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Monday, July 9, 2012

State of the Blog: What do you do with your ARCs?





I just read an interesting post by Elizabeth Fama titled Kill my ARC  where she would prefer that reviewers don't pass along ARCs to anyone else.  I review for Amazon, so I have a stack of books that are collecting dust because their TOS won't let me do anything with them.  I have resorted to actually recycling these books because I just don't have the room for them.  Fama would like any copies of her ARCs composted as well.  I hate to see a book just sit there when I know there is another blogger who would love to review it, so that is why you will see me give away all of my ARCs.  I have never had an author or publisher tell me not to, in fact it seems much more economical for bloggers to do this.  The word of mouth and promotion that one ARC can generate is amazing.


I had one author tell me that his sales increased by 10 per cent when I gave away his ARC last year.  I think it was only four books, but hey, that is four books he might not have sold otherwise.   I don't get paid for doing any of this.   I spend a LOT of my own money to ship books out, not to mention the time I spend coordinating the giveaways, posting my reviews to other sites and generally talking about books, especially those I love.  I have mixed feelings about what to do with ARCs.  I would love a huge library to keep them all in but that is just not gonna happen. I think there is even one publisher (Scholastic, maybe?) that encourages you to donate the ARC to a child who wouldn't otherwise get a book.  I do a lot of giveaways where I request that the winner also write a review for my blog as a guest post.

I understand where Fama is coming from, since she thinks most ARCs are error riddled but in fact, I haven't come across one in a long time that differed much from the final copy.  I can only remember one instance that an ARC varied from the final copy and that was Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.  That was one story I didn't want to end and I think the publisher saw all the chatter in the blogOsphere saying the same thing, so the ending was changed and it turned into a trilogy.  And seriously, I don't think any reputable blogger sells their ARCs, now do they?  I really doubt that those ARC are severely cutting into sales of new books.  I think it is just the opposite.  The amount of publicity that those ARC generate is astounding.  If it is a good book, it will sell.  


So tell me:
What do you do with your ARCs?  Horde them?  Give them away?  Keep them forever?

UPDATE! 7.10.12 8am


Kelly at Radiant Shadows  left a comment that the author has since updated her post.  Kelly points out that she only wants HER ARC trashed because there were so many changes in the book including the ending and in light of this....the arc should be composted.  In all of my time reviewing ARCs, I have only come across 1-2 books where they didn't accurately reflect the finished copy.  In those cases the publicists notified me, so I did miss anything.  I would say 90% of the books I read are ARCs and for the most part they are perfect just the way they are.  I have a weird thing about finding typos and errors and I get kind of gleeful when I find them.  Lately though, I haven't come across any.  


Here is Kelly's full comment:
I don't know if you've seen the edits Elizabeth made to her original post, but the reason she specifically wants her ARCs of Monstrous Beauty "killed" is because she did go in and change the ending quite significantly. She said she also added in something which completely changes the context of a meaningful line.

So for her, she would rather her ARCs be destroyed then passed on (once the published copies of MB are released in September) because they WILL be quite different from the ARC.

She also clarified that she has no qualms with ARCs being shared amongst reviewers, because that's their purpose!


YAY KELLY for letting me know.


15 comments:

  1. I pass my ARC's along to friends. Somehow, they always end up back in my possession, but I do try to share them. As you mentioned, giveaways are expensive, and as a 17 year old with no job there is no way in hell I could afford even one giveaway. So I try to share them with as many people as possible who eventually return them to me. They never seem to collect dust, though. It seems that my bookcase is turning into a library that even my aunt's colleagues are requesting to borrow books from. lol

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  2. I give them away. Unless I adore it too much but generally I always give it away. I feel like it is a great way to....Spread the Word, so you say ;)

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  3. Lili -- isn't that wonderful that you are the go to for books now!

    Passing I love giving mine to new bloggers who would otherwise not have the chance to read one.

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  4. First i heard trash them. Then I heard donate them. Most recently, I've heard publishers ask that they be given to other reviewers and that's what I do. Now we are back to trashing them? I think I will still be giving mine away.

