hello fabulous you!
So you want to be an early reader.
you’re in for a real treat!
You’ve probably seen book influencers on social media raving about an author’s book BEFORE it’s published and wonder HOW did they already read it. It’s not even out yet.
Maybe you’ve seen photos of books on social media with the “advance reader’s copy” seal and are curious how to get one.
Or perhaps, you love to read and enjoy sharing your thoughts about books on various social media channels and book review sites, and want to become a book influencer yourself.
Fantastic! Keep on reading to discover exactly what an early reader is and does, what the advance reader’s copy is and how it’s used, how you can get one, and how you can become one of my early readers.
What is an early (advance) reader?
An early reader is typically a book reviewer or influencer who reads a book several months prior to the book’s publish date. They’ll post their unbiased thoughts about the book on their favorite book review websites, even give the book a rating. Many will post photos, reels, and/or videos of the book and their reviews on their social media channels, further spreading word about the book. Some authors like myself will have a team of early readers.
What is an advance reader’s copy?
An advance reader’s copy is an early edition of the book. Often, it’s an uncorrected proof, printed after developmental edits and before copy and/or proof edits. Typos and grammatical errors are commonplace in these editions.
What an advance reader’s copy is NOT, is a free book. There is a definitive reason publishers print and distribute these books, which brings me to the next point.
What is the purpose of an advance reader’s copy?
The main purpose of an advance reader’s copy is to build book buzz.
Publishers and publicists distribute copies to media outlets requesting trade reviews, which are not guaranteed. Media outlets receive numerous books and there are only so many reviewers on staff. There are also only a limited number of book-related articles in printed and online magazines. Yet every publisher, publicist, and author hope it’s their book that gets featured and/or reviewed.
Advance reader’s copies are also sent to book influencers with the expectation they’ll share the book online with their followers in the months and weeks leading up to a book’s publish date.
Authors will build teams of top readers and distribute their advance reader’s copies among the team in exchange for their honest, unbiased thoughts about the book, which the early readers will post online at their favorite book review sites, as well as (hopefully, but not guaranteed) share with their friends, family and social media followers.
All these efforts are designed to increase readership awareness about the book’s release in hopes of enticing readers to pre-order the book or purchase when it publishes.
How do you get advance copies of books?
There are several ways, none of which are guaranteed.
- Create a free NetGalley account. NetGalley is a platform where readers of influence discover and recommend new books. It’s where publishers upload e-galleys (advance copies of books in digital format) for early readers. You can put in a request to read. Understand all requests aren’t accepted. Though, you can improve your chances by timely posting reviews of those books you do read across review platforms as well on your social media channels.
- Join an author’s early reader team. You can find these through an author’s top reader group on Facebook, like my Tiki Lounge. You can contact an author directly and ask how to join their early reader team. Some authors will post about it on their websites or in their social media feeds. Some authors put a call out to early readers 6-12 months ahead of a book’s publish date.
- If your social media platforms focus on books, you read and review often, your following is growing, and your profile and followers fit a specific book genre’s audience, you can contact a publisher directly and request to be on their publicity department’s list of early influencers.
How do you get advance copies of my books?
Aside from creating an account and requesting through NetGalley, I recommend that you join the Tiki Lounge, my community of top readers. I source my early readers from this group.
Please note, joining my community does not guarantee a spot on my early reader team, nor does it guarantee you get the paperback version over the digital galley version if you’re on the team.
Either way, the Tiki Lounge is a great place to hang out with me. I do hope you’ll join.