My Musings

Selling ARC’s is Wrong!!!

SellingARC'siswrong!!!

You pull up in your car, it’s the dark of night, illuminated only by the moon and a street light giving off a tepid yellow glow. In the distance you see a lone nondescript figure, nonchalantly leaning against the wall, trench coat buttoned up and hoody obscuring their face.

You quietly step out of your car, leave it unlocked in case you need to make a quick getaway. You glance around to make sure that you are alone and that there will be no witnesses to the sad, vile and perverse act that you are about to debase yourself and partake in.

Seeing that the coast is clear you make your way over to the figure, no rushing as you don’t want to appear too eager. A sedate meander finally brings you slowly up close to the figure.

“Are you him?” you ask with trepidation, fear making your voice quiver.

He turns to look at you, answers “Maybe, you the book blogger?”

“Yes,” you manage to say, the single word just above a whisper.

“Well then” he replies, hands unfastening his coat and with a deft flourish he reveals what’s hidden inside “what’re you looking for?”

You peer into the folds of his coat, ARC’s are taped to the inside in rows, paperback, hardback, you name it, he’s got it.

“That one,” you say, pointing to the latest hyped book.

“Good choice” he replies handing you the merchandise “that’s a popular book, be a popular post for you too”.

You gingerly reach out and take it, gently caressing the cover, feeling the embossing on the title, you breathe in the smell of it “thank you” you stutter, the anticipation of what’s to come making you shiver all over. Finally, after regaining your senses you hand him the money “I need it” you repeat “I need it” trying to justify your actions.

“Yeah yeah, that’s what they all say” the seller replies adding “just remember, if there weren’t people like you, then there wouldn’t be people like me, you lot buying what we’re selling keeps us in business, all happy together, see you around lady”.

He fastens his coat back up, lights up a cigarette and starts to walk away turning after a few steps he looks back over his shoulder and shouts “remember to tell your friends, you got the cash, I got the goods”.

You walk back, re-enter your car, hands on the steering wheel, breathing slowly, you rest like that for a few moments. You are completely alone. Is the pause because you feel bad? Do you feel dirty and tainted by what you have just taken part in? The answer is no, the pause is merely to savour the moment, the feeling akin to sexual arousal that is flowing through your veins, you really did it, you got the ARC, the job was done, transaction completed. You let out a “whoop” of satisfied delight.

Starting the engine, pull away, drive home ignoring the speed limit and the red traffic lights as the adrenaline takes hold, again, you did it! On the passenger side seat is the ARC you were declined for, finally, it is yours, you can’t wait to get home and read it!

Welcome to the illicit trade in selling ARC’s!

Obviously the above is purely conjecture as I don’t personally know what selling ARC’s (Advanced Reading Copy for those unaware) is like. Though, I presume it involves eBay, email, FB messenger or Twitter DM and PayPal but that would have been a rather boring and bland opening to the post now wouldn’t it dear reader and one thing this blog doesn’t do is boring and bland!

The blame for selling ARC’s has to go to the seller but it’s not entirely all their fault. There’s a market for any and everything in today’s society and there’ll always be someone willing to buy something. ARC’s are no different, a trade in them was bound to start and appear.

Wherever you have a seller, you also have a buyer, the two go hand in hand and while the seller is most definitely at fault for selling ARC’s the buyer needs to take a portion of the blame too. If there was no buyer then there would be no seller, ergo, if no-one was buying ARC’s then the sellers would soon die out as they wouldn’t be making any money! buyers = sellers and no buyers = no sellers as logic dictates you can’t sell if no-one is buying, simples!

