Why I Don´t Accept ARCs Anymore

ARCs – Advanced Readers Copies…

 

… are probably the second or third most popular reason why book bloggers become book bloggers – Because of the “free” books.

Aside from the fact that we get to read a book… What a privilege it is to be that person to read a book before it hits the market! Or to be that person who was asked by a publisher/author to read a book after it´s been published?

I remember my very first ARC. I can recall how excited I was to be able to read something before it was properly published. I even have the little note the author included.

 

My very first ARC

 

It was a special moment I´ll never forget. Fast forward a few years and I can say I´m not so hot on receiving ARCs anymore.

 

A little note before we continue…

KR2


 

 

Why I don´t

 

 

reason 1

Communication is key for those who want to communicate. I learned this the hard way. If you receive an ARC but have questions you can always contact the publisher/author, right? Yes, of course. Send emails. Hound them down on social media. There´s no guarantee they´ll reply, though. They´re busy people, you know? But God forbid you don´t read & review within two days after having received an ARC. Only THEN will a publisher/author contact you… To ask where the review is.

This wasn´t always the case. I´ve worked with wonderful publishers/authors before but every once in awhile I´d be in a situation like the one I mentioned above and that sucked. My life is too short to deal with this idiotic back and forth.

 

 

 

reason 2

Unlike other people, I don´t have that special luck when picking my next reads. I gravitate more towards books that aren´t my cup of tea. It´s not that I´m looking for awful reads. I always pick books I think I´ll like. At some point, I wondered if that´s my calling – To be THAT person who´s supposed to read books that aren´t satisfying. But then I realized I´m just picky. So, unlucky and picky.

When you´re as doomed as I am you really don´t feel the need to continue as were. For me- Something had to stop. Advanced Readers Copies had to go. Now I´m free to only complain about the books I buy.

 

 

 

reason 3

Back in the day, Advanced Readers Copies came in different formats. Paperback, PDF, e-book… I belong to the bunch who received ARC paperbacks, then PDFs…  until e-books took over. I get it. E-books are much more efficient for publishers/authors as well as they are for book bloggers.  I don´t really reach for my Kindle much ( if at all ), so…

ARCs in paperback format are still handed out these days but not as much as before. You´re more likely to receive an e-book copy. Without wanting to come across as ungrateful: I´d rather hold a paperback in my hands. I haven´t warmed up to e-books yet ( and probably never will ).

 

 

 

reason 3.5

That dreadful TBR pile? There´s a special pile for ARCs, too. One hardly any book blogger talks about. Just go hop on over to NetGalley and request a few book titles. The problem with this is: You get blindsided by all the wonderful new titles and request more than you can read. You have to be careful or else you´ll fall into the Netgalley ARC collecting trap.

This has happened to me a few times back in the day and I´m sure it´s still happening to other book bloggers. Luckily- This isn´t a problem for me anymore. No ARCs = No additional unread books. YAY.

 

 

 

reason 4

ARCs come with a policy. When you accept an ARC you´re basically committing to read and then give feedback. Bah. I´m at a stage in life where I´d like to read and review how/when/if I want to. ARCs don´t give me that freedom. I can´t be bothered with giving that kind of commitment anymore.

 

 

 

reason 5

This ARC thing is an exchange, right? And after the exchange, the deed is almost done. Almost. There´s still that social media shout-out ( another exchange ). Of course, this is completely optional but it´s kind of puzzling when a book blogger has invested so much time and effort with the ARC ( reading and giving feedback via chat/review or whatever ) then goes to share on social media and realizes that´s it. Imagine Grandma having 25 grandchildren. Every grandchild calls and leaves a message on the answering machine, including you. Granny calls them all back except you. She doesn´t call back but you keep hearing from your cousins that Granny called and invited everyone over again. This is how it feels when publishers or self-published authors don´t react to the final step on social media.

I mean- No one´s asking for a pajama party, you know? I would understand someone´s reluctance to reply or react if that were the case. To avoid this type of heartache I don´t read ARCs anymore. Not reading ARCs means you don´t have to mention or tag someone for possibly nothing.

