The Deal with ARCs

deal

Before I dive into this blog post, I just want to say hello. It’s been a while, I know, I know. And I am really bummed about it too. Are we still friends? We still are right? We all go through slumps right? I will make a post soon about where have I been and what have I been doing (or not doing) lately. I promise. Now onto the topic at hand.

As I was almost hopelessly trying to catch up on all the post I have missed out on all my favorite blogs, I came across this issue and I can’t help but give my piece of the cake to it as well. I have read the discussions by  Jess @ Princessica of Books and Claire @ Blankslaters Reads and if you want more thoughts on this, you can visit their posts here and here

First off, I just want to put it out there, I think ARCs are wonderful and are great ways to promote books which are yet to be released. They are ways to get reader feedback early on, so minor changes can be made if need be. They help create awareness about a certain book or author, and sort of create a buzz about new stuff. Indirectly, I also think that they become ways for readers, publishers, and authors connect and have intelligent discussions about books – after of course the natural flailing and/or helpless weeping.So in general, ARCs are good.

During the months that I have been involved in the book community here on the internet (wonderful people by the way) I saw how ARCs became a) a status symbol and b) a currency. Across all the social media platforms, it seems like ARCs just exploded out of nowhere and have rained on, as some would say, a privileged few. This statement may be contested, but it is a matter of discussion I am willing to engage into (so comment down below *wink*).

I am not gonna lie, I have been sent ARCs before, and I am very grateful for that. To be honest, I was surprised to be even contacted by an author. For a neophyte, that is a huge deal! They were indie books, but hey, no discrimination of any sorts. And like I have said before, some indie books and authors deserve much more credit and hype than they are getting. Now, some (or most) would say that if your get ARCs most people do not get their hands on, or if you have tons of ARCs being sent to you, then you are a HUGE DEAL as a book blogger. In my opinion, this is essentially true. The purpose of ARCs is for promotion like I’ve said earlier, so of course, the first ones on their list as to who gets ARCs sent to them would be the bloggers with a relatively larger following and readership. If you look at it with this point of view, then yes, I guess ARCs can be status symbols. HOWEVER, I do not think they should breed discrimination. Take me for example! I got ARCs and I am not even near 500 followers!

Also, I want to point out that the ‘larger’ book blogs have been around for quite some time, so they have built loyal readership (that a word? whatever). They’ve got time in. One thing I have learned in this journey is patience and hard work pays off.

Now, during the last few weeks, I have been seeing reactions about people selling ARCs or trading their ARCs. For the latter, I am all for it, but with the selling, I disagree. With the posts linked to this one, they have discussed a certain ‘special case’ where they ‘could probably justify’ selling the ARCs that a person owns. And though I disagree with selling something you got FOR FREE, maybe humane considerations get the best of me. Maybe offering them at a distinctly lower price? That is the only thing I would say about it as I still haven’t made a firm stand on that one.

Trading ARCs, I think, is a good way of spreading the word about books. That is the point after all right? The more people to talk about it the better. However, demanding for arm and leg in exchange for ARCs you own is not on my okay book. Advance Readers Copies are not meant to be used as currencies to obtain a certain amount of books. Nope.

If you started blogging, or want to start blogging just to get free books and ARCs. Stop. You are on the wrong track my friend.

And while we are on the topic of free books, discussion threads have dealt on the issue of some bloggers allegedly getting “paid” to post certain (5-star) reviews for books and authors. Well. This is a tough one to address. First of all, I believe in absolute transparency when it comes to reviewing books. Having said that, I think that receiving free books in exchange for only honest reviews is the way to go. After all, I write book reviews and posts about books because I want to share my opinions with others in the community as well. It is in my hope that my honest thoughts may be of help to others. But, I cannot say that the same is true for other bloggers. I am not naming anyone, or do I know someone who does, or am I saying that this really happens. All I can say is that as it is, I cannot condemn this activity. I am aware that people need to survive and doing that maybe one way of earning a living. What others do with their blogs is completely up to them, but personally, “selling” reviews in favor of the book is not something I will support or do. Absolutely not. Unless maybe you get paid to post your honest review.

So.. that is my  take on the ARC shenanigan.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Let’s chat about it. I am planning to request ARCs soon. Do you have any advice or tips for me?

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15 thoughts on “The Deal with ARCs

  1. For me, I haven’t seen much coverage on arcs. Perhaps it’s just the people I follow, or maybe I’m just a sad lonely book blogger that doesn’t see enough of the book blogging community, but I have never seen anybody actually boast about their arcs. I’ve seen it mentioned in passing (“oh right I got an arc of that book”) but I’m 99% sure it was not intended to be hurtful or condescending. A really great discussion to have. Thanks for a great post. Hope the slump finishes soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by! It is quite disturbing actually. I have seen pictures and posts about trading and selling ARCs and honestly it intrigued me. And you are not a sad lonely blogger! I love your posts! I stop by every so often! Even though, I have been a lousy commenter lately. I know, shame on me. What do you think about this issue though?
      And thanks, I think I am slowly rising from the slump, yay me!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely agree with you! It’s fine to trade ARCs – after all, that’s just another way of spreading the word about book you love. Selling them, however, is another matter. If an author has entrusted you with an early copy of their book, it’s definitely not right to be almost “leaking” it on eBay – and for a price! Keep your ARCs to yourself. If they’re REALLY intent on selling the ARC then AT LEAST. AT LEAST do it after the book has been released.

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  2. This is such a great discussion post! I agree with your points, especially the one about how selling ARCs is largely a no-no. I’m personally completely against reviewers selling ARCs because they’re given to the reviewer for free simply in exchange for a review. Sending reviewers physical ARCs cost the publishers/author money too, so I think that it’s important to respect that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. The fact that they have been sent free should be enough. Have you read the posts by the other two blogs I linked? What do you think of the situation they discussed?

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      • I think it’s incredibly sad that books can be found at used bookstores! Even if it’s for charity, I think it’s a tough situation and isn’t completely morally okay. Like Jess said, authors spent years on these books and gave them in good faith to reviewers, so it’s not very good on the reviewer’s part if they sell it.

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      • True. Like I said, I think it would be best if they maybe lend it or give it to another blogger or a reader who they think might enjoy it. Again, selling it is out of the question. It’s not fair trade in my opinion.

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  3. This is always a really interesting discussion! I totally agree that ARCS are an important part of the author and blogging communities, but I also think that bloggers should not be selling the ARCS they receive, unless they get permission from the publisher or author. Authors/publishers are trusting you when they send you an ARC, and it’s not okay to break that trust by turning around and selling the book to someone else. Most ARCS even say “not for re-sale or distribution”, so I don’t understand why people are selling them anyway??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right? I find it really weird as well. I think ARCs are wonderful ways to connect with the book community too. Plus, ARCs are technically ‘unfinished’ copies. Like they still might need final read-throughs and minor polishing so if you sell it, it is kind of unfair to the one who buys it..
      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  4. Pingback: Friday Finds: Week 78 and 79 | Avid Reader

  5. Yeah, selling ARCs is just absolutely not on. Trading is a different matter because you’re just sharing the love! I do get quite a few ARCs because I’ve been blogging for…well, this is my fourth year now and I’ve got a decent-ish following. But then on the other hand Aussie publishers don’t even publish too many of the hyped books, so I end up buying a lot of them myself anyway!

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  6. Interesting. I’ve seen people discussing being paid to book blog in general, but I have not seen any book bloggers claiming they have actually been offered payment to write a review. At this point, there’s really no reason for anyone to pay a book blogger because so many other bloggers will provide the same service free of charge.

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