Feb 2, 2013

A fireside chat.

So, it's happened. Through the mouth of a friend I had to hear about someone hating on my lovely little program. The hate in and of itself, I don't mind. Hey, things had been going too smoothly. My ego was getting over-stroked. However, while I won't drag their name in here like they did me, I would like to address their argument. And since this is a pretty serious post, I am going to lighten it with as many gifs as I could make sense of. As always.

What they say:
ARCs should never be distributed to others than who they were intended for by the publisher. Ever. Like, ever, ever. So if you don't keep them, they should be destroyed. And we are wrong and ignorant for doing this.

My response:
Point #1
Okay, okay, okay, let's start simple. Imagine for a second that some huge blogger, who has been blogging for years, were to keep every ARC ever. I imagine it would be something like this:

*Yes, I realize this is not a gif. Sorry. No gif of something like this exists.

Yeah, rooms like this make us book nerds (theoretically) ecstatic. But here's the downright, honest truth. Ain't nobody got space for that. What about a book you read and were totally MEH about? *I* don't keep it. Why? I'm not gonna read it again! I'd rather clear it off for a book I love.*
*I can't speak for everyone, but if I read an ARC, love it, I go and buy the book. Cause it looks prettier on my shelf, they last longer than ARCs and it supports the author/ publisher. So there.

Let's just agree that keeping every book you read (even if you don't want it) is insane. I read over 100 books a year, I'd be dead under the weight of them if I kept them all. Enter factors of earthquakes or fires and deadest dead that ever deaded.

Point #2
As per unnamed person, if you have you've ever gotten an ARC from a publisher and given it away on your blog (to anyone), then you are on the naughty list. Which means like 90% of bloggers are on the naughty list already. Which makes me think we all need to get together and have a big ole bad kids party.

And, uh, not to point out the insanely obvious, but publishers aren't stupid. They aren't unaware of the happenings of what we do on our little Blogger and Word Press-run sites. They know we do giveaways. If it was a problem, we would have heard about instances by now. Just saying.

And for the record, I've never used Amazon Vine. Honestly, I'd never even heard of it before. I also hate Amazon and won't use it if it can at all be avoided, but that's an entirely different story.

The day the blogging community stops all giveaways, maybe unnamed person will have a point, until then, I am going to disregard this as ridiculous as Ptolemaic epicycles in the 21st century.

Point #3
This is a big baddie point. But it's true. Ugly, ugly truth.
I know people who sell ARCs. The chain Half Price Books is a used book store around Texas and other areas and I see ARCs there ALL. THE. TIME. Specific case: I saw Malinda Lo's Adaptation (9/12) there all the way back in April. I've heard cases of librarians selling them when they do their sales of extra books cause they can't actually use them and they get too many. There are even those bloggers that sell them on eBay.
So, all of this is happening and yet I'm getting ragged on for spending my own money to mail them out while others (many others) don't give a flip about the no-sell thing?


Me at the haterade:

I try not to cuss here, but I feel like if I am going to offend people's sensibilities, it's going to be with such a classic teen film as this. Plus, it perfectly illustrates my thinking.

But, seriously, attack them first and make them stop, then come back to me.

Point #4
What unnamed person would (I guess) like me to do would be to contact every publisher for every title I ARCycle.

Are you cracked?
First of all, by the time most of the ARCs get to me they are "expired" which means they are already out. So the chance of "leaking" is minimal.
Now I feel is a good time to bring up how expensive ARCs are to produce. They actually cost more than finished hardbacks. Didn't know that? Well, they do. I've always felt it's ridiculous that a book that expensive gets used once. But if 2 bloggers read it, then it's like $10 per read, times the amount of people their stellar review and go out and buy it from that.
I am both a bookseller and a reviewer and through reviewing and hand selling, I've earned my weight in the ARC world and anyone to try and tell me otherwise is going to see what a fierce ginger I can be. Oddly, this is something unnamed person mentioned in their post... so... there's that awkward piece of common ground.

