Hi dear friends,
I am back with another discussion post that I would love (again) to get your intake about!
Last week I posted about why I think publishing houses don’t have it right all the time by favoring blogs with big followers count when sending ARCs (you can find the post HERE).
Well I was really pleased with all your opinion but there is one of you (yes Alexandra that’s you) who asked a very valid question: why do you read ARCs?
Literally, Alexandra wrote:
” Forget Netgalley and lusting after badly formatted ARCs because you want to be what? The first to read it? Don’t fool yourself. What price are you paying for these so-called “free” books?
Ask yourself why you want to help traditional Publishers take advantage of book bloggers (and their followers) by having the blogger do everything the Publisher use to pay for. Readers. Reviews and promotion. Now they get it all for free in exchange for an eBook.
Do you know why I post “bad” reviews? It’s because I buy the books I read and review. So I feel justified in sharing my opinion of a book I paid for not meeting a certain standard of publication.”
So let’s look further into ARCs and their pro and con.
1.You get to read a story before everyone else! Similar to scoop in journalism ARCs are Advanced reading Copies as in distributed before the book is officially released.
2.If you read it before anyone else you can have a feeling that you are “in” and privileged. Yes yes I know these are no noble sentiments but human nature can be petty like that. You can gloat if you want and tell others that YOU have it…not them.
3.You discover new authors with minimum risk. Because you don’t pay for the book you can roam wider and try books you would maybe not have tried before.
4.You get to read for free! The only thing publishers and authors would like to have is a review. No strings attached.
BUT, is it really so perfect?
1.If you don’t pay for the book, you are morally linked to the writer of publishing house to write a review.
And that my friends often come with guilt if you did not like the story. How will I review if I did not like it? Do I have to finish? And if I give a bad rating will I still get other books by this publisher/author? Should I “brighten” the review (maybe not lie right away no, but …).
Here is a personal side note: I have no problem giving low ratings or DNFing ARCs as I promised to myself that my first duty is to the readers and followers. Hence I’ll always be honest. What I do in such circumstances is contact the author/publishing house and ask if I can review on the release date or if they’d prefer delaying. But I WILL publish.
Honestly so far they always let me be free of my choices and thoughts. I would cut tie with them otherwise.
BUT I can understand that many don’t do it and cave, giving a “better” rating than what they would have given if they had bought the book.
2.The pressure is another con.
Pressure? What pressure? Well often people ask for more ARCs than what they can reasonably read. It’s understandable as you see them all bright and shiny on Netgalley or on PR lists. Surely you won’t get them all so you’ll be all right, right?
Sorry to say this but karma is b@tch and you will often get your ARCs “in batch” and will feel stressed as you “have” to deliver reviews around the same time!
That’s one of the reasons I have decided to tone down on ARCs.
3.The other reason is ….if you are a “moody” reader you are screwed!
When you requested this ARC you probably were in the mood to read that kind of story. But it is possible that by the time you get the ARC and have to read it your mood will have changed and you won’t want to really read it anymore.
As you promised (a promise is a promise) you risk reading a book that you won’t fully enjoy or at least not as much as you would have if you had read at the right time.
There are probably many other pros and cons but these are the ones I can think of right away.
Conclusion: I think ARCs are fun and bring something thrilling and exciting to a book blogger but only if you don’t overdo it and are able to stay true to yourself no matter what.
Now that’s your turn! Give me your two cents on that topic. What did I miss? Do you agree? Disagree? Do you request ARCs?
Thanks for reading!