For those who are new to the endless acronyms that come with the bookish world, ARC stands for Advanced Reader’s Copy. These are free copies of books sent out for pictures, reviews etc. by the Publisher to create hype around books in advance of publication. You can also get e-ARCs on sites like Netgalley or Edelweiss or even through an email from an author or agent etc.
While some people collect these, they are not for sale and are illegal to sell despite some listing them on websites like ebay. Don’t sell ARCs. Don’t buy ARCs. You can trade them with other readers, in fact, we support this.
We all have a different relationship with ARCs.
I remember when I first started blogging and it felt like I couldn’t get an advanced copy to save my life. I thought if only I could get some free early copies I could make it in the book blogging world. I’m here to tell you, they will come. Be patient.
They get very overwhelming
Flat out, I over-request and it has caused slumps. Window shopping on Netgalley or Edelweiss is a serious problem. Once they start rolling in, they don’t always stop. If you don’t believe me, go over-request on Netgalley and then work for 6 months reading the automatic downloads to raise your score back up. I need the flexibility to mood read and ARCs kind of screw that up for me.
Edelweiss is my best friend
I’m listed as (Independent/Freelance) not Media. Make sure you have a bio that says Excellent by it. You will see this when you go to make a request. Honestly, i’m not sure the reasons for requesting matter, but I try to be funny and short. They don’t want to know your entire life when they are reading hundreds of requests. TLDR.
I don’t like the NetGalley ratio system
I understand the desire to give publishers a baseline of reliability. I don’t think that DNFs should count against you. It encourages reviewers to fake reviews to keep up their score. We need the ability to DNF without penalty because it’s not fair to reviewers or to authors to get 1 star reviews or fake ones.
I forget to request physical ARCs.
I don’t even have a good excuse for this. I just forget to send the emails and because of that, I don’t get as many physical books. It takes a lot more time than clicking on the sites for digital ARCs.
I prefer E-ARCs a lot of the time.
They are more portable and they cost less to publishers, which theoretically should bring down overall cost. I’m not great at bookstagram so the pictures aren’t a huge factor for me.
I think eARCs should be available worldwide.
I can understand shipping costs to restrict a publisher. Is it fair? No, but they have overhead to deal with. It’s a business. I don’t know enough about licensing, but a download is a download and eARCs should be accessible to everyone with internet access.
A poorly formatted eARC is probably going to get a lower rating.
Not only is it rude to ask us to try to read that nonsense, it lowers our enjoyment dramatically. It’s not fair to authors to send out a crappy ARC. I have DNF’d multiple books for poor formatting that I may have otherwise loved. This is not helping publicity and it’s not helpful to the authors.
I buy a hardback of the ones I love.
If you love an ARC, support the author and buy that book. Request it at the library. Buy a copy for a friend. Any of these are helpful. Yes, we can get free copies, it’s awesome. But we can’t expect awesome sequels if we don’t support the author.
What truths about ARCs do you have? Let me know in the comments!