Hi everyone, and thank you for tuning in to another episode of the We Make Books Podcast - A podcast about writing, publishing, and everything in between!

This week we’re talking about ARCs or Advance Review Copies! What are they?  Why do we print them?  Who gets them?  Why do they smell better than your average book??  Rekka and Kaelyn discuss all of those things, tell a few funny stories, and spend more than a little time getting side tracked talking about ARCs they’ve received. 

We Make Books is hosted by Rekka Jay and Kaelyn Considine; Rekka is a published author and Kaelyn is an editor and together they are going to take you through what goes into getting a book out of your head, on to paper, in to the hands of a publisher, and finally on to book store shelves.

We Make Books is a podcast for writer and publishers, by writers and publishers and we want to hear from our listeners! Hit us up on our social media, linked below, and send us your questions, comments, concerns, and any particularly good pie recipes you may have – apple is especially appreciated!

We hope you enjoy We Make Books!


Twitter: @WMBCast  |  @KindofKaelyn  |  @BittyBittyZap

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Rekka:00:00   Welcome back to another episode of the we make books podcast. I'm record Jay and I write science fiction and fantasy as RJ Theodore

Kaelyn:           00:07   And I'm Kaelyn Considine and I am the acquisition editor for Parvus Press. This is one of my favorite things that happened in the process of publishing a book. And we are of course talking about advanced review copies or ARCs.

Rekka:00:19   Because you get to see it and it's a thing and it's real and they haven't been lying to you this whole time and they're really going to publish it.

Kaelyn:           00:24   I don't know what it is. I love getting the ARCs it's -

Rekka:00:27   Do they smell different?

Kaelyn:           00:28   They yes, they smell, this is a trade secret: they smell different than a regular book.

Rekka:00:33   They do smell different,

Kaelyn:           00:34   Yeah.

Rekka:00:35   I'm going to dive in here.

Kaelyn:           00:36   No Rekka's right in to the spine.

Rekka:00:39   [laughter]

Kaelyn:           00:39   Um, so yeah, we're just talking today a little bit about what ARCs are -

Rekka:00:43   What it is because as you even mentioned, and I think one of our very intro episodes -

Kaelyn:           00:46   It was the intro episode

Rekka:00:48   You didn't even know what ARC meant so -

Kaelyn:           00:49   That was the example I gave about don't be afraid to ask stupid questions because I knew what an advanced review copy was and I had just never heard it abbreviated to ARC and then I was like, oh, it's that thing I love.

Rekka:01:00   Yeah. It's my favorite thing. I know what it is, I just didn't know you called it that.

Kaelyn:           01:03   Yeah. You know, we talked a little bit today about what an ARC is, what its function is -

Rekka:01:06   Who gets them.

Kaelyn:           01:07   Who gets them.

Rekka:01:08   And where they go.

Kaelyn:           01:09   Where they go.

Rekka:01:09   And what their purposes.

Kaelyn:           01:11   Exactly. Yeah. So, um, you know, a little interesting bit about the history of them, sort of where they come from and why they are what they are.

Rekka:01:20   Mmmhmm.

Kaelyn:           01:20   Um, so I think it was a great episode.

Rekka:01:22   Yeah

Kaelyn:           01:22   I enjoyed doing it.

Rekka:01:23   Yes. Well, I always like paying attention to ARCs and, and we get to squeal a little bit about ARCs that are out there in the world. Right this moment as we recorded.

Kaelyn:           01:30   Yeah we definitely devolved into -

Rekka:01:33   A little bit of squealing.

Kaelyn:           01:33   A little bit of squealing. So apologies for that.

Rekka:01:36   No apologies.

Kaelyn:           01:37   Okay. Nevermind. We're not sorry.

Rekka:01:38   Love us as we are -

Kaelyn:           01:40   Or not at all. Thanks everyone for listening again and uh, we hope you enjoy the episode.

Rekka:01:47   Yeah.

Music:02:02   [inaudible]

Kaelyn:           02:03   So today what we're talking about our advanced reader copies or ARCs

Rekka:02:09   Or advanced review copies, what is the proper nomenclature?

Kaelyn:           02:12   Well, that depends who you're sending it to. Okay. Um, I always call them advanced reader copies because that means readers and reviewers.

Rekka:02:19   Okay.

Kaelyn:           02:19   So, um, but yes, we're talking about advanced copies of your book, which are copies that your publisher will send out to people going like, Hey, we have this book coming out and it's awesome. You should read it. Give us a review or a blurb. And they're awesome. They're, actually ARC's a lot of times are collectors items.

Rekka:02:38   Oh dear.

Kaelyn:           02:38   Did you know that?

Rekka:02:40   I don't want to see them on Ebay though.

Kaelyn:           02:42   Not well, I mean, but that's actually, that's a thing. There are a lot of people that collect um, ARCs and uh, because frequently they're uh, you know, labeled as, you know, uncorrected advanced proof.

Rekka:02:53   Advanced, mmmhmm.

Kaelyn:           02:54   Um,

Rekka:02:54   Not for resale.

