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?

answer

We’re All Looking For The Answer

Today’s post is a bit of a topic combo, if there is such a thing. What’s on my mind? Elements of a February 2019 post called No More For The Road and the March 2019 post I Survived Catholic School. Don’t worry. I won’t repeat what’s in them. You can read them for...
deferred

21st Century Etiquette (Or the Lack Thereof)

"There are so many unreliable people now that being reliable in and of itself is a valuable rare trait." - Louis Leung I have always thought that certain bare minimum requirements for etiquette are particularly important in business. For example: "do what you said you...
holidays

Books: Great Holiday Gifts, or The Greatest Holiday Gifts?

I saw a cartoon the other day that features a character who's starting to sing, "It's beginning to look a lot like..." A second character quickly and quietly puts the first character down, saying, "Shh. Sleep now." Dark stuff, right? But hey, these are dark times—in...

Talk of der Führer at the Local Library??

This past weekend I had a pretty weird, disturbing experience related to Nazism, which I only documented on my personal Facebook page. In retrospect, it's probably just as good for blog fodder as anything else. I must be a little naive, because somehow I've managed to...
history

Nostalgia, Conspiracies, and A Vanishing World

Recently, I’ve been visiting the minutiae of history a little more than usual. Some of my readers may be aware that I’m a a big music fan, and have collected music in various formats over most of my life. While it’s often digital these days, I've also been known to...
followers

From The Archives: Frances Caballo on Why You Should Never Buy Twitter Followers or Facebook Likes

I don't often feature guest posts on my blog, but today's post from the archives was an exception. Back in 2018, social media guru Frances Caballo graciously accepted my invitation to write a guest post. Here's a link to the the original post, but you can read her...
dead

Celebrating The Dead

“The bus came by and I got on / That’s when it all began…”This week I was planning to write about some of my adventures (or misadventures) in southeast Asia. But the calendar tells me it’s September 23rd, and that’s a meaningful date in my history. So I’m going back...
attorney

The Power of an Attorney

Last week I missed the deadline to post my Monday blog, then missed any other opportunity through the rest of the week. The reason? I'm power of attorney for my mother, who took a fall and had to be hospitalized. Hence the headline for this week's post. Being power of...
money

Do What You Love, and the Money Will Follow…Right?

Recently, I was reading a post from an online trainer who coaches authors and other professionals. This trainer discusses the contrast between writing for money and writing for passion. In other words, the age-old conundrum: if you do what you love, will the money...
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...