aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

When is a hardcover not a real book? When it's an ARC

Advanced reader copies, or ARCs, are sent to reviewers and producers in the hope of producing reviews and options. They come in a number of different flavors. Some have plain paper covers colored red or blue or pink, with words printed on them. Some have plain covers, but the first page in shows the cover art (I've never seen the point of that, esp. if the cover art is good enough to be a selling point - why hide it?). I've even seen ARCs for paperbacks, which seems kind of silly to me.

Well, now Touchstone is planning on doing some hardcover ARCs. (Most ARCs are more like trade paperbacks.) PW says, "Touchstone/Fireside is rolling out hardcover advance copies of its August 2008 novel, What Happened to Anna K, in an effort to gain attention for the title from booksellers and the press."

According to Touchstone/Fireside executive v-p and publisher Mark Gompertz, the move was "not inexpensive" and

The hardcover is supposed to be enough of a gimmick that it gets folks to read it. And maybe it works, because the publisher told PW it's had a "tremendous" response. My guess it's not the hardcover, per se, just the knowledge that if the company is forking over the money, they expect this to be a big book.

I guess the new hardcovers lack a bar code and are labelled as an ARC. I wonder if collectors (who are kind of a crazy bunch) will consider them more or less collectible.

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