Felicity recently put up a relatable post about tweet envy. And oh how I related, because oh the tweets I have envied. Of course I know that I want a published book one day. But following various writers online has also taught me about each step on the Road to Publication, and I find myself envying each little step like they are individually wrapped snack cakes in a box of Little Debbies. For instance, “the call”. That’s what they call it when an agent contacts you to offer representation (I’ve had this one!) or he/she calls again to tell you there’s an offer on your book. The latter is just one of the many little snack cakes I dream about.
But the one I’m thinking about today is the ARC.
ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy, and I’ve watched some of my online friends receive theirs this year. It’s a super exciting little package in which you find a mock-up, so to speak, of your ACTUAL, REAL LIVE, GOING TO BE ON THE SHELVES ONE DAY, book. Sometimes the cover art isn’t even finished. These are also called galleys sometimes, which for some reason makes me think it will be eight-and-a-half by eleven inch paper, bound in colored cardboard like a fancy book report or something. When the truth is, a galley looks quite a bit like the real thing.
I discovered a fun new author last year named Lindsey Leavitt. I posted about her under the title: Writerly advice that I should take, because she had such great thoughts about how we need to quit worrying about publication so much and just write our little hearts out already. If you didn’t go meet her back then, you should really meet her now. She’s the type of person who comes through so clearly, and so delightfully, on the page that you just don’t want her to ever stop writing. I’ve followed her blog, and was oh so vicariously giddy when she received the ARCs for her upcoming release, PRINCESS FOR HIRE. And now she’s giving one away! I’ve just entered the contest by linking to her website, and soon I’ll shimmy over there and leave a comment so she’ll know to put my name in the hat.
One of the first things my agent did after I signed with her, was to send me an ARC for a recently published memoir with a similar tone to my own. The book has two different covers with it and a letter in the front that begins, “Dear Reader, I am honored to share with you this early copy….” And I remember thinking that I had officially arrived to the party. If it felt that delightful to hold the ARC of a stranger, imagine how it will feel to hold my own. And when I do, I shall drink Diet Coke, and eat a zebra cake, and be thrilled.
I hope you have snack cakes like that in your own box of plans. These things really should be savored in pieces.
(zebra cakes artfully captured here by kfisto on Flickr)