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Today’s writer topic comes from QSFer Maryann Kafka:

Does the author make the decision as to whether or not they want their book released as an ARC? Who makes the decision on the release date?

Scott adds: How perfect should an ARC be? And do ARC’s “belong” to the readers who receive them?

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2 thoughts on “FOR WRITERS & READERS: Authors and ARC’s”

  1. I guess I should wet my paddle. My novel Matryoschka is one of those looking for active readers who post reviews in Amazon, B&N, iBooks, or in blogs. (details below) The method of the advance reading copy, ARC, paperbound has been around for decades. ARCs are sent to opinion leaders, library presidents, school principals, media reviewers, etc. If you check used book stores closely enough, you will find older paperbacks, even trade paperbacks with something on the cover like “For Review Only, Not for sale.” Obviously, the reviewer passed it on to the book store.

    As there is only one physical copy, this violation of the promise personal use only had minimal impact on the book’s revenue stream.

    With the advent of eBooks, the question of ownership is more critical. One eBook, passed around, can kill future sales. I know of one Kindle book sold and tagged as ‘may share’ going through an entire book club, all twelve of them, with only the first sale credited to the book. That author or publisher made a Big mistake.

    Let’s keep ARCs viable, and Never pass them on.

    The second question is also interesting. I’ve discovered in my current writing workshop that I’m on the more tolerant than most of what ‘small errors’ can happen in a pre-release. My ARC out right now is the typeset galleyproof, meaning that it’s being combed in paralel by proofreaders for all those aggravating ‘small errors.’ Given a couple of comments, I’m wondering if I should have added two months to my release schedule to have the proofreading finished and typeset before sending out the ARCs. I’m in the final second pass of proofreaders, so any new reviewers will see it without the errors. mailto: terry (dot) gene (@) syzygy (dot) org

  2. As a reviewer, so long as the author lets the reviewer know that the ARC they are reading is not the finished copy and that it is going through another round of editing before being released then I don’t have a problem leaving out of my review how bad the editing was. However, if it isn’t stated then I can only hope that it will be going through another round and depending on how many errors I may or may not mention it in my review. So it all just depends on whether you are will to have reviews out there that state that the book needs to be edited. We only know what info we are given and if we are going through a review group then half of the time we don’t even get to read the blurb of the book before agreeing to read the book let alone if it is the final copy.


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