She’s at it again, folks! I’m publishing another book and the time has come for me to actually start talking about it. And, as the title of this article implies, to send out an “ARC Readers Wanted” call to action! *cue triumphant music*
But first of all, what is an ARC Reader?
“ARC” stands for “Advanced Reader Copy” and it’s a finished version of a book that gets sent out to select individuals ahead of the publication date. Readers then read and review the book before or by the launch date as a way to build hype and boost awareness, especially as far as the Almighty Amazon Algorithm is concerned!
ARC readers are a huge deal and if you’re an aspiring author looking to independently publish, you should absolutely, 100% seek them out!
It’s completely free and voluntary (some blogs offer paid reviews, but I don’t recommend seeking out these services unless there’s a platform you are particularly fond of, such as Reedsy or Netgalley) and is a win-win for you and the reviewer: free advertising on your end, a free copy of the book (usually digital) on their end!
Someday soon, I’ll write a post on how to recruit ARC reviews as an indie author (at least, how I’ve learned how to do it… I’m sure there’s more than one way!) but that’s a can of worms for another day!
What’s your book about, Becca?
I’m glad you asked!
This is the first installment in a young adult science fiction trilogy titled, An Ocean of Stars. (Tentative series title: The Atlantis Chronicles.) I don’t know if I’m going to bill it this way yet or not, but it is technically a soft retelling of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In space. With teenagers.
You could also make an argument for it being a sci-fi retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but I’m not sure about that, either. (Come to think of it, the original 20,000 Leagues is, in a way, a Beauty and the Beast retelling itself. Chew on that one for a while!)
It is also comparable to Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray, and Stephen McCranie’s Space Boy comics. I also took considerable influence from Treasure Planet and Pirates of the Caribbean.
You know what that means, don’t you? Space pirates! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Girl, meet boy. He’s the reason you’re lost in space.
Xanorra Nepier of the colony ship Aster has the opportunity of a lifetime: to explore the other side of the first naturally-occurring wormhole ever discovered. But when a mysterious squid-shaped ship attacks and she’s separated from her family and crew, her only choice is to accept the help of the ship’s mysterious captain. The kicker: he’s a boy her age who has never met another human before. And it shows.
Boy, meet girl. She’s the one thing that could put your mission at risk.
Captain Omen of the Atlantis has a destiny to fulfill: to ferry his cargo to a secret world and begin humanity’s next chapter beyond the stars. He certainly wasn’t supposed to rescue a stranded spacer girl, especially one whose ship he just destroyed… and who his android crew insist is a threat to the mission. She may be loud, but she can’t be all bad, can she?
Their paths were never supposed to cross, but what begins as a shaky alliance grows into a genuine connection–a connection that’s tested with each new obstacle they encounter, both within the confines of the Atlantis… and without.
Cover reveal coming soon!!!
The release date is January 21st 2023. I will be sending out ARCs by November 21st, 2022 so that’s more or less the deadline to apply, though I will accept stragglers as long as they’re okay with the shorter time frame!
The ARC will be sent as an ebook (your choice of file format, I believe) via BookFunnel. I wish I could send physical ARCs, but alas, it practically costs a small fortune, especially in this economy!
The manuscript is approximately 105,000 words, or about 490 pages typeset. Basically, you’re looking at your standard good-sized YA novel. I’m very happy about it. The Last Celestials was a slim boi (perhaps too slim) so I was eager to work on a longer project!
If you’re the type of person who appreciates content warnings, here’s everything I can think of that might give readers pause. While in general I do not consider the things I write to be explicit (and my goal as a writer is to keep things as wholesome as possible) sometimes it’s a matter of perspective:
- Realistic cursing (I like writing dialogue as close to the way people speak in real life as I can. People curse, so my characters curse. Some more than others; it just depends on their personality!)
- Heavy kissing/light groping (It is a romance, after all! But it’s still a YA romance, so we keep it clean. For now…)
- Psychological trauma (That’s pretty vague, but I don’t want to spoil anything, so let’s just say this: Captain was raised by robots and their child-rearing methods were at times… questionable.)
- Discussions around drug dependency (Prescription medications for mental illness, specifically.)
- Several instances of characters being drugged against their will.
In general, I’d rate this book a solid PG-13! Pretty standard for YA, I’d think.
Sounds interesting! How do I become an ARC reader?
To become an ARC reviewer, follow this link and fill out the form! Don’t be scared by the word “application…” this isn’t some kind of interview process, just a way for me to keep track of everything easily! (Something I learned the hard way the last time!)
Do I have to be a book blogger?
Nope! ARC readers can come from anywhere, as long as you are willing to commit to reading the book and providing a fair review! You don’t even have to have a social media platform, though anywhere you’re able to post about the book is greatly appreciated!
What if I start the book and decide I don’t want to finish it?
No sweat! Just let me know that you’re unable/unwilling to finish the book and I’ll take you off of any email communications. You don’t have to provide an explanation, although, if there is constructive criticism you feel would help me improve as a writer, you are welcome to share it!
I’m not interested, but I know someone who might be. Can I pass the link on to them?
Abso-freak’n-lutely! Share away! The more ARC readers, the merrier!
I think that’s all the information I have for now (and then some) but if you have any other questions about the book or about being an ARC, feel free to drop your questions in the comments!
Thank you in advance, and if you enjoy reading An Ocean of Stars even half as much as I enjoyed writing it, you will have a great time!