Here's the wicked truth: ultimately, I don't really care what unnamed person thinks. I'm going to keep rocking it like I do.

*Yes, this is a Percy Jackson gif. Finally having a reason to use it makes my life.

If a publisher should contact me about a title or even their whole line of books, then sure. I'm respectful enough to not take that title(s) anymore.

What frustrates me is that this unnamed person bad-mouthed me behind my back. If you're going to spread around incorrect or incomplete information about this program, have the guts to do it to my face. Oh, and don't condescend to me like I'm some noob. I've been in this community for years, even if this blog is new. Any future whining or finger-pointing at me or this blog project from bloggers who need to deflate their britches is gonna get a

in response. Yeah, no seriously. I have this gif saved. I will use it all of the time.

Lastly, to end my essay off, I remind you this: I provide an option to the masses on how to get rid of  their unwanted books. I don't go out of my way to acquire these ARCs to pass out to peeps. Mainly 'cause I don't got time for that. We get what we get and are grateful for it. No more. There's no wink-wink-nudge-nudge-secret handshake in back alleys to get them. If you don't agree with this project, don't participate and go burn your ARCs in defiance. I don't care. They are yours to do with what you will. Keep that in mind for the people donating here. This is a judge-free zone. As well as a drama-free zone.

And now... peace out.


  1. This is like the BEST blog post rant I have ever read! You GO, GIRL! I've never heard anyone say that about ARCs - and that's ridiculous. I would share the love! But not in an illegal, immoral way. Which you are NOT doing. So good for you :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. This may be the best response to peeps drinking the haterade I've ever seen. IMO, I think a publisher would rather the novel reach a wider audience, & what better way to do that reviewers/bloggers spreading the love? I'd even go so far to say that they might a little bit upset about seeing their money going up in flames because that's exactly what it's be if you set fire to all those expensive ARCs. I'm not even going to think about all the beautiful words that'd be tragically lost if this were to happen. *sobs from the pretty words*

    Furthermore, it's not like you're doing it in secret or creating a space for mass illegal download. It's out in the open & you get books if you review them which is kind of the point of publishers providing ARCs in the first place, right?

    1. I know right! Destroying ARCs make me want to bawl my eyes out. Those precious stories, lost forever!

  3. OMG absolutely amazing post! Who ever the hater is...wow what an idiot! No offense, to that person, but seriously! You can pretty much do whatever you want with that ARC, except SELL it! They are supposed to be free. Giving it away is free :).

    People like that piss me off. I don't really cussing either, but seriously it sounds to me they are just jealous that they didn't think of this first, or they didn't get a book they wanted!
    All I have to say is...get over it!!
    You aren't doing anything illegal. And if you had been a publisher or something would have already contacted you about it! :)

  4. Haterade, baha! But seriously, if it was so wrong, pretty much EVERYONE in the blogging community would have heard so by publishers already. With ARC giveaways/trades/etc. plastered all over social media for everyone to see, the pubs would DEFINITELY have noticed and spoken up. Obviously they don't care what we do with them (although I definitely do not agree with selling them and I'm pretty sure it says right on there you're not supposed to).
    And 'destroy' them? Are you crazy? Why would publishers want to to throw away that much money and time spent making the ARC when they could see them go to another blogger who could give more publicity and get the book more attention?

    This person is just ridiculous and I personally think they're trolling. Don't worry about what anyone says, I think what you're doing is AWESOME (and I think lots of others would agree!). Just keep your head up and ignore the idiots :)

    1. Sad thing is they're not trolling, Jessi. We love our program and we're gonna keep it up. Thanks for the support and we just wanted the situation to be addressed haha <3

  5. This program is an excellent idea! What is wrong with sharing the love? I am interested in learning how this person handles her ARCs. Does she seriously keep them or light a large bonfire in her backyard to burn the copies she does not want to keep? Ridiculous. I have heard from many publishers that they do not mind the sharing of ARCs. The more people who read, the more reviews! You go on with your bad self, Jennifer!

