Let’s face it, we’ve all flailed at the idea of an arc at least once or twice.
I think that when you start blogging there’s this realisation of what an ARC is and how amazing they must be. I had no idea what they were and EVERYONE was talking about them and I would just lay there, flailing, in confusion.
If you don’t know what an ARC is, it’s an Advanced Reader Copy of a book. This is where reviewers can read a book before the date of release in order to gather some hype and awareness/promote. There are physical ARCS and e-ARCs which you can obtain either from the publisher directly, or that you can request, either from the publisher or through sites such as NetGalley. You can exchange/trade ARCs, but not sell them since ARCs are clearly labelled as “not for resale” and you as the blogger are being trusted with the book to not make a profit from it.
I think that ARCs are actually a really good way of promoting a book, how else are they going to promote the book before it’s released? But I think that they can also be a really bad idea too, especially when you start blogging.
first, the positives:
- ARCs promote a book/the author and are great for gathering positive hype about a book. As I said before, how else would they do so?
- They can be read on electronic devices too, so they’re easily accessible/easy to take with you and read on the go so you can maybe get through them a little faster and not flail under all the stress to read it by a certain date.
- They’re open to a lot of people i.e they’re offered out to quite a large number of people.
- You can request them, it’s not like you have to be found by the author/publisher to receive one. For example, you can get arcs by 1. contacting the author/publisher, 2. #booksfortrade, 3. being contacted.
- You do not have to have a HUGE following to get an ARC. (more on this later)
- You get to read a book?? I MEAN THAT’S GREAT.
- You get to support an author and their book and that is honestly such a great thing to be able to do! I mean the fact that you’re considered for an ARC is really flattering and can make you really happy. When I received my first arc I was so happy, and I couldn’t quite believe it because my blog wasn’t really that big and I was just,,,, IN SHOCK.
- ARC Envy is a REAL THING. It’s so easy to see a blogger receiving ARCs and then automatically think that their blog is WAY better than yours. It’s so easy to get fixated on the ARCs and forget about the important reasons that you started blogging. You could start to question why they’re“better” than you and think that there’s something you’re doing wrong which means that you don’t get the ARCs. I have experienced ARC envy, and it pains me to say it, but I have. 1) Do not think that you’re not as good as someone who gets ARCs because 2) they’ve got more arcs as ARCs are not a symbol of status.
- It’s easy to think that ARCs = higher status in the blogging community/people think that only the “popular” bloggers can get the “best” ones. Everyone in this community should be considered E Q U A L. The number of ARCs you receive should NOT determine how good of a blogger you are. Sometimes, the amount of ARC’s you receive depends on follower count, but not always! However, for the more “popular” authors, this may not be the case and they may reach out to some of the larger bloggers purely because they can reach more people. And even though that makes sense, it can still make you think as a blogger, “what am I doing wrong?“
- People can become fixated on the idea of ARCs. Sometimes, people may become literal giants and see ARCs as gold that. they. must. have. and think that they have to have ARCs to be seen as a “good” blogger and then if they don’t get ARCs it can start to negatively impact how they see their blog.
- It can be a lot of stress. 1) you could stress about not having the time. 2) you could stress about not liking the book, and then have to write a “meh” review about it and worry about offending the author (though your honest opinion should be heard and if you don’t like it, then that is perfectly OK). 3) you may stress about balancing ARCs/e-ARCs and your TBR or, 4) you could get anxious/stressed about applying/requesting for an ARC/e-ARC if you haven’t done it before!
- ARCs can be sold even though they are clearly labelled as “not for sale”. I’ve seen a lot on Twitter over the past 6 months or so about ARCs, and if I’m honest, maybe 30% was positive? I saw a tweet where an ARC had been sold for a HUGE profit and the author felt so heartbroken and betrayed. The fact that they sold the ARC before release day for a profit completely undermined the meaning and purpose of an ARC, and went completely against the trust between bloggers and authors.
is there a “worth” to ARCs?
A lot of the negative reasons that I’ve listed here revolve around this “worth” ARCs: what they show about you bog, how your blog is perceived by others, and how big your blog may seem from the number of ARCs that you read/review.
I think that ARCs are obviously great for hyping up books and getting some positive talk about the book, but I think that there is also an element of ARCs that isn’t that great for the blogging community.
I think that too much of the time we are focussed on ARCs, and whether or not our blogs are “good enough” purely based on the number of ARCs that we are given. I think that they’re pretty bad in the sense that we can sometimes have moments where we think “I’m not being approved for these ARCs, am I good enough?“. Or, we see another blog and get jealous of their ARCs, and start to think that they are “better” at blogging purely because of ARCs.
I’m not that bothered about ARCs? I don’t let the number of ARCs I get make me look at my blog any differently. I used to think that I needed to improve my blog in order to ever receive an ARC. Remember that YOU DO NOT NEED TO MAKE YOUR BLOG “BETTER” TO RECEIVE AN ARC!! But then I sort of just forgot about them, and just kept blogging and then I was offered one??? Now I personally find them rather stressful, but then I sort of look past that because I like to be able to support authors any way that I can.
What do you think about ARCs? Do you think that they show a “worth”? Do you think that so much emphasis should be put on ARCs? How important do you think ARCs are? Do you see the stress in ARCs? Do you think that we should worry less about ARCs? Let me know!