I’ve read a few blog posts regarding blog etiquette and ARC’s. Yes, I know it’s a dreaded subject amongst the book blogger community in general but I wanted to muse myself on this most heinous of subjects and the occasional furore that surrounds it.
This isn’t a rant or a diatribe, merely my musing and thoughts on the subject.
In life, mostly everyone lies at some time or the other, be it the smallest little lie as a child ‘no mummy, I didn’t eat the last cake, my imaginary friend Arcasaurus did’ through to a murderer under oath denying their crime ‘no your honour, I didn’t murder her, I was reading, my friends in Westeros can vouch for me’. Slight exaggeration in examples I know. 🙂
So, surely with most people lying at some stage it’s to be expected that there’ll be book bloggers out there who only blog for ARC’s, it’s the nature of the world, not everyone is genuine and honest. Take note all you young bloggers out there, from a jaded adult, life sucks.
But, is it right for the subject to cause such debate and for bloggers who are lucky enough to receive ARC’s to be vilified?
We will all suffer from ARC envy, again, it’s the nature of life, you see someone with something you want and haven’t been lucky enough to get yourself and you think, dammit! 😦 But, is that the bloggers fault or the publisher? Should the blogger simply not have enquired for the book in the first place? Or should the publisher be blamed for accepting the bloggers ARC request?
My one single case of ARC envy since I started blogging came with the release of City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin. His The Passage trilogy is one of my favourites, while disappointed with the second book, The Twelve. To this day, The Passage itself remains one of my favourite ever reads and tops my recommendation lists for the post-apocalyptic genre.
To say I was excited for the release of City of Mirrors was an understatement, it’s the final book and conclusion and should-be epic! While, I had got the book on preorder, I also requested an ARC, both through the publisher (I’m in the UK) and by Netgalley, I was declined for both. As I love the trilogy, I’d linked the reviews of the previous two books I’d written, explaining I was a huge fan when requesting and was absolutely gutted with being declined. Then, I saw lots of bloggers had ARC’s, be it a proper book or an e-ARC, I admit I suffered ARC envy but did it really bother me? At the time, yes, unfortunately it did, I had been declined and others had been accepted, was that the bloggers fault for requesting the book though? No it wasn’t, just like it wasn’t the publishers fault for declining me. Do you know what I did? I kept my preorder and in hindsight I can smile thinking I got annoyed and envious over being declined when ARC’s are an added occasional extra for bloggers and you should cherish them not expect them.
It must be said, I haven’t actually read City of Mirrors yet as I’ve decided to leave it until the cold winter months when I can lose myself in the pages while the weather goes to Hell outside with wind and rain alongside the dark nights.
Mentioning Netgalley brings me to another point I’d like to make. There’s uproar over actual ARC’s of books but I don’t remember reading much about Netgalley. I have read some posts where bloggers have requested loads of books from Netgalley and now have upwards of 30+ books to read months after the book was released and they still haven’t read them. Surely it’s similar to a real book ARC? So, why the uproar over bloggers getting real books and not digital e-ARC’s? You request the book via Netgalley and either get accepted for or declined for the book by the publisher just like if you requested a proper ARC.
With living in the UK, I’m not entirely sure as I’m lazy and haven’t checked but I’d hazard a guess that while requesting an ARC is the same throughout the world, there’s bound to be differences, authors have different publishers in different countries, if those publishers have different requirements for ARC’s is it the bloggers fault if the blogger in the UK gets accepted and someone in the US for the exact same book doesn’t? No, it isn’t, again it’s life.
I’ve also read some posts on blog etiquette recently and the subject of ARC’s, with the etiquette seeming to be that you should have been blogging for at least 6 months and have so many followers before you even think about requesting an ARC, OK, but I need to ask, why? Just because it’s polite to fellow bloggers who have been blogging for months/years and have been unlucky with ARC’s that you wait to abide the so-called etiquette and blogging rules? Politeness costs nothing but, why shouldn’t new bloggers request ARC’s? Are we any less worthy? If you’re a genuine book lover and not just in it for the ‘free’ books it’ll show, whether your new at blogging or established.
Is it my fault that I only recently started blogging after reading for years as I merely thought it was the logical next step to go from reading to having a book blog to share my thoughts with others.
The recent post I read, about 6 months blogging and so many followers before requesting any ARC’s actually made me feel bad! Thanks! As I myself have been lucky with ARC’s and it made me think I’ll be vilified by my fellow bloggers simply for being lucky enough to be added to some mailing lists by publishers. Will you all say to me, but Drew, you should have waited? I ask you then, why? The publicists for Titan (UK publisher) have open DM’s on Twitter for if you are a book blogger to join the mailing list. You can but ask, which I did, less than two months after I’d started blogging – if you all wish to hang me then that’s fine. I was accepted, great for me as it must have meant that the publicist saw in me and my blog something that they liked.Down to blogging etiquette after being accepted, should I have declined as there are people out there who have been blogging for longer and who are more deserving? You may say, yes, you should have declined and I won’t argue as everyone is allowed their own voice. However, if you say, yes, I will ask you, is it my fault or for that matter any other bloggers fault if the publicist for the publisher your enquiring about accepts you? No, it isn’t as they must think your blog is worthy of them.
I’ve been blogging for just over 4 months, have over 400 followers and have had 10,000 blog hits, not many for a lot of you, I know but for me it’s a lot and I’d like to class my blog as a success.
Is it wrong I’ve been added to mailing lists by publishers even though I haven’t got thousands of followers or been blogging for the 6 months that etiquette dictates? No, it isn’t and I don’t think it’s wrong for any blogger be it a new blogger with less than a month of blogging experience or a blogger who’s been at it for years.
If you’re a genuine book lover then the etiquette shouldn’t matter and bloggers should all congratulate their fellow bloggers success in being added to mailing list for publishers and/or receiving ARC’s. Yes, there’s those out there who blog for ARC’s, there the villain’s in the story not new bloggers who have tried to make a successful blog. And, those ARC bloggers probably get them to, selling them on but, it is how it is and unfortunately we can’t do anything about it.
So, with that being said, vilify bloggers who merely blog for ARC’s, yes, definitely as they deserve it, there abusing something that they shouldn’t be. But also celebrate in your own and in other genuine bloggers success. In being added to those mailing lists, getting an ARC, receiving a press release email and even the very rare but much vaunted surprise book post you knew nothing about it shows that hard work and dedication along with a passion for reading can pay off as you try to carve your own little unique area in the book blogging community.
Any thoughts are welcome, there’s no right or wrong answer to my rambling.