Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Want to read Children No More?

Not only read it, mind you, but read exactly the manuscript that Toni accepted?

Well, you can, and right now...but it will cost you.

Years ago, Jim Baen started a nifty program: eARCs. An ARC (Advance Reading Copy) is a printed copy of a book that publishers sometimes make for distribution to reviewers, bookstore buyers, and so on. An ARC is typically only partway through the editing process; the book still could change. The eARC is an electronic ARC, an eBook version, that is exactly the book manuscript that Baen purchased from the author. It hasn't been through copy-editing or final page proofs, so it will be different from the final version. (In my case, the copy-editing and page-proof-review steps typically result in me making about 500 small changes to the book.) In fact, the only way to ever read exactly this version of the book is to buy the eARC.

Jim figured that eARCs were mostly for people who really wanted the book early, so he priced them accordingly: six months before publication, they cost $15 (as the Children No More eARC does now); at four months out, the price drops to $10 (or so; I'm not positive); and then it drops again at two months out.

So, though Children No More doesn't go on sale in bookstores until August, you can get a copy--and without DRM, which neither Baen nor I support--right now by ordering it here.

If you choose to buy it, you have my gratitude. I hope that you enjoy it.


Andrew said...

I've been torn on these. Are the eARCs closer to your original vision? (ie am I reading a purer version of a piece of your mind)

Is the final version more of the committee version?

I only get one shat at reading it the first time. So, I struggle with the choices!

That said I can't wait.

Mark said...

Andrew, that's a great question. I may cover it in more detail later. The short form, at least with my work, is that there is no committee version. The only other person who will now touch the ms. is my copy editor, and I get a chance to see and approve or reject all of her changes. I also make changes of my own at that stage--and again on the proof pages, which Toni rightfully hates.

So, this and the final version both reflect my vision of the book; the real difference is time.

Of course, as the biased author, I can recommend only one action: buy both this and the hardcover!

Andrew said...

Thanks! I'll probably buy the eARC and the eBook.

Actually, I am pretty sure the last hardcover book I bought before I switched to Kindle was "Slanted Jack"!

Hm, there's irony there I am sure.

Best Regards.

Mark said...

Thanks, Andrew! That is funny. Take care.

Todd said...

Oh hell why would people debate this? I just bought it and will read it - and will buy the book too when it's out. Why? Because you write great stuff!

Mark said...

Thanks so much for your support, Todd. I really appreciate it.


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