ARCs: The Upsides and The Downsides Discussion ft. Is There a “Worth” To Them?

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.

IMG_1882

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.

the negatives: 

  • 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.IMG_1882

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.

personal opinion: 

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.

chat with me

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! 

Luuuu

53 thoughts on “ARCs: The Upsides and The Downsides Discussion ft. Is There a “Worth” To Them?”

  1. I so appreciated this post because I have been feeling the same way recently! I was accepted for 3 E-arcs and I was SO excited and thankful that I didn’t think the whole idea of ARCS would stress me out so much but it did! I started worrying about not having enough followers to receive the arcs I was most excited about, and then I was a little envious of other more popular bloggers doing better than me, and on top of it all I was really stressed about finding the time to read all three arcs on top of all my other books! This post is awesome because it lets me know that I am not alone!
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh sorry that you’re feeling so stressed about them!! They really are stressful and they’re so so so much to worry about sometimes!! Don’t worry about not having enough followers, ARCs will come!!

      Like

  2. I feel like ARC’s are more stress than they’re worth. I’ve received a few and there’s just so much pressure to read and review in a certain time. I’d much rather just read a book at my own pace, so I don’t ask for ARC’s anymore haha

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ugh, this is such a good post!!! I love love love getting ARCs (who doesn’t??) and it makes me so happy — but when I think of the reasoning behind that, it’s first because I GET TO READ A BOOK I REALLY WANT BEFORE IT RELEASES THAT’S SO COOL!!! and second because this publisher saw me/my blog as “good enough”. I haven’t gotten outright denied or rejected an ARC (since I request physical copies), but when they don’t reply and/or I don’t get any books in the mail, I definitely feel a little sad & wish I had better stats.

    and ARC envy is SO. REAL. ugh. seeing everyone have these amazing ARCs, whether they’re from trades or cons or requests or sent from the publisher without a request, I get SO. JEALOUS. because I just want them so bad!!

    anyways. great post!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUU. (and sorry for replying so late???)

      Exactly: ARCs can make such mixed feelings, adn can lift you up but then totally knock you down again.

      OMG YES I get sooooooo jealous sometimes!!

      thank you so muchhhh ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome post! ❤
    I only received 2 ARCs, and one is pretty straightforward, i like it, happy to post a review, etc.
    The second book on the other hand… stressing me out! I've been reading it for over a week, and i'm not even sure if i like it. Keep thinking "am i a horrible person?", is it better to not even bother with review? But they want an honest opinion. But on the other hand, be careful what you wish for, no?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It could be stressful trying to read them and then giving an honest review. Yikes!! I’d be terrified xD

    However, I think ARCs are cool. I mean, I would love to get one someday. LIKE, THERE’S THAT BOOK YOU’VE BEEN WAITING AGGGGGES FOR AND YOU GET TO READ IT EARLY?!! YAAAAAS, PLEASE!!

    I wouldn’t want to change my blog so that I could receive ARCs. I mean, I personally don’t feel ready for ARCs as of now as a blogger, honestly, because I want to figure out my blogging style and personality.

    Also, my TBR is threatening to devour me and as far as I’m concerned, only I can do the devouring around here xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG YES THE AMAZINGNESS OF ACRS IS LIKE,,, FJKNGKDJFNGJKFDNG.

      That’s how i felt at first too!! And I wish that I could have kept on feeling like that. When I felt ready for an ARC, and I just wasn’t getting contacted, it was a bit dishartening but now, I don’t really mind????

      AAHHAHAHA TBRS ARE TERRIFYING ENOUGH
      AHHAHHAHA

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I like getting ARCs, because often they’re books that everyone hasn’t read yet. But then there’s a lot of pressure to read them. And sometimes the book is just terrible, and you don’t want to finish it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, i totally get that when you say it???? And yes it’s really cool that you can read a book before it’s released, but I think that it’s more important to support the author???

