How to Read an ARC for All It’s Worth!

Mesu Andrews BFFs

AMANDA GEANEYHi gang! I want to introduce your fellow BFF Team Member, Amanda Geaney. I “met” Amanda after the release of my debut novel, Love Amid the Ashes. She contacted me with some questions about my research, and we immediately hit it off. We’ve kept in touch through the years, and someday…I’m going to meet this incredible lady face-to-face. She’s become a dear friend and an incredible support to my writing ministry. She’s got a few tips for you as you read your ARCs…

Hello fellow BFF team members! My name is Amanda Geaney and I have been one of Mesu’s BFF’s since the inception of the team. Since our ADVANCED READER COPIES (ARCs) of Isaiah’s Daughter were mailed out this week, Mesu asked me to share a few ways we can systematically use social media and a well-planned review to promote both her books and other biblical fiction novels.


The moment your ARC of Isaiah’s Daughter arrives in the mail…Open the package, squeal while jumping up and down and hugging the book (feel free to include your postal carrier in this celebration), and then get out your phone – it’s picture time. Yes….you want the whole world to know that YOU had a good mail day! This photo can be a selfie of you with the book or (for the camera shy amongst us) a cleverly staged photo of the book. Immediately post said photo to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Be sure to include the book title, author, and the release date. To win brownie points with Mesu, include the following link, where your followers can pre-order the book:


Send the kids to grandma’s (grandparents send the grandkids home), grab your favorite beverage and a few snacks, and settle into a comfy chair to enjoy another amazing biblical novel. Whether you are a speed reader or a person who likes to savor books, you will want to keep a pack of post-it flags around. Why? When you come across something important in the book, like a good quote, you will be able to mark it and quickly move on. *More on this later.


Write a review. Amazon says the ideal length for a review is 75-500 words. The minimum is 20 words, the maximum is 5,000. However, because we’re so far from the actual release date, we must now play…THE WAITING GAME before we actually post our review. Mesu’s publisher has asked that we delay posting our reviews until the book release date draws closer. Bethel and Nichole will let us know when we can post, but here are a few ways to win at the waiting game:

  • Refer back to your post-it flags to create graphics of your favorite quotes (I’m lousy at Photoshop elements, but I happen to be a whiz at making images with Picmonkey for this purpose)
  • Begin a social media countdown to the release day
  • Delve into Mesu’s blog for articles you can share
  • Read or re-read one of Mesu’s other books that you have missed and write a review for it
  • Explore other biblical fiction authors and give them some love

When we get the OK (probably sometime in December), post your beautifully-crafted review everywhere! I have my own blog set up so that when I click publish, it simultaneously posts to Twitter and Google+. If you don’t have a personal blog, no worries! Post your honest review of Isaiah’s Daughter on the following sites: (You can copy and paste) Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and (You can also post to:,,,,,,, and ibooks.)


Vote for/add Isaiah’s Daughter to a Listopia list on Goodreads or talk about it in a Goodreads group in which you have been active. Additionally, you can boast on Twitter that Isaiah’s Daughter has made your #Bestof2018 list.


Make a request for your public library, church library, and/or local book store to carry the book.


Everyone on the BFF Team is a member of our BFF Facebook page. Be a friend! Link-up and share each other’s reviews, interviews, and graphics. (Keep in mind, our BFF FB Page is private, so you can’t just click “Share” from there. You’ll need to download a graphic or go to a blog post or page to share the information.)


When all of the January book launch fanfare has died down, BFF’s are encouraged to maintain a social media presence. This was something I had to be intentional about, so I created the hashtag #biblicalfictionfriday. Now I have an excuse to tweet about my favorite genre on a weekly basis. You are welcome to join the fun! If you need help finding biblical fiction authors on Twitter you can visit my profile (@AmandaGeaney) and follow the #biblicalfictionfriday list I’ve created. Creating additional content can be as easy as thinking of people who may benefit from reading Mesu’s books. Then, with those people/groups in mind, tailor your posts in a way that will entice them to read. For example, I learned of a Bible study group at my church who was studying the book of Job, so I recommended Love Amid the Ashes. This idea would easily translate to social media. On a few occasions, I’ve included one of Mesu’s books in a holiday gift idea graphic and I’ve also relayed to others how Mesu’s stories have challenged me to go deeper in my own study of the Bible (like when I completed the study she wrote to accompany In the Shadow of Jezebel).

Thanks, Amanda for your great suggestions! I hope this info has been helpful to y’all. Remember, ENJOY reading the ARC. There’s no rush.

**NOTE: What happens if you DON’T LIKE THE BOOK? Yes, it happens. One of the members of our current team absolutely did NOT like one of my books—and she’s still on the team. It’s okay if you don’t like it. I simply ask that you give no review at all. It’s the same thing I do for books I don’t particularly care for. We always ask for your honest opinion!