Let’s talk ARCs. – thegrammariansreviews.com

Let’s talk ARCs.


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Everybody knows ARCs. Here in the book blogging community, we’re all major bffs with the ARCs – so much so, that we’ll stand in long lines to get our grubby hands on one. Or twenty. We’ll contact publishers, building our egos as we make ourselves sound like the perfect candidates to read this and that book. We follow as many authors as possible on Twitter, always ready to pounce on their spontaneous giveaways. We spend hours browsing through NetGalley, requesting new title upon new title; and when we don’t get the good news email within 30 seconds, we become vocal, treating this waiting period as an injustice.

Let’s face it: ARCs turn us into animals, people pleasers, supposed superior readers, and just all around nutcases.

I, myself, am guilty of doing some of what I’ve mentioned. No point in denying it. (Remember when NetGalley didn’t approve me for The Immortal Rules for weeks?) But I never really thought and reflected upon the act of searching for, and receiving, ARCs. Until today, when the ever-so-lovely Every Day by David Levithan popped up in my NetGalley downloads. I’d forgotten I requested it. I’d forgotten its existence. And then, there it was. All for me. A gift. I tore into it. (Only 15 pages left, as I speak. Er, type.) But in a pause from my reading, I couldn’t help but notice that its publication date is August 28th.

And my first thought was, I can’t believe people are going to have to wait about two more months to read this. It’s brilliant. They need to read it now.

And my second thought was, This is a privilege.

And it is. It’s not about exploding egos, jealousy, grabbing, hitting a Request! button, or winning. Sometimes I think we forget that; we think we can effect the outcome – and maybe we can, but so what? If we get an ARC, then who’s missing out? And who’s to say that those missing out wouldn’t appreciate our ARCs any more than we would?

Of course, I’m not saying we should give up our precious ARCs. I just think it’s important to acknowledge, at least every once in a while, how lucky and fortunate we are, as both book bloggers and readers. We have people willingly and freely nourishing our love of reading. How awesome is that? Some people aren’t so lucky.

So, I ask you: Have you hugged your ARC(s) today?

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32 Responses to “Let’s talk ARCs.”

  1. Marie says:

    All the books I want to read right now aren’t released until August either. Two from NG and one from the publisher 🙁

    When I was at the Fierce Reads Tour, there was a group of teenage girls sitting to my right and all they talked about was ARC’s and how cool they were and how jealous they were and it made me think… people really think that? But then I thought to when I first discovering ARC’s and I’m pretty sure I thought they were really cool too and now I get ARC’s.

    Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are privileged enough to read books so much in advanced but looking at that warning label on the front does make me very thankful that I get that privilege.

    • Alissa says:

      I think we all have those relative thoughts at one point or another, regarding ARCs. And while I don’t think we should bow down to them because they’re a privilege, I just think it’s good to take a step back sometimes and appreciate them.

  2. Nafiza says:

    While I agree that it is a privilege, I reckon it’s a two way street. Our enthusiasm (or lack of) for the book completes the trade. That said, I wonder at some people who go to ALA and BEA and other such events just grabbing books. Do they really read them all? I get anxious when I have more than 10 to read (e and physical both) so I wonder about people who have 50. :

    • Alissa says:

      Very true. I guess, in a way, we can definitely have control over the success (and failure) of ARCs. And I like to think that the books they don’t read are the ones for which they offer giveaways.

  3. Great post and I really agree! It is such a privilege to be able to get books before the publication date and I really value all the books I receive for review 🙂

  4. I’m always thankful when I read an ARC, especially if I love it because I’m so happy I didn’t have to wait until release to read it, although, then I just have to wait longer if it’s a series for the next book… lol

    • Alissa says:

      Yes! Oh man, I should’ve talked about that. Getting an ARC of what you know will be a series is torture, because you know the wait will be like twice as long! Haha.

  5. I agree with you. ARCs are a privelege. Personally, the only time I get ARCs are when I wait in line at BEA or something. I don’t ask for review copies because I don’t want the pressure of “having” to read/review. However, when I do get sent something it’s like Christmas!

    • Alissa says:

      I don’t go out of my way to ask for any, either. Aside from NetGalley, that is. So I personally miss out on a TON of early reads. It’s frustrating, but I do enjoy not being obligated to review so many books at once.

      And I love that Christmas feeling! 😀

  6. I was just talking about this yesterday, how it’s a privilege to get ARCs. I mean, really. The day I start feeling entitled about getting ARCs is the day I need to quit book blogging. That or someone needs to slap me.

    If there’s a book you really want to read, and you don’t get an ARC for, won’t you be buying it or borrowing it from the library anyway? Because you really want to read it, don’t you? I know I am!

    • Alissa says:

      LOL! It’s so funny that you asked that, because I just did in my reply to Jamie’s comment. Mind reader!

      But yes. I think what happens sometimes is that the hype over a particular book can be overwhelming, and so people want that book, and they want it ASAP. What I think gets lost there is that we don’t always realize 1539049034239049050 other people are also wanting that book ASAP.

