Sep 28, 2012

What Is an ARC?

Some of theARCs for our spring 2013 books

If you've been on our Facebook or Twitter accounts in the last week, you may have noticed that we've been posting a lot of pictures of ARCs. For those not in the book business, an ARC (or advanced reading copy) is an unproofed, bound copy of a book that is printed prior to publication. They can also be called galleys, AREs (advanced reading editions) or in the case of picture books/highly illustrated books you might hear the terms F&G (folded and gathered) and BLAD (book layout and design).

All of those acronyms boil down to one thing: a free book given away by publishers in order to generate excitement and buzz about an upcoming title. We have ARCs printed and send them to reviewers, bloggers, booksellers, librarians, and media contacts; give them away at trade shows and in online giveaways; give them to our sales reps; and give them to our authors so that they can have a good idea of what their book will look like once it's published.


The interiors of our Lost Idols biography series will be
in color, but for the ARCs we decided to print in black
and white. 

Most of the time, unless it is a children's picture book or a highly illustrated art/photography book, an ARC will be printed in black and white. The publisher may be planning on printing in color for the final book, but prices are too high to do it for the ARC. And if the photos/illustrations aren't essential to the story, readers will still get an idea of what the finished book will look like.

In the final version of The Mighty Quinn, we'll be adding
more illustrations.

On the cover and/or the title page, it will clearly say that this is an advanced reading copy and is not edited. Depending on what stage of production it's in, it may also state that the illustrations are not complete or that there will be more added. Basically, the publisher just wants to make sure the reader understands that this is not final and that there will be changes made.

The back covers of two titles from our Lost Idols 
celebrity biography series. 

 You'll also notice that the back cover is a little different than that of a finished book. There will still be a summary or description, maybe even an author bio, but there are also marketing plans that the publisher is planning for the title. This could include things like newsletter promotion, features in magazines or newspapers, blog tours, bookstore tours, social media promotion, trade show appearances, or any number of other plans specific to the title.
Some of the marketing plan for Robyn Parnell's The Mighty Quinn

Our kid's cookbook will include over 50 recipes
from around the world, but for the ARC, we only
included one or two recipes from each region
along with the introduction, terms, ingredients list,
and glossary. 

Sometimes, it will only be an excerpted version of the book.

And finally, you will find errors. That is not to say that you won't ever find a typo in a finished book, but more often than not, if it has been thoroughly read by a diligent copyeditor, you won't find any glaring errors (of course, I'm knocking on wood when I say this). But publishers admit--and state on multiple pages of the ARC--that this is uncorrected and you will find mistakes.

Those are the basics of ARCs and what they are used for. And if you're interested in any of our upcoming titles, you can email us for a copy of the e-galley!

No comments:

Post a Comment