Advanced Readers Copy – Then & Now

Book bloggers who interact with authors and hang around Netgalley will know what an ARC is. For the rest of the world who´s always asked themselves what the abbreviation means… I´m here to help!

You´re welcome.


arc banner


And now you´re thinking: “WOW! Those book bloggers get free books from publishers / authors directly? That´s awesome!”

You´re right. It is AWESOME.

Us book blog folks can´t really complain when it comes to receiving books before they hit the bookshelves.

But receiving ARCs comes with a price. It´s not just about getting free, yet to be published, books.


Granted. The price we pay isn´t necessarily high. But it´s tiresome and even taxing over time. But sometimes reading those ARCs can be rewarding.

I think it´s fair to add that there is a difference between traditional published and self-published ARCs. And then there´s Netgalley, which is a whole different level of giving out unpublished free copies to readers.

Traditional published advanced copies are usually reserved for journalists, celebrities, major blogs. Of course, any every-day-book-blogger can receive a traditional published ARC, as well. It just involves a little more work and luck.

Self-published ARCs are much easier to get our hands-on. We either wait for an open opportunity to add ourselves to a list or an author may ask us directly if we´re interested in reading an ARC.

Or, we hop over to Netgalley and include ourselves to a list there and then hope for the best.

Either way – ARCs come with a set of rules. These rules may vary but the core of rules is always the same.

  1. Do not forward the book to a third party
  2. Must leave a review ( either before or after or directly on publication date )
  3. Include publisher/authors name
  4. Meet the deadline
  5. Don´t publish a review with less than a 3-star rating. ( not a mandatory rule, but it still pops up once in a while )


So, basically you get to read for free if you promise not to let anyone else read the unpublished book and if you include the publisher/author in your review by thanking them for letting you read the free copy then everyone´s happy.


Many book bloggers will mention that the book they´ve read was an ARC in their reviews. Sometimes it´s even asked of us book bloggers to add a small recognition line in our reviews. That might look something like this:


I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review”


A simple line, right? That can always be easily worked into a review before it´s published. That line might raise some questions to a normal reader who´s only looking for his/her next read, though.


No matter how a book blogger receives an ARC the rules stay the same.


Don´t do shit you promised not to do! Do the shit you promised you´d do!



The price we pay is truly small compared to what we´d normally spend after the ARC hits the bookshelves.

Are Advanced Readers Copies worth it?

I´d say yes and no. Yes, because it´s a fabulous way to get our hands on new books and ARCs are kind to our wallets.

No, because book bloggers tend to agree to read more ARCs than they´re able to fit into their schedule

Let´s do simple math that displays what I´m talking about:

2 ARCs a week = 8 ARCs a month = better have a calendar or else you´re screwed.



And then there´s that issue when you want to DNF the ARC. You have to contact the publisher or author and give details as to why you can´t continue to read.

Meeting a deadline is also sometimes exhausting.

Life is often not nice to us book bloggers. Sometimes we have to hop back to reality and can´t meet a deadline. You have to contact the publisher or author and explain why.


So, are ARCs truly worth it?

Sort of. Kind of. It depends on what type of person/book blogger you are.


ARCs Then & Now

Nowadays, 98% of all ARCs come in e-book format. Why? Because it´s much easier and quicker. There´s no hassle with printed ARCs and no shipping issues. ARCs flow from one device to another within seconds or a few hours. ARCs these days look like this:


arc 2
Taken from my unloved Kindle


Or, dare I share this little gem from Netgalley:


arc 3
Another shot from my unloved Kindle


A few years back, though, there were still publishers and authors who made a point of giving out printed advanced copies to readers.


ARC taken from my personal bookshelf.


Weird, right? Hardly imaginable in the day of modern technology yet they existed. Printed ARCs were a thing and I miss them dearly.



These days, authors love to give out e-book arcs because they´re efficient. Low cost and no wasted effort.

And many authors have misunderstood the meaning of an ARC. The roots of ARCs.

What was once an uncorrected proofread turned into a nearly finished – finished project ready to hit sales.

Let´s do a quick listing of things that made ARCs different from the past and now.

