How to make your own Advanced Review Copy (ARC) Cover for Pre-Publication Reviews (Free templates to download!)

 In book design tips

If you want to send your book out to major reviewers, you need to send them an Advance Review Copy (ARC), aka “Advanced Uncorrected Galley”, at least 3 months (but preferably six months) before publication. If you’re indie or self-publishing, I wouldn’t recommend it: it’s a lot of extra work and effort that is unlikely to pay off: huge companies and reviewers will ignore your book unless it comes with major backing (famous people’s support), so your ARC will probably get trashed. Meanwhile other reviewers (the ones who will review your book) probably don’t care about ARC’s and would rather get a finished, beautiful book. Trying to play the game the way the book publishers do is a plan to fail; you’re indie, you need to take advantage of your ability to be quick, light and fast. Instead of sending out ARC’s, you could be putting finished books in the hands of key players (popular bloggers, community leaders, etc) who will help promote it.

NEVERTHELESS:

If you do want to make an Advanced Review Copy, despite my voice of caution, some other book designers charge extra to make one for you, usually over $100. (FYI, I don’t charge my clients for ARC’s).

Luckily you can make one  yourself. The key ingredients of an Advanced Uncorrected Galley, is a tag that says “ADVANCE UNCORRECTED GALLEY”. Simple, right? I’ve made a bunch for you at hi-res, so you can just download one you like and add it to your book, one on the back and one on the front.

 (Click on the picture once to see the big version, then right-click and ‘save as…’)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL

You may also need to include (it’s a nice idea, not sure if it’s always mandatory) the marketing information, in a new box on the back that obscures the barcode (because this is not for sale).

According to Joel Friedlander of THE BOOK DESIGNER, you should include this info:

  • Prominent box added to brand the books as “Advance Uncorrected Galley”
  • The same prominent box added to the back cover
  • The lower half of the back cover has been reformatted both to make room for the box, and to accommodate the new elements
  • One quote, which was used in the press release that accompanied the ARC package, has been removed
  • Author information has been moved up
  • A new box, “Marketing Campaign” has been added. This box contains critical marketing information. Make sure to include here:
    • A brief summary of marketing plans
    • Bibliographic data including ISBN and subject categories, trim size and page count
    • Pricing information
    • Contact information for your publishing company and your PR or marketing contact person
    • Who will be distributing your book

So I’m also including a few blank boxes you can download and use.

 (Click on the picture once to see the big version, then right-click and ‘save as…’)

 

Here’s one of the ARC’s I’ve made recently:

 

I hope these are useful! If so, please share!

 

 

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