Welcome to Jane's ARC Angels, I'm super excited to have you here!
Some people who join my ARC team are experienced reviewers and know how it all works, others are brand new and have never been on an ARC team before - if this is you, wow, welcome and I'm honoured you chose to join MY team! So for the newbies (actually for all of you) I thought I'd drop some guidelines on what my expectations are, how we run things and how to write effective reviews. You are welcome to bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you need to. If you've been reviewing for a while, have a read anyway, it can't hurt, right?
The first thing you should know is that I have an ARC Team Manager. Fleur. Fleur is fabulous. Fleur does an amazing job. A huge job. And I won't stand for anyone giving Fleur any sass. She's here to help me - and you - keep on top of all things ARC related. You can contact Fleur at firstname.lastname@example.org, she is available to assist you with any queries, from "how in the heck do I send you my review link?" to "have I missed an ARC?" or "am I up-to-date?"
We also have our own secret Mighty Networks group! Yup, we do. But you won't be able to find it because it's secret lol. If you'd like to join simply email email@example.com saying you'd like to join the ARC Angels Mighty Networks Group and Fleur will send you an invite. OR you can just click HERE (you'll be prompted to join my Little Devils network first).
There is no obligation to be in the group, all ARCs and important communication will be sent out via email, the group is for chit chat, fun, competitions, special announcements etc.
When I have an ARC ready to go, Fleur will email you with a download link. This is managed via Bookfunnel and will be available for a limited time - usually until the book goes live. (Bookfunnel allows you to download the book in whatever format suits your device.) Then the fun begins - you read my work *gasp* and then write a review. All very straightforward, yes? Indeed, but I've found I need to instill some rules and some of this will get to sound repetitive (sorry not sorry).
- An ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy. Please don't share it around, and please, for all that's holy, do not put it on a pirate site. I've had this happen and believe me, it sucks. Be aware that Bookfunnel will watermark your ARC with your email address.
- If you don't like reading paranormal cozy mysteries then my books probably aren't for you and you might like to remove yourself from the team (no hard feelings, I promise).
- There will be a cut-off date to download each ARC. After that, it's gone, finished. Please don't email requesting ARCs for previously published books.
- Please leave your review within a week of the book being published. Fleur will send out an email within that week with the retail links for you to leave your review.
- If a book is on preorder you can leave an early review on Goodreads and Bookbub (copy and paste it to Amazon once the book is live).
- While reviewing on Goodreads is fantastic and most welcome, it's not a retail store, readers don't buy books there, so we ask that you also review on an online store as well, either Amazon (some of my books will be exclusive to Amazon), Apple, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Google, etc.
- If you want to support me further, and have your review appear as verified, you can purchase (or pre-order) your own copy of the book. A big THANK YOU to my lovely team members who do this, I really appreciate your support.
- It is no longer necessary for you to state that you received an ARC in your review.
- If you notice any typo's or errors, let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org or within the Mighty Networks ARC group! My editor and I do try and catch everything but we are human and things can slip past.
- And finally, no spoilers! You don't need to write a synopsis of the book in the review, just what you liked about it. Or didn't. Although I really do hope you like it 😻
How to find the link after you've reviewed on Amazon
Step 1: Go to www.Amazon.com
Step 3: Sign in if prompted
Step 2: Click on YOUR PROFILE
Step 4: You'll see all of the books you've reviewed under Community Activity. Click on the review you need.
Step 5: Copy (CTRL + C) the URL that appears in the top address bar. Paste that link (CTRL + V) into the google ARC form sent to you.
What is a helpful review?
Right. Let's get into the nuts and bolts of reviewing. In a perfect world, authors wouldn't have to contend with trolls writing fake reviews, and I don't mean genuine negative reviews. If it's a genuine review, it's not a troll review but I appreciate those who are aware what we are up against and review honestly and accurately to help us overcome that.
So I'm going to do my best to explain what a review is - and isn't.
a) It's not a book summary or synopsis of the book.
b) Make sure you understand the rating system (more on this below)
c) Don't use the rating system negatively (i.e. 1 star) for technical glitches
d) Most readers don't have a clue how much editing goes into a book but like to be the typo police and act as if the entire book is one hot unedited mess. Don't be this person.
e) Don't one star a book and then say you haven't read it. If you haven't read it, don't give it a rating or review. Simple.
An explanation of the review system
Next time you're about to leave a review, take a second to hover over each star. You'll see that it translates as:
one star *I hate it*
two stars *I don't like it*
three stars *it's okay*
four stars *I like it*
five stars *I love it*
What to write in your review – finding the words!
Now that we’ve got the ranking sorted, what should you say in the review itself? I’ve already said not to give a synopsis of the story, but what do you say instead? Here are some ideas to help you out.
- First rule: no spoilers!
- Give a short summary of who would like the book (people who love a murdery mystery etc)
- What did you like about the book? Why?
- What didn’t you like? (How could it have been better?)
- Would you read more of the author’s work?
- Did you struggle to put the book down? If so, why? What made you want more?
- Were you able to forget you were reading?
- Did the book have action, mystery, romance, humor etc?
And my final words of wisdom when it comes to leaving reviews (not just for my books but for anyone’s books) is don’t be a douche. Don’t be mean or nasty. Don’t put in your review not to buy the book, because that can ruin another’s experience, or potential to buy the book. Not everyone is going to like the same books as others, and that is what makes readers so unique and not boring. So don’t spoil it for others. If you didn’t like a book, fine, state why, but don’t diss the author.
Thank you, again, for being here, and welcome to my team, Fleur and I endeavour to take really good care of you and either of us is available if you have any questions or concerns.
Jane (& Fleur)