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Topic: What are ARC's and why can't they be swapped on PBS?

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Subject: What are ARC's and why can't they be swapped on PBS?
Date Posted: 1/22/2011 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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I understand that it stands for Advanced Reader Copy.

But how are people getting ARC's in the first place?  Are the quality of those books substandard than regular books?  Are they cheaply made?  Are they books that aren't edited or even finished yet? 

 I don't even think I've seen an ARC, and had never heard of it before I joined PBS.



Date Posted: 1/22/2011 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,582
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I had never seen one until this year. I went to a work related meeting at a public school and the librarian there gave us a free book. They were ARC's . I have yet to read it. I don't know the how or why of them, but they are a complete book and look like any other , except for the ARC printed on them. I understand that the final book may have some edits or other changes that aren't in the arc book.

Date Posted: 1/22/2011 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,422
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An ARC may or may not be the final version of the book, and because of that, they cannot be swapped.

Date Posted: 1/22/2011 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2008
Posts: 3,529
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Not sure but I think they may be the copies that are sent to people that review the books.  I find a lot of them at the thrift shop and also at the book thing( where you get free books ) .

Date Posted: 1/22/2011 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Mindy, found this in the help docs:

An ARC  (Advance Reader Copy)  is an advance release of a book, usually sent to reviewers before the final copy of the book is published.

  • Advance Reader Copies are also known as Review Copies, or Uncorrected Proofs.
  • They are softcover books and often carry the same ISBN as the hardcover first-edition that is released later.
  • On the cover, they will be marked 'Advance Reader Copy' or 'Uncorrected Proof' or 'Review Copy' and will usually also say 'Not for Sale'.

ARCs cannot be Posted to a PBS Bookshelf for swapping, since the ARC cannot be depended upon to contain the same story/text as the published book.

  • If you send an ARC, the requestor will probably contact you to ask for the credit back.
    • You will need to do this.
    • You are asked to confirm for each book you Post that it is not an ARC.  If you posted an ARC you broke the rules. 
  • If you receive an ARC, you should mark it received as a Wrong Book and send a message to the sender asking for your credit back.
    • You should NOT repost an ARC (or any problem book) if you receive one.
  • The receiver of an ARC is not required to return the item; she or he may agree to do so if the sender sends postage for the item's return.  This is the case with all problem books: the requestor receiving them is not obligated to spend postage to return them.
Date Posted: 1/22/2011 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I have several ARCs. there can be numerous issues with them. The one I have at the moment they change the name of a minor character halfway through the book which caused me much confusion. Minor plot twists can be changed too, scenes cut out or things added in. 

I work for a library and we get young adult and adult ARCs every few months that we are allowed to take and read. If we like them, then we ask for them to be bought.

Date Posted: 1/22/2011 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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This is a rhetorical question, but why would they waste an ISBN number on an ARC?

Date Posted: 1/22/2011 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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They usually don't waste an ISBN on an ARC, its often the ISBN it will be released under in the Hardcover edition.

Date Posted: 1/22/2011 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2007
Posts: 36
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A friend gave me an ARC of a home decorating book once.  The final version was heavily (and beautifully) illustrated, but my ARC didn't have a single picture in it!  I've avoided ARCs ever since.

Date Posted: 1/23/2011 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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I received and reviewed a few ARC's from Harper Collins. One was a cookbook and there was no index. Made it difficult to find recipes.

Last Edited on: 1/23/11 12:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/23/2011 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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They also list the ISBN on the book SO libraries and book stores KNOW what number to use when ordering.. We never use title to find books to order, its always the ISBN.