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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Afraid to look

by Charity Tahmaseb

I discovered last week that Harper Collins not only has a first look program for adults (Harper Collins First Look Program), but teens and kids as well.

I explained to my son what an Advance Reading Copy was and what one did with it (read, review, not sell). Once he understood what was involved, he was very excited about the program. He chose Bearwalker by Joseph Bruchac. I hope they draw his name.

The whole thing started me thinking of ARCs in general. I love them. I wouldn’t say I have an actual collection, but if someone if having a contest for one, I’ll enter. I have one that’s autographed.

But I don’t know how I’d react if I saw one of my own--someday, in that murky and distant future. I have sold short stories and articles. I’ve seen them in print. Sort of. My method goes like this:

  1. Open journal.

  2. Scan journal table of contents for my article/story.

  3. Admire table contents. A well-organized table of contents is a thing of beauty.

  4. Find page.

  5. Open journal to that page.

  6. Slam it shut like I’ve just peeked at a Playgirl centerfold.

  7. Hide journal in desk drawer.

I’m starting to wonder. If I’m ever so lucky as to have an actual ARC someday, with my name on it, will I turn into a complete basket case?

I’ve heard stories about authors who carried that first ARC/book with them everywhere, or slept with it, or stared at it unremittingly.

For you published authors out there, how did that first ARC/book really make you feel? Any trepidation to go along with the joy? Did you want to sleep with it or did it unnerve you just a little?

There are, I tell myself, advantages to being unpublished in novel length fiction. As much as I love ARCs, this might be one of those advantages. So, in the meantime, I’ll continue my quest for ARCs with other people’s names on them.


At 6:44 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Cool that you have a collection of ARCs. Why do you find it difficult to look at your own printed work? I think seeing one's own ARC would be one of those "squee" moments along the road to seeing the first actual book on a store shelf.

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Okay, I have to admit--I'm astounded that anyone reads anything I write. I expect some of my family and friends to make the effort, but I'm always surprised when I hear from a total stranger who's read my stuff. And when I got my first royalty statement and found out that tens of thousands of strangers had bought my first book--whoa. Very, very strange.

In a completely wonderful way, of course :-).

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

"...stare unremittingly." That'll be me.


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