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In the next few months, y’all will probably see more of the “Never Enough Bookshelves” series hitting as either release day posts or even pre-release posts. That’s because I’m finally getting to read more Advanced Reader Copies, AKA ARCs. ARCs are practically gold in the reader/blogger community – I mean, let’s be real: what could be better than getting a copy of a book from one of your favorite authors not only early, but free? Granted, they are NOT the final copies – often there are copy editing/proofreading errors still in the ARCs that will be fixed in the final version, but it’s still a cool way to get a new read, especially if you are needing to budget.

(Of course, I usually end up buying copies of the books I get ARCs for, too – if only because I like to financially support my author buds whenever I get a chance. And also because I hoard books like Smaug does gold. I know y’all are shocked by this. LOL)

But ARCs aren’t just giveaways – there are some expectations that come with receiving them:

First and foremost, it is expected that YOU’LL REVIEW THE DAMN BOOK! Or perhaps feature the book/author on your blog in some way. These are marketing tools – if you get an ARC, you need to help the author market that book. It’s just basic logic – an “Advanced Reader Copy” means you need to read it in advance of the release date and review to help generate buzz for the book. You may know folks that have never heard of the author in question. Even if just one person you know reads your review and goes “oh, I think I might like this” and reads the book and possibly reviews and reccs it to someone else, it can have a huge impact on sales by taking that book to a larger audience. Seriously, it’s a huge, huge help – especially if the review is posted to any of the sales locations (B&N, Amazon, etc.). The number of reviews will directly impact how much those websites show off the book. The algorithms are bizarre, honestly, but reviews are a huge part of it, and the more reviews the better, even if said reviews aren’t 5 star.

Second, when you do review, you are expected to give your HONEST opinion of that book. This may sound like a gimme – but some people genuinely think they’re expected to give a 5 Star review to every ARC they read, and that’s not really true. No one is buying a good review by giving you an ARC – they genuinely want a review that people can trust. If every review on a book is “OMG I LOVE THIS SO MUCH BUY IT NOW!” people aren’t going to believe those reviews were by people who actually, genuinely read it as opposed to people who were paid or bribed into writing positive reviews. That can actually reflect more negatively than no reviews sometimes.

That’s it, though – all you have to do is review, and then share your review with people! It’s a fantastic way to boost release day sales/numbers for a fave author of yours, while getting the bonus of an early copy. Seriously it’s not hard to see why ARCs are awesome, is it?

Anyone else enjoying the world of Advanced Reader Copies and reading for someone? I’ve gotten mostly eARCs so far, but I’d love to get more paperback copies in the future to start a collection (assuming I don’t have friends chomping at the bit for me to send them an ARC I’ve already read as happened with A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING LOL)! Which ARCs are you hoping to get your hands one? Let me know @C_L_McCollum!

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