 

 

 

reason 6

I have a busy life. I´m not saying I´m the only person who´s super busy but I can say that many book bloggers don´t have the kind of stress I have. ARCs come with demands that don´t fit into my busy schedule anymore. With time I realized that book blogging isn´t only about authors- It´s about book bloggers, too. Author´s think they have a busy schedule? Try talking to a book blogger about life and blogging.

 

 

reason 7

ARC reviews have lost their touch.  7 out of 10 reviews I read start with ” I received an ARC in exchange for…” That´s when I let out a sigh and move on. This is not me disrespecting the reviewer. I would never do that. This is just me feeling tired of having to see this line. Who the hell cares if someone was gifted an ARC in exchange for an opinion? I don´t. As it does NOT add any value to the review I think this doesn´t need to be mentioned at all. I know some publishers and authors ask to be mentioned in reviews… but this doesn’t benefit a reader in any way. Unless we´re all writing our reviews for publishers and authors… But we´re not. We can thank whoever gifted us an ARC privately. I heard emails are still a thing.

 

 

reason 8

The cheaper option. Avid readers have an itch that needs to be dealt with. Books are expensive. ARCs are truly a cheap option when someone is living on a low budget. No one should ever be judged for reading ARCs because they can´t afford to buy books ( no one should be judged PERIOD for not wanting to pay high book prices ). Me? I don´t mind paying for books. I don´t have money growing on trees ( yet, still working on that one ) but I´d rather pay for a book if the price is within reason. I think this can be blamed on a few things:

 

  • I´m not in a hurry. If I see a book I REALLY want I´ll buy it. If I see a book I´m not so sure about, I´ll give myself a few days to think about it. Nothing is running away. This isn´t a book reading race. Does it really matter if I read a book now or later? Nope. Before I commit to ARCs I´d rather wait a few weeks.

 

  • When an author gifts me a copy I´m only supporting them via review. I chose not to go that route because I find reviews only help to a certain degree. I go directly for a book purchase. I´ve been offered ARCs post-publication date but often declined because it was obvious those offers came from authors who thought they needed reviews to generate sales. Those authors weren´t entirely wrong. Although I declined their offers I always said I would rather buy their book. Which I ended up doing. That way, I supported the author AND was able to read & review freely. I know many can´t afford this option but it´s suited me. It still suits me.

 

  • I don´t read THAT much anymore. I used to be able to read 2-3 books in a week. Now I´m lucky if I can find time to read 1 book in 2 weeks. Years ago I wouldn´t have been able to afford to buy that many books. Now? 2-3 books a month isn´t a problem. So, this is, for me, the better option.

 


 

 

Even after all my reasons for not wanting to include ARCs in my life anymore, I can still see the appeal. I mean- who doesn´t want to feel that special something when receiving an ARC? Who doesn´t want to belong to a selected few who´re able to give feedback before everyone else? Edelweiss and NetGalley offer a huge selection of ARCs pre and post-publication date.  But because of all the above, I´d rather pass.

 

On a friendly note: I don´t judge anyone who loves to read ARCs. Advanced Readers Copies are a wonderful thing that make any publisher/author and book blogger happy. With good reason, too. I also don´t judge readers who rely on ARCs because they´re low on extra cash. Whatever works for others is perfectly fine. If it floats your boat then that´s the way it is and should be.

 


 

What about you? Do you read ARCs? How many do you accept per month? What are your experiences with Advanced Readers Copies? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 

Thank you so much for reading this post. I fully appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed.

Much bookish love,

Morgana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 thoughts on “Why I Don´t Accept ARCs Anymore

  1. Ah, ARCs. What a fantastic discussion post. I have many opinions, some conflicting, yes, but mostly I am with you in that I am no longer in favor. I, also, no longer accept ARCs. In the past year, my experience with publishers was to ignore my requests, my follow-up emails, my follow-up to the follow-up emails, sent over the course of several months, only to be met with silence. So, I figured I was not approved. Then, two or three days before the release date, I finally receive a response that I have been approved with a link for the e-book download. So, yes, publishers expecting me to read and review a 400+ page book in two days…this sinched the no-ARC lifestyle for me.

    I agree with you about the statement by reviewers that they received the book in exchange…My feelings are that unless the review is luke-warm or outright negative, I tend not to believe the “…this in no way influenced my review…” statement that typically follows.