Kaelyn:           02:56   Not for resale. That does not always stop them from popping up.

Rekka:02:59   Right.

Kaelyn:           02:59   But like, you know, especially if the book really takes off and you have one of the early copies of it, that's a pretty cool thing to have, I think.

Rekka:03:07   Yeah.

Kaelyn:           03:07   I want to kind of go through some definitions real quick. Mostly between a galley and an ARC. I think galley has really fallen out of use as of late, but you might still hear people throw this term around.

Rekka:03:21   Actually I heard it at the Nebulas quite a lot of different contexts.

Kaelyn:           03:25   Yes and that was also a group of writing professionals and people who have been doing this for a while and I'm not going like, oh, they're old.

Rekka:03:32   [laughs] Eh.

Kaelyn:           03:32   But like people that are from, we're writing in an time that galleys were definitely still a thing so. A Galley actually comes from, uh, the middle well, the renaissance era when, uh, typesetting became a thing and you had to put all of the -

Rekka:03:50   Letters,

Kaelyn:           03:51   Everything in there, print it, and then the pages went into a galley, which was the metal tray that all they all got stacked up in before being bound.

Rekka:04:00   Yes.

Kaelyn:           04:00   So a galley for a long time was actually just the printed manuscript for corrections. So then you had an uncorrected proof that's, you know, when someone goes through and marks everything up and when oh, my God, we used to have to do this by hand, everyone.

Rekka:04:17   Yes.

Kaelyn:           04:17   Um, then you have a final proof, which is okay, we're good. The book is in the shape, it's in the, uh, grammar and the punctuation is, uh, mostly correct and in our day and age now that becomes an advanced reader copy. And the main difference between a galleon advanced reader copy now is a galley, is basically a bound manuscript. Um, it probably does not have cover art. It's probably just in a book with big letters on it saying what it is and who it was by. An ARC. On the other hand is going to have cover art. Um, it's going to have cover copy on it. It will say uncorrected advanced proof. Um, or some version of that. It's probably, it might just have a big red band across the top. It might have like a big sticker in the middle of it,

Rekka:05:06   Mmmhmm.

Kaelyn:           05:06   But it is going to be very clear that this is an ARC. This is not the actual book.

Rekka:05:11   Right.

Kaelyn:           05:11   So -

Rekka:05:12   What is the reason that you would send out a thing that is not the actual book?

Kaelyn:           05:16   [lauhgs] That is an excellent question, Rekka. This is actually gets to the heart of a bigger thing, which is why does it take so long to publish a book?

Rekka:05:25   What the hell anyway?

Kaelyn:           05:26   Well, because your ARCs are going out about six months before the book is released because what your publisher is going to be trying to do is get buzz around it. Get people to say like, Oh yeah, I'll write a review on it. Get a blurb that they can stick on the back cover for when the final release is well released.

Rekka:05:43   Mmmhmm.

Kaelyn:           05:43   Um, you want people to read this book and the people reading it know, this isn't the final.

Rekka:05:50   Okay.

Kaelyn:           05:50   They're not getting this and going, oh my God, this ugh - didn't put the commas in the right place.

Rekka:05:55   Commas aren't voice. What the hell?

Kaelyn:           05:57   Yeah, no, that should be taken care of by the. [laughs] The publishers are sending it to them in hopes of them getting it and going, wow, this is really great, I'm going to write a review on it. There is this book and it's awesome and I loved it and here's all the great stuff I loved about it and you should go buy it.

Rekka:06:12   Mmmhmm.

Kaelyn:           06:12   We're all trying to generate sales here. We're all trying to make money.

Rekka:06:16   So this is a marketing tool, you would say?

Kaelyn:           06:18   Yes, I would definitely call it a marketing tool. It is to generate interest in the book. Your ARC is a very precious, very special thing that I think a lot of people underestimate the importance of, you know, we came back from the Nebulas a bit ago and Rekka actually got the unique chance to hand out some of her own ARCs.

Rekka:06:40   Yes. And so I got very nervous because, um, Kaelyn said to me as she opened the box, don't just give these to anybody.

Kaelyn:           06:51   Yes.

Rekka:06:52   So apparently there's an audience for ARC that is more worthy than another.

Kaelyn:           06:57   It's not that there is an audience that is more worthy. It's that there is an audience that is going to do more for you and -

Rekka:07:05   Right.

Kaelyn:           07:05   I know, you know, I'm going to come in and be the coldhearted publisher here, but, and something I keep saying, at the end of the day, we're all here to sell the book. So if you, you know, in this case only have a limited number of these that were shipped to the conference.

Rekka:07:19   Right.

Kaelyn:           07:21   You have shipped -

Rekka:07:22   Hand delivered.

Kaelyn:           07:22   Hand delivered, hand delivered to the conference. You have to, you can't just hand them out to your friends at that point. Your ARCs are to get people to pay attention to your book. So you want to get them into the hands of people that are going to take the time, spend the time with these, and hopefully say something nice about them. They're going to put some thought into it. They're not just going to, you know, put it in a pile and go like, oh, I guess I'll read that eventually.

