Wards of Faerie, Book I of The Dark Legacy of Shannara, will be published on August 21, 2012 in the US and a week later in the UK.

But the process of publishing a book is a long one that takes almost a year to come to fruition. It goes far beyond the writer finishing the final draft of the book. A few weeks ago, Terry received the final edited proof pages, where he had to go over the book one final time before it heads to a final production editing team, the marketing team, critics and reviewers, and the various buyers B&N, Amazon, etc. who decide how many copies to order for their bookstores.

For the reviewers and corporate book buyers, Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) are created once Terry approves the pages. These trade paperback books usually come without the full color cover, might have a few unedited errors that will be fixed, but are otherwise the entirety of the book. These typically come out four to five months before the book’s hardcover release.

These also typically hit the secondary market quickly and the people who are lucky enough to come across one as a book buyer or reviewer charge a great deal of money to fans.

Sad but true.

Nevertheless, there are readers who love collecting ARCs. They would salivate at what came in the mail today.

A box arrived today with eight copies of Wards of Faerie. Terry will sign them and most will go to his Forum moderators, who work hard at keeping a civilized online forum where his fans can meet and discuss all things fantasy unmolested by internet trolls. The moderators deserve this nicety. They do it out of love for Terry’s work.

When I first started as webmaster, I told Terry I didn’t want to be paid with money but with two ARCs. So two of them are mine, to do with what I want. Ha!

The two I possess will be put up online in June 2012—one in a contest that all can enter, the other up on ebay.com to help pay my medical bills. So get ready for that.

In the meantime, here is a super sneak peek at the first page of Wards of Faerie, courtesy of Terry, Del Rey Books, and yours truly! Hope it doesn’t get you too riled up!

Written by Shawn Speakman
I am the long-time friend and webmaster for Terry Brooks as well as the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel Terry calls "a fine tale by a talented writer." Join me on Facebook and Twitter (@shawnspeakman)!