanlde ARC teams. An ARC team is a team of bookbloggers, bookstagrammers and bookreviewers who receive an early copy of your book. The goal if to get reviews for your book before and/ or after it releases.
How to make the most of your ARC team?
- Communicate. I think communication is key for getting the most of your arc team. Whether it’s communicating when the release day is, when arc reviewers can expect their arc copy, where they can review and what you expect from ARC team members. Make sure you decide on how to handle your ARC team and have this clearly in your head and then communicate this with your ARC team members. When they know what is expected of them they will be more likely actually follow through. It can also help ARC team members know whether they can accept an ARC copy or fit it into their planning when they know when to expect it or when the release date is.
- Have more ARC members than the amount of reviews you want. I always recommend to have more ARC team members than you would like reviews. The reason for this is that it likely won’t happen that everyone on your team will review. So try and get more people on your team than the amount of reviews you hope for. Once you’ve done a few ARCs you probably have a better feel for how many reviews you can expect and whether to add more ARC members to your team or not. When starting out with an ARC team try and get double as many reviewers as the minimum amount of reviews you want.
- Send out arcs at least 2-4 weeks in advance. If at all possible I would advice to send out ARCs at least 2 weeks before release day. Or in the case with backlist titles two weeks before when you would like them to review. I personally think 2 weeks really is on the shorter side as that gives arc team members not a lot of time to read and review, especially if they are ARC readers for other authors as well. I advice to aim for around 4 weeks if possible. In my experience with blog tours and ARC teams anywhere up to 2 months works well for ARC copies. Any earlier than that and people are more likely to forget. I think the sweet spot is around 4 weeks before release day. Sending out ARCs earlier in advance often results in more reviews on release day.
- Add new ARC members regularly. As time progresses some people might stop reviewing or leave your team, so I think regularly adding new members can be helpful to keep your ARC team at the size you want it to be.
- Send out review reminders. As I already mentioning before, communication is important and sending out reminders to your ARC team is one of the ways communicating can benefit you. Reviewers have busy lives and sending out a review reminder can be a great way to get more reviews. I would advice to send out a review reminder email on release day and maybe a week or 2 after that. If possible only sent reminder at 2 weeks later to those who haven’t reviewed yet, to remind them to review. Sending reminders like these helps people remind about the book and will lead to more reviews.
- Encourage reviews in multiple places. You never know where a potential reader might stumble upon your book, so I think it’s helpful to encourage your ARC team to review in multiple places if they can. Even if your book is only available on Amazon you can still encourage reviews on sites like Goodreads and Bookbub as well. If your books are available on multiple vendor sites, provide your ARC team with all those links and encourage them to review on multiple vendor sites.
- Get more reviews for book 1 in a series. With series you usually see fewer reviews for each later book in the series. So if you want to have a decent amount of reviews for later books in the series it helps to make sure you get even more reviews for book 1. The more reviews or arc team members review book 1 the more can continue on the later book in the series and this will hopefully mean a solid amount of reviews for later books as well.
- Offer review copies of backlist books. If you have books in your backlist that could use a few more reviews consider offering review copies of those to your current ARC team. This can help boost your review amounts and give your ARC team something to read when you don’t have a new ARC for a while. If you’re adding ARC members who haven’t read earlier books in a series, offering those for review is a great way to get them up to date with the series before the next book releases.