Last month I committed to trying an e-ARC experiment for my October release, Shadowlight. I thought I'd provide some stats on how that's gone so far:
Distributed: 73 e-ARCs via e-mail.
Labor (preparing/converting the manuscript into the e-ARC, responding to e-mails): 17-1/2 hours
Reviews posted that I've read so far:
(Another) 52 Books/Bibliophile
B&N.com's Shadowlight sales page (Eight reviews)
Beyond the Invisible/Soleil Noir
Blue Heron Creek/Debra Saturday
The Book Book/Chad
My Writing Existence/Anne
One Book Away from Heaven/Pattepoilue
Stray Thoughts Of Margaret Fisk
There are definitely more reviews out there, and a bunch of links waiting for me to check out in my e-mail box. I do want to read them before I post them here, not to screen them but as a courtesy to everyone who took the time to request the e-ARC, read it and write them up.
A couple of people have e-mailed me about the possibility of e-ARCs resulting in lost sales of the print novel. While I don't expect everyone who received an e-ARC will end up buying the print version of the novel (nor would I), many of these readers had never read any of my books before, and several have commented via e-mail or in their reviews that they're going to buy or check out from the library more of my backlist. Basically what I lose in sales of the print novel I'll likely double or triple in backlist sales. Since all of the Darkyn novels are still in print, as well as most of the StarDoc books, this helps keep more of my books in print. I'll sacrifice a few current-release sales for that.
Most popular/universal comment so far: some form of "I loved Rowan!" Which is good, because originally I pitched Delilah's story, not Rowan's, as the second book in this series (and that is what ended up on the contract.) As I was writing Shadowlight, however, Rowan came out so strong on the page that I asked my editor if I could instead write book two about her. She agreed, I pitched a new synopsis, and wrote Dreamveil, Rowan's story, as book two. Which now seems like a pretty good decision all the way around (reason #999 as to why you should listen to your instincts.)
My thanks to everyone who is participating in this experiment. So far, so good.