It’s always super exciting to get an advance copy of your book. Until then, most of the work of the book has been electronic. I might print some things out, but a printed-out book manuscript looks a lot like a term paper assigned by a syllabus (that is, nothing too new and exciting).
But an advance copy looks like an almost real book! You get to hold something in your hands that didn’t come from the wireless printer across the room that seems to forget how to talk to your computer most of the time.
Picture book advance copies are called Folded and Gathereds (or F&Gs) and are floppy and have a tendency to fall to pieces if anyone in the room trips or sneezes or breathes. Chapter book advance copies (also called Advance Reader Copies, or ARCs, and sometimes also referred to as galleys) look like paperback copies of a book that’s not quite finished. Their binding stays together if someone has a coughing fit nearby, and if you squint and stand far away and ignore all the “ADVANCE COPY/UNCORRECTED PROOF/NOT FINAL/NOT FOR SALE” warnings, it looks like a Real Book.
This is a long introduction to explain why, in the excitement of having an advance copy of my very first chapter book, Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School, and maybe in an advanced procrastinatory fit, I made a two-minute-long silent movie of my dogs searching for the treasure that is this advance copy. Enjoy!