I’m not going to go into when items become memorabilia and collectables and selling ARC’s that are years old. I’m merely calling out those who sell new ARC’s of books that they have received and are selling them on when the actual book itself hasn’t even been released yet! I checked eBayΒ and just for ArC’s and found this seller selling ARC’s before their release date, have a look at: immallory001

I read part of a thread on Twitter the other day about the issue. Someone had tweeted about people selling ARC’s though they neglected to mention that the people who buy them are just as bad. As I mentioned above, no buyer = no seller. Someone else replied that they give ARC’s to any and everyone nowadays and that the publishers should police it more and check out the blogs and bloggers better before sending them ARC’s. I have no issue with that, it’s a fair point. However, whether it was due to the lack of characters available in a tweet (they could have used more than one tweet to make their point) or their own opinion (everyone is, of course, allowed an opinion) but to me, with how the sentence was worded it seemed like it was implying that it is purely the new bloggers that are the culprits for selling ARC’s. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, I don’t know but I’m still a new blogger (yes, I’ve been doing this for 18 months but compared to the established and respected blogs that’s not a long time and I’m sure as shit not respected) and I took umbrage at it. I didn’t say anything as even though I can be a mouthy fucker at times, at other times I really can’t be doing with shit.

It just seemed yet again like the established and respected (supposed) bloggers were making out that they are better than others by putting themselves above suspicion by pulling out the “I’m respected, I’ve been doing this for a long time” line. Sigh, I’ve seen Poirot (love it) and anyone is a suspect until the culprit is revealed! People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and my little grey cells tell me that certain bloggers should get off their high horse and realise that we are all the same!

Back on track (I’m old, I ramble, forgive me my transgression), one could ask these established bloggers how the seller has so many ARC’s to sell in the first place when new bloggers aren’t as likely to get them! Mon Ami, a clue! However, it’s bound to be a combination of both old and new bloggers who sell ARC’s as there is bound to be bad eggs (that’s a UK term if you are unfamiliar with it and if you don’t know the meaning and want the impolite version then, cunts) in both groups of bloggers. Though again! As I mentioned in my post last week Let’s Stop The Hate there shouldn’t be groups of bloggers, no, old and new, no, bad and good and certainly no self-important pricks with delusions of grandeur, no, you can take that perceived self-importance shine it up real nice turn that sumbitch sideways and stick it straight up your candy ass! There should only be book bloggers!

Regardless of who does it, it states clearly in the front/on the cover of an ARC ‘not for sale’ three simple one syllable words that I’m pretty sure you can all read?! Right?! After all, we are book bloggers and I’m guessing that to be a book blogger we need to be able to read at some rudimentary level and three little words should be easy enough N-O-T (there’s one) F-O-R (there’s two) Sale (the trifecta) so what excuse do you have to ignore them?! I’ll tell you, none!

The fact of the matter, selling ARC’s is wrong. Whoever you are, don’t do it! Stop being a naughty boy and a naughty girl and just stop! You have to question what you are doing whilst you are selling your ARC’s on eBay?! Are you selling yourself too?! Bon Jovi sang:

“Shot through the heart
And you’re to blame
Darlin’, you give love a bad name”

Well, to paraphrase those classic New Jersey poodle perm rockers:

“Selling your ARC’s
And you’re to blame
Darlin’, you give bloggers a bad name”

Seller’s of ARC’s, you know what?! You just made the list!

guess-what-you-rhs0to

To the buyers, those who enable the ARC seller’s by purchasing them, just say no! It’s like Mr Mackey says in South Park “drugs are bad m’kay” well let’s paraphrase “selling ARC’s is bad m’kay“.

6030648

Now, let’s look at what we can do with our ARC’s if we don’t want them:

