Before a book's publication, the author or publisher sometimes sends out advance reader copies, or ARCs, which are early copies of a book created before it has gone through final revisions. Proofs and ARCs are often given away to early reviewers or to commercial buyers considering carrying a title in their stores. While the book may still have editing to go through, the story is usually complete, so an advance reader copy can give the reader a good idea of what the final book will look like.
Because a book is still being finalized when an ARC is created, the final published version sometimes includes differences in the text as well as the cover art. Collectible proofs and ARCs are often sought after by fans of an author so they can own every edition of a favorite book. Because these uncorrected proofs, also called galleys, are sent to a select group of booksellers, reviewers, and bloggers, the number of copies in existence is relatively small, making advance reader copies a rare prize for book collectors.
At AbeBooks, you can buy proofs and ARCs from every genre, some of them signed by the authors. These galleys and manuscripts generally feature a note on the cover stating they are advance copies and not final versions of the book, making them easily identifiable. While they may not appeal to regular readers who would prefer to read the final book, collectors enjoy seeing these different editions that are not available in any store. Our sellers offer both fiction and nonfiction titles in ARC form, from many well-known authors. Some may be just a novelty to collect, but if a book has gone on to be a best seller, like a Stephen King title, or has become a modern classic, from authors such as J.M. Coetzee and Khaled Hosseini, the ARC may be a worthy addition to your collection.