Wednesday 1 February 2017

ARCs & Red Sister

Both the US and UK Advance Review Copies of Red Sister are now available.

This is not the book cover. That will be revealed soon.

Voyager have signaled a break in style by going with a clean, minimalist, quote cover as opposed to using the book cover on my ARCs as they have with previous work.

There was a lot of debate about the way to go on both the book and ARC cover (internal Voyager debate - my two pennies were only requested when most of the dust had settled) and I present for interest's sake an alternative draft ARC cover that was produced during those brainstorming sessions.

And at Ace the change of direction has been signaled by moving from the utilitarian "standard green" of the first six ARCS

To a Voyagerian use of the book cover as the ARC cover.

Of course all this talk of ARCs prompts many invitations to "send me one".

Allow me to open the window on the business of ARCs a little. First, consider that they are more expensive to produce than the actual book as a consequence of a limited print run sharing fixed overheads over fewer copies.

Second, consider that when an ARC is sent out the publisher is giving that expensive book away to someone who may very well have purchased a hardback on day 1, *and* the publisher (or me) is paying for the privilege a second time when it comes to the posting - if I send a book overseas the postage is often more than the price of the book itself.

So, since publishing is a business, it only makes sense to send out ARCs if the average impact per ARC is such that the additional books sold in consequence cover the expense. For an author this takes far more book sales as the author gets a much small percentage of the sale price,

This means that commercially it makes no sense to send this limited resource out to dedicated readers, folk who promise to put up a Goodreads or Amazon review, or someone who started their blog yesterday. ARCs really need to earn their keep, and their best chance at doing that is if they go to the owner of a popular blog that puts out regular reviews to an audience of thousands. Even then it's a gamble, because they also have to really like the book!

Add to this the info that I typically get about five or ten ARCs in total, and you can see why most pleas have to go unfulfilled.

The good news though is that these days there is an established e-ARC distribution method and your chances there are much greater. The publisher is still in the business of selling books rather than giving them away, but if you have a blog, get on Netgalley and you may well find yourself with a copy to review!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post, never thought about the extra cost of a limited print run too. Ultimately we all have to balance the books, I hope you chose wisely when sending out your ARCs and it pays off.