Hello, world! I’m finally poking my head out into the internet again. My aim is to dust off some internet spaces this year, but I’m not going to commit to anything that hints at being a schedule—considering that I wrote literally two blog posts in 2018, that’s probably a good thing. Last year was a big year—I sold a book! I rewrote that book A LOT! I sold a second book! (Actually, that’s pretty much it. Moving on…)
2019 is going to be another one of those big years for me, starting off with ARCs landing on my doorstep earlier this week. What are ARCs? I am so glad you asked!
An ARC is an Advance Review Copy of a book (sometimes also known as an ARE (Advance Reader’s Edition) or a galley). It is basically the full text of the story, laid out as it will appear in the final book, after the copy-editing stage but before first pass pages. The purpose of an ARC is to generate interest for the book among industry gatekeepers—booksellers and librarians receive ARCs to help them decide whether to order the book for their store or library, professional review outlets (newspapers, magazines, websites) receive ARCs in order to write reviews, etc.
But… ARCs are not finished books. They aren’t produced or bound the same way, and the text is not final. I’ve always known this to be true, but I never quite understood exactly how different content can be between ARCs and finished books until I was working on my own. It’s a little surreal to be looking at something that seems a whole lot like a finished book, while simultaneously working on one of the last edit rounds on literal pages of paper. The narrative will not change from the ARC to the final book, but there are a few last touches that I am really glad I have the opportunity to make before Shatter the Sky goes out into the world for real.
It is nerve-wracking knowing that people are going to read my book when it’s only baked about 94%, but I hope this helps people who might be sad about not getting an ARC. Trust me—that final 6% is worth the wait! (Related: please please please do not purchase ARCs if you happen to come across them for sale, either online or in stores. ARCs are marketing material, not finished books. They are marked “do not sell,” and sales of ARCs do not go toward the publisher accounts or author’s royalties.)
Shatter the Sky will be published on July 30 of this year, and it’s available to preorder now if bisexual heroines and dragons float your boat!
What is Rebecca reading?
Debut Corner: I just finished Kosoko Jackson’s A Place for Wolves, a queer historical thriller about a Black teen boy trying to get out of Kosovo at the beginning of the Kosovo War in 1998. I was terrified just about the entire time I was reading this book. I loved the main character as well as the historical backdrop—I was too young to be really aware of the Kosovo War as it was happening, and I really appreciated how much I learned by reading this book. A Place for Wolves will be published on April 2, and it’s available to preorder now!
I really enjoyed Nic Stone’s first novel Dear Martin, which got a lot of attention as a social justice book when it came out in 2017. This week I was able to finish her second novel Odd One Out, which I loved EVEN MORE. Odd One Out is about three teens tangled up in a triangle of old friendships, new affections, and the awkward self-discovery that comes along with being a teenager. I adored all three of the main characters and I think this book would be great for anyone who likes complicated contemporary YA featuring really genuine and relatable people.