Rekka:07:48   Right. And let's just be straightforward. This is a short run of your book. So they are also expensive.

Kaelyn:           07:53   They are expensive. Yeah. They're, this is not, you know, obviously if you're at one of the bigger publishing houses, this is, you know, whatever, you just make however many, how many will be printed, depends on the book. I don't have an answer to that. It can be a hundred to 500. It could be, you know, any number of them. But also ARCs are sent out digitally now -

Rekka:08:14   Yes.

Kaelyn:           08:14   -as well.

Rekka:08:15   Some people prefer them digitally

Kaelyn:           08:16   Some people prefer them digitally.

Rekka:08:17   Which is a shame because if they have the final cover art on them, that sort of loses a little bit of the glamour.

Kaelyn:           08:23   Yeah.

Rekka:08:23   Because there are people who take a photo of the books that arrive in the mail that day.

Kaelyn:           08:28   I always get so excited whenever I see one of our books and like someone's stack and I'm like,

Rekka:08:32   It's always a stack. So make sure your spine is pretty too.

Kaelyn:           08:34   Yeah. Um, and that's actually the thing. People get a lot of these.

Rekka:08:38   Yeah.

Kaelyn:           08:38   Yeah and it's a lot of work to read and review those kinds of things. So like most people especially, you know, if you're just like, you have a blog that gets attention or you just, you know, run a website where you do this kind of stuff, sending someone an ARC is not a guarantee that they're going to review it.

Rekka:08:52   Right.

Kaelyn:           08:52   There's actually a very good chance that they won't -

Rekka:08:54   Just because of the quantity of ARCs they receive.

Kaelyn:           08:57   I mean, you do it anyway because it's an industry norm. Like, I mean, I think they're fun. I really like them. One of my favorite things is sending out all the Parvus Arcs. I love um, you know, like you get the giant box of them and like it's really cool because I'm usually the first person to see the physical copy of this book.

Rekka:09:14   Yeah, mmmhmm.

Kaelyn:           09:14   And it's like, it's so pretty, it's everything I imagined it would be. Um, so that's, that's a treat with me because at Parvus, I'm the one who send out the ARCs just cause I like doing it.

Rekka:09:28   Yup, yup. and you have a big table that you have access to.

Kaelyn:           09:30   I have a big table that I spread out on and you know, put everything in. And um, one of the things I do, because this is the thing is everyone gets bombarded with these is I always try to do something a little special to the books. I tried to wrap them in a way that's thematic to the book. So, um, cause I really, I don't know what it is. I don't know why I just really like dealing with and sending out the ARCs cause they're special.

Rekka:09:54   Yeah. They're like, these are the, the new baby announcements. These are the -

Kaelyn:           09:59   Yeah it is, it is just the new little baby that has come into the, come into the world. It's like, wow, this really exists now.

Rekka:10:05   It's really happening.

Kaelyn:           10:06   Yeah.

Rekka:10:07   Yeah. So that's as an as an author.

Kaelyn:           10:09   Yeah.

Rekka:10:10   That's the exciting part for me. It's like, oh my gosh, look, it really exists. As you're really going through with this, like, yeah, we're doing this, we're doing this. And my Gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, and here's my cover and here's what it looks like printed. And there's just something so lovely about seeing the cover, not as a .jpeg.

Kaelyn:           10:26   And holding it, and just being like, oh my God, like it's a book

Rekka:10:29   It's a real thing.

Kaelyn:           10:30   Like for real now,

Rekka:10:31   Like I said, all the words in order and everything -

Kaelyn:           10:32   And I wrote those words!

Rekka:10:34   Yes and oh my gosh, now I have to decide who gets to read those words and oh my gosh, who's was just going to help me because I'm scared.

Kaelyn:           10:41   So you know what actually we brought up a good thing is that, did you notice who gets the ARCs here?

Rekka:10:47   Sure.

Kaelyn:           10:47   It's not sure the author, right? It's the publisher.

Rekka:10:50   I happened to be in the building where they arrived.

Kaelyn:           10:53   Rekka just happened to be there because we were at this conference.

Rekka:10:55   Mmmhmm.

Kaelyn:           10:57   Um, but we get the ARCs.

Rekka:11:00   Right.

Kaelyn:           11:00   Not the author because we're the ones who decide who they go to.

Rekka:11:06   Yeah.

Kaelyn:           11:07   Now, I mean authors definitely, you know, like if you have someone that's like, Hey, talk to this person, and they said they'd be happy to send a review, absolutely we're going to send them a -

Rekka:11:14   Right.

Kaelyn:           11:15   - a copy of that. Um, but authors, you guys don't get to decide who the ARCs get sent to because the publishers are the ones with the relationships -

Rekka:11:25   The familiarity with the process.

Kaelyn:           11:26   Exactly. Yeah. And also, you know, the like I sent handwritten notes with a lot of our ARCs where it's like, hey, you know, you really liked this other thing we sent to you. Maybe you've enjoyed this.

Rekka:11:36   Right.

Kaelyn:           11:38   Again, authors, you guys don't have as much control over this process as you think you do.

