Thursday, May 28, 2009

Golden Girl ARCs

As I mentioned before, I'm rushing to get Golden Girl published close to Worldcon to take advantage of any interest from my Golden Duck Award win. And that meant getting Advance Reader Copies into the hands of the pre-pub reviewers Like Right Now, even though I don't have the cover art ready yet. Today, most of them went off by FedEx to their destinations. So, just in case you haven't run across an ARC before. Here's what this one looks like. The cover is plain, and the insides have a few placeholders, like the page that says "dedication and acknowledgments" and another that simply says "map". Still, the text is in pretty good shape with only a couple of additional proofreading passes left before publication.

The back cover has a blurb, and since I have no pretty picture to tempt a reviewer to pick up my book in front of the 20,000 other books on the "to read" list, I made sure I mentioned my awards first thing, even before the short description of the story.

ARCs are a necessary evil. They aren't "pretty" yet. They cost more to produce than the final published version, and I have to ship them FedEx to some places for speed and to prove something to them. (Don't ask me what.) In addition, the odds against getting a review from these places is so stacked against a small publisher that I don't expect to get anything out of the exercise. However, lightning might strike, so I do it.

In fact, if I had a bigger list of pre-pub reviewers who would look at my work, I'd add them to the list. Third-party recommendations are the only way I'll ever grow my audience.

3 comments:

Chris Meadows said...

For what it's worth, I'm a firm believer in e-ARCs. Less trees die, reviewers get the stuff faster. :)

Chris Meadows said...

Grrr, I mean fewer trees. My Dad would kill me if he saw that. :P

Henry Melton said...

I'd love to send e-ARCs. But it would be a fruitless exercise and make it even less likely for Publishers Weekly, Booklist and the other biggies to look in my direction. Just like submitting works to publishers, you do it their way, the way spelled out on their submission or review page, or don't bother.