So. You have a book coming out. That’s a huge achievement, so take a moment to congratulate yourself. But now you want people to actually read your book. How do you get reader visibility and interest? Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) are one way to get excitement around your upcoming release, and many authors have ARC teams and/or marketing groups that distribute ARCs for them.
Another use of ARCs is to submit them to bloggers/reviewers. These folks may post to a web blog, Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook pages. In addition, they may post the review to Amazon, Goodreads, and any publisher pages.
It is critical that you be prepared in advance. Before you contact any review site, you should familiarize yourself with their style and “normal” content. Most review sites require advanced notice and arrangements, and even then there is no guarantee that your book will be reviewed. Check the individual sites for details. Know your release date and the advance notice conditions for each review site you are interested in.
If you have a publisher, check and see where the publisher will be distributing ARCs, as this can be useful for planning purposes. You may still want to contact the same sites, as it may still be helpful to arrange for a promotional spot. Most blogs also offer other opportunities for exposure for an author in addition to a review:
- Author spotlights
- Guest Post or Interview
- Cover Reveal
- Giveaway (often bundled with the previous options)
- Note: Keep in mind that many blogs will require exclusive content
Hopefully by the time the book releases you have reviews generating interest and increasing reader visibility. Which is great. But always remember that reviews are not always going to be flattering – don’t assume that just because you send an ARC that the recipient will love your story. Be prepared beforehand for bad reviews.
The key thing to remember is that a bad review is not a personal attack or rejection. The review reflects how the reader felt about what they read and nothing more. Keep a box of tissues handy, but always stay professional and don’t give in to the temptation to engage directly. You don’t want to create a situation that negatively impacts your next book.
I am providing a list of sites I’ve discovered or were provided by my publisher (Dreamspinner). This list is a current snapshot as new sites pop up and some may go on hiatus or disappear. As I mentioned earlier, take a moment to get familiar with a blog site before you contact them.
|Joyfully Jay||LGBTQ romance|
|Love Bytes||LGBTQ blog|
|My Fiction Nook||LGBT romance|
|Diverse Reader||LGBTQ Blog|
|Scattered Thoughts||LGBTQIA books|
|Alpha Book Club||All Romance|
|Boy Meets Boy||MM Romance|
|MM Romance Rainbow Book |
|Open Skye||Mostly MM, but all romance|
|Bayou Book Junkie||GLBT friendly MM Romance|
|OptimuMM Reads||MM Romance|
|Wicked Reviews||All Romance|
|Books Tattoos and Tea||LGBTQ+ Romance|
|Happily Ever Chapter||All Romance|
|Smart Bitches, Trashy Books||All Romance|
|MM Good Book Reviews||MM Romance|
|Rainbow Gold Reviews||LGBT review blog|
|Blogger Girls||All Romance|
|It’s All About theN Book||All Romance|
| Book Review Virginia Lee||All Romance|
|Amy Tasukada||YouTube||MM Romance Video Reviews|
And for a slightly different approach to reviews, check out the Big Gay Fiction Podcast.
Note that The Novel Approach is On Hiatus