Definition of term:: Advance Reading Copy (ARC)
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A pre-publication state of the book, often a wrappered issue with the artwork intended for use with the published book, so that it looks like a paperback version. Advance Reading Copies are often sent to the reviewers and managers of bookstores several months before the first editions of the book will be offered for sale. Sometimes abbreviated ARC in the book trade.
Source: What bookdealers really mean. A dictionary by Tom Congalton and Dan Gregory (Between the Covers), with additions from other sources