ARCs have always been an odd subject for me. When I first joined this beautiful(ly awful) community they were the end all be all. Those versions of books were how people showed their status in the community, it was like the more ARCs one got, reviewed, and promoted, especially from publishing, the more powerful they were.
Well, I used to get a lot of ARCs from a bookstore which, in my mind, meant I should be powerful, but part of being epically powerful with those ARCs was actually reviewing, whereas I just took pictures and hoarded them.
Either way, for me there was never really being on the ARC-less end of things so when discussions came up about people really wanting ARCs but not being able to get them I was like “can’t relate”.
Although I could, a little, I’ve only ever gotten ARCs from publishing if the authors requested it.
So, how does one deal with ARCs?
Well, I don’t have much authority to speak on this because once the book is bestowed to you, it’s yours, hands down, but I’ll tell you all that I know/have seen.
Essentially, the idea is: you get an ARC, you read it, you leave an honest review. If you liked it, maybe you put a little extra promotion into it, make a graphic, host a giveaway, talk about it on other platforms. If you hate it, maybe you just never, ever talk about it again. Unless you hate it with a passion and then there’s borderline slander, which, I mean, if you aren’t tagging the author in it, fine. You do you.
Anywho, going in knee deep, first, there’s the whole getting an ARC which I have, basically, no experience in. Sure, I’ve drafted and formatted plenty of request letters and actually sent them to publishing, but have I ever gotten anything? No. Have you seen my blog?
Of course, there are other ways you can get ARCs. Like I used to, from bookstores, if you’ve got a buddy in one or you work in one.
Book festivals, if they’re really big have started bringing some. There are some at YALLFest and YALLWest that I know of, I know sometimes at smaller festivals authors will bring ARCs of their books to give out.
There are conventions such as BEA and ALA which aren’t the most blogger/reviewer friendly but we can still go and get these books, publishing doesn’t withhold them. (Well, Harper will a bit, but I honestly don’t blame them).
With conventions, as long as you act right- not yelling or acting like a wild child, or asking for/grabbing way more ARCs than you even want- it’s pretty chill.
Okay, so now you have an ARC? What do you do?
Fuck, you read it. You buckle down and you read it and if the book is unbearable and you end up thinking “WHY GOD WHY DID I EVER WANT THIS BOOK” you can always stop half way through and write a scathing DNF review.
You have the book for an honest review, give it an honest review my friends.
You have the book, you don’t want to read it anymore. Maybe you never wanted to read it. I get it, I’ve grabbed books before I didn’t want to read, that I just wanted to hand off to someone else. Look at my ALA haul, over half of that is gone to other reviewers.
Anyways, you have it, you don’t want it anymore, you can do a number of things.
First, you could *cringe* trade it. This is something I used to be heavily involved in and now hate. Mostly because now it seems like a way for ARC hoarders to hoard more ARCs and screw over anyone there because they’re trying to collect books from their faves or just get a book they want to review.
On that note, I do have a number of Feelings about BFT that I’ll probably write a blog post on (because why not I did it up until a few months ago).
I don’t despise the idea of trading a book you aren’t going to read to get something else you might want more for cheap but the people and trading can be very sketchy.
Then, there’s the fun, fair way of a giveaway. Giveaways are awesome because they can get you more followers and you can actually meet some pretty neat people, I know I have.
This also makes it pretty fair, if there are no requirements other than following you and sharing so other people have a chance too.
Next up is you could always ask among your friends and see if any of them want to book.
If the book has some representation that you know of you could always find someone the book represents and pass it along to them.
If I ever figure out how to adequately request and get books from publishing, I’ll let y’all know. Us sufferers have to stick together!
Those are currently my favorite options. There’s something oddly satisfying about handing a book over to someone else that you know will love it. That’s doing a good thing and it’s awesome.
So, that is what I have seen done with ARCs.
Of course, don’t sell them, that’s just annoying and rude and completely pointless. It’s also the reason people hate bloggers, so if you sell an ARC congrats, you’re contributing to the reason everyone hates us and wants to ban us from everything ever.
This is also what I usually try to do with my ARCs. I’m very bad at keeping up with reading though I’m trying to be better with that. Though, in my defense, I’m bad at existing.
Anyways, that’s all from me for now. What do you do with your ARCs? Do you have any weird ARC pet peeves? Talk to me in the comments below and check back later for more bookish content!