Monday, March 02, 2009

ARCs at Shelf Space

Liz Burns of A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy has an article up at Shelf Space about ARCs, or Advance Reader Copies, the book blogger's favorite perk (okay, well, mine). She talks to various people involved in publishing about the practice and uncovers some facts, like the real difference between a galley and an ARC.
"[Galleys] are for hot, hot, hot books where the publisher wants to generate buzz," Farrey says. "They're meant to get people talking about the book itself, not necessarily to generate reviews (although that does happen too)." With the recent cutbacks in publishing, Farrey speculates that we will start seeing fewer galleys and more ARCs; and that they will be done digitally, via PDF.
I'd heard about the PDF thing recently. While I've always been a fan of the paper copies that I can lug around in my purse and thwack impertinent patrons with, I have to admit that the idea of e-ARCS (EARCs? Now I'm just getting silly) is more palatable than I thought.

I have an iPod Touch with a free e-reader called Stanza on it. I don't have a lot of books on it (yet) but it's super-handy for grocery store lines and the like. I've even found myself curled up on the couch hunched over my Touch, heedless of time passing, just like with a paper copy. It's lighter and the experience is much the same once you get used to nudging a screen with your thumb instead of turning a page.

Less thwackable though.

The other positive about e-ARCs is that they aren't as environmentally wasteful. While I often give my used ARCs away to kids at my library, I even more often find myself staring at a stack of ARCs that nobody was interested in, steeling myself to toss them in the trash. It's less painful to just delete a file.

What do you guys think? Is this the wave of the future for ARCs, or just for utter techies like me?


Sibylle said...

I agree with you about the e-ARCs, for all the reasons you mention. I think the ARC I would like the most right now is Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games.

Kimbra Kasch said...

Oh a friend just got the Kindle 2 and now I have K2 envy - but the price is going to be like climbing a mountain for me - I'm hoping the price comes down soon.

The Touch is spendy too.

Anonymous said...

That would definitely put a dent in what is available for all my kids to read in our Eva Perry Mock Newbery book club. We depend a LOT on ARCs here...