The ARC Black Market

After reading Hannah's post on selling ARCs, I figured it was time for me to write my own thoughts on the subject. I don't normally write these types of controversy opinion posts but when it comes down to something I feel strongly about, you can't get me to shut up. I'm sorry in advance if you don't agree with my thoughts or think differently. These are just my opinions.

What are ARCs? 

ARCs, commonly known as advanced reader copies, are given to bloggers, authors or other social media outlets by publishers in hope that the book gets some early praise and coverage. The purpose of their distribution is to make people excited for the upcoming release by allowing the book reviewers to lay down their thoughts. Plus preorders are a good thing and the more preorders, the greater chance there is going to be some type of preorder promotion. They can come in any shape or size. They can also be either e-ARCs or print copies.

Receiving an ARC is like getting the one thing you've always wanted for Christmas. That's what it feels like! ARCs are a privilege and the publisher is, by no means, under any obligation to give it to you. I would think that publishing companies have a system of choosing who gets one and who doesn't but I'll talk about that later. ARCS are extremely limited and because you've received one, you should feel some sort of pride and accomplishment. Also revel in the fact that you're reading a book before most people get to read it!

How do you get one?

It's common sense to any reviewer that the more stats and views you get, the more ARCs you get. As you grow in followers and viewers, you'll see that more of the popular ARCs will be available for you at your disposal. But don't think about it that way! It's not all about the followers and views! Well obviously if you're requesting an advanced copy that's on everybody's anticipated list, you're probably not going to get one unless you're a well-known reviewer with lots of followers behind you! 

Stay connected. Following publishing companies and authors on social media and communicating with them via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook is a great way for these companies to get to know you! When you go requesting books from them, it'll be a hell of a lot easier if they already know who and what your blog is about! 

Show passion. Whether you're a blogger with 1,000+ followers or less than 10, publishers want to know why you want to receive an ARC if you're requesting it. If you want them to send you an ARC just because it's a big hit but you have no real interest in reading it, that's not going to cut it. In your email requesting the ARC don't forget to mention why you want to read the book. Is it beacuse the author is a well-known favorite of yours? Is it because you're so intrigued by the synopsis that you can't sleep, think or eat? Be creative but be sure that you're going to review it once you've got it.

What you do once you've got one

What you do with an ARC once you receive it is totally up to you. If you've received one from requesting or it's unsolicited, be sure to make a wise decision. If you've requested to receive it, it's in your best interest that you review it so you're eligible for another. And also if you're not going to write a review, then why in the hell would you request it?? Keep in mind that these companies have limited advanced readers editions. If you end up not writing a review for a book you requested, that just means one less person can enjoy the book early because you were too selfish! Once you've reviewed it, don't forget to tag the author, the publishing company, and even send a link back to the person that distributed if to you! a

Unsolicited ARCs are different. Unsolicited means that you didn't request it but they sent it anyways without telling you beforehand. They probably sent it because they thought you would be interested in it or they had extra copies and they thought of you. It's kind of like getting a birthday present when it's not your birthday! Doesn't that rock? You're not obligated to write a review but it would be nice!

Can you sell ARCS? 

If you can tell what book this is, you get a cookie :D 
What the hell! Is that even a question? No, no, no, no! And if the sticker on the front of the cover of ALL ARCs hasn't made it clear enough for most people, no, you cannot sell ARCs! Here are some obvious reasons why:
  1. Eliminating the whole reason behind ARCs. ARC stands for ADVANCED READER COPIES. If all the bloggers and reviewers in the world were to sell their ARCs, that would disrupt the whole purpose of making the early copies.
  2. The publishing company loses money. People's jobs are at stake here people! They make money off of the production of the book and how many times in goes into print. If everyone were to be buying ARCs off reviewers, then they wouldn't buy the books themselves in their nearby retailers. 
  3. Lose their meaning. ARCs are given to reviewers that put time and effort into writing reviews. If non-reviewers and book-lovers were to get hold of these ARCs then it would defeat the whole purpose of them being distributed for social media coverage and early praise. It's not to say that non-reviewers can't receive ARCs but the main purpose of these early copies are for reviewers. 
  4. It is illegal! You plan on getting sued or going to jail soon? I'm sure you don't look good in orange! Trust me, orange is not the new black!
  5. It's immoral. Breaking the rules isn't something cool. So just don't do it! 

What can I do with my ARCs then? 

  • Pass them along to a friend. Giving someone an ARC and selling it to them are two different things. You're not making money off of someone else's product. You are not entitled to sell it and receive the profit! 
  • Keep them and create an ARC collection. ARCs should stand as a symbol of self-accomplishment and should make you feel happy every time you see it. Please take it upon yourself to realize how lucky you are that these publishers and authors are taking the time out of their day to give you something you want! Keep it as memorabilia and so you can brag to all your friends that, hell yeah, I've been in touch with publishers and I read something earlier than you! 
  • Recycle. OMG if it really bothers you then just recycle them. But please refrain from doing this as these books are precious *strokes books and says 'my precious'* 
  • Donate to the library. Most libraries don't take ARCs but it's worth a shot! And again, you're not selling it to them! 
Okay, sorry for that long-ass post! Like I said when I've got something to say, I just can't shut up! 
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  1. Omg yes. YES. You said it perfectly. Lmao who the hell thinks it's a good idea to sell ARC's? I mean come on. Have you seen the amounts people price ARC's at? It's ridiculous. Let alone who buys a unpolished book for triple it's worth? ASDFGH crazy people.

    Man, when I start my collection of ARC's I'm going to keep them! Who knows, maybe one day they'll become super rare or something. For the love of everything don't toss them out though!

    Awesome post, I really enjoyed it :D

    1. I have and I think it's even more ridiculous that some people are still doing it! I hope the collection goes well and many people should consider putting their ARCs in glass cases >_<

      Thanks for reading!

  2. OMG are people really selling their ARCs? What the heck! That's insane and I agree with your post completely.

    1. Yeah IKR! It's a hard concept to grasp since you would think booklovers would already be grateful for these publishers for sending these ARCs out. Thanks for reading :D

  3. There have been a few times I've gone to a thrift shop and I'll see ARCs for sale for 50 cents. The thrift shop will sell them after someone has donated them.

    1. Is it the case where the ARCs have already been released? I don't know whether that is okay or not LOL! But I would believe thrift shops have some special consent since they always sell brands.

  4. I keep my ARCs! Even if I didn't like the book or don't plan on reading it again, I keep them. They are precious to me and just the fact that I got them means a lot. I don't know how people give them away.

    1. Exactly. They're like visual evidence that I've been in contact with big time publishers and such! Thanks for reading :D

  5. Exactly. They're like visual evidence that I've been in contact with big time publishers and such! Thanks for reading :D

  6. Such a great post! I'm sharing this as my Sunday night shout-out on The YA Gal Facebook.

    1. Thanks for reading Jennifer! OMG thank you so much! I just want more readers to be aware of this :D


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