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  5. I think once they are sent to you, you should be able to do with them as you like. Except sell them. That is just wrong.
    I did donate some of mine to an after school program that helps kids read. I also dropped some off at the youth shelter. Those kids need anything they can get.

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  6. I don't have a lot, just a few of them really. I dropped mine off at a new teen center in my neighborhood, they were just opening and were asking for anything really. A cool new place for teens to hang out.

    I never could trash them. That's just wrong.

    I hate for them to sit on my shelf collecting dust. It's sorta having a nice library at school that isn't open cause they can't afford a librarian. Like my daughter's school.

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  7. I win some occasionally, but don't have a lot around because I don't run two, big, nice awesome blogs! :)That said, I always pass them on to a friend of similar interest, and I have put a couple in recycling too. Sometimes I see them at library sales. I haven't donated any to my library, because I don't know if they're supposed to profit/sell them either. Even if it's a good cause!

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  8. I don't know if you've seen the edits Elizabeth made to her original post, but the reason she specifically wants her ARCs of Monstrous Beauty "killed" is because she did go in and change the ending quite significantly. She said she also added in something which completely changes the context of a meaningful line.

    So for her, she would rather her ARCs be destroyed then passed on (once the published copies of MB are released in September) because they WILL be quite different from the ARC.

    She also clarified that she has no qualms with ARCs being shared amongst reviewers, because that's their purpose!

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  9. Kelly -- I didn't see the amended post. When I read it, there was no mention of the ending being changed, only using different words in some instances. That is a completely different take on the whole thought. Thanks so much for letting me know.

    I know Hush Hush had the last chapter replaced completely and it sounds like this is the same thing. I wish she would have said straight out that THE ENDING WAS CHANGED. It makes total sense for her not to want those ARC floating about in this case.

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  10. Unless I am specifically told to destroy the ARCs after reading (which would break my heart), I pass them along. After I read and review, I either host a giveaway for that ARC (with the author's permission), or send them to a friend or RAK blogger who is interested, or donate it to my library or local used book store. Every single time I have read and loved an ARC that is part of a series, I have ended up buying the rest of the series. So to me, if one ARC passing hands and being buzzed about can generate more sales, it seems like the right thing to do.

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  11. If I absolutely love the book, I will keep it. I do loan them out to friends. Many people in my neighborhood come to me for books, because I usually have them before the library does. I also give away many of them. I think it would be a cardinal sin to sell them. I spend a lot of my personal money in postage, but I would rather they get in the hands of someone who is also anxiously awaiting a great book.

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  12. I'm all about sharing, even those Amazon books that they claim would violate the TOS. How will they ever find out?

    That's the exact words we used to use in the music world about promo albums. We did it for years (Thanks, Ted and Robbie!) and no one ever knew. Or cared if they did know.

    Books are meant to be shared. They're meant to have a community built around them. Share 'em!

    (although now that I fully understand the story, with content changes, I understand that point of view, too. Sounds like someone jumped the gun and created a maelstrom for that poor author!)

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  13. I use my ARCs in my classroom library and my students LOVE them. Even though the books have been published now, there's still something about reading the advance copy. They really think it's awesome.

    I've even had several students purchase the finished copy after reading the ARC because they loved it so much. When that happens, I feel like my work is finished! :D

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  14. I tend to keep my ARCs, I do share them but they're returned to me. If I have two, I giveaway the other one. Unfortunately, I was at a used bookstore and saw where someone had sold back and ARC and it was now on the shelf to be sold. So selling ARCs do happen. :( But, personally, I believe in sharing.

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  15. Great post! You touched upon a lot of points that I agree with. Like passing on my ARCs to other reviewers, or friends who like to read. They gather up dust and a lot of space in my room and I sadly can't keep them. I understand how some authors won't want them recycled because they do change, but there's only a small number who wish to do that. I also get a little thrill when I find an error in the ARC too, but the errors are small and minuscule to even stand out.

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