When I first started blogging, I had no idea what ARC stood for (Advanced Reader Copy) or what a Reviewer Copy even was. I found out after some research that they are essentially unproofed bond copies of a manuscript and are used to promote an upcoming novel. I thought this was really awesome.
I learned my info from The Story Siren's Dear Publisher Edition.
Now that I'm a bit more established, I've started receiving ARCs from publishers and couldn't be more excited. Then I ran across a debate going on around the web. Do ARCs work and who should get them?
Some people believe that bloggers shouldn't get ARCs and feel really strongly against giving them away. Some people believe the exact opposite. So here's my thinking:
If I receive a copy of an ARC chances are I have requested it from publisher. If I love the book (3.5 stars or more) then you can bet your bottom I'm going to go out and buy myself a finished copy. Most people are against bloggers having ARC because they believe the book lose sales because it. In some cases, this maybe true but it usually isn't the case here. Generally speaking, I either buy the book for myself or I host a giveaway on my blog for a finished version of the book. Why? Because if I loved the ARC that much, I WANT to own a finished copy and help the author sell novels. I started my blog to express my opinions on books and to network as an aspiring writer. I want to help the world I'm trying to break into, not hinder it.
Another arugement is that some people believe "regular" folk shouldn't be collecting ARC and that it's more for prestige than for actually reviewing. Do I like seeing a review copy on my shelf: Heck yeah I do! I love seeing them side by side with the novel I enjoyed reading. I'm not quite sure what's wrong with that. It's the same as hunting down a first edition signed copy of a novel you love. It's not like I've got an ARC on my shelf to say hey world, I'm better than you. I've got it because I loved the book and want to keep it. Sort of like a souvenir from a trip (because hey, that's really what books are, mini-vacations from the world).
Some of the same people who say this also condemn bloggers who give away ARCs on their blog instead of giving away real copies. I can understand this a little bit more. In one sense, I'm sure the publisher wants the ARC to go as far as it can because it's a marketing tool. The more hands they get into, the more buzz. But it also likely means that this could hurt the sales. Not everyone buys the ARCs they get. So I'm a little funny about giving away ARCs. I'd rather give away a finished version of a book.
The ironic part about this is I've just received a second ARC of a very anticipated novel and am planning to give it away next week. My stipulation will be that whoever enters must have a blog or place to review it as I want it to be used as it was intended to be used.
My closing thoughts: I think book bloggers are a good source to give away ARCs to because they can help spread buzz. There have been numerous books I've added to my list because trusted bloggers have told me they are good. I'm a little funny about giving away ARCs because I'd rather support the author with a sale of their finished copies.
Here are some books I've purchased after reviewing the ARC (most of these are numerous copies since I've given them away and recommended them early to my friends):
I want to take this last bit of time to sincerely thank all the wonderful people who have been kind enough to send me ARCs to review on my blog. I couldn't feel more blessed to be able to receive and read novels I'm incredibly excited about early and spread the joy!
So please, I'd love to hear your thoughts on ARCs!
And next week I'll be talking about: Do book bloggers help sell novels?