1. ARCs were not created nor intended for Bloggers.
2. ARCs are a gift and a privilege NOT something you are entitled to no matter how long you have been blogging or how many books you have gotten from a publisher in the past.
Do I have your attention?
Good, because I can't begin to tell you how sick and tired I am at this horrific level of abuse that is happening to ARCs lately.
It's not even just the ARCs being abused. Horrifically enough, it's also the shit storm the publicists get when "I wasn't picked for that tour " or "I did this thing for you this one time where's my reward " type behavior is unleashed. I've heard from countless authors over the years and at least 2 different publicists from 2 different Big 6 houses, mention in passing how the rudely written e-mails and tweets they get when people don't get what they want, are actually hurtful to them.
What's wrong with you?
In an effort to help those out there guilty of this petulant child behavior, I'm here to remind the blogging world of a few things, with the help from My Super-Awesome-Anonymous-Publicist-Contact-From-One-Of-The-Big-Six-Houses.
Let's start at the beginning shall we?
1. ARCs were not created nor intended for Bloggers.
Maybe you never knew this, maybe you just needed to be reminded. Whatever the reason, now you know for sure. We are lucky to get them at all. And I mean that as a whole community – in general bloggers are lucky to get them.
Way back, before the first book blogger ever blogged, ARCs existed for publications (no, you're not a publication…you're just a blog.) such as magazines and newspapers, and TV/Media. This is still their main purpose. Just because we learned how to obtain them, does not mean that we come first.
My Super-Awesome-Anonymous-Publicist-Contact-From-One-Of-The-Big-Six-Houses explains the original use of ARCs to you all technical like:
- "In the past, we would use ARCs/Galleys ONLY for long leads* (as publicists) and select online venues. With the shift to online coverage, we moved to digital review copies because advance copies are really expensive to produce. In other areas of publishing houses, these copies are used to send to booksellers to get early quotes, librarians to induce buys, etc. So different departments use them for different things, but it’s not like ARCs/galleys were ever invented for the use of blogs only."
*Explanation of LONG leads: Long leads are media outlets that need more time to prepare their media – ie, Magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Vogue, Cosmo, SELF, etc etc. They need 4-6 months of notice/opportunity to read because they close their issues 3 months before they print.
What does this mean? It means that bloggers are not the first to get books and we get them only when enough have been made, and if we are trusted enough. Do publishers print more now that we exist? Likely, yes but that still does not entitle any one person to any thing. Ever. Stop taking them for granted, stop assuming because you have a blog you are entitled…just stop.
2. ARCs are a gift and a privilege NOT something you are entitled to no matter how long you have been blogging, or how many books you have gotten from a publisher in the past.
A well worded, polite tweet a few weeks ago that started a fantastic discussion among a group of my respected peers, reminded me of the less than polite "shout outs" on Twitter I had seen in the past. You know the ones I'm talking about – where the person posting tags the author and/or publisher in their hate tweet about their total disgust over the fact they were turned down for a book.
Dude. Check your privilege!
You have a book blog? Super! So do approximately 60 million other people. And guess what Greedy McGrabby Hands – that in no way entitles you to ARCs (or finished copies for that matter) from an author or publisher. Not even if it rained paperbacks on you for the past 6 months.
Oh but, you posted that thing that one time so why can't they do something for you?
Seriously? You are in this for the wrong reasons. PLease leave, you're making the rest of us look bad. REAL bloggers do what they do to promote and share their love of books regardless of weather or not they are getting things for free. A real blogger knows that promotion of a book does not start with an ARC or end on a publication date.
Let's hear again from Super-Awesome-Anonymous-Publicist-Contact-From-One-Of-The-Big-Six-Houses:
- [ARC or finished copies for review needs go]..to trusted contacts who’ve confirmed [previous] reviews. And that also goes back to why we need to be selective. We’re losing the sale of a book, plus shipping costs, plus the opportunity cost of where else that book could have gone – it’s a lot to consider!"
- "I still think it’s helpful to get some influential early readers on certain books. But that means like 20-40 blogs – not 200."
Clearly these numbers will vary from imprint to imprint but, how many book bloggers do you think there are, right now? I'm talking consistent, reliable, established bloggers? If you're answer is in the number rage of "Like woah I couldn't even count that high" you'd be spot on.
So now take that knowledge and think about how every time an author is about to release book, their publicist (and the author!) is FLOODED with requests for the ARC in whatever form it is they can spare. If they have 200 trusted contacts, do you really think EVERY PUBLISHER/IMPRINT can accommodate that kind of request for every book people want? No. Just, no.
Knock this crap off people. I'm so sick and tired of seeing people whine and complain – even in that passive aggressive way that they think makes them look like they are kidding. Dude, we're not stupid…we see it. We know.
Always remember: ARCs are a POSSIBLE benefit to blogging. You do not get them because you started a book blog. You do not get them because you have been a blogger for years and years. Even for myself, I get many from fellow bloggers and once in a while a package (like this week) will arrive. But it's not common, and many are because I'm on or running tours for them.
And if you want to keep the flow coming to bloggers for years to come, on top of being respectful to the authors and publishers in your life – here's a side tip: Stop SELLING and STOP PIRATING! It's illegal, it's wrong and it makes you a total and complete D-Bag! Want some tips on how to help avoid pirating? Check out Blogger Babble: Illegal Book Sharing And What You're Doing That's NOT Helping.