Discussion: Are People Focusing on ARCs TOO Much?

Are-people-focusing-on-ARCs-too-much
(Thank you so much Tamara for letting me use your picture! ❤ You guys should definitely go and check out her awesome instagram!)

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).

Do you think that we are focusing on ARCs TOO much? Do you receive ARCs, or are you still waiting for that day like me? Please let me know what you thought of this discussion by leaving a comment!

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26 thoughts on “Discussion: Are People Focusing on ARCs TOO Much?

  1. The Blog of a Book and Tea Addict says:

    I totally agree! There’s been times when I’ve thought, oh, I wish I had that ARC, and get a little jealous, but then I realize, I should be happy my friend/fellow blogger got an ARC! I’ll read that book eventually, and I’ll love it just as much as I would if I read it early. I’ve never gotten an ARC before, but I haven’t been blogging for very long. Loved this post!

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    • Alex @ Fiery Reads says:

      Thanks for checking out this post Ava! I feel like everyone inevitably feels that ARC envy at least once in their life, but like you said, then I realize that the book will be out eventually. And if my friend doesn’t like the book, then I can save money by not buying that book if it’s bad. Sounds like a good situation to me lol.

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  2. Kynndra-jo says:

    I adore this post! I used to be so jealous when I saw someone getting an ARC. I think it’s to be expected you know? You see something like that and you feel like you’re getting left out. But once you sit back and really think about it, like you said they come out eventually. You’re not actually missing out. Your wait is a bit longer but you’ll get to read it soon enough!

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  3. SarahClare says:

    Sometimes I notice a blog I’ve been following for a while suddenly seem to be only focusing on ARCs and the constant ‘hauls’ which are mostly ARCs from publishers can become tedious because although some books I would love to get months in advance.. mostly I like to read about books I can get NOW.

    And I also feel like some people do indeed place too much importance on ARCs, as though it is a marker of their success.

    I sometimes get ARCs, but it’s rare. Usually I’ll request the next in a series I love when it pops up on Netgalley. But there are so many books already published that I could end up losing out if I only focused on what was ‘coming soon’.

    Anyway. Yeah. I think some people do focus on ARCs too much. I think there should always be a balance.

    Great post!!

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    • Alex @ Fiery Reads says:

      I like to look at ARC hauls because I like to see what other people get, but I agree it can get annoying when everything a blog does has to do with ARCs in someway. A balance between them and other books is my idea of a perfect blog, because while I like to know I have books to look forward to, I also like knowing that I can just go out and buy a book if someone gives it a good review. Thanks for checking out this post! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alex @ Fiery Reads says:

      I’ve never requested an ARC before but I am on two upcoming blog tours. I know what you mean though, I like being able to choose what I read and not have an ARC tbr pile consume my life lol. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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  4. pigeonreads says:

    This is a really good discussion post! And yes, I totally agree with you! My blog is new as well but I didn’t make a blog to get ARCs. I made a blog so I could share my bookish feels with fellow bookish people. Although jealousy for people who receive ARCs are inevitable, I can’t help but be happy for them since we know they earned it. It’s good to have this as a goal for your blog but don’t let it consume you. Thanks for this discussion, Alex! 🙂

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  5. Giselle says:

    I love this because I know way too many people who will foam at the mouth at the sight of an ARC like a hungry dog. It saddens me to go on eBay and see ARCs of highly anticipated books selling for upwards of $200. For what, the popularity? The credibility? Being able to say you’ve read it first? Well congrats, because you just wasted $200 on a book that will be less than 1/10th the cost in a couple of months. Patience is a virtue.
    For a blogger so new to the scene as myself to have gotten ARCs feels weird. All I did was stand in line for a few hours at YALLFest and was rewarded with books. I never expected to get s single one; in fact, I probably owe Lillie and Kit Cat a great deal of gratitude because they were the ones who knew where to be and when.
    In the end, an ARC has become highly coveted and blown out of proportion just for the ability to say “I’m a popular blogger whom the publishers love and you’re not!” And that makes me so sad. But I know that you and I will someday soon be working on that same level, and we will be much more humbled about it than many people I’ve seen.

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    • Alex @ Fiery Reads says:

      There’s no way in hell I’d spend $200 on a book. That’s just crazy. I’d be more than happy to wait a few months and then pay a fraction of that cost because I’m wayyyyy too broke to spend that much money on one book. I’ve only ever gotten ARCs by going to Bookcon (which was awesome!) and sometimes through booksfortrade or blog tours, but I haven’t actually gotten any because of my blog itself.