    As someone who recently deleted her Goodreads account after being a member since 2012, I am curious to know what you think about Goodreads groups and “discussion” threads. Have you written a blog post about this topic yet? If not, I would like to hear your opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not delivering an ARC on time is rotten. Not giving you any confirmation on whether you´ve been accepted to review or not even typical for publishers/authors. Many do the last minute thing and put readers under unnecessary pressure. I can see why that would ruin it for you.
      Yes! I agree. I have such a hard time believing reviews that have that line. Some bloggers I follow who use that line don´t shy away from including their negative opinions ( which does make their reviews feel more convincing ) but the ones I don´t know? Yeah, that line isn´t doing them any favors.
      Oh, you deleted your Goodreads account? I thought you just stepped away. I´m not too keen on discussion groups on Goodreads as they tend to be places for cliques. The discussions in those groups are hardly informative or helpful. A lot of exsessive love gushing usually happens there, which is fine but not exactly what I´m looking for in a discussion group.
      I did upload a Goodreads post and you already commented on it. 🙂 I didn´t include Goodreads groups in my post, though.

      Like

  2. I FLOVE your blog. You always make me think. I belong to two ARC teams and I can honestly say they are my unicorns and they don’t write but maybe 3-4 books a year.
    I don’t know what it is about belonging on an ARC team that makes me feel so excited but it does…however…I have won a couple arcs and gave feedback to the author with not one word in return. This is the thing that bothers me most. When you take the time to read it beforehand and comment on it then the author doesn’t have the decency or the time to reply. Not only does it turn me off from said author but I no longer want to read their arcs or have very much to do with them period (just me feeling sorry for myself🙈)
    I’m quite happy with the two teams I’m on and would like to be on more but the pressure is almost too much! I, like you, like to read in my own time and review IF I want to. AAAAND don’t even get me started on that sm posting bs! Even the teams I’m on don’t like or thank me for pimping their book and that in and of itself is INFURIATING! I mean…I’m over here pushing your book with your tag and you can’t even like my post???? Like WTF??!?!
    I have found that author groups whether it be on fb or arc teams are much like high school…cliquish and bitchy like mean girls or something. I have come to the conclusion that I will continue to do me and pimp the books of the teams I’m on with or without the likes.
    Ok rant over😂
    Love ya Jules
    Kristi

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAHAHAHA. Gurl, I think I flove you more. Yes! It is infuriating when you don´t get the minimum recognition ( a like or a comment ). And the weird part is- It doesn´t have to be a long ass appreciation note. Not even a love letter. A simple thank you will do the trick.
      I´m so with you on some author groups feeling like high school cliques. Hence the reason why I´ve removed myself from so many. If you´re happy with the ARC groups you´re in then, girl, I´m happy for you ❤ They´re rare, so hold onto those.
      Yupp, you do you and continue to do so. There´s nothing else you can do, you know? I do the same.
      I´m so glad my posts make you think. ❤ ❤ ❤
      Love, you rant all you want here. I´ll either chime in or take a step back and let you get it all off your chest. ❤
      Love ya more, Babe. And thanks for reading. Totally appreciate it.

      Like

  3. I do love my ARCs, but it’s such a love/hate relationship. The pressure to read and write reviews on time is the biggest joy killer for me. If I HAVE to read something, then I don’t really want to anymore. I’m such a rebel like that.
    But, I do follow up with hardback purchases of the ARCs that I love so that I can financially support the author. They deserve my money for a great book.
    I have a no-tag policy on reviews for social media. Active authors have gone out of their way to find my reviews and comment or like which is always appreciated. But I also feel like my review is for my fellow bloggers and readers, not for the author or publisher. By never tagging them I have the freedom to really say what I want.
    Now with my miles long comment, I’ll say that I have stopped requesting and accepting as many ARCs because I just can’t handle that many. My life is too busy and it’s just impossible.
    I love this post and how you always make discussions actual discussions and not a one-opinion only option!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BE THE REBEL! ❤ You are so right- Being pressured to read&write reviews is such a joy kill. My enthusiasm usually drops from 100 to 0 in seconds when I need to read and review.
      I love that you support authors by buying their books even after having read their ARCs. Not many do that. It´s really sad because I´ve had authors send me thank you cards for having bought their books instead of accepting the free copies to review. Which isn´t necessary, you know? There was one author who replied with " Seriously?", as if she was shocked I wanted to buy her book. Just sell your book to me the best you can and I´ll buy it. If you liked what you read and gone out of your way to purchased a copy- That makes you a wonderful supporter. The book community needs more people like you.
      You know- Your no-tag policy doesn´t sound too bad. It´s true that you have more freedom to say what you want. I only tag when my review is more technical than emotional ( a full breakdown on all likes/dislikes ).
      I get why you don´t accept as many ARCs anymore. You´d either have to clone yourself a few times or quit your job/social life.
      Thank you loads for your kind words. It really means a lot to me to know my posts are seen for what they are ❤ You´re a doll.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, most of my reviews start with the line “I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review”.😂

