Christmas Comes Early: My ARCs Arrived!

When you start to explore the crazy world of book publishing, it’s like walking into a room where everyone is speaking Pig Latin: you don’t understand every word, especially not at first. There’s all sorts of terminology to onfuse-cay ou-yay.

Three years ago, I wouldn’t have known what an ARC was, unless you meant the kind Noah started building when God whispered “rain.”

But I just got the ARCs of my book, and so that you’ll understand and celebrate with me, rather than feel confused, I’ll tell you what they are. ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy. These are copies of a book put out months before the publication date of the novel, and sent to reviewers, booksellers, librarians… and authors.

Look! I got a box of these beauties, and they’re mine ALL MINE!

And NO, the final cover art will not be pink. Or anything like this at all.

Er… No, not really.

ARCS are a marketing tool, NOT copies of the book, exactly. They still have that last batch of typos and errors that didn’t get picked up in early rounds of edits (and, yes, it kills me to know that on page 183 or whatever, people will  see that horrible logic flaw. I took it out after these were printed!)

My NAME is on the SPINE! With candy. How apropos.

Since ARCs are not copies of the final book, they are not for sale! You cannot buy them, and if you see them for sale online, someone is doing a Very Bad Thing called piracy. Don’t support them, please. Writers need to eat, and that only happens when actual money changes hands.

Speaking of money, ARCs are very expensive to produce! They can cost upwards of $16 apiece to print, since they’re run in small batches. (And that’s in softcover! My book will come out in hardcover and cost the reader about the same. Weird.) So if you get one, be happy! Read it, review it if you like, and maybe pass it on (if you really liked it, to a librarian who might buy a copy for her collection. Just don’t ever sell it. See piracy, above.)

So, my ARCs are now out in the world, going to all the fancy schmancy people who might possibly write lovely (or not-so-lovely) things about my book. It’s more than slightly scary. But it’s wonderful, too.

It has a back cover, too! With words on it! That I wrote!

It’s a total Pinocchio moment for me — I’m a Real Author now! And I won’t lie, that thought makes me feel all Christmas-y inside.

Merry Christmas, Friends! And I hope Santa brings you exactly what your heart desires.

PS – Very soon I will be able to share the Real Cover Art. It will SO be worth the wait. 🙂



Posted in Children's Fiction on 12/19/2011 07:11 pm


  1. Those ARCs look delicious. Congrats!


  2. Congratulations! They looks sweet – pun intended 🙂
    I like the cover and it’s not even the real one. Can’t wait to see it.


  3. What a great early Christmas present!


  4. I think those are gorgeous! I can’t wait to see the “real” cover art! And the candy on the spine? Delish.


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