Thursday, December 13, 2007

Advanced Reading Copies.

An Advanced Reading Copy is a stage between the manuscript which the author wrote, and the final publication. It is used to check the quality of the final work before it is published.

Usually an advanced reading copy will be trade paperback in size and have a glossy finished paper cover. In bookstores and libraries they are usually sent with a letter asking about any suggestions for final revision of the book. In big libraries with central branches, they usually have several bookshelves of advanced readers copies. Most of the time they say Advanced Readers Copy not for resale on them. Libraries cannot add them to their collections because of the notice.

Librarians will look over the Advanced Readers Copies to see how many of the book they will buy for a whole library system. Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, and New York Public Library all have central collection development departments as do most very large city library systems.

Independent booksellers often ignore advanced readers copies, they are busy selling books and often don't have time to read for pleasure. They often have an unread pile of them behind the counter. Sometime, they give them to their assistant to read. Or if the ARC is by a really famous author, they will stick it in a closet somewhere, because it might be worth something to someone some day.

ARCs of famous authors like Steven King are valuable. They are not supposed to sell it because of the notice. This is sometimes ignored. Usually to be considerate, most booksellers wait several years after the book is released until the item is collectible, have the item signed then sell it.

Often after meetings, the librarians will take a few minutes and pick up some of the advanced reading copies to read. They are meant to be distributed to get a first impression of a book before it is published. The more professionals in the book trade who read it and give an impression back to them the happier the publisher is.

If the librarian or bookseller is considerate and the review sheet is still in the ARC, they will send back a review of the Advanced Readers Copy to the publisher with comments like, the sword fight on page 53 read like a fight with a fencing blade not a broadsword, or I didn't like the poem on page 56 it didn't match the tone of the story, or you spelled cope verde wrong three times, it is cape verde. These will most likely be some of the final revisions before publication.

If the author liked the review, they may even send a signed copy of the book to you. This is rare, but it has happened to me once with a short review. They will also ask the bookseller to tell them how many copies of the book he or she might want to buy in the future.

Advanced Readers Copies are also handed out at the big book conventions. If you go to Book Expo America, each booth will have copies of their latest forthcoming to be published book in Advanced Readers Edition format. They hand out hundreds of them to generate buzz from the attendees. There are stacks piled up on the floor, on tables, in book racks, and on display stands for people to look at and handle. There are more than most people can even look at in passing. You could take home a hundred pounds of them and still barely scratch the surface.

If you go to author events or readings at a convention like Book Expo America, they will often have the latest ARC of their book at a reading or presentation. You are supposed to take one so you can read the book and tell your friends how great it was.
The logo in this blog is my new logo for Entrecard which I designed. I hope it looks decent. I had to replace my hit counter last night because it broke.

Here are some more thoughts about entrecard has a very large number of users. However, they don't have a very wide readership. For example, currently in the category of books, there are only 3 members, in the category of writing there are about 14 members, and the category of art there are 12 members, and in the category of education there are 8 members. This is not a whole lot of membership for the arts. While I get a lot of traffic from there, I don't get enough repeat traffic. It would be nice if more artistic people "like you maybe" joined the network.

Sometimes widgets and counters stop working because the code on blogspot gets changed, or the producer of the widget has problems with their server. This is the first time this has happened to me. I am thinking of redesigning the banner at the top of the page. I think it needs to have a little more lightness to it.
Sometimes I sound like a pitch man, but that is what I am doing selling myself and my blog to you.


Unknown said...

"what an extraordinary night" indeed.

Book Calendar said...

Hello, it is nice to see you coming by to visit my endless blog.

Tam said...

I was googling "advanced reading copy" and your blog is on page one.