Last week, I shared a post about NetGalley where I talked about ARCs (advance reader copies) also known as galleys or proofs. Today, I want to give you an alternative to spending hundreds by giving your galleys away in the right places, and they’re all free.
The point of any ARC or galley, is to create buzz before the official launch of a book. Galleys are in essence a soft push for a book before going to mass publication.
Reviews are the core of a legacy publisher’s marketing strategy. The idea being the more positive reviews a book has, the more popular it looks, and the more likely someone is to buy it. For years the mantra has always been: readers love what other readers love.
It’s no secret indie authors need to work harder in this area because of the simple fact, that we’re virtual unknowns. Many indies don’t understand that readers feel like they’re taking a risk when they buy a book from an unknown author. It’s a book’s reviews that make these risks feel smaller. This was one of the areas I failed to promote my book.
One Very Important Issue You Must Address
Before you proceed, you have to convert your MS Word document or Mac Pages file to PDF, EPUB or Mobi files so readers can download it on their ereaders and phones.
The Obvious Places To Share Your ARC/Galley
Book Bloggers & Book Clubs
I know you’re saying well, duh! But seriously, there are some newbies that don’t know this. There are bloggers and book clubs that will take a digital galley instead of physical book. Find them and email them. ASAP!
Your Own Website
It would be wise to create a page on your blog or website letting visitors know that you are giving away ARCs. However, instead of just posting the entire file on your page so they can download it, make them opt into your email list. You do have one right? If not, read this step by step article by The Alliance of Independent Authors.
For those of you who do, put a link to your sign up page and then give that person a free ARC. This way when your next book comes along, you won’t have to start all over again.
Here’s a tip: Make sure to include a field where you ask for a reader’s Amazon or Goodreads profile, this way you cut down on freebie fiends. I did that in my signup form here.
Goodreads is the perfect place to giveaway ARCs, it has a giveaway program called First Reads which is essentially a giveaway where most authors can list their galleys. P.S. it has to be a print not digital ARC.
Another Goodreads feature to consider are events which you can create and invite all your followers and fans.
Library Thing has a feature called Member Giveaways for self-published authors. Don’t forget, you have to be clear that you’re offering a digital copy and not a print one.
Is also a site where authors can upload their galleys and even review one another’s books for free. It claims to have a readership of 80,000 so it’s worth the try.
Social Media Events
Don’t forget to hit up your social media contacts, Facebook and Google allow you to create events where you can invite all of your followers and friends to get a copy of your new book. Also, don’t forget to reach out to book bloggers on Facebook and Google via direct message.
A Final Note
ARCs are best given out a few months before the launch of your book. You need to give people time to read as well as review the book. You have to assume these people are busy and have other books, jobs and responsibilities outside of reviewing your book.
Another thing I’d like to share is that when offering anything for free you shouldn’t expect too much. From what I noticed, when writers give away free books whether they are digital or print, the average response rate is 50% if you’re lucky. Also, you need to be warned that you may not get a review, but a simple rating, that was my experience with my KDP Select giveaway. Out of hundreds of downloads, I ended up with only a handful of ratings on Goodreads and not a single review. I know it’s better than nothing, but let’s just say that wasn’t what I was expecting.
Okay, now I’m handing you the mic, where do you go to give away your galleys? Do you pay a service or go the free route?