First thing, let’s define what ARCs (Advance Readers Copies [sometimes also referred to as galleys or bound galleys or AREs—Advance Readers Editions]) are, so we’re talking about the same thing: An uncorrected proof of the book that is bound into book form for easier reading. They are expensive for houses to make, because they do not benefit from the economies of scale of finished editions, so much so that each ARC produced actually costs the publisher far more than the amount it costs to print final books. For many titles, the ARCs will represent one of the biggest outlays of marketing money the book will receive.

If they are so spendy, why do them? The best way to get people to be passionate about a book is to let them read it. Thus, ARCs, designed to make sure the people who make purchasing decisions get to experience the book far enough out from when orders are placed. Ideally, that pays off like this: Bookstore Buyer X, who is responsible for deciding if his or her store will carry a title and how many to order if so, reads an ARC, falls for it, and orders twice as many copies as Store would normally order for a book of that type. Or Librarian Y encounters a deeply special but maybe not splashy novel and begins beating the drums for it, leading to other librarians discovering it and to a solid performance in the institutional markets. Everyone wins, hooray!

ARCs were once pretty much only available to trade publication and mass media reviewers, booksellers, librarians, and others who, in order to achieve the desired outcome, had to read the book before publication. But over the last few years ARCs have taken on another role—tool in creating the intangible thing known as “buzz.”

“Buzz” is lovely but only insofar as it translates to sales—this is after all a business. And here’s where I warp into Mayor McCranky. Because remembering from above that the goal of an ARC is to create a stronger entry for the book in the marketplace—why do we now have an ARC culture where people collect them like trading cards, or display them like spoils of war after a trade show, or go online to sell & buy them on eBay, or pass them person to person so everyone on the internet with even a passing interest has read the book two months before it even hits shelves?

This stuff is hard to talk about, because I don’t want to sound like I am dogging on fans, or bloggers, or Twitterers, or any other group of people who love books and want a piece of them as soon as possible. I love that passion. But I don’t love the sense that an author “owes” their fans a freebie, or that waiting however long for a book to publish is torture beyond the pale that justifies the effort of seeking out a galley when you don’t fall into one of the must-receive categories above. There’s a lot of entitlement around ARCs that I find honestly baffling when you consider they are a business marketing tool.

Sometimes I see posts that aren’t much more than “Look, I have it and you don’t!” (Honestly, this is one of the things that concern me about book-world social media overall—the risk of creating The Insider Club You’re Not In Gee If You Were Awesomer You Would Have ARCs Too.  Not true! Or at ALL the point!) Or I’ll see a site run a giveaway of a book that came out five months ago and do a giveaway of the ARC. Where’s the “Advance” in that? Give away a real copy if you feel like you have to do a giveaway, or just do a review. After all, the reason the ARC came through in the first place was in hopes your words would introduce people to a title they’d want to buy. Are the words you create powerful enough to sell someone on a book? If you’re really an influencer, a key part of the bookselling ecosystem for which ARCs were designed, they should be.

I’m a huge fan of e-galleys because they seem to circumvent some of these undesirable uses of ARCs. An e-galley gets the book into the hands of people who need to read it—and then when the book publishes, it expires. Not languishes in a stack for three years. Not gets sold on ebay. Not whirls off to fourteen friends (I’m not anti-book-loaning—you buy it, you can do whatever—but it’s sort of antithetical to the point of ARCs).

If you’re someone who does get ARCs on a regular basis, you have the potential to be a force for the success of the books you loved, and that’s fabulous. All I’m asking is that you think of how you use your galleys, relative to the bookseller who decides to carry a title she might have initially planned to skip or the librarian who starts an institutional push. The publisher’s return on investment in those scenarios (One galley yielding, say, 10 or 20 or 200 additional sales) is looking pretty good. If you’re getting your hands on ARCs, what does the publisher’s return on investment look like for you?

Ways you can use your galley access for good:

  • Spread the word, not the galley.
  • If the publisher asks for it, give feedback! Let them know if a book resonated particularly well with you. Let them know if you’re spreading the word, and how.
  • You won’t love every title, and you don’t have to. No need to be the Reader Who Cried Five-Stars. Save your enthusiasm for the titles you’re truly passionate about and people will listen.
  • When you do speak, make it count. The internet is great, but there are other ways to advocate for a book. Request it with your librarian. Ask if your local bookseller will stock it and tell them why it’s so wonderful.
  • Continue to contribute to the book economy in whatever way you are able. Buy debuts too, not just Book 6 in the mega-series (because there wasn’t an ARC so you didn’t get it free). Donate $20 to a teacher to add to the class library, or for the kid who might not have the cash to participate when the Scholastic fair comes through your local school. If you love books, support them at whatever level you are able.

I’d love to hear what you think about the subject as well in the comments. How have you seen ARCs used for good? What do you think of e-galleys? Should I see if there’s a vacancy in Oscar’s trash can because I too am a grouch?


79 Responses to “On ARCs”

  1. The blogosphere is brutal when it comes to ARCs. It’s really part of the reason I stopped updating my review blog for long periods of time. It’s so competitive and so much like high school that it stopped being fun to spread the word about books and it was much more about who had what and what they’d do to get what they didn’t have.

    I found that doing giveaways of ARCs on my blog was a way to make more people interested in the book. Someone who might not usually pick up that kind of novel would see the tweets about my giveaway and be interested because, hey, it was a free book. And a lot of times, people who didn’t win would go out and buy the book and then come back and tell me they loved it and were grateful for my review.

    But more often, the people who won my giveaway would be other book bloggers who would read the book, give it a two-sentence review and then turn around and give it away. While you can’t really control what happens to an ARC, I was sad to see that it was being used like a piece of meat to draw in followers to whatever blog it had gone to.

    Now I keep my ARCs to myself and just do reviews of them, sans giveaway. It’s much easier that way and there is so much less to worry about in terms of whether or not I’m hurting the author by letting their book go out, for free, into the blogosphere.

  2. I’m a blogger and a past publishing company marketer, and I just wanted to throw in my two cents – this is a great article. I have stacks of ARCs to review – and I will, when I find the time, though not always before the book is released, which means it might have been cheaper for the publisher to just send a final book instead of an ARC. And after a few years at BEA, my previous company stopped bringing ARCs – it was too much like people looking for any kind of hand-out, and not actually interested in the title itself.

  3. 3 Amanda

    I think e-galleys are brilliant. A win-win for both publishers and reviewers.

