Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

The Wool ARCs!

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. :)

27 replies to “The Wool ARCs!”

The version for sale in the UK will be a single-bound hardback and then a paperback. This is the advance review copy, which will go out to 1,500 or so reviewers and bookstores.

Actually, 1,499. One of them is for me. And I doubt my wife will allow me to part with it.

Oh wow. Those are mighty pretty. Love the simplicity and the color of them and how they all tie together to make a complete package. Makes me want to own them in paper version even more.

Question: Can I get one… how do you fake being a book reviewer? Who do I need to kill?

But honestly… if they look this good in a store then I am buying it… then probably haggle with you so I can ship them off to you for you to sign them…

That just looks awesome…

Hmmm…we get ARCs from Ingram and direct from publishers sometimes. Wonder if I can actually put in a request for a title. Haven’t ever tried that before… Do you know when the ARCs are due out for distribution??

Those look FANTASTIC! As others have said, I would love to own them. How exciting!

Those ARCs are full of win. Heck, I’d purchase those if they were actually for sale.

Wow! Those look great! I used to love looking through the preview books when I worked at Open Book, a bookstore here in my hometown. This one would have really been popular. I probably would have never seen it, because my boss would have snatched it up and hidden it away.

Also, you mentioned Boone. Did you mean Boone, NC? I knew you spent some time in NC, but didn’t know it was close to Boone. I went to App State!

Since I read your piece on being indie, I spent more time looking at the old going-broke-to-get-published route. I’d cuss here, but I’d feel guilty. To put it short- no thanks!

Guess I will stick to Createspace.

Hugh,

Would you at least consider doing maybe a special edition of the wool books like that? it seems you generated a lot of interest from this post. I for one would gladly pay for a special edition wool set like that. Like everyone said before, its beautiful and would look awesome in my personal library at home. Maybe you can do another post and see if you have enough interest to warrant one. I personally think if u did a special edition signed copy of that wool series you would make a killing! Maybe make it where you can only buy the special edition on your website.

Greg

Hmmm. That’s a good idea. I could do new covers for the individual books so the spine spells WOOL like that. And then you can just buy all five books in a set from me. The wrapper probably wouldn’t cost too much to print and put together.

Something to chew on! Thanks, Greg!

Something like this is perfect for a Kickstarter project; if you don’t raise the needed funding commitments, no money changes hands, and life goes on.

Make sure you plan for all expenses doing a Kickstarter. I’ve heard a couple horror stories of people promising too much for participants and nearly gowing broke printing posters and such and not producing their main product.

I need this. Badly. Please? So I can leave it to my children when I die. ;-p …no, seriously

Haha! Man, I wish they were making these available for sale. I think if they printed 1,000 or so and numbered them, they could name their price. I would probably buy way too many.

Not to mention, these have the new chapter in them!

I’m pretty sure that you just said “new chapter”. New as in “fresh, un-used paper” or new as in “not in the omnibus”? Must… find… new… chapter… life… incomplete…

Yeah, my editor in the UK thought we needed one extra conversation earlier in the book. I came up with an entire scene, instead. We inserted this chapter and smoothed over the joints so you can’t tell. It’s now one of my favorite chapters in the entire Omnibus.

Once we get published, I’ll post it as an excerpt on my website, or something.

Is there any appropriate level of bribery that speeds this process up? Cake? Poetry? Good reviews of Wool?

Oh, and as a minor aside, the front cover of the current issue of the UK’s satirical Private Eye magazine made me think of Wool…

I want them. I need them… With only 1499 available, I won’t be able to purchase one will I? *sad panda*

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