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My first book is set to be released this summer. I plan on sending electronic ARCs to various bloggers and goodreads reviewers this spring. My question is at what stage of the manuscript draft do you send out ARCs? Before the final edit? After the final edits when the manuscript is totally polished?
 

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Linda Castillo said:
My first book is set to be released this summer. I plan on sending electronic ARCs to various bloggers and goodreads reviewers this spring. My question is at what stage of the manuscript draft do you send out ARCs? Before the final edit? After the final edits when the manuscript is totally polished?
As polished as you can possibly get it by the deadline. I sent final edits before final proofing last time. No one mentioned the typos and stuff, so I guess that was OK. But personally, I can't stand reading ARCs that are not edited, so if I picked up your ARC and it was not close to published quality, I'd never read it.

Not everyone feels that way though. I mentioned this once on a blog hop a couple months ago and most of the other book bloggers didn't care. So there you go. It probably doesn't matter. ;)
 

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There is a difference between an unedited proof and an arc.  An unedited proof is usually sent out several months prior to release and is expected to have a few editing issues as the work hasn't gone to its final proofing stage.  An arc is expected to be as close to the final release copy as possible and generally sent about six weeks before release.
 

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What Joe said.

Incidentally, if you want to send it before final edits (but still as polished as possible before those final edits), mark it "unedited proof". Otherwise, many bloggers will assume it's the final version since they're used to getting indie books once they've already been published.
 

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One of my crit partners just had her publisher send out an unedited proof as the arc without her knowledge. She was still getting edits and copy edits when she found out the arc was out! 0.0

She's getting some (very polite) backlash. Most of it in the form of "did you know..." emails from reviewers at bigger sites. Several basically said, "I've learned how to ignore those in arcs. I really loved your book and hope newer reviewers don't ding you for it."

So, the cleaner the better :)
 

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Jnassise said:
There is a difference between an unedited proof and an arc. An unedited proof is usually sent out several months prior to release and is expected to have a few editing issues as the work hasn't gone to its final proofing stage. An arc is expected to be as close to the final release copy as possible and generally sent about six weeks before release.
Uncorrected proofs usually carry big prominent warnings about how you're not supposed to quote from them in reviews, et cetera, without checking with the publisher first. And for good reason, as very large changes might still get made. I have a proof copy of one of Konrath's books whose entire ending, the final handful of chapters, are completely different than what was eventually released for sale. (Happily, since the original ending sucked pretty badly.) And at least one publisher used to send out bound proofs set from edited galleys - so the whole book was double-spaced, with handwritten corrections and annotations and markup throughout. Kind of cool, the first time you came across one. "Oooh, a great inside glimpse at so-and-so's creative process!" After the third or fourth one, though, the novelty completely wore off, and all the markup was just an annoying distraction.

--George, Afterword T/K...
 

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The practice of sending unedited proofs out 6+ months before publication stemmed from newspaper like The New York Times needing that much lead time to assign and receive reviews.  Bloggers and Goodreads are obviously a completely different story, and make unedited proofs unnecessary for review purposes.
 

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I defineitely agree. The cleaner it is, the better, because many newer bloggers don't realize that you're not supposed to refer to the typos and errors in unedited proofs. That being said, I have in fact sent out unedited proof e-ARCs for an indie book before. I put a banner across the cover stating that it was an unedited proof, and also put that warning on the cover page and in the email cover letter. And I didn't have any backlash. But I think in the future I'll jsut send the final version.
 
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