An advance reading copy, advance review copy, advance reader’s edition, advance copy, or reader’s edition (ARC or ARE) is a free copy of a new book given by a publisher to booksellers, librarians, journalists, celebrities, or others, or as a contest or school prize, before the book is printed for mass distribution.

What is a galley copy of a book?
Advanced Copies, Galleys, Proofs, & other Pre-first Edition Books. A pre-first edition is any limited run copy of a book printed before the first standard edition is published. These include advance(d) reader copies (ARCs), galleys, salesman’s editions, proofs and sometimes manuscripts.

Why bother with ARCs?

Sending ARCs to reviewers will help establish your platform among readers, as well as add to word-of-mouth promotion of your book. Many authors cringe at the idea of self-promotion, but in reality, ARCs are an effective way of getting your book to influencers. With the advent of digital proofs, ARCs are easier than ever to create and distribute. You can order a book to be printed and sent directly to reviewers as they confirm they want them, bypassing the risk of wasting money on extraneous copies, plus you don’t need to factor in additional mailing costs.

Make sure your ARC includes:

  • A disclaimer on the cover stating its identity as an Advance Reader Copy.
  • A sentence or two explaining it’s an uncorrected proof whose price and publication dates are subject to change.
  • An informative list of the necessary facts about the book, including its ISBN, number of pages, price, and release date.

Printing Your ARCs

FastPencil helps authors with ARCs by providing POD (printed on demand) books. When a book is ordered, it is printed and shipped to the buyer. Using this method, the author/publisher does not have to pay for or store a large inventory of books. Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 4.08.53 PM


  • Paperback books are typically printed and bound within 5 business days.
  • Hardcover books usually take 7-10 business days to print and bind.
  • Typical shipping partners are Federal Express, UPS and the USPS.

Alternatively, for returnable inventory sales, an order for a bulk buy (2,000+) and warehousing and fulfillment costs could be paid for by the author/publisher. However, this could result in unsold inventory, insurance fees, returned books that are lost or damaged and numerous other risks. The industry is moving away from this resource-heavy model and toward a greener, more earth-friendly process. (Check out more information about our global, resource-saving Green Initiatives.)


Digital book proofs can be a smart option to consider when creating an ARC. They save you printing costs as well as shipping costs, and take a fraction of a second to send instead of weeks. Digital proofs have all but taken over paper ARCs, and they aren’t hard to create, using FastPencil.

If you’ve chosen the traditional, paper ARC route, it’s a good idea to mail them using priority shipping for cost as well as trimming delivery times. You don’t want to mail out your Advance Reader Copy only to have the reviewer receive it two months later. Your release date has already been set, and you’ll want to stick to the predetermined timeframe. That means sending your ARCs out with enough time for the reviewer to read your material, offer feedback, and for you to make changes before the public release date.


To see what Print Book Types are offered thorugh FastPencil Publishing, go here.

FastPencil ensures books are built to perfect specifications upon order and printed on demand. With a global distribution network and easy to use book-building software, print and publishing professionals are selling books to wider audiences while earning more — 80% net royalties are paid to the published author.

To create a Print and e-Book from ONE PROJECT, start here: Once content is added, preview your book for free (via digital PDF proof). Start organizing your stuff, now!


Plus, ask FastPencil pros about any stage of the book publishing life cycle:


FastPencil is the world’s leading publishing platform with hundreds of thousands of members worldwide, releasing new books and features daily. Registered users can build books and e-books and preview unlimited digital proofs, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen, all without ads or commitments. Authors can publish, print and sell books and e-books privately or publicly with ISBNs and have access to professional author services providers. FastPencil is Publishing Simplified.

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