    • I think the theory of e-galleys is good but I couldn’t read an e copy because i can’t read off a screen for that long

  4. I think as long as you are using ARC’s for their purpose (to create a buzz about the book) I don’t see the harm on giving them away on your blog. I won an ARC of The Duff on a blog and read it immediately chatted with friends about it. I write primarily for younger children, so I didn’t post about it on my blog. I did rate it on Goodreads. I never would have thought of selling it on ebay. I’ve been given a couple f & g copies of picture books from a friend and I treasure them…I may never get to that point in my (hopeful) career as a writer, so to me ARCs and F & G copies are little tastes of what might be….

    • Great example of a giveaway that worked–I’m def. not anti-giveaway entirely! You might not have automatically picked up THE DUFF, so here we can see it as something that completely worked in reaching a new reader.

  5. I think these are valid points and I hadn’t realized how expensive ARCs were to produce. If I get an ARC (or e-galleys, which are great b/c I love my Kindle), I’ll always post an honest review and try to point out all the good points of the book b/c ppl’s tastes are so different. Just b/c I wasn’t into a particular story – if it’s well-written, someone else will be.

  6. I’m a blogger and I’ve been lucky enough to get ARCs. Not every ARC that I get sent ends up as my cup of tea, even ones that I may have requested. Rather then just let that book go un-read or unpromoted I’ll usually try to find it a good home with another blogger. There are also times when I get overwhelmed with life and reading commitments that I can’t always get to a title in time to read it and help generate that buzz. So again I’ve been known to send it out to another blogger to borrow so they can do some buzz/promotion for it in my place. The Publicists that I’ve talked to all seem fine with this so long as the book is getting out there and being read/promoted. When bloggers share ARCs it can save the publisher some money & help spread the books around to everyone who wants it.

    Unlike some bloggers out there though I didn’t start my blog because of the chance to get ARCs. I had no idea what they were when I first started blogging. I blogged because I loved books and wanted a place to share my thoughts. I still love books and even though I might get & read an ARC of book x – if I loved it enough then I buy a finished copy of it, not just for me but as gifts as well. I know many other bloggers do the same. Do I give away ARCs after release? yes, sometimes – if that’s what I have and especially if its signed. People like things that are signed. I also can’t keep every book that I receive and I hate the idea of throwing them out. So if I can get a book into another loving home. Then that’s what I’ll do.

    Are there bloggers who abuse ARCs, yes. But they aren’t the only ones. Many of the ones who put them up on ebay after a conference like BEA are the booksellars, librarians and other book professionals. Bloggers just tend to get a lot of flack I think because we’re more visible than the librarian or book store buyer. We have more of an online presence on Twitter, our blogs, and sites like goodreads. But I know many booksellers who have given away ARCs to people or who have sold them so I know they aren’t blameless.

    As for egalleys. I love them. But I hate the ones that expire right on release date. Sometimes I don’t get sent an egalley until right before and it has to go unread as I just don’t have the time to drop everything else and get to that book. Especially since I can be a slow and moody reader and it may not be the right time for me to get to that book. But I love programs like NetGalley because I can request the ARCs I want, DL when I have the time to read it & I get 60 days. If that 60 days isn’t enough I can usually re-DL later. As with physical ARCs if I love a book enough then I will buy the hard copy of it. But I can’t do it with every book as I’d just go broke and I do like to buy books that I haven’t read yet as well.

    I love books. I always have. Getting (or not getting) an ARC won’t keep me from buying or spreading the word.

    • Great comment, and thank you for it–these are terrific points. Love your take on egalleys and also on passing galleys to bloggers who can get the word out when you know you can’t–I love that, think it is wonderful, and not in the least what I meant about passing along. That’s a perfect example of doing so responsibly. And you’re very right about booksellers (one of the ebay sites that makes me the craziest is a bookstore owner…and I can even see the argument that there is some value to people who want galleys (signed or not) as collector-items–but not EVERY BOOK for the love of Pete, and really? for authors who aren’t established yet?) and industry pros being very culpable here too. As a newbie-assistant I was a total BEA swaghound, and while I did read and learn from those galleys, it’s not exactly the point. And there are definitely industry people whose behavior on Goodreads, twitter etc. has damaged my impression of them. Dogging a book there can really easily become sour grapes. This is a question with many sides, and thanks so much for helping identify them here.

  7. I love the idea of e-galleys, personally. Although I don’t get many ARCs (usually from friends or if I beg my editor), when I do get them and read them… then what? If I loved it I’ll buy the Real Book, and I can do a giveaway of the ARC.

    But if I hated it… I want it far, far away. I’m not going to resell it. I won’t do a buzz-generating giveaway, either. So what do I do? Put it in the trash? Contact the author “Hey, I didn’t like your book well enough to give it away, do you want it?” Yeah, that would be fun for everybody.

    (My best solution so far has been to pass them on to my local teen librarian. Which is great, but I also always have to say with the ones I don’t like “This isn’t an endorsement.” And it’s awkward.)

    I imagine there are ARC graveyards hidden away behind old doors and under piles of laundry in some places.

  8. 11 Laura W.

    I am very happy with e-galleys. I don’t like having to figure out what to do with an ARC when I have finished reading/reviewing it for purchase (and I purchase most of the final books for my school library). I am very unhappy with the “arcs float on” concept whereby teachers are adding them to classroom “libraries.” It says to me, “I don’t care enough about my students to give them final, edited, published books.” Yes, the economy is tough, but we still need to make sure our readers are getting the best into their hands, no matter the cost.

  9. 12 Becky

    Great post. One question: what do you propose doing with ARCs after the recipient has read them? I sometimes get ARCs for my job and I’m at a loss re: what to do with ones I don’t feel like keeping. I’ve passed them along to friends or donated them to a classroom simply because I don’t like the idea of throwing a book I enjoyed away–but I also don’t want to inadvertently hurt the author/publisher by circulating a copy that never made royalties. Thanks!

  10. 15 Sophie

    Thank you for saying this so beautifully. I adore eARCs and hope more publishers put them out for reviewers.

  11. One of the reasons I don’t participate in the “In my mailbox” meme is because I don’t like the way it comes across as “look what I got”. Any ARCS I get are gratefully received and if I LOVE a book then I market the hell out of it, through sheer passion for the book. I do share my ARC’s with other book bloggers only through a tour site I set up and I don’t feel bad about this. As a UK’er we don’t always get the opportunity to read ARC’s and often have to wait for months until UK rights are sold. By sharing ARC’s, I think we have bonded as a community and work together to promote books.

