Advanced Readers Copy – Then & Now

Book bloggers who interact with authors and hang around Netgalley will know what an ARC is. For the rest of the world who´s always asked themselves what the abbreviation means… I´m here to help!

You´re welcome.

 

arc banner

 

And now you´re thinking: “WOW! Those book bloggers get free books from publishers / authors directly? That´s awesome!”

You´re right. It is AWESOME.

Us book blog folks can´t really complain when it comes to receiving books before they hit the bookshelves.

But receiving ARCs comes with a price. It´s not just about getting free, yet to be published, books.

 

Granted. The price we pay isn´t necessarily high. But it´s tiresome and even taxing over time. But sometimes reading those ARCs can be rewarding.

I think it´s fair to add that there is a difference between traditional published and self published ARCs. And then there´s Netgalley, which is a whole different level of giving out unpublished free copies to readers.

Traditional published advanced copies are usually reserved for journalists, celebrities, major blogs. Of course, any every-day-book-blogger can receive a traditional published ARC, as well. It just involves a little more work and luck.

Self published ARCs are much easier to get our hands on. We either wait for an open opportunity to add ourselves to a list or an author may ask us directly if we´re interested in reading an ARC.

Or, we hop over to Netgalley and include ourselves to a list there and then hope for the best.

Either way – ARCs come with a set of rules. These rules may vary but they core of rules is always the same.

  1. Do not forward the book to a third party
  2. Must leave a review ( either before or after or directly on publication date )
  3. Include publisher / authors name
  4. Meet the deadline
  5. Don´t publish a review with less than a 3 star rating. ( not a mandatory rule, but it still pops up once in a while )

 

So, basically you get to read for free if you promise not to let anyone else read the unpublished book and if you include the publisher / author in your review by thanking them for letting you read the free copy then everyone´s happy.

 

Many book bloggers will mention that the book they´ve read was an ARC in their reviews. Sometimes it´s even asked of us book bloggers to add a small recognition line in our reviews. That might look something like this:

 

I received an Avanced Readers Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review”

 

A simple line, right? That can always be easily worked into a review before it´s published. That line might raise some questions to normal reader who´s only looking for his/her next read, though.

 

No matter how a book blogger receives an ARC the rules stay the same.

 

Don´t do shit you promised not to do! Do shit you promised you´d do!

 

 

The price we pay is truly small compared to what we´d normally spend after the ARC hits the bookshelves.

Are Advanced Readers Copies worth it?

I´d say yes and no. Yes, because it´s a fabulous way to get our hands on new books and ARCs are kind to our wallets.

No, because book bloggers tend to agree to read more ARCs than they´re able to fit into their schedule

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Let´s do simple math that displays what I´m talking about:

2 ARCs a week = 8 ARCs a month = better have a calendar or else you´re screwed.

 

 

And then there´s that issue when you want to DNF the ARC. You have to contact the publisher or author and give details as to why you can´t continue to read.

Meeting a deadline is also sometimes exhausting.

Life is often not nice to us book bloggers. Sometimes we have to hop back to reality and can´t meet a deadline. You have to contact the publisher or author and explain why.

 

So, are ARCs truly worth it?

Sort of. Kind of. Depends on what type of person / book blogger you are.

 

ARCs Then & Now

Nowadays, 98% of all ARCs come in e-book format. Why? Because it´s much easier and quicker. There´s no hassle with printed ARCs and no shipping issues. ARCs flow from one device to another within seconds or a few hours. ARCs these days look like this:

 

arc 2
Taken from my unloved Kindle

 

Or, dare I share this little gem from Netgalley:

 

arc 3
Another shot from my unloved Kindle

 

A few years back, though, there were still publishers and authors who made a point of giving out printed advanced copies to readers.

 

arc
ARC taken from my personal bookshelf.

 

Weird, right? Hardly imaginable in the day of modern technology yet they existed. Printed ARCs were a thing and I miss them dearly.

 

 

These days, authors love to give out e-book arcs because they´re efficient. Low cost and no wasted effort.

And many authors have misunderstood the meaning of an ARC. The roots of ARCs.

What was once an uncorrected proof read turned into a nearly finished – finished project ready to hit sales.

Let´s do a quick listing of things that made ARCs different from the past and now.

ARCs Back Then

  • Uncorrected proof reads
  • No final cover image
  • Story wasn´t final
  • Paperback format came as a naked product

 

Readers gave feedback on the proof read and THEN the whole book was combed through again before it would be published, 3 – 6 months later with a cover image.

ARCS NOW

  • handed out in exchange for an honest review
  • often final product
  • often comes with a finished cover image

 

In short: readers receive a copy for review purposes and then the book gets published within 1-3 months ( or less ).
So, the idea of an ARC has changed over the years. And then there´s the time issue. We live in a fast living world. If authors / publishers don´t get said book out yesterday then the genre might go out of style tomorrow.

There´s hardly any time to send out a paperback ARC across oceans to the opposite side of the world when the same thing can be sent via technology within a blink of an eye.

Makes sense, right?

It still doesn´t change the fact that I don´t like ARCs, no matter what form they come in.

They´re added work. The story has to sound freaking special before I accept an advanced copy.

Do you like to read Advanced Readers Copies? How often do you accept ARCs?

Let me hear your thoughts! I´m dying to discuss this topic with you.

 

Hope you all have a lovely day!

Much Love,

Morgana ❤ ❤