      Like

  7. AHHHH LU I LOVED THIS POSTTTTTTTTTT (tho your let’s chat graphic is not centred sorry)

    I think ARCs are great for those who can’t buy a lot of books and it’s a great way to support authors and publishers. It creates hype, hype and MORE HYPE and I have written 2 star reviews for ARCs and?? honestly, I don’t mind. Everyone always talks about how they don’t want to hurt anyone but I just go out there and smash out my opinion and everyone hates me for it :))))))

    I LOVE that you emphasised ARCs do not define your worth and that we are all equal and just because a blogger recieves more ARCs and better hyped ARCs it does not mean they are better than you. I also was really happy that you talked about ARC Envy bc most of us pretend it dosen’t exist WHEN ITS REAL AND IT HURTS. In a upcoming post of mine I’m going to be talking about rejection and how everyone ignores that blogging CAN be disheartening at sometimes and we need to talk about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU!! AND THANK YOU FOR TELLING MEEE!!

      Tbh, it’s your opinion and YOU DESERVE TO SHOUT IT OK?? Like,,, if they hate on you I’ll stab/burn them, alright????

      OMG yes??? I MEAN I THINK PEOPLE WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT THE “WORTH OF ARCS” and think that because one blogger gets more arcs, they’re better than them, WHEN THEY’RE NOT.
      and omg yes I THINK THAT WE NEED TO TALK MORE ABOUT THINGS THAT WE JUST IGNORE???

      omg that’s such a good idea!! Because sometimes, as you said, blogging can be super disheartening and no-one really talks about it??? Can’t wait for your post!! ❤ ❤

      Like

  8. I love this post so, so much. I have a conflicted relationship with ARCs. I appreciate that so much and it is pretty incredible to get opportunities to read books before their release date, to be part of the hype built up by bloggers weeks, sometimes even months before a book is released, to help authors and publishers,… being able to support our favorite books and books we are eager to read is an incredible thing.
    Yet there is this ARC envy and that worth that’s attached to it, as you said. I am doing my best not to feel it, but I guess it is only human to feel this way sometimes, when you see bloggers getting a lot of ARCs while you are trying to get one for your most anticipated book of all times and just fail constantly. It’s a lot of randomness maybe, but it also is discouraging. Not that we are blogging for ARCs, or that I am, but being denied an opportunity to hype up an incredible book always makes me question my worth as a blogger, my blog and whether or not I am just not good enough to be given opportunities. I definitely need to worry less about that and I am trying to, but sometimes it is hard not to link opportunities and our personal worth as a blogger in the community.
    ANYWAY sorry for ranting on, that was an amazing post, I loved it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!!
      Yes, ARCS are great, and we should be so grateful for them, because not everyone gets them, but as you said, there’s ARC envy, and it can be really disheartening!! And yes, it’s only human. Yes!! We question our worth as a blogger and think that we aren’t good enough sometimes and WE SHOULDN’T but sometimes we can’t help but feel like that!!
      Don’t apologise for ranting, plenty of people feel the same way, and we all need to work together to stop people feeling bad about not getting arcs!!
      Thank you so much ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I find them stressful too. Especially if they’re not great. I feel bad for the author, that I can’t give them the glowing review they’d hoped for. In fact, if the novels that bad – I give no review.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ARC’s will always be such a sore subject for a lot of people… Honestly, yes, I’m bummed that international bloggers immediately have “less” chance of getting ARC’s. Not only physical ones, but also digital ones. It simply sucks. As if living in another country is our own doing?

    Apart from that, you’re definitely right when you say ARC’s aren’t a measure for status. That’s just stupid. Sure, it can feel that way. Sometimes it definitely seems that way, but it isn’t. It only is when we allow it to be. I’d rather have a fun blog that people love following and commenting on than own a thousand ARC’s and barely have actual legit and interesting conversations with people. Rather a small following, but a fun following than a huge one that I barely get to interact with.

