For my first ever discussion post, I’ve decided to talk about something that’s been on my mind for awhile now: ARCs. ARC stands for Advanced Readers Copy, and they’re given out to bloggers, bookstores, librarians, etc. by the publishers. They’re marketing tools; they’re meant to bring publicity to the book to boost that book’s sales. You’ve probably seen them somewhere, whether online or in person. Maybe you even have one or two.
Recently, I’ve begun to start paying attention to ARCs. Fiery Reads is still too new for me to receive ARCs, but I like to look at other people hauls so I can get excited for what’s to come if I work hard on my blog. I know that they’re not just given out to random people; those who receive ARCs either have a dedicated following–which they worked hard to earn–or they know people who get ARCs. To everyone who already gets ARCs–congrats! I know you worked hard to get them.
But I’m talking about people who aren’t quite there yet and still want ARCs, or obsess over them. Are ARCs really worth that?
Let’s think about it. ARCs are given out months before the actual books hit stores. I won’t lie–when I see someone with an ARC of a book months in advance, I get that little twang of jealousy. That feeling fades though, because I know one thing: the book will be released eventually, and I’ll be able to read it then. During the wait time, I can read other things, like recently released books or backlist titles.
Backlist titles are older books that have already been released. Something you can do while waiting for a book’s pub date is read these titles that often don’t get much attention. I bet everyone has that *one* (or twenty) book on their shelf they still haven’t gotten around to reading yet. Imagine the smile you’ll bring to that author’s face if you review their book even after it’s been out for awhile. Because isn’t that why we review books, as bloggers? To share our thoughts on books with others, but also to promote the books that we love?
ARCs aren’t everything. They aren’t free, not really. The publishers spend money to print them and send them out to reviewers. If they sent them out to everyone who wanted one, then they’d go broke very fast.
The whole point of ARCs is to bring attention to new books. That’s it. They don’t reflect your worth as a blogger. Just because you don’t get ARCs yet doesn’t mean you’re a bad reviewer–it just means that you don’t have a wide enough reach yet.
Sometimes I see people begging for ARCs, or even buying them, and I get kind of sad. Because, while they may seem like it to people who don’t receive them regularly, they aren’t everything (again, I’ve never received an ARC). It’s hard not to get caught up in the ARC craze when we see our favorite author’s new book, or a sequel we’re dying to read, but you have to take a step back and realize that ARCs aren’t everything. Eventually, one day, you’ll get an ARC if you work hard on your blog. But until that day, you can spend your time reading whatever you want and counting down the days until the book’s release date. When you’ve got endless options of books to read, that time will fly by pretty fast. Just try not to get caught up in the exclusivity of it all and remember that waiting a little longer for the book will only make it that much better when you finally get to read it.
(This is my first discussion post ever, so sorry if it seems more rant-y than anything, lol).