      I suppose ARCs teach us to have patience!

  7. Jamie says:

    PERFECT. This post is perfect. I can’t say that I’ve ever been vocal about not getting ARCS or waiting for approval but I know how sometimes internally I’m like WTF!! and turn into a Grade A crazy person on the inside or complain to Will. haha. It IS a privilege. And the beauty of ARCS are that eventually they become published books and we can still have them! It’s not like ARCs are these things that we will never have access to again. We can buy them! But we are so so lucky when we DO get to read them early and get to talk them up and make others aware of whats up and coming! ALSO, cannot wait to read Every Day!

    • Alissa says:

      I think that’s an important component to this – that ARCs aren’t hidden gems being kept from everyone else, and that they are eventually available. And if you want a book enough, you’ll still go out and get it even if you didn’t get the ARC version. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone be like, Well, I didn’t get the ARC, guess I can cross that book off my list! And if people have been like that, that’s kind of scary.

      Also: Every Day is SO darn good. Finished it, and it’s amazing.

  8. I know I’m completely blessed to receive the ARCs I have. I love them, I treasure them and, when I feel the need to, I share them. I believe I put in a lot of hard work, effort and consistent dedication, and the ARCs are like a sort of ethereal reward for me 🙂

    Love this post.

    • Alissa says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with that. A lot of us put in hard work, and we are deserving of the ARCs we receive.

  9. Ash says:

    Great post! I’ve only been blogging a year and I always try to remind myself when I don’t get an ARC that I still get to read the book, the publisher isn’t denying me access…just early access. Its like trying to get into college, just because you don’t get early admission doesn’t mean you’re not welcome. Thank you for the reminder, I’ll definitely be sharing this post with some friends. :]

  10. I totally agree! I actually haven’t been sent only one physical ARC from a publisher, and I definitely took that one ARC for granted and I haven’t really read it, but I didn’t really appreciate it that the publisher sent it to me, even though it was being given out everywhere on Twitter. I definitely think that many bloggers—sometimes including me—get extremely competitive for ARCs and forget about the other bloggers who haven’t had an ARC yet.

    Eileen @ ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***

  11. We Heart YA says:

    Awww, what a sweet ode to ARCs. We definitely feel privileged when we get them, and we try to respect that honor. Thanks for the reminder1

  12. […] How I feel about ARCs […]

    • I came over here looking for your FF post (which seems to have disappeared?) but I saw this one instead, and have to say, I totally agree with you. I’ve only been part of the book blogging community for a few months, so my doorstep isn’t flooded with surprise ARC shipments every week like some bloggers. But I have had the opportunity to receive several print ARCs and many more NetGalley digital ARCs, and I am constantly in awe that the publisher valued my opinion — my tiny, baby-blogger opinion — enough to provide me with a free copy of their product.

      It simultaneously makes me impressed and kind of sad when I hear bloggers talk about their hundreds (I think the most I’ve heard someone say they have is 600) of unread review copies on their shelves. On the one hand — how did they get publishers to send them that many books?! On the other, those hundreds of books probably would have been much more appreciated — and useful — in the hands of someone else who wasn’t so oversaturated with ARCs that they can’t possibly ever get to them all.

      I am making it a goal to get to BEA next year, but I’m already having to tell myself that I am only allowed to grab ARCs for the books I actually WANT and PLAN TO READ. It’ll be hard to stick to that, but if I don’t, I’ll feel like I’m abusing the privilege.

      This post (by a literary agent) is the best post I’ve read on ARCs, their purpose, and how to use them. Be sure to read all the comments too.

      Anyway, I really went off on a tangent here! I meant to just come thank you for stopping by my FF post, but obviously I got distracted 🙂

      New follower, by the way!

      • Whoops and I seem to have commented as a reply and not an original comment. Sorry for being commenting-challenged.

      • Alissa says:

        600?! I’m always impressed even by the lower numbers, like 30 or so.

        I haven’t been to BEA yet, but when I do manage to go, I’m going to have the same goal. If I do happen to end up with any I most likely won’t read, I plan to give them away.

        Thanks for stopping by, and for following! 🙂

  13. I always feel extremely, extremely grateful whenever I receive an ARC. I’ve learned to slow down when requesting them (just to match my own capacity to read), but I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten how special it is to get one of them. If only everyone in the book blogging community felt this way!

    • Alissa says:

      I learned to do that, too. For a while I just kept requesting and requesting. Waaaay too many books all at once!

  14. […] Grammarian reminds us all to <3 our ARCs because they are a […]

  15. Lori Ramsey says:

    I did not know what an ARC was until recently. I was so.excited and honored to receive it. I hope that in the future that I will be able to obtain more!!!

    • Alissa says:

      A lot of people don’t know what ARCs are, actually. That’s partly why I think they’re so prized. I hope you manage to get more, too. 🙂

  16. […] @ The Grammarian’s Reviews reminded us to love our ARCs and in the process, kind of reminded me why I’m not about ARC’s around here. It is far […]

  17. […] Let’s talk ARCs — My thoughts on ARCs and their popularity. […]

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