Decidedly decided to be an ARC reader. YES, though I decline to go through a publishing house (well, I may).
ARC reading costs the publishing house. It comes off the back end of your royalties (they say no, but read the fine print. If they send 150 or more ‘free copies’ to ARC readers, how do they pay for that?).
Self publishing and Indie writing is like swimming in a shark tank. Think about it.
You’ve finished your book. You’ve had it professionally edited (or you are smarter than the average reader). The professionally-designed cover is perfect.
The baby is ready. Bathed. Clean diaper. Fed. Giggly.
You are about to put it on Create Space or whatever venue you have readied. Create Space is great if they sell your book for 18 bucks and you get … $4.50. Don’t forget the free promos to market. Okay, so you don’t want to overwhelm readers with an $18 book. You lower the price to very reasonable. You get that very reasonable royalty at $1.50.
You realize you need to market every day. All your waking moments (when you are not working on the next WIP). It’s cheaper to have Print on Demand copies sent to you. Costs, but cheaper and you can pocket that cash (don’t forget taxes). You pay $2.50 per book, one hundred, obviously $250.00. You sell it at $4.50. Great!
Now all you need is one HUNDRED THOUSAND readers to get rich, and no reviews. Now you might. The average runs around $2000 in sales (per book, not month or year). That means you are prolific. You must write and sell about ~ 6 books in three months, and now you are producing trash. I’ve read novels put out by Bethany House, Avon, Harper-Collins that rush a book through. With trashy writing. Why? Because they mass market crap. They want YOUR royalties. Even great writers fall into the hands of the greedy PH.
And, remember this: READERS FORGET TO REVIEW. GOODREADS takes out the majority of your 5 star ratings. If you use Create Space, they do the same. Why? They don’t have to pay the royalties unless you reach a certain number of copies sold. Who is going to sell a 1 or 2 star book?
What if a publishing house stamps your book with a horrible cover? Back flap? Tough. They believe it will sell. You think it sucks. Publishing houses want perfection. They now are moving to the side of the Chicago Manual of Style and roll their eyes at Strunk and White. But … you still need to have your edit near perfection in content, spelling, grammar, fresh voice, sale-ability, and YOUR marketing plan, and why should anyone read your work?
Think Fifty Shades of Grey, or John Dies at the End. Full of horrific writing. But, everyone is into BDSM and erotica or aliens. Both made the big screen. If you write sweet romance, being Amish is all the rage. What? Wait, what?
If you choose erotica, you’ll do great. If you choose Amish, maybe great. Here’s conventional wisdom: Get an agent (15% off your royalties), publishing house accepts it (another 15%), an entertainment attorney (15-20%).
Skip to the chase, Claire!
You get free critiques from critique groups. You run it through the Beta groups. Great! Now what? Like the PHs, you want to know (before you invest in the pro edit – or not -that’s your call; before you pay for an awesome cover), you want to know. Will it sell?
An ARC reader (like my small plan) reads your work as average Joe or Josephine, and gives the PH (or you) the likelihood of a great read. A good review. Suggestions if needed. ARC readers are not editors, Beta readers (although if there’s a major plot hole or confusion, a million distracting SPaG issues – I would) will.
But you want to know WILL THIS SELL? Before you throw your work to the four winds, find an ARC. Either through traditional means or ME. Of course, what do you think I am, silly?
Don’t pay the cost of all of the above until you know your book is worthy of 4-5 stars. The two things I DO recommend, however you decide: Get an entertainment lawyer. They protect your work, go over fine print and help you navigate the shark tank of PH and even the rules of SP/Indie.
As a freelance ARC, I charge a one-time, ten dollar fee to read your work in a timely manner. You send me a LOCKED pdf (means I can’t change a thing), consider a copyright (means no one can steal it), and I send you an honest critique via email–privately to you, and I give good reviews. If your baby needs work, I will tell you. When your work is done and on the shelf, you let me know, and my review hits your favorite site, i.e. GOODREADS, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Nook, etc.
You might THINK this is torture. It is not. Promise.
So tag me here, on Facebook, Word Press, or Twitter. Here on WordPress: Cindy212 Twiter: authorclaire1: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ OR my gmail account : firstname.lastname@example.org . PM, DM or as you want.
Pardon the language of the above. It’s picture perfect. The one bad word is pardonable, yes?