One of the most confusing concepts in publishing is that of the Advance Reader Copy, or ARC. I call it confusing because there appears to be no universal agreement on what those initials actually mean. While some sources refer to an ARC as an Advance Reader Copy, others call it an Advance Reading Copy. Still others reference the term Advance Review Copy when discussing ARCs.

Although the specifics of what ARC stands for remain unclearand maybe we authors should agree to remove the middle word and just call them Advance Copiesthe purpose of ARCs has never been in question. They are meant for reviewers, beta readers, and/or launch teams to read and review in advance of publication.

 

ARC Etiquette 

Just as there’s no universal agreement on whether to call an ARC a Reader, Reading, or Review copy, there aren’t many hard and fast rules of how to prepare one. Suffice to say, it’s best to deliver the most professional presentation possible, and to offer different formats for different readers.

The question of formatting is tricky in itself: while some reviewers require files be emailed in PDF or MOBI, members of one’s launch team may only be able to read a Kindle-ready EPUB file. I’d recommend having at least two, if not three, formats available to send.

 

Judging A Book By Its Cover

As for the cover design, it’s perfectly understandable that authors will sometimes want to send out ARCs so far in advance that there’s no cover illustration yet. My question today is, “Should that be the exception or the rule?”

In assessing my own work and my approach to this, I have to say that ARCs should definitely include a cover if at all possible. I compare it to getting a demo tape or album from a band with no cover. Imagine how generic that would seem to the recipient. In much the same way, an ARC that looks and feels like a final version of a bookincluding a beautiful cover designmight engage the reader immediately in ways that a coverless ARC simply can’t.

Of course, in traditional publishing, the author or publishing company may have to send out ARCs far in advance of having a cover design. But for those of us who are indie authors, part of controlling our own destinies can be sending ARCs that look exactly like the final product. And what’s wrong with that?

The Marketing Thing Vs. The Working Thing

Last week, I took a vacation with my lovely wife, and missed doing a blog post entirely. I see where WordPress has an option of writing and scheduling posts, but frankly, I was too busy doing that with my monthly newsletter. I figured I could ignore the blog for a...
meditation

Which Is Better For Writers – Meditation or Exercise?

A while back, I did an interview about creativity, and I talked about meditation and exercise. I also talked about a few other things like journaling, play, and being disciplined about a schedule.For writers, you might think meditation is going to be the number one...

A Vacation Blog Post and a Manross Library Appearance

The following post has been pre-scheduled. I've never tried to pre-schedule a blog post before, so I had to look up how to do it. If you know me well, you won't be surprised by that. Hey, I'm on vacation while you read this. Modern technology! I find it interesting to...

Who Are Your Greatest Connections?

When it comes to networking, making connections with people who have a greater influence in your industry can be beneficial in ways that go on and on. This has proven true for many people, I'm sure, and I know I've seen it in my own experience. Two recent examples...
speaking

On the Road: The Speaker’s Life

A few months ago, I wrote a post about annoying current expressions like having said that and at the end of the day. That post came up in conversation this past weekend on a long, long trek to Miami and back. You see, when you spend nine or ten hours in a car with...

About Brothers’ Hand

As Sahno Publishing continues the marketing campaign in upstate New York for Brothers’ Hand, I want to check in both with readers and potential readers. Like the blurb on the back of the book says, this is a story about Jerome Brothers, who comes from a small town in...

Writing Based on Experience

Recently, I’ve been writing more about writing, giving some explanations about why I write what I write…or, in the case of the three novels I’m currently promoting, why I wrote what I wrote. Brothers’ Hand, which takes place in the fictional town of Carverville, NY,...
patchworks

Patchworks: A Book Review

Today I woke to the all-too-familiar tragic news of yet another mass shooting. Sadly, we all know what will happen next: politicians will sputter, talking heads will bloviate, and the next thing that gets done about gun control will be – absolutely nothing. Such is...
genre

On the Challenge of Writing in a Different Genre for the First Time

I’ve never been what you’d call a genre writer.In fact, I’ve said this for years: “I’m not a genre writer.”Problem is, we live in an age where everything must be classified.It’s weird. I’m a guy who grew up listening to a lot of rock (the genre formerly known as “rock...

Miles of Files: Where Did It Come From?

I wrote my third novel between about 2007 and 2015. I can’t say it took a full eight years to write – I got stuck in the final third for a couple years – but it was an ambitious project. I’d gone from a third person novel to a first person novel, and now I was going...