Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Warning About "Warnings"

When I saw the number of "used" copies of Warnings offered for sale at Amazon increase this morning, I was curious as to what was going on. One might assume that people read it, turned it in to a reseller for a few dollars, then the reseller marked it up and offered it for sale.

In a number of cases, what is offered for sale is described as the "soft cover" edition of Warnings. Only one problem: There isn't one.

What they are talking about is the Advance Reader Copy (ARC) which is created by publishers for reviewers and for wholesale book buyers. There are significant differences between an ARC and the actual book. The ARC is the second-to-final edit and has a number of typos and, in one place, a transposed paragraph. The photos are in black and white (the final book has a 16 page color insert). The cover information is not the same as the dust jacket. There are photos in the final book that do not appear in the ARC.

Some people collect ARCs (an original Harry Potter ARC is said to be worth tens of thousands of dollars) because few of them are produced. I have one box (15) of them left and I would offer any collectors the opportunity to buy pristine ARC's for $15 (including tax and shipping). But, note the lower price than the book. The color pictures really make a difference and, I believe, make the actual book the version to purchase.

In any case, I wanted to make clear what is occurring because I don't want some to purchase one of these  "used" 'copies' of Warnings and end up believing the actual book has typos and black and white photos.

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