What are beta and ARC readers? Unveiling the enchanting heroes behind your favourite books

You’ve probably heard me talk about beta and ARC readers, but I don’t think I’ve ever explained who these marvellous people are and why you might want to be one. Beta and ARC readers play a crucial role in shaping the stories I tell and the tales I love to read. They are the generous souls who give up their time to make our authorly lives easier. Let me explain.

Beta readers: trusted companions in the writing journey

Picture a group of loyal companions, standing side by side with the author on their literary path; these are the beta readers. These fantastic individuals arrive on the writerly scene early on, lending their invaluable perspectives to the author’s manuscript before it’s polished and published. They are like those childhood friends I used to act out stories and plays with, only this time round, they’re helping me to write my books.

Beta readers are the wizards who provide constructive feedback, helping authors like me to identify the hidden gems in my stories and the quagmires that need a little extra enchantment. They’re the people who spot plot weaknesses, character inconsistencies, and ensure that the entire story works.

But what’s truly magical about beta readers is that they’re a willing audience for our imagined adventures, helping to bring our stories to life and making sure that they captivate readers like you.

ARC readers: champions of unreleased tales

As an author, there’s nothing quite like the moment when you catch a glimpse of your treasured novel resting on a bookshelf – be that in a book shop or in your own home. While my books may not be in physical bookstores just yet, holding a real, tangible copy of my creation is incredibly satisfying and yes, a little awe inspiring too.

ARC readers are the heroes who receive advance copies of books right before they hit the world stage. Imagine being one of the first to step into a mesmerising world of fantasy. ARC readers get to experience that magic before anyone else.

But they don’t keep that enchanting experience to themselves. ARC readers eagerly share their book reviews, igniting excitement and anticipation among potential readers. Their word-of-mouth magic spreads like wildfire, making sure that those books are embraced and cherished by readers like you.

Becoming a beta or ARC reader: the heroic opportunity

Here comes the exciting part – you, dear reader, have the chance to be one of those heroes. If you’re eager to step into the enchanting world of beta and ARC reading, why not sign up for my monthly Author News? By doing so, you’ll stay up-to-date with beta and ARC reader opportunities for my novels, becoming an integral part of the storytelling process.

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It’s thanks to the wonderful support of beta and ARC readers that our tales come alive and reach a wider audience. These marvellous people, who shape and celebrate the art of storytelling, are the unsung heroes behind the magic of your favourite books.

Want to help make Magic Bound a best seller?

paperback copy of Magic Bound on forest background with words Help make Magic Bound a bestseller

The big day – when Magic Bound is launched by Burning Chair Publishing – is only weeks away. It’s all rather exciting and the countdown is going in a blur. Advance book reviews are coming in and the pre-order links are up. I lovingly unwrapped my author copies, and even made an unboxing video. What I need now is a little help in getting the word out about Magic Bound in the run up to its publication and on the big day too.

Would you help me make Magic Bound a best seller, dear reader? Yes? Brilliant. Then this is how you can make a huge difference.

Blog about Magic Bound

Some of my readers are bloggers too. If that’s you, help raise the visibility of Magic Bound by writing about it. You could blog about the actual book release, interview me, or post a book review on your blog. Anything would be really appreciated.

Tell your friends about Magic Bound

If you’re reading this blog post, it’s a fair assumption that you like to read fantasy novels. What about your friends? If they, your family, or members of your book club enjoy fantasy too, why not tell them about Magic Bound?

Shout about Magic Bound on social media

Everyone and their auntie are on social media these days. Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or some where else in the social media universe, a like, comment, or share of my posts means that a wider audience will find out about Magic Bound. Even better, a post by you about my novels will massively impact my social media reach.

There are other novels out there called Magic Bound so if you want to use a hashtag on social media, please use #MagicBoundFiPhillips

Leave an honest book review of Magic Bound

If you enjoy reading Magic Bound, an honest book review on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever you bought my book would be fantastic. It spreads the word, tells other readers what to expect, and provides that much needed evidence that Magic Bound is an excellent read.