    One of the main problems I have with ARC’s is what to do with them afterwards. I don’t have the space to keep them all and I know I can’t sell them (heaven forbid) and libraries won’t take them. I try to pass some onto my sister but really I’m just passing the problem on. And this is where e-galleys come into play. They are fantastic as I can read them on my kindle and not have to worry about what to do with them afterwards. I think I’d like to see more of them even though it means my tour site would be obselete and it’s a little weird at first reading a digital copy. And just so you know, I support debut authors 100% and that’s where most of my money goes. I’m a book ADDICT and not only do I buy finished copies of books I’ve loved (and read an ARC of) but I also buy a lot of debut books that I can’t get an ARC of just so I can read it.

  12. 17 Kristin

    Here, here to your endorsement of eGalleys. Another benefit is that publishers get back some of the control that has been lost in the exhibit halls. With an aggregating service like NetGalley, for example, a publisher can read a reader’s profile and decide if that is the kind of reader (like you say, a bookseller or a librarian or a reviewer that meets whatever in-house standards have been established) to whom they want to release their content. Even services like Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab are invitation-only. It gives back a bit of balance. Plus, I suspect I am not the only one whose shelves are groaning from big stacks of ARCs I haven’t yet read. Even as I have gotten significantly more selective about what I take away from a conference, I still don’t end up reading them all. eGalleys reduce my guilt.

    • That’s a great point–it has got to feel overwhelming from the other side, too. And I absolutely think most people feel the weight of that “I got this, so I should do something with it.” What that should be is the hard question.

  13. I love the advice on Not Being The Reader who cried Five Stars, and the fact that it comes from a real live industry professional. Thank you for writing that.

    As a book blogger, I love e-galleys. I never know what to do with ARCs after I finish reading and reviewing them, as I don’t like to keep them on my shelves. What do you suggest doing with ARCs if one does not care to store/keep them?

    As for good uses, I’ve seen bookstores/libraries who have book clubs for teens, and they basically let the teen have the ARC in exchange for writing a review, and basically being word of mouth. If there was a book store/library in my area that did this, I’d happily give them the ARCs I’ve read.

    • I know it goes against everything you probably feel as a book lover–but it is totally acceptable to recycle or toss them. Love the teen book club idea, too.

    • If you have ARCs that you would like to donate, please pass them along to a teacher! From elementary to high school level, we maintain classroom libraries & would love to have ARCs to add to the collection.

      • Yes! Thanks for pointing this out–I should’ve been quicker to offer it up as a read-ARC use. Hope others find it useful.

  14. This is an absolutely fantastic post, and with your permission, I would like to link to it in my weekly news roundup that I post on Thursdays.

    I am a fairly new blogger, and I have received two ARCs to date, one from an author and another through LibraryThing ER. It’s always thrilling to receive something like that, being a story lover. I have to say, I probably take a bit more time and care to fairly and comprehensively review an ARC copy since I know that it is an expense to the publisher to put out there. I haven’t seen too much snipe amongst bloggers about ARCs myself, and if I’ve seen someone saying how excited they are about an ARC, I take it as just that: excitement (not bragging). It’s never occurred to me to sell an ARC, and I state on my review policy that I would never do so. I currently am holding an ARC contest on my blog, but this is a copy offered for this purpose through the author/publisher, and I don’t require a follow – I think there is a ‘right’ way to handle ARCs, and for the most part, the bloggers I follow seem to treat getting an ARC with respect.

    With the advent of e-readers and Adobe Digital, I frankly think that it makes much more sense for publishing houses to put out less print ARCs and more e-galleys. The ARCs are wonderful to have – it feels like an honor, but putting out a more limited quantity of them and limiting would-be buzz-inciters to e-galleys may be a great way of weeding out the trophy hunters.

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  15. I don’t have the time or energy to keep up with a book blog anymore, but when I did have one, I gave away ARCs. To cover my butt, I always asked permission first. 90% of publishers gave the go ahead, so long as I wasn’t charging (selling on ebay, selling for raffle). Those who said no thanks, I respected their wishes. However, I will admit to having donated a bunch of ARCs to a library charity sale last year, but by that time, the books had been out for about two years.

  16. 26 georgiamcbridebooks

    Wonderful and insightful post. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts but also making suggestions for those who may not have thought of ways to use the ARCs they receive. I do agree that some folks compete for ARCs and swag simply as a na-na-na-na-boo-boo (sorry I have young kids) I have and you don’t competitive sport. To me, this is wrong. Unfortunately there may not be anything the publishers can do about it. I think there is value to continuing to spread the buzz for the book with an ARC via promotion/contest/giveaway even once the hardcover is released. The ARC is something that is unique/limited. Very few people have access to it and to “win” one is a great privledge. This is how I view it and the folks who win the ARCs I’ve given away are always excited. We also send quite a few overseas and the international readers are overjoyed when they can get their hands on a new release or ARC of a new release from the States. I think it’s all in the way you present it and carry yourself as you go about the business of book promotion. Again, thanks so much for posting this. Much appreciated!

  17. Well said, Mayor McCranky! (Which you could never be, dude. Not even on your McCrankiest day.) 🙂

    I have a similar dilemma where ARCs are concerned. I used to give them away on my author blog back when I *had* a blog, but after that went away I had a small stack of ARCs left from a variety of fabulous publishers with no place to put them since the books are all on shelves now (and I’m very anti-let’s-give-away-ARCs-already-in-release!).

    So I’ve taken to giving them away to Great Scavenger Hunt Contest librarians, many of whom have extremely limited library budgets right now and no longer have the opportunity to go to the big conferences and pick up review copies. But even knowing the ARCs are going to exactly the kind of people publishers are trying to reach with ARCs, I still feel squidgy about giving away an ARC months after it hit shelves. It just feels… weird.

    In the end, I decided giving them away to Hunt librarians was a better use for them than collecting dust on my shelves. The latter doesn’t help a publisher at all. So I’ll throw that out there for anyone with ARCs and no place to share them. Go chat with your local school or public librarian and see if they would like to review a copy to consider for the library’s collection. Chances are they’ll be delighted you asked!

    • I don’t think libraries can accept ARCs for their collection and they shouldn’t (by definition it was not published). However I’m sure the librarians would love to read the book to see if they’d like to buy one.