Rekka:11:43   Okay, but now having said that, what if somebody is self publishing and decides they want to send physical or even digital arts, how would they decide who should receive them?

Kaelyn:           11:53   Well, there's a few ways to do that. And um, it is one of those kind of like trade things of how I get my list of physical addresses to

Rekka:12:02   Right.

Kaelyn:           12:02   send this to. And that is one of the biggest parts of this, you know, but there are people that do review blogs and different stuff that will just say like, Hey, if you want to send me a review copy, this is where you send it to.

Rekka:12:14   Yup.

Kaelyn:           12:14   Um, so finding that on your own is just a matter of digging. There's really no good way to do it. I'm sure there's like websites and resources and stuff, but you know, take everything with a grain of salt,

Rekka:12:25   Right. Be careful about submitting your advanced copy to a site that you're not that familiar with as a self publisher. You might find yourself on a pirated site as a result of going through these. Instafreebie was a thing for a while that people were using for advanced review copies. And I think that backfired. It might've even, I think they've changed the way instareview works these days.

Kaelyn:           12:47   I think so. I will say Netgalley is an excellent resource.

Rekka:12:51   Netgalley is pricey, but it's supposedly going to get you the higher quality reviews that you're going to be hoping for. Um, Reedsy now has a book discovery, um, process for the same sort of thing, but you only get one review through that. Um, but it's supposedly a higher quality review and if it's a good review then they feature it. So in theory you're getting exposed to more. Um, but you know, look at the audiences of the people that you're sending it to. Look at the, the quality of their reviews, look at the types of things they tend to say. If you are looking to collect, um, quotes that you can put on your cover, you need them not to be reviews that don't get around to the point until the end of the paragraph and don't really put it in a short pithy phrase that you can lift.

Kaelyn:           13:36   Yeah. Anything you pull for like a blurb is going to be a sentence.

Rekka:13:40   A tweet length.

Kaelyn:           13:41   Yeah, a tweet like as a good is a good marker for them. Aside from sending out the actual physical books. Um, we use Netgalley and a couple other sites. Um, and what that allows us to do is give access to the book to people that maybe aren't on our list -

Rekka:13:57   But they're seeking.

Kaelyn:           13:57   But they're seeking.

Rekka:13:59   Yeah.

Kaelyn:           14:00   And they're interested in reading this kind of stuff. So that's, that's a great tool too. But we do still send out the physical books. It's just something that's never going to go away. So that's, you know, that's who is getting, get the ARCs now. What are they going to do with them? Well, there's a very good chance they're going to sit in a stack of books that they will get to eventually.

Rekka:14:18   Eventually. Maybe after release date.

Kaelyn:           14:20   People that are doing these get, I mean dozens every month and even if you did nothing else but sit there and read them, I don't think you'd finish -

Rekka:14:30   Right.

Kaelyn:           14:31   - all of these. A lot of times having a personal relationship will help with that. Um, you know, publishers will kind of, you know, talk to someone beforehand or maybe someone through the author that they know to say like, oh, hey, would you be willing to, to give this a read and give us a review? We'd like to use you for a blurb. So I don't want to paint the picture of spamming people -

Rekka:14:52   Right.

Kaelyn:           14:52   With this in the hopes that one of them pick it up. But you do do some of that because you know, sometimes a book just catches someone's eye, but review copies are also sent up digitally and that one definitely can be more of a like, hey, everyone read this.

Rekka:15:06   Yeah.

Kaelyn:           15:06   So what are they going to do with that? Let's say they picked it up, they're going to read it. And depending on if they, you know, had talked to the publisher beforehand about like, Hey, would you do this, you know, this specific kind of review or you know, interview about it. Some people will just pick it up and write a review on it and say like, you know, I really liked this. This part was lacking. Those are going to be the honest reviews you get.

Rekka:15:30   Yeah.

Kaelyn:           15:30   And those are the ones that are a little scary.

Rekka:15:31   Yes.

Kaelyn:           15:32   Usually if it's going through the publisher and the person will have already kind of had an understanding of what the book is going to be and agree to do it so that they don't have to then be put in the awkward position of writing. I wasn't super into this.

Rekka:15:45   Yeah. Sometimes you're going to get people that you don't have that specific agreement with ahead of time that you know, find it through Netgalley and they might -

Kaelyn:           15:55   And that's a risk.

Rekka:15:56   And that's a risk. Um, Netgalley does allow you to require to approve requests for the ARCs and you could take a look at their profile and say like, you only read erotica. I do not want you to read my space opera.

Kaelyn:           16:08   Yeah.

Rekka:16:08   You know, um, cause that's a risk that happened to me once with, um, a site that I was using to host my ebooks. I did not realize had added the ebooks to a public list and somebody who was very much into Christian books and Erotica.

Kaelyn:           16:24   Oh, interesting.

Rekka:16:25   Read the book and left me a review on Amazon that said, it's slow to start, but it gets there and I'm like, it doesn't get where you thought it was going, but all right.