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If you want to get involved in spreading the word about Magic Bound and get the book launch off to a great start, here’s all the information you need.

The blurb:

The magic returns.

When Hartley Keg and Blessing go missing, Steve Haven, the young heir to the Haven Robotics Corporation, once again finds himself plunged back into the chaos of Darkacre.

Teaming up with the darkling, he finds himself on the run from the Council and their enforcers, the Hidden, as he seeks to keep safe those he holds most dear.

Things are complicated further when a new player emerges: the Parity, who are far too keen in the Haven Corporation, and the magical device which nearly led to its destruction.

What follows is a race not only against time but through a series of worlds, each more fantastical and dangerous than the last, as Steve and his friends try to keep one step ahead of their pursuers.

Magic Bound is the second adventure in the Haven Chronicles, following on from Haven Wakes, a unique blend of fantasy and sci-fi which has been described by readers as “shades of Artemis Fowl, hints of Harry Potter… and Skulduggery Pleasant”.

The links:

Magic Bound is published on 2nd August by Burning Chair Publishing.

If you’d like more information or a range of bookish images, want to interview me for your blog, or just want to say ‘hi’ or ‘good luck’, drop me an email.

5 ways that Readers can help Authors like me

5 ways readers can help authors

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been asked the same question by a friend and a couple of readers. All three of them have read my debut fantasy novel Haven Wakes and left glowing reviews, but they wanted to know what else they could do to make my life easier.

After a think, this is what I told them.

Recommend my books

Here’s what I mean:

  • You’re twittering with the best of them and you come across a reader asking for YA fantasy and sci fi book recommendations. Why not tell them about Haven Wakes?
  • Your book club is on the look-out for a speculative fiction book to read. Suggest Haven Wakes.
  • Your friend’s cousin’s daughter’s friend wants a new fantasy series to read. You guessed it! Point them to Haven Wakes.

Whenever you comes across a chance, please recommend my books.

Share my social media posts

With any luck you’ve already connected with me on at least one of my social media channels:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

If you come across my social media posts, especially ones pointing to my newsletter or book sales page, it would be really helpful if you could widen my reach by sharing my post with your connections.

Blog about my books

If you run a book blog, whether that’s as a writer or a reader, it would be really appreciated if you could drop me and my books a mention.

If you need content for your blog, let me know and I’m more than happy to answer your questions for an author interview, pen a blog post on writing-craft, or write a piece on some other suitable topic.

Even better, sign up to be an ARC reader and blog as part of my next book launch.

In return for a mention on your blog, I’ll happily share it on my social media channels. It’s a win-win for us both.

Request my books

If you want to buy my book in paperback from your local bookstore but they don’t stock it, why not ask them to order it in? With any luck, they’ll buy in more than one copy so some other reader can get their hands on it. You could even take a shot of my book on their bookshelves and post it on social media (don’t forget to tag me though).

I know that not everyone can afford to buy my book. The next best thing is to borrow a copy from the local library. If this is you but they don’t have a copy, it would be really appreciated if you could ask them to order it in. I dropped off a copy to my local library for just this reason.

Sign up to my mailing list and share my Author News

Social media is an absolute boon for authors to get the news out about their latest books, but it’s reliant on algorithms and readers being online at the right time to see our posts. A mailing list doesn’t have either of these restraints and is the best way to keep up-to-date with an author and their latest news.

Sign up to my mailing list and receive:

  • a free short story set in the same world as Haven Wakes
  • my monthly goings-on and writing progress
  • my book news, including the chance to be a beta or ARC reader
  • a book recommendation that I love and hope you will too (and not a book I’ve written)

And if you have friends who you think might appreciate reading my Author News too, why not forward my newsletter on to them.

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While buying our books and leaving book reviews will always be the best way to help us authors, lovely readers like you can make us smile in so many other ways too.