      • You’re exactly right. The ARCs I donate to librarians always have a note attached saying that since ARCs aren’t allowed to be added to library circulation, the ARC is for the librarian’s personal review to consider purchasing for the library’s collection. That’s always in the giveaway announcement I do as well. 🙂

  18. Beautifully said, Holly. And I couldn’t agree more.

    I get a lot of ARCs these days, thanks to the review network I’m a part of (the Bookanistas), and I know I personally feel a very heavy responsibility to try to do right by my giant stack. So far, I’ve found the best use is to give them away when I review the book, and I *try* to schedule that post about 2-3 months prior to the book’s release. Before I’d started doing that, I’d found that my book reviews tended to get lower hit traffic than my other posts. When the contest is attached, the traffic triples. So my hope is that all the people who enter and don’t win will still have at least read the review (which I try to keep short, glowing, and spoiler free) and hopefully that will motivate them to buy the book when it releases. The hard part of that is keeping up with the reviews. Well, that, and I don’t post negative reviews, so there are quite a few ARCs I never post about, because I just didn’t love them enough. No idea what to do with those ARCs, except I guess donate them, or share them? Still a flawed system. But my motives are in the right place.

    I also try to communicate with the author or publicist before the post goes live, to see if they have any preference. Some want me to hold the contest closer to the release. Some want me to add an author interview. I try to be flexible, and work with them. Takes up a lot more time, but my goal is to help my fellow writers. So it’s worth the effort.

    Thanks again for sharing. Definitely great food for thought!

  19. I recently took over ownership of http://www.yabookscentral.com, and I still handle ARCs the same way as the previous owner: after they are reviewed, I put them in our Box of Books giveaway we do each month. Visitors enter the giveaway by writing their own reviews of books on our site (sort of like GoodReads). It gets kids, librarians, parents, etc involved in the review process, and gets them excited about new books they may not have heard about. I’m still looking for new ways to handle all the ARCs we receive, though, so thanks for this post.

    I’m new to the book blogging world, but the “In My Mailbox” type tweets and posts don’t really bother me. In fact, when I first started using Twitter, those types of posts were what got me super excited about an upcoming book, and led me to buy many more books than usual. It did make me feel left out, but not in an immature middle school way. I felt left out because I hadn’t read such a great book, so I had to make sure I bought it on release day. That, to me, is good marketing.

    I’m not sure if there is a way to squash the “I have to have this book now!” mentality — I think part of that comes from marketing any product. If you market it heavily before it comes out, people want it NOW, any way, any how. We’re seeing that type of marketing hurting the industry with illegal ebook downloads. I think the publishing industry is on the cusp of needing new marketing techniques, and eARCs are definitely a push in the right direction.

  20. Great post! I started blogging 3ish years ago, and my audience is mostly teachers. I read and review books for my students and all of my ARCs then go to my classroom library. If they don’t fit my current grade level, I gift them to other teachers/classrooms.

    Please don’t throw ARCs away! There are hundreds, if not thousands, of classroom libraries out there who will gladly take the books. I started a program, #ARCsFloatOn, connecting bloggers/reviewers and teachers. The teachers pay shipping (usually flat rate USPS Priority) and bloggers stuff a box with unwanted ARCs or review copies. I spoke with a variety of publishers before beginning the program and they all gave it their full support. Recycle the ARCs! (http://thereadingzone.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/arcs-float-on/)

    Classroom libraries are funded by teachers and in this economy, many students don’t have access to new books. Even worse, many students come to us not knowing how to “discover” new books. ARCs can be shared with students who then rate them on Goodreads, recommend them in social media, and buy their own copies. When I taught 6th grade, I watched ARC after ARC catch the interest of one student who would then talk about it to others. Before I knew it, there were new bookstore copies and library copies showing up in my classroom because students couldn’t wait to read the book. Classrooms are perfect homes for ARCs who no longer have a blogger to love them. 🙂

    Plus, if an ARC really catches on, the teacher will buy the finished copy for their library, as the ARC won’t last all that long. And most likely other teachers will then do the same, seeing the popularity of that specific book.

    If anyone has children’s/YA ARCs that they are looking to pass on, please check out #ARCsFloatOn! http://thereadingzone.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/arcs-float-on/

    • I second that emotion re: classroom libraries. I disagree with the earlier commenter who suggested students deserve published copies. I’m a classroom teacher, with a library of several hundred books I have acquired for my students. And I’m now really, really broke. I used to beg, borrow, and buy books for my students. Now, due to this rotten economy, I can only afford the first two. And the point of having a library right in the classroom (we have a well-stocked media center) is to catch those reluctant readers before they go out the door. I think donating ARCS to teachers is a splendid idea.

  21. I see both sides of this, and I hope it won’t hurt my professional reputation to be perfectly honest.

    I’m a book-lover and total nerd, and I love getting ARCs and having a sneak peek at the new titles I’m most interested in and the work of the writers I most support. I keep them as sentimental objects, and I would never sell them. Ethically speaking, I would probably find myself willing to use them in a giveaway, but because of my aforementioned book nerdiness, I don’t want to. So there.

    When I first receive a galley in the mail, I *do* post something casual on Facebook and/or Twitter, but my intent is not elitism. It’s the first shout-out on behalf of the author, in case it’s two months before I get around to reading the book itself. It’s an endorsement without an endorsement; I can’t honestly tell anyone whether I love it or hate it yet, but I can give it a blip of face time and start the word-of-mouth on its merry way.

    That said, your blog is completely on point, and I’m betting the public doesn’t get these nuances. If I get an ARC, it gets a review. Period. Primarily, this is because I say “no”, and I say it a lot. I only ask for (or agree to, as the case may be) ARCs I fully intend to review publicly either in the print publications I freelance for or the Smash Cake, Writing for Your Supper, or PANK blogs where I regularly contribute.

    If it doesn’t come with a pay-off–and a decently-sized one–then mailing an ARC is a waste of the author’s / the publisher’s / everybody’s money.

    If I accept an ARC, I consider it mine, and it becomes a visual contract in my office of a review I will, by God, make good on.

    Granted, I’m slower on it than I often intend to be, so an e-galley would probably just piss me off. The 60-day service sounds more realistic, because, hey, I have a publishing company to run, too.

    Until now, though, I didn’t know EITHER existed. I prefer paper galleys because I’m a tactile person, they’re easier for me to get around to, and hey, I’ve already told you I like keeping them forever; but I’ve had no grudges against those who have sent me PDFs of the manuscript in a package’s stead.

    When I send my own galleys, and I do, I negate the costs because I see the file or book to serve as a thank-you for interest and the time it takes to produce whatever review the recipient eventually delivers, be that in my favor or not. It’s grassroots advertising for cheaper than I can buy a television ad, print campaign, or Google keyword. I don’t mind whatever they want to do with it, really.

    Do I check the reviewer out first? Oh, you bet. If there’s no following, there’s probably not going to be a piece of mail from my office with your name on it.

