I received the book design document last week. This is a PDF that shows the book as it will appear in print. My job was to read it through, note any issues, and get them back to the editor. These are also called “page proofs” sometimes.
I did find some errors, but they were mine–continuity errors the team and I missed the last time through. I sent back corrections, they were made, and I got a new version of the design with the changes. It’s as perfect as it can be, so now I gather it goes to printing for ARCs.
ARC stands for “Advanced Reader Copy,” and those get sent out to various reviewers, book bloggers, and I think some stores. The purpose is to generate “blurbs” and reviews to generate buzz and, hopefully, preorders. Because let’s face it, the preorders from my friends and family won’t be enough to make the book a success.
Reading the proofs was fraught for me. On the one hand, it was awesome to see the book as it will appear in the final form. On the other hand, I’ve read the book so often over the last couple of years that I have lost all objectivity.
This is normal, I’m told. Which is good to know, and which is why I’m writing this series. Hopefully, some writer someday will read all this, and know that they’re not alone. We’ve all been there.
Here’s to you, newbie.