Oh man, oh man, these are going to be popular. Random House UK and Century Publishing have just received the first batch of WOOL advance review copies. People within the company are already snatching them up left and right. In fact, I worry that very few of these will actually make it out to their intended audience!
Here’s how ARCs are supposed to work, for those of you unfamiliar with them: Publishers send advance copies of books to retailers, book buyers, media outlets, and reviewers. This gets the right people excited about the work prior to its publication date. Reviews appear ahead of time, and store managers know to purchase extra copies of the works they look forward to recommending to their customers.
Normally, ARCs are of inferior quality to the finished product. This is understandable, of course. They are invariably paperback and often feature a substitute cover (or practically no cover at all). What Century and Random House UK have done with WOOL is create an ARC you would want to own, one you’ll talk about. There’s another slice of genius at work here: by splitting the book into its original 5 parts, they not only pay homage to the publication history of the work, they make it possible for five employees to read along at the same time!
I can imagine the scene at our old bookstore in Boone. One of us snags the ARC before the others can get to it. When we finish the first part, we tear into the second, but we also bring the book we’ve finished back to work because so-and-so really has to read this. Next thing you know, people are begging for the next entry and passing them around like an infectious disease. Five of us are reading various bits simultaneously, which fuels a conversation!
At least, that’s what I hope happens around the UK. Time will tell. Until then, feast your eyes on the awesomeness that Century has wrought:
Also, if you read my recent post celebrating INDIEpendence Day, you’ll appreciate how killer it is to see a major player like Century / Random House thinking outside the box and giving a work this kind of personal touch. This is the same publisher that took a chance on 50 Shades of Grey and promoted it with all its might. It reiterates what I said in that last post: being indie is all about the mentality of doing what’s right, doing what’s fun, doing what you think will make a difference. This is so much more refreshing than simply doing what’s always been done before. Kudos to whoever came up with this idea and for all the others who put their weight and enthusiasm behind it.
Oh, and rest assured that I’ll get some video up when my copy of these bad boys arrives stateside. :)