    Pretty sure that it needs to be mentioned in each review to show that you didn’t buy the book. Ya know, transparency and all that and that’s why ARC reviews include it because they have to, if they didn’t I wouldn’t include it.

    Even with ARC’s I just read what I want, when I want. Sure, some bloggers feel the need to read and review before the release but many don’t either and the world doesn’t end if you don’t.😂 Then there’s the whole brigade who have to read their paper ARC’s before release, make out that they are amazing for doing so, state to the world that they read all their ARC’s and at the same time have hundreds of Netgalley ARC’s way past their release date.😕😒

    I do try and read ARC’s that I accept before release but sometimes shit happens and I don’t and that’s OK. It also doesn’t bother me, if I got removed from a mailing list over it then so be it, it’d be fine.

    I also don’t do Netgalley, I have an kindle but far prefer paper books.

    Saying that, I don’t accept many ARC’s but I receive a lot of ARC’s. Most of mine are unsolicited and that means that I don’t even have to look at them if I don’t want to let alone read them.😂 That’s not meant to make me sound entitled, shocks the hell out of me that I get sent any at all.

    Sucks when publishers and authors don’t share the reviews though that applies if you buy the book too. Sure, you don’t have to tag them then but if you do and get ignored regardless of whether it is for a purchased copy or an ARC it sucks. Happens quite a lot with the bigger publishers and authors who only share the bigger blogs reviews but that’s on them, they should share all or not at all cos it makes it seem like you have to contribute to a big blog to have a valid opinion.🙄😒😕

    I will say, baffles the hell out of me though when you accept an ARC from an author and then they don’t share and promote the review though. Obviously they wanted a review and then they ignore it. Same goes for when you have them appear on your blog though, they reached out, you agreed and then they don’t share, authors.😒🙄😂

    I’ve written an essay, I might get lynched so I’ll leave it there.👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Entitled?! YOU? LMAO. Just kidding. That doesn´t make you sound entitled at all. What´s shocking to me, though, is that ou receive ARCs without having requested them? How do you get away with not leaving feedback? I know quite a few bloggers who´ve gotten into legal quarrels over this. Unrequested ARCs arrived and then after a few days a publishers/authors started demanding the feedback. There was no agreement over the matter so, naturally, no one felt moved to give feedback.

      HAHAHA. Yeah, I know that most of your reviews have that line. Most of many blogger reviews do. And that´s fine. It´s not the end of the world, but it doesn´t have any meaning for me, as the comsumer, you know? It´s a line that looks fancy but has no other function for a reader looking for their next read.

      You comment how ever much you want, Drew. * wink * Knock yourself out. That´s what this section is for.

      Yeah, the issue with publishers/authors not sharing posts will never get old. I just wish every reviewer could benefit from a shout-out, not just the same old names.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that received a free copy in exchange for an honest review has no purpose to anyone but the blogger posting. But, what are you to do? You are, by legislation supposed to include something like it at the start of the review to show that you received/were gifted a copy.😒🙄

        Yeah, totally agree! All or none. It has been said before and it’ll continue to be said cos it is true.

