The book world has this super magical, amazing thing called ARCs.
They are great. Really. And I didn’t even know they existed before I started blogging. Look at all I was missing out on !!!! For all my newbie blogger friends, this post is for you! You won’t miss out on precious months of ARC reading because you didn’t know what they were.
ARCs have also been the source of a lot of controversy in the book world. Are they a good thing???? A bad thing???? A bit of both???? I am in the mixed feelings camp. ARCs are great! They’re fun! But they also can cause so much stress. And jealousy. And be disappointing. This post will discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of ARCs.
Before I can discuss all the components of ARCs, however, I should define it! ARCs are Advanced Reader Copies distributed by publishers or the authors to bloggers or book tubers in exchange for an honest review. Publishers and authors tend to use ARCs as a way to build hype for their upcoming book. Sometimes, they actually take the criticisms in your review into consideration and change the book! I know personally, in my Prodigy Prince review, I mentioned wanting more background into the political environment of the setting, and the lovely author emailed me to inform me that she added an explanation, as well as sent the explanation to me! This was a pretty gratifying moment, as I saw that book bloggers actually do have some power????
There are two forms of ARCs- eARCs and physical ARCs. The majority of ARCs I receive are eARCs, which I get on Netgalley. Netgalley is a website where publishers post books that are open for reviewing, and you can request them. Then, the publishers either deny your request or accept it. If you’re accepted, you just have to post a review on the website and link them to where you post other reviews. It’s super easy, free,
and a hole. Seriously though, when you first happen upon Netgalley it seems like a cornucopia of endless choices, but do not request every book you see because then you end up with tens of books to review and you are only actually interested in five of them, and it becomes a chore, not a pleasure.
I heard there’s also another website, Edelweiss, to get eArcs from, but I personally have never used it, so I can’t offer advice for it.
Then there are the physical ARCs. There are a little bit of a magical unicorn to me, because free physical books???? That’s amazing. And it’s always seemed super hard for me to get. For the one physical ARC I received, I was actually contacted by the author through my blog (which can sometimes happen and is super exciting!). The wonderful Heather has a super great post about how to receive Physical ARCs, which I personally find super helpful and hope to put into practice.
So now that you know what ARCs are and where to get them, it’s time to discuss all the good aspects of ARCs. And trust me, there is a lot.
- Free books!
- Is there anything better than free books?
- Getting to read the book early so you feel #supercool
- Helping to market books
- Your review can actually have the power to change the book before it is officially published
- You can establish relationships with authors and publishers which is always fun!
- If it is highly anticipated, you’ll get a ton of reads
As you can see, there are a ton of reasons why ARCs are good and magical and amazing and why they are super fun to request.
Butttt, it isn’t all sunshine and puppies and rainbows.
- Sometimes ARCs are ill formatted. This might just bug me but like the spacing is wrong or there are a ton of grammatical errors and that makes it so hard to get through the book.
- You can go through requesting binges and request too much and then fall behind on your reviews and then slowly get crushed by the evergrowing pile of reviews you have to do
- Your ARCs will take precedent over your TBR (sometimes, like if the publishing date is close) and then you are less excited tor read it.
- It does NOT vibe well for mood readers because ARCs have deadlines,,,,
- Sometimes you read a very meh book and you just have no opinion on it??? But you still have to review it??
- Unless the ARC is super highly anticipated, they tend to get the worst stats, since no one has heard of it? Which sucks because sometimes you might really enjoy it.
A lot of these are minor problems that really aren’t deal breakers, but definitely stuff to keep in mind.
Aaaand we get to the ugly. For me, there is really only one component of ARCs that I would classify as ugly: The ARC jealousy. You know, that moment where there’s a book that everyone and their mother wants (like Warcross or Renegades or something like that) and obviously not everyone can read it for free because then nobody makes money !!! So some people get a book and some people don’t and that leads to the horrible ARC jealousy. Where you look at the other blogs who got the book that you really wanted and evil thoughts start coming into your mind like “They don’t even deserve that book” or “My blog is bigger and better than theirs anyway”. And that sucks because it completely defeats the purpose of the whole book blogging community! We’re supposed to all be fangirling over books together, not getting catty behind each other’s backs because we are jealous someone received a book we didn’t.
The end! I hope I’ve enlightened some of my fellow bloggers on all the pros and cons of ARCs, as well as explained it to some of the newbies like me who were completely clueless when blogs would talk about receiving ARCs or writing ARC reviews.
What do you think about ARCs? Are they positive, negative, or both? Do you have tips for requesting physical ARCs? Have you ever felt ARC jealousy?