Kaelyn:           16:35   [laughs]

Rekka:16:35   And it was a three star review and then I'm stuck with it. You know, that's just a funny anecdote aside, but it is, um, if you can, you know, vet the, the service that you're using to gather advanced reviewers, um, and then have one specifically that either makes you or your listing private so that you have, you are sending out the link and that's the only way to get it. Or you send it to specific email addresses and it has to be tied to those email addresses or um, something like Netgalley where you at least have to take a look at the person's profile and say, yeah, I don't really, you have no history of actually publishing reviews once you've read it, so I'm not interested in you.

Kaelyn:           17:11   There are ways to control this and um, you know, there's ways you can make it so that people aren't just going to read a free book and there's was around it. And um, you know, there's, you have some degree of control over this. Um, now also though, exercising that degree of control can reduce the amount of reviews and exposure your book gets.

Rekka:17:53   So it's a trade off.

Kaelyn:           17:54   Yeah. Um, so that's kind of what's going to happen when the ARCs go out into the world.

Rekka:18:03   So when you are collecting blurbs from industry professionals or industry readers or you are collecting reviews from other ARC readers, what's the goal? Like when you, when you launched the book, what are you hoping to have?

Kaelyn:           18:17   By the end of it, what I'm hoping to have is a solid set of reviews, a solid set of blurbs. And people saying they liked the book.

Rekka:18:26   Okay.

Kaelyn:           18:26   There isn't a, you must have this many. It depends on the scale of the launch, you know, if it's like, you know, Chuck Wendigs "Wanderers" is coming out soon and like that's already got -

Rekka:18:40   There's stuff everywhere for that.

Kaelyn:           18:41   There's stuff everywhere for it, it's got dozens of reviews. And if you're working with like a more independent publisher like Parvus yes, we will absolutely target certain things and we will still come in good and strong, but it's not going to be, you know, the scale and scope that something from like Simon and Schuster -

Rekka:18:57   Right.

Kaelyn:           18:58   Is going to generate. Um, but even, you know, certain things from it depends on how much money they want to put into the marketing.

Rekka:19:05   Right.

Kaelyn:           19:05   And that's an uncomfortable thing to hear. And ARCs are part of the marketing, but they're not the whole of the market.

Rekka:19:11   Right.

Kaelyn:           19:12   They're actually a small fraction of it, in terms of marketing.

Rekka:19:16   They're a level of social proof that, you know, this isn't an untested book. Someone has read it, enjoyed it. Don't be afraid to check it out.

Kaelyn:           19:25   Yeah. So now you might be wondering, well, what's in my ARC? When do I know this book is quote unquote ready for ARCs? A lot of this has to do with publishing calendars. One working on a book takes a while. So right off the bat, that's probably bare minimum six to nine months, probably longer than that, depending on the editor's calendar. So then when the book's done, there's a lot of stuff to do with it afterwards. And all of that considered you need at least six months, maybe even eight or nine to start putting the book out there to generate interest in buzz and send out advanced copies. Right. Six months I think is pretty standard. So that's half a year right there. Right. And then you're figuring out everything in the lead up to that. So if you're going, well, if it's six months beforehand, what happens in those six months after. You finish the book?

Rekka:20:24   Right [laughs]

Kaelyn:           20:25   Yeah. Um, and I shouldn't say finish it as in finishing writing it, but this is when it's maybe some touches, some line that it's definitely copy, you know, a real true copy edit. You may get feedback from your reviewers that are like this thing, heres not working.

Rekka:20:45   Yeah. I would blurb this except for this major thing.

Kaelyn:           20:50   And then, hey, guess what?

Rekka:20:52   You're going to take that thing out.

Kaelyn:           20:53   You're going to go back and work on the book a little more.

Rekka:20:54   Yeah.

Kaelyn:           20:55   Um, because we're in a digital age, it's so much easier to fix these things and send them out again. You know? So like if a publisher is feeling a little iffy on a book, maybe they'll send it out a little earlier, get some early feedback. Rekka has firsthand experience in a pretty, not significant, but not small changes that were made after ARCs went out

Rekka:21:18   They were not line edits, they, they were, uh, we got feedback on the ARCs which, um, caused us to go in and correct a couple of small points that were overcorrections based on earlier feedback.

Kaelyn:           21:33   By the way, they were great, you know, great corrections. Your book absolutely is, well, I mean, it was already amazing, but

Rekka:21:39   It's improved for having made these corrections -

Kaelyn:           21:40   And getting that back is not, uh, this sucks. And sometimes it's like, hey, look, we got this feedback.

Rekka:21:46   Yeah. And this feedback is something we want to act on because of the source of the feedback or the nature of the feedback or you know, this was not something we'd thought carefully about at the time when we were, you know, doing structural edits. But now that it's, you know, got a spotlight on it, we're realizing, yeah, taken, taken as it is in this moment. We don't want to publish it this way.

Kaelyn:           22:09   Yeah, you know, I think a lot of people listening to this might think, Oh God, like so they can just go back and make me change all of these things after the book is done. Let me be very clear about something that is not a decision any publisher would make lightly.

Rekka:22:20   No.

