Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What's an ARC?

I will readily admit to the fact that up until about three months ago I had NO idea what an ARC was. But the answer to my question above is actually pretty simple.

ARC stands for Advance Reading Copy (though I've also seen a few variations, like Advanced Readers Copy) and basically looks like a paperback version of the hardcover first edition. A limited number are printed up, usually about six months or so before the book's release, and are then sent to reviewers, book bloggers, librarians and the such.

Here's an example of an ARC for The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski.

Front Cover
Note the 'Uncorrected Bound Proofs' warning. ARCs often have some typos and formatting issues in them as they're not the final version of the book. Also, the reason it's 'Not For Sale' is that they wouldn't count in the author's sales numbers nor give them any royalties.

This gives the date of release. (Incidentally, next week!)

Back Cover

The back, I think, is the most interesting. Besides the usual flap copy and author bio, it also gives you some technical info about the book (number of pages, price, ISBN etc.).

And there's a bit of information about the marketing plan behind the book, in this case: local author publicity, author blog tour, etc.

That's pretty much it! You may see ARC giveaways posted (sometimes by the author/publisher and sometimes by reviewers, etc.), so now you know what you'd be getting.

Also, thanks to Christina Mandelski for letting me make an example of her ARC. Her book comes out next week and if you're a fan of Ace of Cakes, romance, and heartfelt family stories, may I suggest you pick it up! (She's actually also running a giveaway here.)


  1. I knew what an ARC was, but I have never saw one--until now of course--thx for sharing it.

  2. Kinda embarrassing, but I had my pub deal for two months before I actually figured out what an ARC was.

    Til then I thought it was something nazis and unshaven archaeologists chased around Egypt :P

  3. Hmmm...now I'm not sure which ARC I like better. Also, I believe the correct terminology is unshaven *dreamy* archaeologists.