Karen Brichoux

Current and Upcoming Books

Available Now
"Draws the reader into the story and never lets go." --RT Bookclub
"Brichoux reminds the reader how powerfully the landscape of 'home' can define a person." -- High Country News
Previously Released
"An exceptional novel." --Melissa Senate, author of The Solomon Sisters Wise Up
"A coup. Warm, smart, and original." --Kirkus Reviews


Road to the Shelves: ARCs

December 28, 2003

January 2004 Newsletter


*Article: "The Road to the Shelves: ARCs"
*What I'm Reading


*My website has an all-new look for the new year. Drop by http://www.karenbrichoux.com to see the cover for SEPARATION ANXIETY and read an excerpt. There are also links to interviews and to online reviews for COFFEE AND KUNG FU, favorites lists, a new FAQ page, a daily quote, and the top five things you will and won't see me doing in 2004. Check back often, since in upcoming months I will be having contests where you can win an Advance Reading Copy of SEPARATION ANXIETY. Happy surfing!


The Road to the Shelves: ARCs

ARC stands for Advance Reading Copy. An ARC can look a lot like a book or it can look a lot like an extra-large term paper with sticky black binding tape holding it together. The term-paper ARCs sometimes go by the name "bound galleys," but this name can be used for the book style ARC, too.

It gets confusing.

The ARCs that look like books--and are the ones I have experience with, so I'll stick to them--tend to have elements of the actual cover on the front. But they are plainer and have a wide black band across the top that says, "This copy is not for sale." (That doesn't stop ARCs from showing up on the person-to-person used-book circuit, but bookstores won't carry them.)

An ARC is an advertisement.

Books you will see and buy in bookstores do not look like an ARC. For example, books you buy will have a back cover with a blurb about the book, a UPC bar code, and a review snippet or two. The ARC has only a few lines from the cover's blurb, more review snippets, a marketing hook, and a box that describes the publisher's promotional campaign for the book. This information tells booksellers, book buyers, and reviewers--many of whom will receive ARCs--that the publisher is excited about the book and that the book and author are (hopefully) going to make a splash and sell well.

How does an author use the ARCs given to her by the publisher? While the author's agent will send ARCs to foreign rights agents and film agents, the author wants to get the word out to readers that there is a new book coming out. So she will send her ARCs to online and print reviewers (trying to not duplicate the publisher's mailings to reviewers). She will also mail ARCs to supportive local bookstores, local newspapers and media outlets, and--if she has any left over--hold contests on her website and give a few away to friends.

These are only a very few of the ways this promotional tool is used. Most of all, it's fun for the author to get to see her book as it will look all bound up.


A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES by Dylan Thomas. A favorite prose poem of mine.

HEAVEN HAS NO FAVORITES by Erich Maria Remarque. You've probably read the more famous book by this author, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. This book is equally thoughtful, but slower in pace.

And that's it. I'm serious. I've been writing, and after staring at the computer and sitting all day, I'm not ready to sit down and stare at something else! More next time, though, as the book is nearly done. Yay!

Happy New Year!