Pub Rants

Tagged ARCs

Save Money! Save Trees! No ARCs!

STATUS: Next Monday is a holiday in publishing! Hooray, another quiet day in the office to get caught up.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? HOT N COLD by Katy Perry

This is the latest rally cry in publishing. One of my authors just found out today that her publisher is not going to be doing ARCs for her book. But it’s not just for her title but for all the mass market titles at this house.

Gone. They’ve decided that it’s too costly to continue with the current economic conditions.

For those of you who don’t know, ARC stands for Advanced Reading Copy. This is the main tool in terms of getting reviews and influential blog posts about the upcoming release. Savvy authors can use those ARCs in a variety of ways such as making them available for special promos or having them handy at events or conferences where booksellers attend. And this is just the tip of the ice berg of uses for the ARC.

At the agency, we often use ARCs to shop film or foreign rights (although mainly we prefer a clean, electronic copy—costs of international shipping and all that.

But back to my Author. Her publisher isn’t even offering an electronic ARC. Just a bound manuscript but only on request. Yeah, I said the same thing. This author is feeling really supported….

Now I do understand that the printing of ARCs is expensive and often these copies end up on sale at eBay for pennies (with neither the publisher nor the author seeing any of those royalties) but egad.

As I mentioned above, the publisher did say that they were willing to send out bound manuscripts instead but talk about unwieldy. That’s basically asking a person to lug around 300+ regular sized pages. Any reviewer will be delighted to haul that around on the subway or to the soccer game or wherever they might be trying to squeeze in reading. Not.

I highlight this because now it’s becoming even more important to find alternate ways to connect to your audience before publication.

I have more thoughts on this but it’s getting late so I’m out.