Booksprout

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

KBooks

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
448
Reaction score
103
Has anyone (or everyone except me?) used Booksprout before? Was thinking about trying the free plan for my next SP release to get a few ARCs out there and maybe pick up a few reviews. Downsides?
 

CathleenT

I write
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
5,048
Reaction score
1,925
Location
Northern California
If it's this one (https://booksprout.co/), it looks like a service that manages your existing ARC team for you, not a discovery platform.

I think it could be useful if you issued a general invitation to anyone on your email list, since they say they filter those who download to pirates or don't review.

I'm pretty careful with who I invite to join my reviewers, so for me it would be better handled just within MailerLite. I don't need another moving piece to deal with. YMMV. :)
 

Devil Ledbetter

Come on you stranger, you legend,
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2007
Messages
9,767
Reaction score
3,922
Location
you martyr and shine.
I used Booksprout for the novel I published in December. I agree with Cathleen that it's not likely to result in new readers. The two reviews I got there both came from contacts I already had. What it will do is give you a piracy-safe way to share your books with ARC reviewers.

Since joining Booksprout, I've had two different book pirates contact me through Booksprout's portal claiming they were unable to download my book there and requesting that I send them a mobi, epub or PDF file directly. Each time I mentioned it in a FB writers' group I'm in, dozens of other people said they got similar requests from the exact same pirates. Never send your book file directly to a stranger. There is a reason they don't want to download it from Booksprout: the service ads piracy trackers to your files. Pirates don't want that so instead they pretend they're unable to download it.
 

cool pop

It's Cool, Miss Pop if You're Nasty
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
660
Reaction score
126
Location
Texas
I disagree about Booksprout not resulting in new readers. I guess maybe if you import your own ARC list then that's the case but I don't. I upload my books and let people get the ARCs and so far they are new readers because many say so. They mention in the reviews, "This is a new-to-me author." I've used it for two books including my latest release. I'm content with it except they need to do better with the pirates and scammers who keep contacting authors. The rule is never send a copy to anyone who is writing you out of the blue. I always forward emails to Booksprout and let them handle it. As for the amount of reviews, some authors claim they get mostly all who got a copy to review. I say my ratio is decent. So far (my book came out Tuesday), I have eight reviews from Booksprout and 16/20 got ARCs so already got half back. That's pretty good considering I gave up on my personal ARC list because they'd stopped reviewing. I got tired of running after them so I tried Booksprout. I use the free plan. I intend to keep using it. It's such an easy process. Just upload your book and when it's time for the reviews, request them.

The two things I love the most is Booksprout penalizes people who don't review so you don't get overloaded by freeloaders. If someone keeps getting ARCs and not reviewing Booksprout will kick them off the site. Also, authors can manually block someone from getting their ARCs. I also like how you can pick what retailers the reviews go on. I am wide and it's super hard getting reviews on sites outside of Amazon. Even with all the Bookbub Featured Deals I have had, I don't have any reviews for most of my books on the sites outside Amazon. And I have about 60 titles. I remind readers to review in the front of my books, but there are still crickets. No matter how well a book sells, nothing. I recently had a bestseller at Barnes and Noble from December to March. Had the blue bestseller banner and everything. That book is also a big seller on other sites and had a Bookbub Featured Deal and STILL has no reviews on Barnes and Noble. I have some for that book on Apple and of course Amazon. But it sells very well at Amazon (been on Amazon bestseller lists for a year) and as I said made Barnes and Noble's list too for four months and STILL no reviews for Barnes and Noble for that book. I guess the readers on the other sites aren't big reviewers. Let's face it, it's hard as heck to get reviews on Amazon these days too.

So Booksprout is a good alternative. Is it perfect? No, but what is and it's free so we can't do too much complaining. :D Book Funnel focuses more on building your mailing list but BS is good for reviews. Some authors praise Book Funnel but I never felt the need to pay for what they offer so I don't use it. I'll stay with the free plan from BS. It's good enough for me.
 
Last edited:

KBooks

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
448
Reaction score
103
I wondered about that (genre.) Most of the books I've seen on GR that used it have been romance of one flavor or another. I figured since it had a level that was free to try, might as well give it a whirl for my next release and see what happens.
 

cool pop

It's Cool, Miss Pop if You're Nasty
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
660
Reaction score
126
Location
Texas
Thanks for that write-up, cool pop. I wonder if the difference between your experience and the others is a matter of genre?

I may try them for my YA historical fantasy release this fall, and see how it does.

Marisa, good point. Maybe it does come down to genre. Good luck using Booksprout with your book and I hope you get a lot of reviews. So far I've found it a good option. We'll see if it stays that way. :D
 

cool pop

It's Cool, Miss Pop if You're Nasty
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
660
Reaction score
126
Location
Texas
I wondered about that (genre.) Most of the books I've seen on GR that used it have been romance of one flavor or another. I figured since it had a level that was free to try, might as well give it a whirl for my next release and see what happens.

I'll test the genre theory with my next release. It's going to be a thriller. I write in multiple genres but yes the two I've put up on Booksprout so far have been romance. I have seen other genres on there but not sure how they've done. Good luck to you as well when trying it out!
 

MaryLennox

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
316
Reaction score
22
Location
Canada
Is BookSprout mostly for self-published authors or can you use it for other indie published books?? Or is it a case of just asking my publisher's permission?
 

cool pop

It's Cool, Miss Pop if You're Nasty
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
660
Reaction score
126
Location
Texas
Sorry, I am forgot to come back and respond. Could be a genre thing concerning readers, but I write in several genres. So far I've used BS for two different genres. One was a contemporary romance/women's fiction and the other a thriller. I still catch new readers though the longer I use BS I am getting more repeat readers who like my books and continue to review. Some also joined my mailing list so that's a plus.
 

cool pop

It's Cool, Miss Pop if You're Nasty
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
660
Reaction score
126
Location
Texas
Is BookSprout mostly for self-published authors or can you use it for other indie published books?? Or is it a case of just asking my publisher's permission?

You would have to ask your publisher if they'd allow you to use it. When I was with publishers they had a cap on how many ARCs I could share.
 

MaryLennox

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
316
Reaction score
22
Location
Canada
Okay, thanks. I went ahead and asked and they were cool with it.
 

MaryLennox

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
316
Reaction score
22
Location
Canada
I was just posting about Booksprout in a thread about NetGalley and thought I should come back and post my experiences, since I have used them twice now. This is the same thing I posted in the other thread, I hope it's okay I'm posting it twice:

I have used the free service for two different books. So far, my experience was that only 3 ARCS were downloaded per book but I believe all three posted reviews. The reviews can be quite short, only about 2-3 sentences, but I still think a short review is better than no review. It was also free and super easy to use. Oh, and the reviews were positive.

Both of my books I put on Booksprout were MG, one a collection of short stories and the other a ballet novel for MG readers. This may play a big part of why I got so little reviews, because it seems like romance is the biggest genre being posted there. Also, my target audience of middle graders are most likely not using this service! I didn't post on any of my social media that I had ARCs available, which I would probably do next time. I was just testing it out with these two books.

The free service allows up to 20 ARC requests (and 3 pen names). If you think you'll get more requests (or reach 20 and want to release more) then you have to pay a monthly membership fee. You get to choose where they post their reviews and you get reminders from Booksprout to send reminders to the people who downloaded your ARC that their reviews are do soon, and then another saying their review is now due.

Another feature I liked is that if the people who got your ARC liked your book, they can choose to follow you and be notified when you have a new ARC available.

I was only contacted through a private message once, requesting to be sent my ARC to their e-mail. I reported them to Booksprout as a scammer.