Posted on January 31st, 2014 in process, Uncategorized
Call them what you like: Bound Proofs, Galleys, Advance Reader Copies (ARCs), Advance Reader Editions (AREs), Advance Reader Special Editions (ARSEs), they are a staple of the publishing world. Essentially these are not-quite-final versions of the book sent out well before publication, to reviewers that they may have time to review, to other authors that they may have time to endorse, to reps and booksellers that they may become enthused about the project in time for release, and occasionally to lucky members of the public that give the author thousands of pounds. Ha ha, that last one’s a joke. Maybe.
Sometimes ARCs are unedited typescript bound in brown paper. Sometimes they’re almost indistinguishable from the finished product. These days, with short run printing getting ever more accessible, you sometimes get ARCs that are more lavish and lovely than the finished product. Certainly they’re a key marketing tool in building awareness and buzz around a book, and here are the two ARCs for Half a King, US (left) and UK (right):
MMMMM. Interestingly different approaches. Del Rey’s US Arc looks very much like the finished book might, without the effects on the cover. For the UK one HarperCollins have gone for something that will look nothing like the finished book, just aims to get a simple punchy message across to the trade, and perhaps particularly to booksellers and others who might not normally pick up a fantasy book. Nice foil, as well. The UK one’s also a slightly unusual size – same width as a standard trade paperback but a little shorter, a little squarer – which apparently they’re going to follow through with on the actual hardcover. The UK proof – partly through setting, partly through paper stock – is nearly twice as thick as the US one. The final UK hardcover won’t look anything like either of these, incidentally. Back cover…
US gets copy and some info about the release for the trade, UK has kept things sparer by printing a lot of the other stuff on the inside cover. These are in the hands of readers EVEN NOW, so I being to get nervous in anticipation of reactions. We shall see…
The actual book, in case you didn’t know, is coming out in July.