  • You could give them to another blogger to read, there’s nothing wrong in giving as there is no money being received (paying postage is fine as it isn’t charging for the book).
  • You could trade them with another blogger, they give you an ARC that you haven’t read to read and review and you give them one to do the same, mutually beneficial and sharing is caring! – yes, I shuddered at that saying as I’m an only child and don’t share.πŸ˜‚
  • You could lend them to friends/family to read. Some may frown on this but I see no issue with it as it’s just like them borrowing one of your finished books.
  • You could donate them to your local library.
  • You could give them to a local Hospice or Hospital as reading material.
  • You could burn them (winter is coming and it’ll get cold, heating is expensive, ripped up ARC’s for fire fuel = winning).
  • You could chuck them at people who annoy you! After a while there’ll be that damaged you’ll have to throw them away but it’d get rid of them and be a fun game!
  • If you’re bored you could just pull out a page, screw it up into a ball and throw it at the bin, rinse and repeat until the ARC is gone, it’d get rid of the book and kill some time.
  • You could use them in satanic rituals and sacrifices instead of goats.
  • If you have lots then you could build yourself an ARC fort and relive your childhood years or adult years if you are into role play – no, not that sort you filthy animals I meant innocent cosplay!πŸ˜‰
  • You could recycle them! Everyone loves recycling, it’s not like Blood Drive where the world has gone red, it’s gone green baby, helping the environment.
  • You could use them as toilet paper! A few pages of an ARC that didn’t impress you and you’d be wiping shit with shit! Likewise, if you enjoyed the ARC and found the book to be top quality then you could imagine it was premium soft toilet paper! Yes, this ties into recycling but deserves a mention all on its own just because I’m a man child and toilet humour!πŸ˜‰
  • You could just keep and hoard them! No shame in that, it’s a privilege to receive ARC’s and if you just want to keep and cherish them then you go right ahead and you do that!

One last time and y’all can say it with me! Remember folks, selling ARC’s is bad! Don’t do it!

To end, because I like to be different and it’s an awesome picture, Becky Lynch (fake ginger ninja and female wrestler in WWE) tells all you ARC sellers out there to go fork yourself!

wallup.net


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71 thoughts on “Selling ARC’s is Wrong!!!

    1. Thank you.πŸ˜€

      Yeah, it happens and it seems to happen quite a lot too. That user I linked on eBay is selling ARC’s that are yet to be released, some even with next year release dates and it’s just wrong.

      I’m not sure how it works for old ARC’s as they are like any other old advertising and promotional products but ARC’s of books yet to be released, no, it’s just wrong.

      Like

    1. I know! Typos, errors and other bits too! I guess they are collectable and some people genuinely want them as they love the author and have all their books but then there’s those who would buy them just to read before the release date and how some get them and sell them is beyond me.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Such an interesting read, I really never thought of this (and I’m a new book blogger too). I know it sounds ridiculous but I treasure my ARCs. I hope this practice doesn’t mean that authors will stop sending them, I feel quite priviledged when I receive one.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I remember when I saw my first ARC on eBay I had no idea what they were. Then I googled it and asked myself why do people want an unfinished product? Seeing typos on a finished book frustrates me so I can’t imagine the appeal of ARCs. I’ve recently gotten a couple for the first time and I would never sell them. Im one of the points you listed about hoarding pieces of treasure lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nothing wrong with hoarding pieces of treasure!πŸ˜€ An ARC is a privilege and people like to keep them, I know I do as it’s cool that I was deemed worthy enough to receive them.

      Typos are annoying but they happen quite a bit in lots of the books I read, I guess there’s so many made up words in fantasy that sometimes the real words spelt wrong get through the proof reading.

      I’m sure some people just want ARC’s as they are collectable, especially if you’re a huge fan of the author to add to your collection but those selling ARC’s of yet to be released books, no, that’s just wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I sometimes see these for sale in charity shops, and chances are that I too have been guilty of bundling up arc’s with other unwanted books for the charity shop too. When I’m doing that I’m not checking the covers very carefully to remind myself what’s what, but the charity shop will be to oricecthem, which makes me wonder why they sell them. I do think publishers should use better judgement when it comes to sending out unsolicited arcs though. Otherwise agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a bookseller as well as a blogger this is a huge issue. We used to be advised by our head office that we could pass them on to schools, prisons, hospitals etc but now we are told not to. The shelves in our staff-room are groaning with proofs – honestly there are hundreds there – that we have been sent without even asking for them! But, the only option we have is to recycle them. Some of the biggest names have numbered proofs so they can tell who is being a naughty bookseller/blogger and selling them on…I would never want to p*ss off the publishers so much that the magic proof tree stopped giving all that lovely fruit so I’ve switched to Netgalley for most of them. More room on my shelves and less ripping up of old proofs.
    And yes, I would still not sell stuff after it has been published – the issues of ownership (they belong to the author/publisher) and accuracy (who wants incorrect versions of their work going round) still exist even after publication.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There seems to be a massive trade in selling ARC’s where the book has already been released. When I looked on eBay for the post there was page after page after page of them! I guess some avid fans would want them to go with finished copies and you’ve got the while collectable/memorabilia bit too but it still seems wrong to do it as you’re profiting from something you got for free.