    I recently had a conversation on someone else’s post about ARC’s – she’s also an international blogger – and she DID have such a valid point in saying that, for example, NetGalley should have some safety measurements when it comes to ARC’s and requesting them. There are so many bloggers who are drowning in them and yet keep requesting more and more, which in the end is unfair to other bloggers who don’t request a lot and only request the books they genuinely want and are going to read. If there’d be some way to limit the “open” amount of eARC’s that a blogger has yet to read, that’d be a big advantage to other people. And to the publishers, since they’d know for sure that the chance of a person reading the eARC is so much bigger than someone who already has tons and tons of unread eARC’s to go through.. [Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I think NG should actually do something like this.. Sure, some people would be annoyed with it, but those would highly likely be the people with tons of unread eARC’s.. :’)]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know it’s so ridiculous??? Why should the country you live in affect your ability to receive an arc???

      Exactly, I think that it’s more important to have fun and interact with people than stress over arcs!!!

      I mean, net gallery sounds like my worst nightmare?? I couldn’t even think of a more competitive site?? Like,,, why would people want to be a part of that environment?? Idk it just sounds so competitive to me and not what I would like to be involved in?????? And yes, I think that there should be a limit to requested e-arcs because, as you said, some people will have absolutely loads and never get to them!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! Honestly, if it’s an ARC I reallyreally want to read and am excited for, I’d even go with “I’LL PAY THE SHIPPING COSTS!” [Okay, maybe not that exactly but you know..]

        Yup!

        Haha, I don’t think it’s competitive. It’s not like you can see other people’s / bloggers’ profiles or anything – or at least not that I know of. It’s pretty much you on your own trying not to request too many and stay on top of the eARC’s you get approved for. So far I’ve been doing a pretty decent job at that but some others are constantly going on about “having at least thirty or fourthy arcs they have yet to read and review” and it.. annoys me.. :’)

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m pretty new to the whole book reviewing scene, so I had a vague idea about what ARC’s were, but as I said… It was very vague. It’s interesting to read your take on the whole thing. I do agree though – your self worth should not depend on the amount of ARC’s you receive!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. i loathe it when people put ARCs up for sale )): i think it’s so slimy, not to mention that it’s a huge insult to the author, who’s probably spent years perfecting his/her story. *huffs*

    i feel like ARCs are a win-win for both the publisher/author and the blogger (because FREE BOOKS YES), but i can definitelyyyy relate to ARC envy. i would be lying if i said it wasn’t disheartening to have an arc request rejected, although i know that’s a very commonplace occurence! ARCs in general can be very stressful, but also very rewarding 🙂

    fabulous post, as always~

    Liked by 1 person

  13. AH THIS POST! AND YOUR BLOG! They’re both amazing and why haven’t I discovered your blog sooner??? I cry.

    I love this post so much. It’s so relatable. I know for me (at one point anyway) ARCs felt like a symbol or proof of success or that I’m doing things right?? It totally felt as if the bloggers with the ARCs were of ‘higher status’ or at least more successful. Also when I first discovered Netgalley, every rejection was so disappointing??? I mean, it is still disappointing, but I’ve gotten over it now more I think. It was especially hard dealing with ARC envy though at one point where it seemed like EVERYONE was getting the ARC of a particular book, except for me?? And it’s just so hard not to ask what is it that everyone else have that I don’t and what I was doing wrong and ughghghghg it was just incredibly negative.

    I’ve also totally been stressed about ARCs due to the deadlines and then when it came to requesting physical arcs I was (and still am) a complete mess haha. I’ve only tried to request a few times? It’s just so disappointing to get rejected and also I live in Canada so the chances are already more limited. But it’s still so hard not to get ARC envy! AGH.
    I do love ARCs and the opportunity they present to support authors and such, but I do believe there are still a medium-to-large amount of inconvenience attached to them? It’s quite conflicting to be honest. But I don’t think ARCs should be associated with a blog’s worth or success! It’s just a downer to think that way if you don’t receive as many ARCs, you know? And I don’t think they truly represent a blog’s worth at all.