    But with all these things considered, in my own limited way, I view the ARC I send as a gift and I cross my fingers that any given review is positive. Then we go again. 🙂

    Also… I LOVE the Reader Who Cries Five Stars. That’s genius, and a book could be made of it. At least, people, be honest. I’ve told friends I hated their books, and you know what came of it? A couple of brief, tense moments and then–yes–better books. That’s the way the world works.

    After all, I’d want you guys to tell me if I sucked. Gently, please. 🙂

  22. Great Post!! I’m a German book blogger and this article’s very interesting. Unfortunately, in Germany there is no market for e-galleys yet (ARC’s that you can read on a e-book reader). But sometimes we get “normal” ARC’s too…i.e. there’s a book called “Oksa Pollock” that will come out in March and the publisher has gifted 5000 copies to readers that applied for. But that’s truly an exception here. It’s also not very often that bloggers get books from publishers unasked. The common process here is when I’m interested in a book that just come out or is coming out soon I e-mail the publisher and ask for it. Then you’ll be accepted or not. I think that in the States publishers are more “generous” on bloggers. But if that’s better or not I can’t tell 🙂 I must say I have good publisher contacts (not every publisher gives out books here in Germany!) and I definitely review all books that I got from them as soon as possible. So I’m very thankful about the chance to read books “for free”. But I’d be surely in heaven when I would live in the States and got ARC’s 3 or 4 months before they were published 😉
    When I’ve read those books I play “book-fairy” for a 14 yr old girl (I most read Young Adult titles), make a big package and send it to her. She’s very thankful about that because she can’t afford buying so much books 🙂

  23. It’s so important to hear all of these different perspectives. I’ve often wondered about those ARC tours where the book gets sent around to a bunch of different bloggers. I always wondered if there was anyone left to buy. On the other hand, a bunch of reviews does really improve the book’s search engine results, etc.

    I have appreciated Kristi of The Story Siren’s series where she asks publishers what they think about these things. There’s an array of opinions out there!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    (PS sometimes I receive 2-3 ARCs (unsolicited) of the same book–perhaps some expense could be saved by better communication in house as well)

  24. Just wanted to add in defense of book bloggers everywhere–I buy WAY more books since I’ve been book blogging than I ever did before.

  25. I have enough occasions in which I’m asked to read an advanced copy or promote someone’s upcoming release and I’ve decided unless I can get an e-galley of it, I’m not particularly interested–I don’t want to lug books around when I can have them all in my kindle, and the only time I’m going to have a chance to read is, say, when I’m working out on the bike at the gym, or waiting someplace. It’s annoying that so few e-galleys are actually available still

  26. Really interesting post. I gave away an ARC (actually, the only ARC I’ve gotten my hands on) earlier this week, and a lot of thought actually went into the decision–not because I wanted to keep a copy of the book (I’m going to buy a copy), but because I understand the investment the publisher put into the ARCs.

    And I confess: I totally took pictures of myself with the ARC and tweeted about it, but my desire to acquire the ARC had become something of a running joke (complete with a slew of tweets to the editor begging for a copy*)

    * note: I really don’t advise doing this unless you know the editor in question. Really. Just don’t.

  27. Great article Holly. I tweeted it and left a link on bookblogs.ning.

    I get ARCs, which are usually ones I’m interested in, and blog about each and every one I get.
    Do most of them get a good review?
    Absolutely but that’s because I knew before hand what I was asking for – I didn’t just fill out a random “send me whatever you can” note.

    I take the ARC guidelines seriously. I don’t sell them or give them away – sure some family members borrow them here and there but that’s as far as they go. I found the publishers very responsive when I contact them after receiving an ARC, asking them if they’d like to do a giveaway.

    That being said I have a question:
    If ARCs are so expensive to produce how come the publishers don’t make sure they get into the right hands?

    When I get an ARC from a bookish website that shall remain nameless and contact the publisher I usually get a “we’re glad one fell into good hands” type of message.


  28. 41 Deb

    (Not to nitpick, but isn’t it “Advance” rather than “Advanced”?)

    Personally, as nothing but a regular reader (no blog to speak of or anything), I always thought of ARCs as a coveted collector’s item and I have been absolutely thrilled when I managed to “win” a couple or so from giveaways in the past couple of years. I always mention them on Twitter before and during reading because it feels like my obligation after “winning” them, but I would never ever want to give them away. I guess with eARCs I would feel less inclined to participate in giveaways overall, because an ebook just doesn’t hold the same collector’s value for me. Especially not if they’re locked in by DRM or if they expire.

    I do feel it’s a bit depressing, following a lot of publishing and writing blogs, where a lot of people read books in advance, because once the book actually comes out it already feels “old”. For all those books where I had no chance to read an ARC (which are most books), I often feel there’s no real point in mentioning it, and my desire to blog about it is also diminished – because it feels like everyone has already said all there is to say. Not to mention when I read 2-3 year old books on Goodreads or LibraryThing and feel ostracized by all the “OMG havent you read that YET?!” comments.

    I’m not sure what I’m trying to say, but I agree that there is a tendency towards an “Advance Copy and Early Readers Club” and I think that it’s detrimental to book reading and the book community overall. Our love for books isn’t best served by a competition in who gets to read what first — the best book is the one that lives on for a long time, isn’t it?

  29. Great post and great comments. As a reviewer (with a blog) I am very aware at just how costly these printed ARCs are for publishers and appreciate each one I receive. I don’t believe in doing giveaways of ARCs to promote my site but will always pass on a printed ARC to another, more established blogger/reviewer, when possible just so that the ARC can serve its purpose – to get the word out about a new book. (Although I am guilty of occasionally announcing receipt of a favored book on my Facebook page.)

    And while I don’t participate in the memes. I think that the IMM is actually very helpful for book sales. When I watch Kristi’s IMM vlog I often head to Amazon to add a book to my pre-order list that I might not otherwise have know about.

    I love the electronic ARCs, but the one drawback are those who abuse, hack the code and put them up on the torrents which completely ruin sales for the author far more than selling a single copy of eBay of a printed book.

  30. Absolutely fantastic post and I couldn’t agree more! I feel honored every time I receive an ARC, but I’ve never been one to ask for them. It’s such a big responsibility to me. If I don’t read/review it in time I feel like I let the person who sent it down. Isn’t that what buzz is all about?

    That being said I help run a site that runs free promotional tours for authors. I see that “this is my trophy” ARC mentality that you mentioned there too. We have bloggers who will solely sign up for the tours where they will receive their own advanced copy and it drives me mad.

    ARCs are an honor, not a right and that’s why I am in love with egalleys! I fully support all books going that way. My Nook and I will be very happy.