Kaelyn:           22:21   Um,

Rekka:22:21   But if in that moment you already know that that book should have been put out differently, you still have a chance to change it and in two years you're going to wish that you changed this.

Kaelyn:           22:34   And don't think of it as a frustration. Think of it as an opportunity to get a little bit of a do over a little bit of you get to time travel a bit here. You get to go back and fix something.

Rekka:22:46   Now, if that feedback came in on a review site, that review may be there forever. But um, that's, you know, eventually it will get buried more or something, you know. But um, it's, it's not like you can pretend it never happened, but it is a chance to show that like, yeah, I'm going to take that feedback and I'm going to do what I can to correct it versus, uh, nope, it's good, it's good, it's fine, you're wrong. And you know, shouting down the reviewer.

Kaelyn:           23:16   You know, the other thing here is don't, don't think that your publisher is taking every review and going, oh my God, this thing they didn't like, we need to fix it.

Rekka:23:25   I have, I have gone to Colin again, you know, this is my, I have a personal relationship with, with Parvus Press. I've gone to Colin and said, I saw that review that just posted. He's like, don't worry about it.

Kaelyn:           23:34   Yeah.

Rekka:23:34   That's wrong. Don't worry about it. It's an off the mark.

Kaelyn:           23:36   It is and, I will say it can be very frustrating, especially like you know, especially for the writer but like as the editor and I know what people at home were probably screaming into their listening devices at this point is well Kaelyn. You always say if a lot of people are saying it, then it's something you need to take into account.

Rekka:23:52   Mmmhmm.

Kaelyn:           23:54   Here's the thing you need to understand about reviewers. I won't say they have an agenda because they don't, a lot of times they just enjoy doing these things, but there are definitely people that something maybe they wouldn't read review this book except something bothered them about it so they need to go online and set it right.

Rekka:24:12   I mean this is the age of the Internet where we go online to complain about things.

Kaelyn:           24:16   We also go online to galvanize things.

Rekka:24:18   Yeah.

Kaelyn:           24:18   We would go online to, you know like, and I really wish we'd have more of that in the world. Talk about things you love.

Rekka:24:24   Oh my gosh right now that what you will hear people screaming about, it's still won't be out when we air this episode is Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir and Kaelyn is making a face because Kaelyn has not gotten to read this yet

Kaelyn:           24:37   I have not gotten an advanced copy of that and I'm not happy.

Rekka:24:40   As soon as mine comes back, I will, I will loan it to you. Um, you will have to let Ryan read it over your shoulder because I've also promised it to him. This book is amazing and it's just a -

Kaelyn:           24:50   Ryan Kelley, by the way, is Rekka's editor-

Rekka:24:53   I suppose we should introduce him.

Kaelyn:           24:55   And she's not sure who you're more tied to here.

Rekka:24:58   Well I see you more often.

Kaelyn:           25:00   That's true.

Rekka:25:00   I haven't met Ryan in person yet and Ryan and I talk when I've done something wrong. Um,

Kaelyn:           25:07   [laughter]

Rekka:25:07   But um, yeah, so like that's what I mean. Like the gal - , you will go on Twitter -

Kaelyn:           25:11   Yes.

Rekka:25:11   and you will just see people are screaming their heads off in love with this book for good reason.

Kaelyn:           25:16   And I am, I love seeing that kind of stuff. I love when to use the example of Gidion the Ninth and generating buzz. For instance, the way I first heard about this book was our

Rekka:25:27   Mutual friend.

Kaelyn:           25:28   Mutual friend Alexandra Rowland.

Rekka:25:29   Alex was showing our other mutual friend -

Kaelyn:           25:33   Yes. Yes, that was it.

Rekka:25:33   Jennifer Mace, Macy at the table. I already had read mine or it was halfway through mine or something at that point. And um, I was able to pick it up, show it to Kaelyn and say, you need to read this book at some point, open it up to a random page and find an amazing like line that was just like evidence of why this book was great. And the buzz at that table, there were four people sitting at that table at that point -

Kaelyn:           25:58   All talking about this.

Rekka:26:00   All talking about this one book two people who haven't read it yet, who now had to read it. And that's the power of, that's the magic review copy

Kaelyn:           26:08   That's the magic of ARCs. You know, I don't think anyone actually does this. I'd be curious if people really go through and look for the differences. If you got the ARC and then you get the final copy, I'm sure for certain books that are super fans that will do that

Rekka:26:22   Well, for Salvage, they're are going to be some obvious differences.

Kaelyn:           26:25   Yes.

Rekka:26:28   Um, Salvage -

Kaelyn:           26:28   Let's talk about that. What the difference between, you know, how different can you expect an ARC to be from your final copy?

Rekka:26:36   We mentioned earlier that an ARC may not be produced in the same print run style that the final would be, which might make it more expensive, but we'll also create differences in the paper and the, the trim and things like that.

Kaelyn:           26:52   We'll put a picture of this up on Twitter and Instagram. But, um, we, we were going out to the Nebulas and we were like, you know what, we've got to get Salvage out because

Rekka:27:02   I'll be there.