ARCs Back Then

  • Uncorrected proofreads
  • No final cover image
  • The story wasn´t final
  • Paperback format came as a naked product


Readers gave feedback on the proofread and THEN the whole book was combed through again before it would be published, 3 – 6 months later with a cover image.


  • handed out in exchange for an honest review
  • often final product
  • often comes with a finished cover image


In short: readers receive a copy for review purposes and then the book gets published within 1-3 months ( or less ).
So, the idea of an ARC has changed over the years. And then there´s the time issue. We live in a fast living world. If authors/publishers don´t get said book out yesterday then the genre might go out of style tomorrow.

There´s hardly any time to send out a paperback ARC across oceans to the opposite side of the world when the same thing can be sent via technology within a blink of an eye.

Makes sense, right?

It still doesn´t change the fact that I don´t like ARCs, no matter what form they come in.

They´re added work. The story has to sound freaking special before I accept an advanced copy.

Do you like to read Advanced Readers Copies? How often do you accept ARCs?

Let me hear your thoughts! I´m dying to discuss this topic with you.


Hope you all have a lovely day!

Much Love,

Morgana ❤ ❤





9 thoughts on “Advanced Readers Copy – Then & Now

  1. I like ARC’s.. the thought being one of the first to get your hands on a new copy of one of your favorite authors is just amazing. I do love paperback copies most because paperbacks are awefully expensive here and it’s not possible to buy a lot of books so it’s extra special if you can get a hard copy. I usually focus on those 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That´s true. Paperbacks are expensive. They´re expensive no matter where you live. And ARCs are wonderful. It truly is amazing when you get a copy from a fav author 🙂 I´ve just read one too many ARCs in my lifetime. I´m tired. * g* ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently signed up for First to Read but I thought long and hard about it. My TBR is already long enough. But the idea is too good to pass up, you know? A book before it hits the shelves? Yes, please. My library used to have physical arcs that they would give out. So I actually have a few of those. And you are completely right. They used to be more like drafts. With grammatical error and typos scattered about. I haven’t seen any of those lately. The last one I got from the library read like the final, soon-to-be-published, book. Idk. No NetGalley for me. Not right now lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You´re right! That´s another aspect you have to consider: the TBR list. Having to deal with ARCs and a TBR list comes close to having a death wish. It´s tons of work to maintain both. Are you avoiding Nettgalley? Lol. Nettgalley is on the bottom of my bookish list. It´s actually below the bottom. LMAO. I can´t deal with it.
    And yeah. I´m also for receiving a book before it hits the shelves. I´m just picky now regarding ARCs. Especially when the ARCs come with massive demands.
    I wish libraries here would have ARCs. I think german libraries have missed the point of the whole process. Lol.


  4. I love this!💗 I am not sure why though, but lately I have been receiving more physical ARCs than egalley (which is super nice) but my mailman is not the happiest with me haha. It makes me wonder if publishers are trying to shift focus geared toward more full utilization of social media marketing (i.e. Instagram, etc)? Food for thought?

    I do hope that all bloggers disclose when they receive an advanced or review copy as this should not be optional. But that should go without saying right?

    They can certainly be overwhelming and I am learning not to over pressure myself with the nonrequested arrivals. You are wonderful to address the responsibility that comes with receiving review copies as I feel sometimes this can be neglected or sort of forgotten about in our enthusiasm. Especially when just starting 😘


  5. I use netgalley mostly, but for the past month i’ve been restricting myself to not request any more as i have quite a few still to go already…

    Got a few directly from authors, but i have not read them yet – they actually contacted me quite in advance, so i have some time to finish them, which is nice. One of them was already published last year, so again, i don’t really feel pressured as they only asked me if i want to read it recently.


  6. I like ARCs but I’ve been super selective with what I’ll select and I don’t accept more than 2 for any month, sometimes less if I have other commitments. That’s worked well for me so far as, for the most part, I’ve really enjoyed the ones I chose so had no problems writing fairly positive reviews.
    I guess the old version of ARCs are now called beta-readers?? Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you have a healthy relationship to/with ARCs. Lol. I think liking the ARC at hand plays a huge roll in the process. Maybe I was just unlucky and picked the bla reads and therefore don´t think much of ARCs? * should shrug * who knows. But I like your system. 🙂 And yes!! Older ARC versions are what we consider today to be beta reads. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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