  31. The correct term is Advance Reader Copy or Advance Review Copy, with no “d” added to the end of Advance. A good way to remember this is that the copies are not just for “advanced” readers. The copies are provided “in advance” of the book’s publication date so that reviews may appear in periodicals, which need a long lead time, when the book is available to the public.

  32. Great post. I think ARCs are overall a wonderful thing. From what I can tell, many often end up in the hands of people who are very passionate about the novel, and that kind of pre-launch zeal is a blessing.

    But there’s definitely an etiquette and a finesse to it. I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a lot of emails from bloggers politely expressing interest in advance copies of WILDEFIRE, many of whom interacted with me in other media (twitter, facebook) prior to broaching the A word. On the flip-side, I’ve also received form “Dear Author” requests–some of which quote blog statistics and don’t even mention the title of the book in the email. Overall, however, I’m just infinitely grateful that there’s an online community out there which continues to generate so much excitement and verve for books they haven’t even *read* yet. Without that electricity, the year and a half between book deal and release might feel like a lonely, quiet eternity.

  33. I don’t think this post is grouchy at all. You’ve made a very valid point here and unfortunately there is a great deal of exclusivity in the blogosphere surrounding ARCS. I definitely think there are some people out there that don’t always use ARCs in the manner they’re meant for, especially after they are finished reading them.

    For myself, I am extremely grateful when presented with an opportunity to read an advance copy whether it is in print or digital format. Some bloggers need to understand that it is not a right, but a privilege to receive an ARC. We are not entitled to anything simply because we are bloggers. Publishers are providing us with an advance copy in exchange for a service and we need to honor that as reviewers and provide thoughtful, well written reviews. Not just a few random sentences.

    Thank you so much for bringing this matter to our attention because it is something that needs to be said lest people forget how very fortunate they are when it comes to receiving ARCs.

  34. Oddly, the start-up publishing company I work for, Libertary, has a pretty clean solution for this. We use print-on-demand. Yes, I know this has a bad rep in the publishing industry. But, it does mean that as soon as we have a book laid out, we can have a real book (ok maybe a couple of days later). I assure you they are very reasonably priced, especially when compared with what the ARC costs to produce. I know that POD comes with another set of challenges, but in this case, it does solve the problem.
    **I want to clarify – as we see this question a lot – we are not a vanity press, and do not charge our authors for this, or any other service.

  35. I try to treat all my ARC’s with respect. There have been a few lately that I’ve wanted to request for review, but have not because I’ve got such a large stack. Most of these are unrequested, but I do feel an obligation to get a review out there. When I started blogging, I had no clue what an ARC was, and I didn’t get my first one until I’d been blogging for about 9 months. And, if I like the book I’ve received an ARC of, I usually purchase a finished copy.

    This was a great post, thanks for sharing!

  36. 50 Sara

    Great post, Holly – As a debut for whom each sale is precious, I definitely appreciate the buzz from advance readers who are passionate about my book and take the time to post great reviews. On the other hand, as a debut for whom each sale is precious, I start to wonder, when it seems tons of bloggers, etc., are getting my ARCs, whether there will be anybody left to buy it when it actually comes out. I like to believe those who say they still plan on buying the hardcover final edition. Because if they really love my book and want to see more books from me, then I definitely need support in terms of sales!

  37. Interesting read 🙂

  38. I think this is a very good article. I have to say I started blogging because I read an insane amount of books and wanted to share what I was reading with others. I wanted an outlet to express my thoughts and maybe start some good conversation. My goal was never to receive free “books” in fact even if I get an ARC I typically go out and buy the book once it is released, if I liked it. Sometimes I buy two copies so I can have one for me and one in my classroom library.

    First and foremost book blogging should about your love and passion for books. There should be no expectation about getting things and there certainly doesn’t need to be an exclusive club. If I am blogging about a book I received I as an ARC I always ask the publisher/author what their expectations are. Maybe that isn’t what everyone does but I figure they are giving me the book and if I like it I want to help them promote any way I can.

    On the topic of eARCS, I LOVE THEM. They are easy to access and there is no concern over them being misused. I think they are a great marketing tool.

    Thanks for the great article. I think it is a great reminder about being responsible and how misusing ARCS can really effect the Author and Publisher.

  39. A very interesting article. I too have gotten a few ARC’s and I think I used them all appropriately (it just makes me shake my head to hear that people try to sell this stuff on ebay).

    I actually have loaned my arcs to a friend or two but when I do I ask said friends to also blog about the books. Not all of their blog readers are mine obviously and I think with one arc, now the book is hitting just that many more potential buyers. Plus I’m a BIG advocate for still pumping money into the system and will likely buy the book to do a giveaway on my blog or just to have a better copy to own since the arcs dont usually last.

    Plus I think I do other things pretty well. I go to goodreads and shelfari and promote the book, and update my twitter and facebook (I have two one for me and one for my blog) status’ that I’m reading. Then when I’m finished I talk about it again. So with one book I’ve not put out into the social media at least 10+ mentions.

  40. 54 Lea

    Excellent post and comments.

    I’ve been lucky with ARCs lately, via online promotions and my generous local indie bookstores. All the age-appropriate titles go in my 7th and 8th grade classroom. Kids think they’re great, and if a title is really popular, we usually end up buying it for the school library and for our classroom. ARCs allow us to test a steady stream of new titles without bankrupting the teacher. And since my students use Goodreads, they end up creating buzz there too.

    ARCs do create real sales. Our local indie arranged an author visit for us yesterday, and they dropped of an ARC 2 weeks ago, so there were 2 copies floating around. Several kids read the book, and many others wanted it. They talked about it a lot on Goodreads. When the author visited yesterday, the bookstore sold about 30 books. Sure, that’s high, but these kids bought the book even with the ARC available in our room.

    On the other hand, I personally don’t like IMM and other posts like it. There have also been some titles lately that so saturate the blogs well before publication that I am sick of the book before it ever comes out. I do think that is a real danger.

  41. This is a great article. I honestly didn’t know it was so expensive to make ARCs. As a book blogger, I get some in the mail, but i’m very picky about the ones sent. I don’t ask for a lot, because I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to read them all before they’re published. I only get the ones I know i’ll commit time to. That said, once I get one, I read it and write a lengthy post on my blog, then publicize the book on various social media forms. I make sure the publishers is linked to my review so they can use it as they see fits. If I get one that I know I won’t have time for, or am just not interested in, often I pass it along to a librarian I know who doesn’t receive ARCs hoping it’ll help her out (and she’ll, in turn, order the books for the library). I’ve never done giveaways for ARCs…I find that weird. And if I really love the book, I’ll buy it once it’s out. (Admittedly, that’s not as often as i’d like, but still). I feel like it’s a nice tradeoff.