      I agree with it being blown out of proportion, definitely. Hopefully we’ll be on the publishers’ radars soon and we can get ARCs and show people that they really aren’t this elite thing that everyone thinks they are. They’re just marketing tools, plain and simple. It’s not an insult against you if they don’t choose you to receive an ARC, it’s just that you’re not able to help out the book they’re marketing in the way that they need. Thanks for commenting Gee 🙂

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  6. Melanie Noell Bernard says:

    This was a fantastic first discussion post. You commented on both sides of the argument. On that note, I have to say I might be on the fence here. I think receiving ARCs would be great, but I’d be more excited about the fact that it would mean my blog is a big thing, I’m in touch with lots of people. I don’t think I care that much about receiving the ARC as I do about connecting with tons of people. (Not that I’ve received an official hard copy ARC. Just a few from Netgalley, if those count.)

    More importantly, I didn’t start my blog to review books. It was just something that I fell into that people seemed to be really big on and it was a way to connect with a wider array of people. I review books for fun, not for the prestige, or the glow of receiving a book from a publisher/author. It’s cool, yeah, but it’s not my main purpose.

    Additionally, when receiving ARCs I feel as though there is an obligation to review it quickly, to place it ahead of all the other books that are sitting in my TBR pile and that’s not cool for me. I like being able to choose which book I read next based on what I’m feeling. Being put on a time crunch for a book doesn’t leave a good taste in my mouth and would likely hinder my review of the book because I wouldn’t get to fully enjoy it.

    Okay. End rant. :p

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  7. Raisa Santos says:

    This is a great discussion post! I agree about people focusing on ARCs too much… I wish I had them, but its not something I’ll go majorly out of my way for. Plus, I have a lot of books to read already. I don’t receive ARCs often like big blogs, and its pretty rare for me to get books. I’m fine with reading at my own pace, since I don’t really have the time to devote to intense reviewing.

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    • Alex @ Fiery Reads says:

      Same here; my blog is a hobby, not really a “job” for me so I can’t devote a TON of time to it. I spend so much time working on it now, I know that if I added ARCs into the equation I’d be totally swamped, so I’m happy as I am right now 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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  8. Bayy says:

    I feel like we focus on ARC’s to much. I’m also baffled by the amount publishers send to certain bloggers. I’ve seen them post hauls with 15-30 arcs and I think it’s not fair. They can’t possibly read them all before they come out. I feel like it doesn’t allow for everyone to get in the game, help spread the word about books and have fun. I feel like it’s almost become a bragging thing like look how many ARCs I’ve gotten this month. I just feel like the playing field should be a bit more even. As a new book blogger I feel like the ranks are already set up and there’s no room for me

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    • Alex @ Fiery Reads says:

      I totally understand how you feel. I love looking at ARC hauls, but sometimes I wonder how they get around to reading all of them! Aw, and don’t worry about the ranks and all that! I’m sure that your blog is wonderful too and that publishers will definitely make room for you when the time comes 🙂 Thank you so much for checking out my post and taking the time to comment! ❤

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  9. fiddlerblue says:

    Hi Alex! It’s my first time on your blog, and kudos to your first and highly entertaining discussion post 🙂 I agree that ARCs are marketing tools and in no way should anyone spend so much money to buy it, especially since its not the novel’s final version. It would be more supportive to th e author to wait and buy the book once it is released.

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    • Alex @ Fiery Reads says:

      Thank you very very much! Your comment made me smile 🙂 Every time I get a little ARC envy, that’s exactly what I think now. We need to support authors more!! They don’t get half as much money as we think they do, so we have to buy their books and support our faves. That’s my reasoning, anyways 🙂

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  10. Laura says:

    Interesting discussion! Personally I’ve never been bothered with ARCs. I have been blogging over a year and have never requested one because there’s already so many released books I want to read that it makes no sense to request unreleased ones simply to have them before most other people. I never really follow new releases anyway, I just go into the bookshop or library and have a look round at what looks interesting.

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  11. Wren says:

    I agree completely. ARCs are treated like trophies. But they’re just marketing tools.
    I feel a little sad that I succumb to ARC envy a lot. That’s a bad thing about being a blogger. You get ARCs everywhere. And I kinda want them alll. I know I should be calm and all, but it’s hard sometimes.

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    • Alex @ Fiery Reads says:

      Aw, don’t feel bad, Wren! I completely understand how you feel, and no amount of posts like these will make us think differently. And that’s okay 🙂 We can be envious–we’re humans, after all–but what sets us apart from those people who are cruel and rude about ARCs is how we act. As long as you aren’t acting rudely towards publishers, authors, other bloggers, etc. then you’re perfectly okay 🙂

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