If you follow a lot of bookish folks on Twitter you may have noticed the recent uptick in discussion about ARCs. Some are responding to feelings about #booksfortrade, others just seem to want to talk about how they’ve seen attitudes change since they started blogging. Both camps seem to agree: ARCs are being highly prized in the community. Kinda funny for something uncorrected and technically unfinished.
The biggest issue people seem to talk about is ARC envy. In the two years I’ve been blogging I’ve watched ARCs change people. Some started to blog just so they can get a prized ARC. Others have changed the way they act in an effort to collect more ARCs. Some people have even hinted that bloggers are “hoarding” ARCs for various reasons. The one that really bothered me was people asking authors for ARCs then getting really shitty with them when they declined. But more on that later.
I just thought it was time for me to say a little something about this ARC envy.
First, what is an ARC? Think about it. An uncorrected advanced proof of a book. I get that it’s an early copy and people don’t want to wait. Heck, I hate waiting too. I’m as impatient as anyone. But remember that this is the UNCORRECTED version. The final cut may be different, which has in fact happened. For instance, there’s a major difference between the ARC version of one of Emmy Laybourne’s Monument 14 books and the finished copy.
Now I’m a collector. I love having different editions of stuff, including ARCs. And I know many people are the same way. That’s totally cool. Collect whatever you want, just remember how you may be acting about the way you get those ARCs may effect people’s perceptions of you. I’m not criticizing specific people, it’s ARC culture as a whole.
Which brings me to what inspired this post in the first place.
Don’t contact an author and beg them for ARCs, then suddenly turn around and treat them like crap when they say no. Does that really need to be said? Apparently. Authors such as Susan Dennard have recently experienced this kind of behavior in regards to their upcoming releases. In the case of that particular instance: guys relax, Truthwitch comes out in like 2 weeks. I think this really goes back to that whole social media etiquette thing we talked about last week.
Authors only get a limited amount of ARCs and author copies and they’re not able to give them all to anyone who wants one. Nor are we entitled to them. Authors don’t owe bloggers their copies. If they choose to send one, that’s different and completely up to them.
I love ARCs and there’s nothing wrong with that but they’re not as important as some people make them out to be and it’s certainly not why I blog. I blog for all of you guys and the authors I love.
What do you guys think of the ARC envy discussion? Share in the comments!