  42. 56 Laura

    Egalleys and netgalleys absolutely have tons of benefits – more sustainable, cheaper, faster, no need for postage – and they are fantastic for those who have access to an ereader, but there are still plenty of librarians and booksellers who can’t afford one. If you go entirely to egalleys, you’re cutting off a lot of the people who you hope to reach.

  43. I’m going to admit it:

    I like getting ARCs because I’m a teacher who if I had to pay for EVERY book I added to my classroom library, I’d be in debt. I go to used book sales, used books stores, order books through Scholastic with my bonus points, and yes, share my ARCs with my students.

    But when I get an ARC, I almost always do a review of it on my blog, and if it’s appropriate for my students, I book talk it in my classroom.

  44. I belong to the ARC review site “Around the World ARC Reviews”, in which ARCs are posted, you sign up if you’re interested, and then the book gets mailed from person to person. Anybody with an established blog can sign up, but they usually only let 20 people read any given book.

    I can understand concerns about people not buying books if an ARC is getting passed around, but I like the ARC tours for a few reasons- one is that little ole nobody-special-yet book bloggers like me can be part of something that would otherwise be unobtainable. Not all of us live in New York or get to go to BEA. I’m not saying just anybody is entitled to free stuff, but if the point is to get books read by more people, then my 100 followers plus the next person’s 100 followers, plus the next will add up. I would think publishers would be happier to have the reviews and to reach people that otherwise might not be reached.

    Egalleys sound smart for publisheres and the bottom line, but I’m glad they’re still making ARCs.

  45. This was a great post, Holly. I do remember corresponding with you after Thriller Fest and found you to be just exactly what you represent yourself as–open, honest, and helpful. So it’s nice to see you continuing that tradition on your blog. Thanks.
    Now, as a soon to be published author I’m new to all this and I want to get my ARCs into as many people’s hands as I can, particulalrly those who can actually help me promote the book.
    My publsiher is handling the majority of the distribution and I am using just a handful of them as giveaways when milestone points are reached as new members join my Facebook fan page. So, far, it’s been a great buzz-builder.

  46. I haven’t gotten many ARCs yet, but when I do I always feel so grateful. It’s like the publisher is doing me a favor by giving me the book, so it only makes sense for me to do them a favor by telling other people about it. If I don’t have the time to read it, or if I somehow end up with a book that I know I won’t like, I’ll give it to someone who I know will like it and who will give it the publicity it deserves. I know how hard it is for debut authors to get their books out, even if it is a really good book, so I try to help as much as I can. Besides, I created my blog because I love talking about good books, and if I can get people to support an author I like that’s just icing on the cake.

  47. ARCs are wonderful, if used properly. It’s disheartening to hear of people selling them on eBay–that’s not what they’re for! Personally, I’ll read & review an ARC for my book review blog then post reviews on GoodReads, LibraryThing, and sometimes on Amazon. When I’m done with the ARC, I usually add it to my classroom library or pass it along to a high school teacher, if it’s not appropriate for 8th grade.

    E-galleys are awesome–saves paper and money, generates buzz, and gives reviewers a chance to read great books early and talk up books they loved. Personally, since I started reviewing books, I buy more books than when I wasn’t, even if I had a chance to read an advance copy.

    By the way, if you don’t know what to do with an ARC and don’t want to throw it out, please consider donating them to a teacher–we maintain our own classroom libraries & love any book that might interest our very picky readers.

  48. 62 Tab

    This was very helpful! Before this, I didn’t know what an ARC was (but had heard of it and wondered what it was). I’ve only ever seen authors give out their ARCs in a contest, so I guessed it was something of an advanced copy.

    However, I have to ask, how do you know if the book you have is an ARC? I’ve got two books given to me for free, but they have already come out in bookstores. But it differs from the versions they have in the library.

    It says “Uncorrected Book Proof” on the sides, so I’m guessing it actually is an ARC?

    And also, on the inside, there’s a little note that says, since it is an uncorrected proof copy, it cannot be sold. Would this be for all ARCs, or just the one I have? Because this article talks about people selling their ARCs or buying them. I guess it would be pretty awesome to collect, but me, I would rather save up money buying the real and final copy of a book I love reading.

  49. This is such a hot topic! I never considered all of the different angles and perspectives on ARCs.

    I work at a chain bookstore – I’ve been there for over four years. I’ve been to BEA twice scooping up many ARCs there, plus the store receives ARCs on a weekly basis and I’ve gathered a number from there.

    I really like getting the ARCs in this way, because I have had a chance to read and discover authors and genres I never would have picked up in a store. Plus, as a bookseller, I then have the chance to recommend the books and be familiar with the new releases. If I love the book, I will often pick up the published version, but honestly, there are times I just can’t afford it, so I hang onto the ARC.

    Last year I read through the ARCs I got at BEA and then did a big giveaway on my blog. All of the books were pre-release and I did mini reviews of each book. I got responses from a number of the authors thanking me for reviewing and spreading the book love, so I never considered that there might be an issue with doing it. I know that my followers not only enjoyed the giveaway, but I got a lot of comments from people saying they would definitely check the books out when they were released.

    I think a lot of it has to do with the tone of the review/giveaway and it is usually really obvious if a blogger/reviewer is simply using it as a stunt to gain traffic or followers.

    p.s. I’ve also done a few contests with published books – just happened to have done this particular one, which tied in to the discussion.

    • I think a lot of it has to do with the tone of the review/giveaway and it is usually really obvious if a blogger/reviewer is simply using it as a stunt to gain traffic or followers.

      Such a great point, Rebecca. The weird power-trippy or entitled stuff is the exception–there are tons of bloggers, booksellers, etc. whose opinions I love to hear via twitter, blogs, etc. People who are putting out great content because they just love books, and the giveaways spring from that.

  50. Thanks for this! About 20% of my experience with the bloggers has been great – the 80% of them are on my last nerve with the drama, the status-seeking, the swagomania, and the tendency to just hold giveaways and post a goodreads review rather than actually talking about books. I don’t know a single other author who isn’t in the same boat. About half the time, I wonder why in the world my publicist sent an arc to a blogger who clearly wasn’t the type who would like it, doesn’t talk about the books they do like, etc. Usually it’s lots of followers and comments, but sometimes that just means lots of contests and drama.

    I think the situation would improve a lot if publishers started vetting bloggers more carefully.

