An advanced reader copy (ARC) is essentially a type of pre-published version of a book that is almost ready to be published, but is not quite at the release date.
For this reason, an advanced reader copy is almost always circulated to journalists, book bloggers and other professionals within the book industry.
By doing this, it means that any reviews that are expected to be made of the new book can coincide perfectly with the rollout of the new book’s debut.
Still, if you’re interested in learning more about the ins and outs of the advanced reader copy process, then rest assured that you have come to the right article!
In this guide, we are going to be talking you through everything you need to know about the ARC (advanced reader copy) process.
So, regardless of whether you’ve got a book that you want to write or you simply have an interest in becoming a book reviewer and would like to know more – this guide will show you exactly how to get started with ARC.
You know what to do – just read on!
What is an Advanced Reader Copy?
Before we get any further, we first want to take a moment to provide you with a little more context on what an advanced reader copy is.
As we have already mentioned above, an ARC (advanced reader copy) is essentially a “pre-released” version of a new book that is fast approaching its release date.
The main reason for an advanced reader copy to be sent out is to ensure that any and all reviews for the new book will be published around the same time of the book’s release date/launch week.
With all that being said, the main type of people that are typically sent an advanced reader copy is someone who is planning on making an official review of said book, which means that professional reviewers, book bloggers and other types of editorial journalists are often sent one.
To be more specific, in the writing world, the term “advanced reader copy” is typically used to refer to a person who has been tasked with the responsibility of reviewing a book for a website, newspaper, magazine or another type of publication.
When an advanced reader copy is sent out to be read, it is typically only ever a paperback edition that isn’t totally complete. Usually, the ARC sent out will not contain a cover design, however, the finished content will almost certainly be completed.
Fun fact: Despite the fact that advanced reader copy is usually shortened to ARC, you might also be interested to discover that it is also sometimes simply referred to as a galley!
How do Advanced Reader Copies Work?
So, now that you know what advanced reader copies are…how do they work, exactly? Well, for starters, it is worth noting that due to the fact that advanced reader copies are known as official “pre-production” copies, it means that they do not contain the details and design of the final copies.
Due to this, it means that the advanced reader copies are a lot cheaper to produce than the final copies will be.
This offers plenty of benefits to the author of the new book that is planning to be published, as given the fact that they are a lot cheaper to produce than the final books, it means that there is a much higher chance that the publisher is going to be willing to pay for them to be reduced in hopes of a glowing review from a publication, book blogger or someone similar.
For the majority of publishing houses and publishers, it is considered that the more times that an upcoming book is reviewed, the higher the chance that it is going to be commercially successful.
In short, the more reviews that an upcoming book gets, the more sales the book is going to receive once it hits the shelves!
That being said, when a publishing house agrees to create a collection of advanced reader copies to be sent out, the ARCs that are sent out will typically depend on the pre-existing relationships the publishing house/publishing agent already shares with bloggers, reviewers and those within a similar role.
That being said, if you are reading this and you’re interested in receiving ARCs in the future, ensuring that you regularly write consistent, fair reviews might get you placed on the list.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Advanced Reader Copies?
Regardless of whether you are a writer looking to send out some of your own ARCs or you’d like to become a blogger or receiver and receive them – there are a few limitations of advanced reader copies that you should make sure you are aware of.
Generally speaking, it is important to note that ARCs are almost never the “finished” version of the book that is going to be published.
Due to this reason, it means that there is a much higher chance that you may find that the book contains spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and will usually not contain the official design cover.
Along with this, if you are someone who plans on receiving ARCs, you should also take into account that you might not always be able to pick and choose which advanced reader copies you would like to receive, which might mean that you have to read books that you do not enjoy in order to ensure that you are able to get a book review out at the intended time.
Just to recap everything that we have talked about above, an advanced reader copy is essentially a pre-published version of a book that is nearing its release date.
Advanced readers’ copies are sent out to reviewers, book bloggers and journalists in hopes of a review around the same time that the completed book is released to increase sales and public interest.
Thank you for reading, we hope that this guide has been informative!