Tuesday, October 18, 2016

ARC Books

I've been a reader of ARC books for years. They are a type of book which is sent out to a group of readers before the book is published so the publishers can tell what little things needs to be fixed. 

Now, I didn't always know about them; I was introduced to them by a friend online and she asked if I'd like to try one out. My first one was 'The Gone-Away World' by Nick Harkaway. Now, this book has since been published years ago in 2009, and was followed up by another by Nick. And getting into receiving ARC books is a good way of reading and proofreading people's works for them - and reading books which aren't out on the market yet. You really do feel as though you're seeing behind the curtain before the show has begun.

It's not easy to find ARC books - as they're not in the ordinary circles of publication. Usually you have to ask publishers if there's any ARC books for you to read for them. It's mainly done online and you have to fill out a survey to let them know what you think needs to be done - as it's not just a free book thrown your way to be read. You have to give your honest opinion of feel the book needs - or doesn't - and how the author can improve the book. 

Sometimes, this can be a sore point with the writers, but this is a good way of letting a small group of the public in on how the book works - or not - with them before the book is let out into the world. Small improvements through allowing ARC books out 6 months or so beforehand plays really well for the author. You see, when they do this for a first book, the author then knows what they have to do for the next book to be a success; no matter how insulted they feel at the time. 

The good thing with ARC books that the reader can either keep the book for their personal collection or they can return it to the publisher. I opt to keep my copies as they're something of rarity. And a lot of the times, I do find they end up in second-hand bookstores (which isn't where you're supposed to send them). I do enjoy my small band of ARC books and do wish to keep them in my collection; keep adding to them. So, have any of you done any ARC book readings? How did you find it? I enjoyed being a part of the final product of a writer's book... even if they didn't end up using my part of the survey; at least they knew where I was coming from. With 'The Gone-Away World' I did find the final copy in a bookstore and looked in the first couple of pages and found that what I had advised about making it more visual worked. The author had worked more on taking the reader along for the ride, rather than keeping us at arm's length (which was how I was feeling at the time). I felt good about that. I might see what other ARC books are on offer next year to take part in. Until my next post, happy reading.


  1. I read ARCs too and have received many for free from GoodReads.... GoodReads has many giveaways for readers... Have you been to their website?? They do occasionally have books that publishers will ship to Australia. Check them out, if you haven't done so already.

    1. Yeah... I have. That's where I got my first few ARC books. :D