View Full Version : What does an ARC usually look like?

Christine N.
08-20-2005, 03:41 PM
This is purely a "hey, I'm curious" question for those that have seen them? What do most ARC's look like? Do they have cover art, or are they just bound galleys?
Does it vary from publisher to publisher?

08-20-2005, 06:11 PM
The ones I've had as a reviewer on occasion have basically just been a bound stack of paper, no fancy cover art or anything.

08-20-2005, 07:41 PM
It depends on the publishers. A lot of ARC don't have cover art. Instead, they have a heavy stock cover with all the pertinent information (title, author, release date, ISBN, publisher, etc.)

Mine, however, does look like the real thing, cover art and all, with "Advance Review Copy" printed on the cover.

Christine N.
08-20-2005, 07:55 PM
Thanks, that's what I thought. Three months til release, and we're putting together the bound galleys to send to "big" reviewers that need that kind of time. the cover art won't be ready for a couple of weeks.

It's coming down to the wire now... my book is actually now listed on the LBF page as "Coming Soon" .

It's not quite ready for pre-order yet, but just to actually SEE the title and my name on the site is a huge thing for me :) .

I know, I'm easily excited.

08-20-2005, 10:53 PM
I don't guarantee that this terminology is universally consistent in the industry, but usage as I'm familiar with it says that if it's a perfect-bound stack of photocopied sheets of the first-pass typesetting, with a plain-paper cover, it's a bound galley.

An ARC, advance reading copy, is just like a bound galley, except it's bound in some version of the forthcoming book's color cover, probably laminated.

ARCs don't always look good. If they've used an early comp of the cover -- that is, a color mockup of what the finished book should look like -- it can be downright ugly. Some are nice, though.

Note: the first- and second-pass typeset pages are called galleys. Thus, a bound set of the first-pass pages, no matter what gets used as its cover, is a bound galley. Likewise, these advance editions can all be described as advance reading copies. It's purely a matter of nomenclature to refer to the ones with plain-paper covers as bound galleys, and the ones with laminated four-color covers as ARCs.

Neither bound galleys nor ARCs should have prices on their covers, unless the price is buried in the copy.

In the system I'm most familiar with, the title page of the forthcoming book gets used as the cover of the bound galley, and the catalog copy gets used as its back cover. This is definitely not universal, though it is fairly common.

08-20-2005, 10:55 PM
Hold it. Are these home-brewed bound galleys? If so, what are you using for your cover copy? Do you have proper frontmatter? Are you writing a letter to accompany them?

Christine N.
08-20-2005, 11:39 PM
We've decided to use a plain, generic cover of the last edit we did, formatted and bound but not "done". Since the cover art's not done yet, and won't be for several weeks and we can't run "real" copies until it is.

The review copy will have a disclaimer stating that it is for review purposes only, and that it doesn't include corrections, art, etc...

Basically it's just going to be the words, on the pages, bound.

08-21-2005, 05:26 PM
During the years when I worked as a freelance reviewer for B&N, I received hundreds of ARCs. Most were a cheaply-bound version of the final book (often made before final edits, so there were typos aplenty in some cases) with a basic heavy paper cover with print info regarding the title, author, etc. The back cover usually contained whatever blurb the final book was to have. A few books came spiral bound on 8 1/2x11 paper, with each page inside formatted to final book size. Rarely I would get an ARC with a mock-up of the cover art, usually done in two or maybe three colors and very basic. The notable exceptions were the ARCs for children's books, which often came with very elaborate, full-color cover art.