Advance copy

Last updated

An advance reading copy, advance review copy, advance reader's edition, advance copy, or a reader's edition (ARC or ARE) is a free copy of a new book given by a publisher to booksellers, librarians, journalists, celebrities, or others, or as a contest or school prize, [1] before the book is printed for mass distribution.



ARCs may lack the final dust jacket, formatting, and binding of the finished product. The text of an advance edition may also differ slightly from the market book (the final version that is distributed for sale), because changes may be made after advance readers make comments or find errors in the manuscript. They sometimes also lack the interior illustrations shown in the final product. When a celebrity reader or journalist gives an endorsement, that may be added to the dust-cover and other promotional items.

ARCs are normally distributed three to six months before the book is officially released to the general public.[ citation needed ]

Book collectors often seek ARCs, which may contain text errors or typos that add value, as coins or stamps with errors do.

On rare occasions (for instance, on the publication of an eagerly awaited or controversial book), a publisher may require the recipients of an ARC to sign a confidentiality of content agreement. However, in most cases the sheer number of ARCs produced and distributed makes that impractical. A typical genre publisher will produce 5,000 ARCs for a new book by a moderately popular writer. [1]

Before it was a common practice to produce and distribute ARCs in this way, publishers used uncorrected, bound galley proofs only for the editing and proof-reading process. Typically, they were bound in plain paper covers without illustrations, printed in black and white, and significantly larger than their market book counterparts. In contrast, ARCs usually are printed in full color, and have bindings, format, and illustrations that are similar to those of the market book. The phrase 'uncorrected proof' appears on the ARC cover.

ARCs are usually paperback, and may have alternate cover art, a placeholder, or resemble the final cover. Most advance copies have a printed-on label on the spine and possibly the front cover with the release year and month of the final book.

Although ARCs are usually free promotional items, some early versions of books, even some labeled by the publisher as ARCs, are sold to the public. An example is Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold. More recently, 'collectible' ARCs have been made to promote certain books, often with multiple variations in cover or format.

Digital advance copies

Publishers who produce galley proofs in electronic form rather than as a physical book do not use them as ARCs. However, with the rise of ebooks and ereaders, it is now common for ARCs (in contrast to galley proofs) to be distributed as eBooks on websites such as NetGalley. Both traditionally published and self-published ARCs may be available for distribution on such sites. Recently, eARC has come into common use for advance copies of eBooks. [2] This usage dates back to at least 2010 [3] and was promoted by Baen Books for their trade eBooks from at least June, 2005 onward. [4]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Book</span> Medium for recording information in the form of writing or images

A book is a medium for recording information in the form of writing or images. Books are typically composed of many pages, bound together and protected by a cover. Modern bound books were preceded by many other written mediums, such as the codex and the scroll. The book publishing process is the series of steps involved in their creation and dissemination.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Baen Books</span> American science fiction and fantasy publisher

Baen Books is an American publishing house for science fiction and fantasy. In science fiction, it emphasizes space opera, hard science fiction, and military science fiction. The company was established in 1983 by science fiction publisher and editor Jim Baen. After his death in 2006, he was succeeded as publisher by long-time executive editor Toni Weisskopf.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Print on demand</span> Printing business process

Print on demand (POD) is a printing technology and business process in which book copies are not printed until the company receives an order, allowing prints in single or small quantities. While other industries established the build-to-order business model, POD could only develop after the beginning of digital printing because it was not economical to print single copies using traditional printing technologies such as letterpress and offset printing.

Proofreading is an iterative process of comparing galley proofs against the original manuscripts or graphic artworks to identify transcription errors in the typesetting process. In the past, proofreaders would place corrections or proofreading marks along the margins. In modern publishing, material is generally provided in electronic form, traditional typesetting is no longer used and thus this kind of transcription no longer occurs. Consequently the part played by pure proofreaders in the process has almost vanished: the role has been absorbed into copy editing to such an extent that their names have become interchangeable.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paperback</span> Book with a paper or paperboard cover

A paperback book is one with a thick paper or paperboard cover, and often held together with glue rather than stitches or staples. In contrast, hardback (hardcover) books are bound with cardboard covered with cloth, leather, paper, or plastic.