  51. I don’t mind egalley’s but I MUCH prefer a real book. I find myself enjoying a real book more then an ebook and I also take longer to pick up ebooks. But I do think it’s a great way to build the buzz and the publisher not have to dole out the money. I also don’t feel bad asking for an egalley when I rarely ever ask for ARC’s.
    I’m a blogger but I guess I don’t see it as competition for who has the most, or the best. I show the books I get to help with the buzz and sometimes so I can say OMG, this book was SOOO good! But my review won’t be up until around the release date, etc.
    Most ARC’s I get are from two of my blogger friends. They loan to me and I do a review around release date like usual. And I do everything the same as if I had gotten the ARC myself as far as reviews go, etc.
    I’ve noticed if I do a giveaway of any book it gets many more readers and more people who would normally not pay any attention to the book start paying attention. But I only give ARC’s away on or after the release date. And I ask if that’s what the publisher would want.
    I have an event coming up in the summer and I want to spotlight different books each day with reviews, interviews, guest posts and giveaways. I obviously can’t buy all those books so I’m requesting them. If the book isn’t out yet (though will be by then) I usually say I would love to receive an ARC for review and would be happy to give away my ARC if your not able to provide a finished copy for giveaway. I understand there are different views on this and I’m pretty much open for whatever that particular publisher prefers.
    I also do recommendations for young adult books to the local indie bookstore. So when I read ARC’s I like I’m putting it on their must order list. They don’t have anyone else recommending YA books so I know that this helps them. And it helps the locals who don’t know what books are popular, or good, etc.

  52. 68 Kim Johnston

    Thank you. Galley books are shared and treasured!

  53. 69 Lyda Phillips

    I am a paid reviewer for Chapter 16, the website of the Tennessee Humanities Council. I review MG and YA books, as well as occasional adult fiction and nonfiction titles. I get ARCs for those books. I never sell them, although occasionally I’ve thought about it. I just can’t do it. I have on occasion made a sweep of my shelves for a specific giveaway, like at the last SCBWI Mid-South Regional Conference, where there was a collection for a school in Kentucky that had no library. There’s too much trading card kind of ARC frenzy out there, but at least people are thinking about books. I’m also a writer myself and would like to thank Holly for the post. It’s nice to see a reminder that authors lives depend on sales.

  54. I haven’t read through all of the nearly 70 comments, so I apologize if someone already posted this, but for e-galleys, which seem to be the way to go, it’s simple to put a page in the front with nice big type saying, “This is an Advanced Reader Copy – to get your hands on the real deal (the published version), visit Amazon.com” etc etc. You could even theoretically set it up so that people get a coupon for a discount on a copy of the real book (good for, say, a year after the book is released) – especially if you’re selling e-books as well as hardcopies. You could even make a unique discount code for each ARC, usable only once, so that each e-gally or e-ARC could be “exchanged” for free for a copy of the final version, and not worry about discounts floating around on the internet.

    Or you could set the expire date to be a year after the book is released. There’s no harm in that, and it would help out people who don’t quite get to the ARC in time but intend to read and review it anyways 🙂

  55. I adore egalleys, that’s why I bought my Nook. And the way Simon & Schuster does it (with the book expiring on the release date) is so aggravating! However, I have read more Simon & Schuster’s books than any other publisher this year (and a few I didn’t plan on reading) because of that. However, I don’t quite have the ARC guilt because I am a librarian (middle school). I am not the kind of librarian (small town) that would normally get ARCs, so I do have my blog to thank for that, but I always buy the book for my collection and booktalk it. Even if it is one I didn’t love because I am not the target audience but I can reach them!

  56. I personally think e-galleys are the smartest way to go – less costly and you can make them “expire” by a certain date.

    Honestly, in the end though, I think ARCs are a privilege and should be treated with respect because they require so much effort to create!

  57. 73 Sara

    I agree with your article. I recently started blogging I have already heard some horror stories about ARC’s being sold on e-bay which is awful. They are a great way to promote a book. I read a few blogs and the majority of the books I have been reading recently are books that people read the ARC for a gushed about. It’s unfortunate that someone is given the opportunity to receieve a book before it is published and they abuse it by selling it on EBay.

    • 74 We're not Worthy

      I saw SHATTER ME ARC on ebay selling for over 100$! YIKES! Made me sad. The book was already out for public sale and even if it were not this is why newcomers are having issues getting ARCS.

  58. 75 We're not Worthy

    ARCS *ARE* status symbol in our little world. A real ARC is like a beacon of heavenly light shining down upon you and your blog from the book gods above.Your blog is cool enough, you are cool enough. You are worthy. Just look at the comments that follow an ARC revealing. The little have not bloggers go “WE’RE NOT WORTHY WE’RE NOT WORTHY” while bowing at the feet of the blogger we should DANE to be like *WAYNES WORLD STYLE*

    To ask for “how do I get an ARC too” info from a more established ARC getting blogger is the biggest no-no sin committed in our world! There are posts dedicated to the cardinal rules of blogging & asking for your “connects” is a HUGE NO-NO. They feel it is rude and why should a mere pea-on, a beginner, a blogger without their own URL, get that kind of top secret coveted info by simply asking when they had to type their fingers to the nub doing reviews on library books before they go their first ARC.

    I can see the merits of this argument. But I also think it’s a bit exaggerated.

    Some book greedy douches toss up a blog and copy/paste a few random reviews and expect Harper Collins Teen to send em every ARC due to be released from here to 2023. They also expect that a few sorrowful, whoa is me, I can’t afford, I wish I had, Tweets or posts will get every blogger lining up to send em book booty from their own collections.

    While its easy to be a smart @$$ about it all its also easy to point out the truth:
    You DO have to work if you want to be a book reviewer.

    ARCS & books sent from authors & book swag WILL NOT be sent because you asked prettily with a cherry on top.

    You have to show you are willing to stick with it and do whats right. Meaning get reviews up on time, join book tours, tweet about reviews you posted, leave comments on other bloggers posts, interact, read, read,read, review, review,review.

    Do a small giveaway of a 10$ Amazon GC or Book Depo.
    Or mail out a book you recently finished.

    These things bring ppl to your blog/site.
    I know money is not easy to come by for younger bloggers so
    dont feel bad if you cant do a huge giveaway.

    I reviewed a book I got from the library and tweeted the link to the author. 2 weeks later she wrote me asking me to review a new book in the series. My first ARC. Came out of the blue!
    I mentioned a particular subject i loved to read about a week later one of the best authors in that field sent me an autographed book.


  59. I love e-galleys because I prefer reading on my Kindle, and it’s less clutter. Also, I can get the review up quickly because the delivery is instantaneous. Terrific article!

  1. 1 The weekly web ramble
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