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.