Kaelyn:           27:04   Rekka, will be there. But also we're really excited about this and we're like, it would be a wasted opportunity to not just have a bag with, you know, a few of these that we can hand out. Right.

Rekka:27:12   And when I say that I'll be there. I didn't mean because they need to give me an ARC to make me feel happy and pretty.

Kaelyn:           27:18   No, it's -

Rekka:27:18   It's because I will be there making personal connections with people and here's a great chance to hand them the ARC.

Kaelyn:           27:25   Yeah.

Rekka:27:26   If immediately following or whatever.

Kaelyn:           27:28   Yeah.

Rekka:27:28   That conversation.

Kaelyn:           27:29   Yeah. And if the ARCs handed to you by the author, it's, and it's an extra little special, you know, so we were like, okay, we're going to do this. And we used a different printer than we normally do just because of where we could fit into the printer's schedule. But we did use a local printer so that they were just right there and they use very, very nice paper.

Rekka:27:49   It's very nice.

Kaelyn:           27:49   It's really nice paper. It made the book about half an inch thicker.

Rekka:27:55   Over 576 pages as it turns out, 0.0006 inches of difference in paper thickness adds up to .4 inches.

Kaelyn:           28:05   Yeah.

Rekka:28:05   In spine width, so we'll put a picture up of the, the Nebula version of the ARCs next to Flotsam and next to the final version of the ARCs that were printed later.

Kaelyn:           28:15   Yeah. So, and that is something you also see with ARCs is a lot of times the book looks at, the only way I can describe it is as awkward [laughter] and just you pick it up and you're kind of like, I know this isn't quite right. Yeah. Um, but yeah, this, this was -

Rekka:28:32   There's some growing pains and -

Kaelyn:           28:33   Yeah this is, uh quite a quite a size. So it's, um, it's cool to have hold to have those.

Rekka:28:37   It's a massive chunky book.

Kaelyn:           28:40   Yeah. So, but anyway, um, there's going to be differences in Salvage from what the ARC is to a final print run.

Rekka:28:51   And some of that is just going to be simple, like the cover is going to look slightly different because the ARC binding has -

Kaelyn:           28:59   Was so thick.

Rekka:29:00   Well pull that. Well, yeah. Okay. So the spine is going to be very different. Therefore the weight of the book is going to be different. But also there's a red band across the outside of the cover that says on it, um, uncorrected advanced review, um, and the dates that it will be published there. Um, therefore all the, the titling stuff has moved down and adjusted. Um, the back cover copy is not the final back cover copy. This is more like, you know, why you should open this ARC versus the ARC that came the same day to your PO Box. Um, and the artwork on the inside I have supplied because I draw the chapter art for my own books. Um, this is not expected of all authors by the way.

Kaelyn:           29:40   That's not even usually tolerated and everything.

Rekka:29:43   Right. So I, I do have a professional background in design.

Kaelyn:           29:46   So anyway ....

Rekka:29:48   So anyway, so Salvage, uh, currently the ARCs have the same chapter art from Flotsam because the chapters themselves have different POV characters. And just on the timeline, I don't think there was a chance to really sit down with the, um, with the layout person who was not me in this case and say like, okay, it's chapters one, seven, 11, 12 and 13. This art, this art, this art.

Kaelyn:           30:14   Yeah.

Rekka:30:14   So that was just a layer of complexity that wasn't going to happen on the timeline that we had. Um, so there will be different artwork on the inside. I didn't look whether Colin did his typical copyright page malarkey.

Kaelyn:           30:30   Do you want to go grab the book and find out?

Rekka:30:32   Yeah, I'll find out.

Kaelyn:           30:33   I'll tell the story, our publisher, Colin Coyle, who I promise we will have on the show at some point, um, has a fun little thing he likes to do that there is an Easter egg in every Parvus book. Um, they're not always on the, uh,

Rekka:30:49   I've seen this in something else. So this is not uh specific to Salvage. He must've lifted it from something else.

Kaelyn:           30:54   Oh okay, yeah. Um, we have a little running joke at Parvus that there's an Easter egg in every book.

Rekka:31:01   On the copyright page.

Kaelyn:           31:02   Not always on the copyright page.

Rekka:31:04   Oh dear.

Kaelyn:           31:05   A lot of times, not always,

Rekka:31:07   Alright, alright.

Kaelyn:           31:07   But usually you can find at least one on the copyright page. So, you know, the whole point is that at the end when the final version of Salvage comes out, it's going to be different. It's not going to be majorly different.

Rekka:31:19   But if you were selling this on Ebay, please don't, um, you would be able to point to like, yes, this is the version you're looking for because, um, evidenced by these various differences.

Kaelyn:           31:31   Yup. So, um, that's, you know, how do you know when your book's ready for an ARC? We were kind of talking about this a little bit with the calendar. Really it kind of falls into your book is scheduled to be released this date. That means we have to start sending out ARCs by this time.

Rekka:31:48   And there are also, um, publications that you might send it to in the hopes of like a starred review.

Kaelyn:           31:53   Yeah.

Rekka:31:53   And they have a very, they're very tight grace period of when they need to receive it by. So I say very long grace period. That's the opposite of what I mean, they have a very short window of opportunity. If you don't have it in by this date, it's not going to even be looked at.

