Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pre-Reading, Or: How to "Acquire" an ARC of Your Favorite Upcoming Book

Is there a book you've been dying for? One you just can't wait to get your hands on? Well, fear not, faithful readers! I am here to help!

I'm sure you can think of a book that meets that description. Let's just use an example so it's easier to talk about. Say, just hypothetically, that you've been waiting and waiting for years for A Memory of Light, the really honestly final book in the Wheel of Time series, and it comes out in January, but you just don't want to wait anymore because you have been reading those books since ninth grade and can it please just be over already!

You know, hypothetically.

We bloggers do everything hypothetically.

Anyway, I'm here to hypothetically walk you through getting yourself a copy of that book before it's ever released! Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Step 1: Locate the Publisher

Bothering the author would just be rude. We want them to keep writing, right? But who else will have a complete copy of the book? The publisher, of course! So your first step is to find out where the publisher's offices are.

A Memory of Light is published by Tor, so I started wandering the streets of New York, asking random passersby where Tor was located.

Five of them cursed me out, three just ignored me, and one tried to run me over with a taxi.

Then I realized that my phone has this thing called "Google Maps" on it. Guess what, guys -- you don't have to ask New Yorkers for directions! I know that's a relief. So it turns out Tor is a branch of Tom Doherty Associates, which is located at 175 5th Avenue. Step one: complete!

Step 2: Reconnaissance

Okay. Now that you've located the publisher's offices, you have to figure out how to get in! (Hypothetically.) If you were Batman, you would probably do this by sneaking in in the middle of the night and looking all threatening and talking in a menacing voice and then disappearing if anyone found you. Unfortunately you are probably not Batman.

If you are Batman: Heeeeeyyyyy there.

Since you are not Batman, you'll have to be a little less awesome. Contrary to popular belief, I think it's probably actually easier to sneak into a place when lots of people are supposed to be there. Pretend to be a job applicant or something. (While you're there, maybe actually submit a job application, then you could get all the ARCs.)

Step 3 --

--Wait, how many steps are there in this thing? I'm kind of hungry.

As many as it takes. Do you want the book or not?


Okay, then.

Step 3: Acquisition

Now that you've scouted the place out and taken a really long potty break to figure out where the ARCs are (and actually use the bathroom, cause it takes a lot of coffee to wander around New York and you know how that goes), you're ready to grab yourself an ARC.

First you should probably pretend to leave. No one will suspect you if you're not there, right? So get on the elevator, then get off the elevator a couple floors down, get back on the elevator, and go back up again. Try to make sure no one sees you.

Okay. So you're back on the publisher's floor, right? Awesome. Now try to find some foolproof disguise. Try a potted fern or something, that usually works.

Congratulations. You're definitely invisible now.

Now that you are on the right floor and no one can see you, you have to be extra sneaky and get back to the room where they keep the books. Carefully make your way around the office, hiding behind the plant the whole time. Grab one of those ARCs and get out of there!

I hope this plan works for you. When I tried it, for some reason people could still see me behind the plant! Weird, right? Anyway, then the police showed up, and I tried to convince them that I really had to pee (well, it works when you're pulled over for speeding!), but they didn't buy that, especially after the publishing people told them about my potty break. Spoilsports.

So...on second thought, maaayyyybe it wouldn't actually kill anyone to wait for the official release. You know...


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