    1. From what was said, I assume she just kept all of her books. Maybe she'll end up on Hoarders one day!

  6. This post is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!

    That is all :)

  7. I get ARCs all the time through trades on swap.com, although sometimes that's from people who I've had to explain to what an ARC is. Who on earth would have us go burn them? Keep rocking it with your Percy Jackson gif, and thanks for post!

  8. Fact: I OFTEN find books I'm interested in from ARC giveaways. It's a great word of mouth, so how can they be wrong? I have entered giveaways, lost and then went and bought the book because it sounded so good. So I really don't get why anyone would have a problem with that.

    And you are allowing these ARCs to go to reviewers! And have come up with penalties to make sure people aren't taking advantage of the system. Not one part of this is wrong at all. It's too bad they feel so negatively about it and felt the need to back talk. I think you girls are doing a great job. And your Percy Jackson GIF is perfection. :)

  9. I don't think I can say anything that hasn't already been said. This post is amazing and I love all of your gifs, especially Jennifer Lawrence.

    As always, thank you for providing this service. I love being able to donate my arcs to someone who can't wait for them. All books deserve a good home.

  10. Wait, they are getting all uppity about people doing the exact same thing with arcs as the publishers are doing and intend them for?

    Because it will not allow the gif in the comment...my response

  11. I've personally asked several of my publishing contacts how they feel about trading and giving away ARCs and they're totally in support of it! It makes things easier for them, and if they get two reviews per ARC sent out then that's double the publicity! Sure, some bloggers may keep ARCs rather than buying finished copies, but that's the same as people who read books through the library. It's not the end of the world. Keep doing what you're doing, I think it's awesome :)

  12. What I love about ARCycling is that it encourages reviews of "older" titles. I love browsing the review archive here because I get so tired of seeing review after review of books that aren't even out yet. I don't like how books seem to become "old news" in the book blogging world by the time they are available to purchase at the bookstore.

    I prefer reading reviews of books that have been out for a couple of months because I feel like it leads to better discussion (as opposed to only being able to leave a comment like "I can't wait to read this when it is published in the future") and also because my library is slow to get in new books. It's nice to get excited about a title after reading a review and then be able to put it on hold at my library immediately.

    Also, the idea of destroying a book makes me want to cry and sounds incredibly wasteful. I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate how the two of you spend so much time organizing this program every week... thank you!

    1. I cannot embed this gif, but YOU GET A GIF FOR THIS!


    2. I have to agree with Sarah -- I've rarely had the opportunity to review "current" ARCs, but when I do, I usually post my review, at the earliest, right before the publication date. If I'm perfectly honest, I'm not organized enough to do things way in advance, so I'm more likely to post shortly after publication (and sometimes waaay after). And I really do think any additional exposure for a book is a good thing, even if we're past that "ideal window" of time or the ARC is "expired." So many readers and book bloggers have shelves full of books they've acquired and haven't gotten around to reading yet. So if someone posts an ARCycling review of an "older" ARC, maybe their interest is revived and they decide to give that older book a shot. Or maybe someone who doesn't have the book decided to borrow it from their library -- there has to be value in that.

      I get that publishers want to build excitement, but I'm a newbie blogger and I'm trying to connect with the readers I currently have. I've found there is better discussion, especially on a small blog, if I write about a book others have read or one that is already available that they are potentially interested in and want to learn more about. It can be frustrating to read an awesome review and then realize the book still won't come out for a few more months. And I'll admit, sometimes by the time publication rolls around, I've forgotten about it!

  13. She was found buried under all her ARCs.

    Oh, wait, maybe the house caught fire from the ARC burning in the fireplace.

    I'm totally joining up once I get caught up on my backlog!

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