        No, I know I’m not entitled but ARC’s are a tricky subject. You only have to mention that you have received an ARC and someone who hasn’t will call you out on being entitled, etc. So I was just covering my back depending on who reads the post.👍

        Ha, most of the ARC’s I receive I don’t request!😂 In recent memory I have only accepted one press release and replied that I’d like a copy. All the other ARC’s have been unsolicited.😂

        You see, it’s because I am a well respected and professional blogger with an established and big blog.😂 Yeah, it’s BS but it sounds good.😜

        Probably because I read more of the books sent to me than not. Even if I don’t read the book until months later.

        There can’t be any legal quarrel because the book was unsolicited. If an author kicked off I’d tell them to fuck off. Simple.👍 That’s not me being an ass and depending on how they went about it I’d probably be more polite. But, if a publisher sends an ARC, unsolicited. It is on the publicist and nothing to do with the blogger as they didn’t ask for it, so the author would need to take umbrage with the publicist and not the blogger for not reading a book they never adked for.

        It’s quite a while ago now but I remember mentioning about unsolicited books to a publicist and they said that they don’t expect reviews for all the books that they send and that they send unsolicited books because they think that you might like the book and might want to read it, no pressure.

        The only publisher that sometimes asks for feedback is Orbit whose mailing list I’m on and that is very rare. The emails are very polite too and it’s just an enquiry nearer the release to see if you have read the book or have thought about reading it. Every time I’ve replied to one of them and haven’t read the book, as I say, they hardly send them out now but I’ve had no issue at all with the response I receive.

        Honestly, I’ve never had an issue with a publisher regarding ARC’s and reading or not reading them.

        Tell a lie, I had one but the publicist was in the wrong and could fuck right off and it was about my review not the book or having not read the book.

        Like

  5. I think this post is what I needed in my life. Since I decided to get back into NetGalley, I made the mistake of requesting too many books because I wanted them all. When I was approve,d I was forced to rush through them all to meet the deadlines and it just took the fun out of reading. I need to reconsider how I deal with ARCs because it’s starting to make me avoid reading which I don’t want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NetGalley can be dangerous like that. Piling up on ARCs isn´t difficult. It´s finishing them all that drains us. I totally understand what you went through and tbh- you have my full sympathy. If I can give you any advice then I´d say take it an ARC at a time ( if you want to continue to use NetGalley, of course ). Keep in mind that they´re just books and you´re only human. To have ARCs kill your reading mojo is not right ( been there. done that ). I hope you find a way to manage ARCs better because there´s nothing worse than killing off your passion because something as simple as too many ARCs overwhelmed you. No ARC is worth that. ❤ Thank you so much for commenting. I´m glad my post was of any help 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for this. I truly needed it. It’s overwhelming when I get so many because I just couldn’t contain myself. I’ve been thinking of just requesting ones I know I’m really going to enjoy instead of just bingeing because I think I’ll like them. This was a much needed post for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You´re very welcome. You know- I don´t think you can take all the blame for requesting so many books. The problem with NetGalley is that there is no limit for us and also no system to know for sure that our requests will get accepted. You can get lucky and get approved or you just don´t. This is why many of us tend to click on more than one ARC. But when it hits us, it hits us hard and when nothing happens we´re forced to endure a dry spell. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I hear you and I totally understand. I’m at 99% on Netgalley and will only request a novel that I reaaallyyy want to read. There are a few authors that I really love and being able to read their book as soon as possible and not having to wait a few extra months is amazing. But I also love paperback copies most so ARC or finished copy, I probably won’t say no when offered, I’m only practically always later than release date. It’s not that I want to, it just happens because of all the other books. I haven’t had publishers asking after it, and I don’t read for authors directly because I had a few bad books and it’s just too hard to share your opinion so directly.

    Like

  7. I relate to a lot of this, cos I basically only read a couple of arcs a year at this point (and have rarely requested any to begin with). I definitely feel like it’s hard to commit to lots of arcs and I often feel like I don’t have the time. Plus, I’m also really picky (and don’t always like to review every book)- which has always made me reluctant to commit to doing lots of ARCs. I also only use Netgalley, cos it feels like chasing down publishers (for a hobby) seems like a hassle. The only thing is, I do stick the “I received this arc” spiel at the top of reviews, cos I believe that’s a legal requirement. But other than that, I totally agree with you. Great post!

    Like

Leave a Reply to Elizabeth Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.