This list contains only complete, printed English-language editions of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. It is not for derived or unprinted works such as screenplays, graphic novels, or audio books.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hardcover</span> Book bound with a rigid protective cover

A hardcover, hard cover, or hardback book is one bound with rigid protective covers. It has a flexible, sewn spine which allows the book to lie flat on a surface when opened. Modern hardcovers may have the pages glued onto the spine in much the same way as paperbacks. Following the ISBN sequence numbers, books of this type may be identified by the abbreviation Hbk.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dust jacket</span> Paper wrapper for a book

The dust jacket of a book is the detachable outer cover, usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it to the front and back book covers.

The bibliographical definition of an edition is all copies of a book printed from substantially the same setting of type, including all minor typographical variants.

IndieBound is a marketing movement for independent bookstores launched in 2008 by the American Booksellers Association. With resources targeted for "indie" booksellers, it promotes fiscal localism. IndieBound's curated reading lists include the Indie Next List and the Indie Bestseller List.

<i>Bunkobon</i> Japanese small paperback book

In Japan, bunkobon (文庫本) are small-format paperback books, designed to be affordable and space-saving.

In comics in the United States, a trade paperback is a collection of stories originally published in comic books, reprinted in book format, usually presenting either a complete miniseries, a story arc from a single title, or a series of stories with an arc or common theme.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Book design</span> Styling, formatting and designing the layout of a books contents

Book design is the art of incorporating the content, style, format, design, and sequence of the various components and elements of a book into a coherent unit. In the words of renowned typographer Jan Tschichold (1902–1974), book design, "though largely forgotten today, [relies upon] methods and rules upon which it is impossible to improve, [and which] have been developed over centuries. To produce perfect books, these rules have to be brought back to life and applied". Richard Hendel describes book design as "an arcane subject", and refers to the need for a context to understand what that means.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Book cover</span> Protective covering used to bind together the pages of a book

A book cover is any protective covering used to bind together the pages of a book. Beyond the familiar distinction between hardcovers and paperbacks, there are further alternatives and additions, such as dust jackets, ring-binding, and older forms such as the nineteenth-century "paper-boards" and the traditional types of hand-binding. The term "Bookcover" is often used for a book cover image in library management software. This article is concerned with modern mechanically produced covers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Galley proof</span> First proofs printed from type, usually before breaking into pages

In printing and publishing, proofs are the preliminary versions of publications meant for review by authors, editors, and proofreaders, often with extra-wide margins. Galley proofs may be uncut and unbound, or in some cases electronically transmitted. They are created for proofreading and copyediting purposes, but may also be used for promotional and review purposes.

The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories is the long-running "main" series of the Nancy Drew franchise, which was published under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. There are 175 novels — plus 34 revised stories — that were published between 1930 and 2003 under the banner; Grosset & Dunlap published the first 56, and 34 revised stories, while Simon & Schuster published the series beginning with volume 57.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bookbinding</span> Process of assembling a book

Bookbinding is the process of building a book, usually in codex format, from an ordered stack of paper sheets with one's hands and tools, or in modern publishing, by a series of automated processes. Firstly, one binds the sheets of papers along an edge with a thick needle and strong thread. One can also use loose-leaf rings, binding posts, twin-loop spine coils, plastic spiral coils, and plastic spine combs, but they last for a shorter time. Next, one encloses the bound stack of paper in a cover. Finally, one places an attractive cover onto the boards, and features the publisher's information and artistic decorations.

Self-publishing is the publication of media by its author at their own cost, without the involvement of a publisher. The term usually refers to written media, such as books and magazines, either as an ebook or as a physical copy using print on demand technology. It may also apply to albums, pamphlets, brochures, games, video content, artwork, and zines. Web fiction is also a major medium for self-publishing.

ebook Book-length publication in digital form

An ebook, also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book publication made available in electronic form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on the flat-panel display of computers or other electronic devices. Although sometimes defined as "an electronic version of a printed book", some e-books exist without a printed equivalent. E-books can be read on dedicated e-reader devices, also on any computer device that features a controllable viewing screen, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outline of books</span> Overview of and topical guide to books

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to books:


  1. 1 2 Tim (May 2007). "Archive for May, 2007". The Librarything Blog. Archived from the original on May 19, 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  2. Lili. "The In's and Out's of NetGalley". NetGalley. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  3. "eBooks and Advanced Reading Copies (eARCs)". Bite The Book. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  4. "eARC". Archived from the original on 2005-06-23. Retrieved 10 January 2021.