Kaelyn:           32:10   They're not going to look at it. So, um, when is your ARC done? Hopefully at least six months beforehand. Even if it's not done. But that's the thing. Your ARC is not your finished book.

Rekka:32:22   Right.

Kaelyn:           32:22   So when is your book done? That's completely separate issue from when your ARCs are ready to go out.

Rekka:32:27   That can be 6:00 PM on the day that it needs to be uploaded to Amazon.

Kaelyn:           32:30   If you're self publishing.

Rekka:32:31   Self publishing, yeah.

Kaelyn:           32:33   But if you're, you know, being, if you're going through a traditional publishing house and if you're distributed they don't need as much run time.

Rekka:32:39   But like -

Kaelyn:           32:40   They need some cause they have to order a print the books.

Rekka:32:42   Yes.

Kaelyn:           32:43   Um, and you know, we are living in a day and age where that happens much faster now.

Rekka:32:48   But it still physically takes time. Like there's, there's a certain amount of time that it takes for the ink to dry on the page before they can bind it. There's a certain amount of time that it takes for the trimmer to cut through the, the massive, you know, oversized book and cut it down to its final trim size. Like these things just, you know -

Kaelyn:           33:06   They just take time.

Rekka:33:07   It takes Kaelyn a certain number of seconds to open an email and that limits how many submissions she can go through it.

Kaelyn:           33:14   I can go through, yup.

Rekka:33:14   Like it is just a physical limitation of the, you know, construct of time.

Kaelyn:           33:20   Yup. The construct of time. It is a construct.

Rekka:33:23   It's totally a construct because where does it go?

Kaelyn:           33:25   Erm, eh yes.

Rekka:33:27   So speaking of where does time go? We are out of time for this episode, but I -

Kaelyn:           33:31   Already?

Rekka:33:32   Yeah.

Kaelyn:           33:32   I even got to get back to my roots and give a little history lesson in the beginning.

Rekka:33:35   Yeah. Are you happy? Do you feel fulfilled?

Kaelyn:           33:37   Um, I don't have any undergraduates, uh, looking at me, very bored. So -

Rekka:33:42   So you feel like you did it wrong?

Both:   33:45   [laughter]

Kaelyn:           33:45   I feel a little better than I normally did. As always. I hope this was, uh, entertaining and educational.

Rekka:33:52   Yeah. And if you have any questions that we didn't answer about ARCs, uh, you can shoot us a question at WMBcast on Instagram or Twitter. You can follow us and, or support us at patreon.com/wmbcast or email us at feedback@wmbcast.com. But, um, yeah, so ARCs are extremely cool. I hope everyone gets to look at an ARC someday -

Kaelyn:           34:13   Yeah, and check out Netgalley. It's free to sign up for and you get to read and find a lot of really cool stuff on there.

Rekka:34:18   Yes.

Kaelyn:           34:19   Um, so you know, if you're looking, if you're interested in being involved in that kind of thing, Netgalley is a great place to start. And then you know, you can go on Goodreads, you can go on Amazon and say like, I got an advanced copy of this -

Rekka:34:30   And maybe in a future episode we'll talk about like how to structure a review that is going to be useful for a lot.

Kaelyn:           34:36   I've got thoughts.

Rekka:34:37   Yeah, we've got thoughts I've got, there are definitely thoughts. So maybe that's a future episode or we're thrown on Patrion or something like that if it doesn't end up a full length episode. But I feel like we could rant about that 45 minutes.

Kaelyn:           34:46   I'm not sure anyone's going to want to listen to it.

Rekka:34:48   Yeah, you know, you know, emoting and commiseration are things that -

Kaelyn:           34:52   We'll do a dial in, call us and tell us your, you know, so, um, yes.

Rekka:34:57   So the other thing is if you are self publishing and you don't know how you're going to get an ARCs, you can get ARCs through kindle direct publishing. You can also upload your file to lulu.com or other, um, small -

Kaelyn:           35:10   Print on demand.

Rekka:35:11   Print on demand services and you can see it in person first. And honestly, I really feel like you should before you release it into the world because there's things that you just might not consider when you've only looked at it in a digital space. So that's another good reason to look at an ARC even though that's not really the traditional function of them. They're not the proofs, um, the cover proofs or anything like that. We're talking about, um, use in promoting your book, but order one before you order 20 is all I'm saying, if you haven't seen it in print before.

Kaelyn:           35:40   Yeah. So, you know, thanks so much for listening. Everyone and -

Rekka:35:42   Send us your questions. If you could rate and review us on iTunes, that would be great. And if you have a friend who is interested in writing or publishing, send them this episode, share it. You can help guide the conversation and sort of be part of it. So, uh, we'll look forward to hearing your comments and your ratings and reviews, and we'll start reading reviews in a future episode. We do have a couple, we just haven't fit that into the episode yet.

Kaelyn:           36:03   Yes. Alright. Thanks so much for listening everyone, and we'll see you next time.

Rekka:36:07   Take care everyone.