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Booksprout's freeloader prevention algorithm

When creating an ARC in Booksprout, authors can leverage data we have on reviewers to determine if they're reliable enough to participate in your ARC.

Reviewer Score

In addition to checking whether or not a reviewer has completed all of your prior ARCs, Booksprout has also added two more options (Standard and Ultra) which use our reviewer data as well as an algorithm to determine how likely a reviewer is to actually complete a new ARC. We call this their "reviewer score."

Note: reviewers must participate in a minimum number of ARCs before they get a reviewer score. Until then, we assume they are reliable.

Why prevent freeloaders based on reviewer score?

Booksprout has always given authors the ability to prevent freeloaders based on their own previous ARCs. However, as we've gotten more popular and more authors have started to create public ARCs with us to discover new reviewers, we've noticed a handful of people start to use our service to get free books. These people download books from us without any intention of ever reviewing, which is less than thrilling for authors trying to launch a book.

By selecting either the standard or ultra setting, authors can prevent those people from participating in their ARC(s) and give out less books to get more reviews.

The freeloader prevention settings


With this setting, we won't prevent anyone from participating in your ARC based on their past review history either with you or on Booksprout.


The basic setting will only consider your past ARCs when determining if a reviewer can participate. If a reviewer has an outstanding due ARC for your pen name they won't be eligible to participate until they either complete or cancel that due ARC.

Standard (recommended minimum setting for public ARCs)

The standard setting does the same check as the basic setting, but also takes into account a reviewer's "reviewer score" on Booksprout. Generally speaking, the standard setting will only allow someone to participate if they've completed at least 25% of past Booksprout ARCs. Anyone who's participated in less than 4 ARCs on Booksprout is automatically considered reliable.


The ultra setting uses the same algorithm as the Standardsetting, but is more restrictive. Generally speaking, the standard setting will only allow someone to participate if they've completed at least 50% of past Booksprout ARCs. Anyone who's participated in less than 4 ARCs on Booksprout is automatically considered reliable.

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  1. Chris Leippi

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  1. [email protected]

    I am a reader who reads mostly Science Fiction/Fantasy and paranormal romances.  When I choose books from the list, I choose several to read.  Booksprout notifies me when an arc is due 2 days in advance, then on the day the arc is due and if I don't have my review up for some reason (Amazon being slow as Christmas on posting the review I had one take 11 days to post), they won't let me get any more ARCS when the review is over 3 or 4 days old. Thank goodness, they let the authors mark one completed. I usually do Goodreads, Bookbub and Amazon.  So I sorta have proof that I wrote a review with Goodreads and Bookbub saying I did on the same day.  Booksprout also gives me a place on the review page to follow an author if I liked that book. I just wish they would give me a place to UNFOLLOW them too.  I downloaded the app for Kindle and can't figure out how to find my promised and due arcs. I pull more than one arc at a time as they are due at different times so I look at promised to see when they are due so that I am ahead of that 2 day window.  Another thing that would be nice would be if they had the genres separated so I didn't have to look through how to books, self help books and the like in order to read all the scifi/fantasy/paranormal romances that are available for me to read and review.  

  2. [email protected]

    I love giving my work away for free and BookSprout doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when people just never review it...

  3. [email protected]

    Humm... What’s more important for you Book Sprout? The author’s books reviews or the free downloads for the “reader”?

    I signed up with the objective of having at least some reviews for my book. I have 0 so far. I already contacted support and read all the related articles. 

    Everything gives me the sense that the reviewer can practically do anything they want.
    I’m seriously re-thinking about leaving my book here and recommending Book Sprout to other author colleagues. 

  4. [email protected]

    Only just started with Booksprout and was impressed with how it got my book out - I started low with only 10 ARCs just to test it. Booksprout sent the messages but then come due date for the reviews, I only had 3 reviews! People are not reviewing and I notice that several have taken both of my ARCs...sigh...if we can manually say someone has left a review why can't we have something that says they haven't either? Sadly, I am unimpressed. 

  5. [email protected]

    Do any of these concerns / comments get answered ?  I've just signed up to Booksprout and feeling my way, but reading some of these comments is clearly a concern - especially if they seem to be ignored.

  6. [email protected]

    Silva Hart ( [email protected] ) please block this  reviewer. She left a 4 star on Booksprout, but posted 2 stars on Amazon. She's deceitful.

  7. [email protected]

    Why can't we continue to contact people who have downloaded arcs? Once the final notice is sent, we can't do anything. So we gave away a copy of the book without receiving the promise of an honest review. Feels like this service is failing authors without accountability for reviewers.

    Also, we can mark reviews as complete, but why can't we mark them as incomplete once they are past the deadlines?

  8. [email protected]

    People with multiple outstanding ARCs are still allowed to download.  It appears that Booksprout's statements regarding blocking reviewers and freeloader protection for authors are all lip service and not actually implemented or enforced. Booksprout does not provide a safe environment for authors.

  9. [email protected]

    Is there a way for Booksprout to block people who habitually cancel (aside from authors blocking reviewers)? In talking with another author, we've both had the same person take multiple ARCs, then cancel with an excuse about heart surgery. It is cut/paste the same message, every time, to both of us. We've both blocked her, but this appears to be someone who habitually downloads and cancels. Also, the "number of times this person has cancelled an ARC" number is zero, which is patently incorrect, and having that information be updated would be valuable for authors.

  10. [email protected]

    Like writeamberanthony, I can't ask people for missing reviews, either. Can you put in a button to do that?