The Mail I Get

I got this today from someone asking about Advance Reader Copies of books, commonly known as ARCs.

I'd like to know how far in advance authors/publishers generally send out ARCs. If they only do it for a review, do they wait to hear back before printing, or just go ahead?
If they want a blurb, do they state so with ARC and wait for it, or do they do all of this earlier than the regular ARCs?

ARCs are sent out three to four months before publication. If the ARC is
being sent out for an author's blurb, there is, of course, a letter
accompanying it along with a deadline for receiving the quote. That
said, nobody sends out an ARC to someone for a blurb without the author or
publisher contacting the person first to see if they are willing to read it and
if they can make the deadline. 

If the ARC is being sent out for review, it's not to gather blurbs for the cover. The purpose of sending an ARC out for a review is to get a review. Nobody expects that the reviews will be
published in time for use on the book cover. That's because critics are reviewing the books for readers, so the reviews are usually published when the book is actually available for purchase (the exception are trade publications like Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist…and sometimes its possible to get the review on the cover in time for publication).

2 thoughts on “The Mail I Get”

  1. Just a note – I work at a Barnes and Noble, and we have some of the big companies who send representatives to give out ARC, so the booksellers can read them – and recommend them the day the book comes out. Probably not the majority of them that get sent out, but a certain percentage are sent out to handsell the novels. I know it worked that way for me with a couple that I read, and I know other booksellers have done the same. I would say I see a lot of names that are already known but could use a boost (the middle authors), or debut novelists that the companies are betting on. (Or even second novels.)


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