Sunday, March 26, 2006

What to Do

My editor kindly sent me a bunch of ARCs for Dark Need, my next dark fantasy novel due out in June. Usually I only get one or two copies, so this was nice. Problem is, I don't do anything with ARCs anymore but shelve them or give them to my Mom, who really prefers the final copies.

I don't know what to do with them. So far I've used one to bribe my doctor's receptionist, and sent another to a review site after asking them if they wanted one (yes, all that voluntarily, now pick up your jaw.) That still leaves ten. I'd like to get them into the hands of folks who really want to read the book, or do something else creative with them, but I can't decide on what.

Any suggestions?


  1. Anonymous2:57 AM

    I KNOW there are 10 people in FM chat that would love to have an arc of Dark Need, myself included, but if you are looking for a humanitarian type solution, you could try auctioning them off, and then donate the cash to your charity of choice.

    Empath (Meg)

  2. Sign them, stash them, then at the right moment ebay them.

    Better yet, put your (somebody's) kid(s) in charge of ebaying them as an exercise in business and commerce.

  3. If you're having a contest I'll enter because I want one!

  4. Maybe a local literacy program or a local women's shelter? You could freecycle them, it would be an interesting way of giving them away to people who might not normally get ARC copies.

  5. Anonymous9:17 AM

    Heat up your glue gun, and glue each book to the next, covers up, in two rows of five. When the glue cools, caarefully coat the book-rectangle in polyurethane, on all sides. You'll want to use several coats, so make sure each is dry before applying the next. When it's dry, add four table legs to the bottom and voila! A charming bedside phone table!

    Or you could send one to me. *grin*

  6. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Oops - I forgot to sign my name to the table idea.

    Misty *big cheesy grin*

  7. Anonymous9:31 AM

    "If you're having a contest I'll enter because I want one!"

    Same here!

  8. man, some of these ideas are real humanitarian suggestions.

    i'm all for humanitarian... but i'd rather get my greedy hands on one. :oD

  9. Anonymous10:32 AM

    I too would love one. I'm sure everyone who reads this blog does! However, complete selfishness aside, how do you get the most out of these copies? Years ago, when I was in desperate need of great reading material and unable to pay for any, an author reached out to me and donated some books to me. I read these books, even though they are signed and precious to me, and am still in posession of every single one! I will be forever grateful for that and other generous gestures from that author. Since then, I have "paid it forward" via ongoing loyalty to the author and also suppling a varity of places and people with said author's books. I also always face the author's books in bookstores, new and used! lol!!
    Based on how one incident of generosity can be turned into so much more, I believe that if indeed the books can be provided to general public people, such as myself (lol) and others that read this blog, that an agreement to turn that one book into at least 5 more various books donated to libraries, groups, etc (with an agreement never to sell, auction, etc your book)would be a great solution.
    If you decide to do this, I am in!
    Those are my thoughts and contribution on the matter.

  10. Put them in the wild. (Big Bookcrossing supporter here.)

  11. I'd pass them out to people who do reviews. Or rather, pass them to readers and have them write a review. ;)

    Heck, I want one. I love that guy on the cover. Dreamy.

  12. Anonymous1:15 PM

    First and foremost I think if they are a fan YOU want a copy of that ARC for yourself. I know I do. How about a contest for 1/2 and donate 1/2 to a shelter or something along that line.

  13. Coming back to add, last year I attended Celebrate Romance. At the end of the conference, the large conference room was mostly empty after the carnage of the book signing and Sunday morning breakfast. Nearly everyone was cleared out of the room and several of the hotel staff had come in to clean. I think I was still in conversation with someone, which is why I was still there.

    Author Terri Brisbin was also still there packing up and I happened to be nearby when I witnessed what I thought was an awesome act of both kindness and self-promotion. She asked the wait staff (two women) if they read romance. When they replied that they did, she offered them each an autographed copy of one of her books. I had never heard of Terri before this weekend, it's possible that the wait staff hadn't either. I don't know about them, but I'll never forget her now!

    Anyway, I told that story to lead to my next suggestion, you could set aside a few ARC copies, take them with you when you go out to eat, get your car serviced, or go shopping and just offer them out randomly to people. It might be fun to see the reactions of people receiving them (or it could be incredibly aggravating when you ask people if they read romance and they sneer and say "that trash?" as my postman tends to do when I mail books out. I'm educating him one post office trip at a time.)