    Anyway, I didn’t expect that to get so long, but this was a great post!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOUUUUU!!!! ❤ ❤ omg you’re so sweet!!!!!

      OMG yes and it’s all too easy to see ARCs as a status symbol??? I think that net gallery is SOOOO bad for arc envy, and that’s why I’m not really using it??? I think that it would make me super unhappy with all the rejections??????

      AND THE DEADLINES OMG THAT WOULD/DOES STRESS ME SO MUCH.

      And yes, arcs are great for the author and promoting the book!!! They definitely shouldn’t be associated with success!!

      Thank you so much!!!

      Like

  14. I don’t generally request ARCs because I have a lot to read already, and I think reading to a schedule can be stressful. Also, I think it’s too easy to request things (especially on Netgalley) because you think “why not?” and then you end up with a bunch of books you don’t really love. Personally, I am trying to be more discerning when I request ARCs or accept a pitched ARC. Like, would I be interested in the book and read it even if I weren’t sent a copy?

    I do think there’s some believe that having ARCs=”more successful” blog, particularly when we’re talking about ARCs for really hyped books, not midlist stuff no one cares about as much. But it’s not necessarily true. I’d keep in mind that publishers don’t really scour blogs with a fine-toothed comb for quality. The people who get ARCs may just be the ones who requested them, or their stats were good but not the best, or they just got lucky or whatever. Publishers will send ARCs to people with strong followings, ideally, for the publicity, but many don’t really read blogs and don’t necessarily know what kind of quality posts you have or if you have more followers than someone else they sent an ARC or whatever. It’s not a comment on blog worth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG yes if I had Netgallery I think that I would genuinely crumble under all the pressure that I would put on myself!!!
      Yeah, that’s why I try to think about too. I think that it’s best to read arcs that I WOULD pick up if it weren’t being offered to me, because then I would be more likely to like it, and therefore be able to help the author generate some hype!

      Like

  15. I like to read ARC’s because I like to support the authors behind them. If you take on too many and have deadlines, or don’t like one very much ,it can be stressful though. I think it really depends what you take away from them as a blogger. If you enjoy reading the, great, but if you don’t – that’s fine too! We are all different and that is something to celebrate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly!! And i think that it’s really important to remember that it’s so SO important to remember that we are being ASKED for our opinion and that even if we weren’t too fond of the book, we still need to justify why!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Your posts are always really helpful and interesting! I just started this blogging experience. But I did get 2 arcs through my bookstagram before that and I felt REALLY excited to be considered to read them but then there was the stressful part because I actually didn’t enjoy reading one of them and I felt super bad and stressed about making a review about it because the author had asked me to review it so yes, it’s really stressful and can become overwhelming. I don’t think they show a “worth” because I don’t have like a big amount of followers and I still got one. And people should definitely start worrying less about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m glad that you thought so!!
      OMG yes that is the WORST because you don’t want to hurt their feelings because they’ve worked so hard on it, but you’re meant to share your HONEST opinion and that’s soo difficult????
      Yes!! I think that we should all stop worrying about them!!

      Like

  17. I’ve actually never heard of ARCs before but I think it’s a great idea for the writer. It is a very trusting position though, and I would definitely be hurt if someone sold it before the release.

    As for one blogger thinking he or she is better than the other for having more ARCs, that seems a little silly to me. If anyone is stressed about ARCs, I think it would be safe to say that they should definitely worry LESS about them. To me, it’d be a treat to help out an author, but that’s it. But, maybe it’s because I don’t know enough about them!

    Thanks for sharing and introducing me to ARCs!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah knowing that someone sold a book before release would make me so upset????

      Yes, it is silly??? I mean, ARCs do not make you a better blogger, they’re to help an author, not define your blogging status!!

      No problem, I’m glad that you got something from this post!!

      Liked by 1 person

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