Understanding Advanced Reading Copy (ARC)

Updated: Jun 29

The publishing industry is densely packed with jargon, and it can be difficult for unseasoned writers to keep track of everything. You may have caught the term "advanced review copy."; To add to the intrigue, the term is utilized in various ways, including pre-press copy, advanced review copy, reader's edition, and advanced reader's copy.

Comprehending what an advanced reading copy is and why it is necessary might aid in your writing career. Therefore, let us begin by defining the word (examining it a little differently from a galley) and then discuss how writers and publishers utilize it to enhance and advertise a book.

Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC)

A free, early-release version of a book that has not yet been issued is an advance review copy. It may be bound and printed or be available electronically. Typically, the ARC contains cover art, albeit it may not be the finished form. On the book cover, a disclaimer indicates that the book is an advanced reader copy. It serves as a notification to readers that the book is still in draft form, and the published edition might vary. Additionally, the disclaimer informs readers that the advanced reader copy is not sold (although some illegally trade ARCs).

Advanced Reader's Copy and Galley

The galley is another phrase that you may have heard in the publishing industry. While advance review copies are comparable to galleys, they do have a few distinctions. Typically, the galley is devoid of a book cover and fancy text layout. It often has more mistakes and typos than the final version since it has not been proofread yet. At the same time, both ARCs and galleys are undeveloped copies of a book. A galley is designed for internal editing inside a publishing department or by the writer; instead for promotional review. That is not to say that a galley is never utilized as an ARC; nonetheless, it is more frequent for a purpose-built ARC to be developed these days.

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