  14. Will Guest-blog for ARC?

    Not that I would softly push my way to the front of that line or anything. *cough*

  15. Anonymous2:14 PM

    Of course the first thing I want to say is "Pick me! Pick me!" As one of your fans I would love a ARC of Dark Need. However, I have to agree with Heather, never stop promoting yourself. I suggest sending copies to national newspapers for review. Hey, even if you only get one or two reviews, everything helps! A couple of Canadian suggestions: The Globe and Mail, The National Post, and Toronto Star. Let's get you on the bestseller list where you belong... (hoping flattery will get me somewhere...LOL)

  16. Quite often I have gone to sf/f conventions where authors have donated ARCs for people to bid on for whatever charity the convention is fond of.

    In a related vein, if you want to raise some money for a charity, I'd take two or three of them, throw them on eBay, and then mention it here.

    Alternately, the polyurethane Tower of Arc is a nice idea.

  17. Another vote for a giveaway thingie on your blog. Because I really want one. *grin*

  18. Anonymous3:19 PM

    I'd like one too *smile*. I also vote for another contest/give away thingie.

  19. Anonymous3:22 PM

    If you don't want to go the reviewer route or your publisher already has, you could leave them at the local hospital emergency waiting room or a local Senior's Center/Community. (My Grandma's Senior Park has a kind of Bargin Bin where they sell used stuff. Perhaps one in your area does and you can donate there?) Or just because it's different, drop them off at a women's prison in the area. Or men's. The DMV? The lines in our area at the DMV assure a person of a minimum 30 minute wait.
    You might leave a few at the local train or bus station waiting area.

  20. The obvious approach to every reader here is to send them a personalized copy. You probably thought of that.

    I like the random acts of ARC give-away to people not necessarily likely to receive one any other way, but that could get tedious finding the right person.

    The shelter idea makes sense-- accompanying the ARC with books 1 & 2 would help (since I hate to miss the first two or read out of order).

    The EBay ideas are sound--get the kids to put them up as a business learning experience with all proceeds going to their favorite charity. (And advertise it here, so some people have a chance to bid.)

    For those who can't afford the ARC bidding, save a copy or two for a give away.

    The Tower of ARC is a wonderful idea. Another great home project for your and/or the kids.

    Sorry. No new ideas here, just support for some of the excellent ideas I heard here already.

  21. Anonymous4:05 PM

    Well, I like the auction for charity/literacy idea the best, but I thought another fun thing to do would be to leave them in random places, explaining that they were advanced copies, and that if the person wanted to read it, all they had to do was take it, with the caveat that they passed it on when they were done. If you wanted to make it more elaborate, you could add the PBW address and see how far they get. . .


  22. Anonymous7:22 PM

    I have two answers. The selfish one is that you can send one to me. :-) But just so my conscience doesn't get the better of me, I also love the charity/literacy idea too. (Grumbling at my silly conscience...)

  23. I say build a house with them. Kind of like using playing cards, but better. (wg)

  24. Much as I'd like one, my preference is for donating them to help people learn to read. I'm a huge fan of people reading. And I'll just buy it when it comes out. :)


  25. Anonymous11:10 PM

    Tough one. There is that which makes your fans happy (the giveaway) and that which makes your heart happy. I do wonder how much money you could raise for your favorite charity if you auctioned signed ARCs on eBay -- especially if you & us Friends of PBW hyped it at our blogs.

    BTW, I vote for Keziah as having Best. Photo. Ever.

    It's a guy thing.

  26. Anonymous11:47 PM

    Thanks to everyone for stopping in and offering such great suggestions. I'm going to ponder this a bit longer. In the meantime, those of you interested in getting an ARC of DN might want to stop over at Alison's place tomorrow. :)

  27. Why thank you! And Man Ray thanks you if he still was alive.

  28. Anonymous8:17 AM

    Hey, all of the above is good! Maybe a contest so we can win an ARC !!! Yes!!!

    Cathy G

  29. Anonymous9:17 AM

    As another mentioned, you can send them out in a bookray through You can reach many new readers through them.

  30. Can I have one, pretty please?! As I mentioned on my blog, I've been waiting for DN with bated breath :-)

  31. I would love to have a copy! I collect ARCs. I think having a contest is a wonderful idea. I would love to read Dark Need!


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