Still, I feel I should personally do something about the lack of ARCs. The publisher promised to send out bound galleys, but I don't think they'll get them out fast enough to make a difference. At the moment I have my hands full with finishing up the final book in the StarDoc series, so the time I can spend doing additional promo is severely limited.
One option is to make available e-ARCs of the book to readers and bloggers who would be willing to commit to writing up a blog post or review of the novel before the release date (no favorable opinions expected or other strings attached; just a write-up of some kind.) The e-ARC would be a .pdf electronic copy of the novel manuscript, formatted to look similar to the print novel, minus the DRM and accompanying B.S. I'd probably include some bonus material to make it extra tempting, like the first chapter from the next book, Dreamveil. Naturally the recipients would be on their honor not to pass around the e-ARC or post it anywhere on the internet.
Some writers think using electronic ARCs as promo is too risky, but I believe it's part of our E-Future; the only economically sensible alternative to continuing to print and ship paper ARCs. Readers are always saying that the industry should trust them enough to strip DRM from e-books; I'm willing to to extend that kind of trust (for one book, anyway) and see what happens. It would be an interesting experiment, I think.
What do you guys think? Good idea, bad idea, stupid idea, don't do it PBW, or other? Let me know in comments.
*Note 9/3/10: Since Scribd.com instituted an access fee scam to charge people for downloading e-books, including those I have provided for free for the last ten years, I no longer use or recommend using their service. See my post about this scam here. Rain Lashed can be read online or downloaded for free from Google Docs here.