      I’m not sure p#ssing off publishers exists! It seems to be that some people get away with whatever they want whilst others are blacklisted for no apparent reason and surely, selling ARC’s before the book is released has to be the worst of the lot!

      Like

  5. Those eBay ARC sellers give bloggers are bad name. Unfortunately there are also plenty of people who buy ARCs which is what keeps encouraging this unethical practice. I’ve heard talk from publicists about the possibility of numbering ARCs in order to catch and blacklist these bloggers, which I really wish would happen, but I doubt anything will come of it.

    Personally, I treasure all my ARCs, even of books I didn’t like or unsolicited ones I haven’t read. I donate finished copies but keep ARCs and collect them because to me they are special.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Numbering ARC’s is a great idea!

      I’m glad you mentioned the people that buy them too. I mentioned it in the post and you’re the first to mention it in the comments. It’s true, selling ARC’s is wrong but if people didn’t buy them then there would be no market for the sellers and while not as bad as the sellers, the buyers are still to blame.

      I treasure my ARC’s too, lots do, they are cool and also, it’s a privilege to receive them.

      Like

  6. It makes me sad when I see bloggers putting ARC’s up for sale. You didn’t pay for that book bitch! Making financial gain off something that the publisher sent you for free is just a crap move. Trade – yes! You aren’t gaining anything that was given to you for free in the first place!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with you in general, and I do think publishers mostly care about ARCs being sold for full price or more, often before the pub date. But I have also seen editors and the like say they don’t really care about charity shops or library book sales selling them for a dollar or whatever. Some seemed to think book bloggers were unnecessarily irate about this. Personally, I’d rather buy the dollar ARC from Goodwill than see it go to a landfill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a fair point about charity shops and library book sales. Especially for older ARC’s after the publication date. I think it’s perhaps more the bloggers who try and sell them for inflated prices just to try and get money.

      I’m not up on ARC’s and selling them after the publication date and if publishers mind or not which was why I mentioned it in the post that I meant ARC’s being sold before the publication date as that just seemed completely wrong. That eBay page I linked has a variety of new ARC’s for sale, some with 2018 releases and wanted large amounts for them. That seems wrong to me but while the seller is wrong, buyers need to take some of the blame too.

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      1. It’s probably something different publishers have different opinions on. I’m sure the employees I’ve seen eye rolling at bloggers freaking out over a library selling an ARC for fifty cents don’t necessarily speak for everyone, but on the whole I do think readers don’t need to feel guilty about buying those types of ARCs. The truth is that if libraries or other places can’t sell these books, they might end up in the trash. They’re not going to hoard them forever, so if you’re going to read the book and give it a good home, you might as well buy it and support the library/charity at the same time.

        The inflated book prices on the other hand…yikes. Definitely a problem, and I also think people who know better and buy these things off eBay anyway are also part of the problem. I assume most people who know what ARCs are in the first place also know that they are not meant to be auctioned off like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yes, I don’t have an issue with giving ARC’s to charity shops and then them selling them on even if it’s only for $1 or Β£1 as the person who received the ARC isn’t making money and charity is always a good cause, especially if you have it/them to a charity close to your heart.

        The crazy prices on eBay however, just seems people trying to make money and when the book is yet to be released too….

        Yeah, I’d guess that most people who buy them would know what they are and they are part of the problem. If they didn’t buy the ARC’s at high prices then the seller wouldn’t have no market.

        Like

      1. Yeah, I don’t think it’s a bad idea in theory, but I wonder if implementing it would be more trouble than it’s worth. I imagine publishers would rather wash their hands and see some ARCs be sold than have to dedicate too much time and resources to trying to track them.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Too bloody right!!!
    One of three things generally happens to mine.
    1. I keep ’em cos they were just bloody epic
    2. I give ’em to a residential home the mental health charity I work with runs, basically they have one bookshelf and I’ve provided all the books for it.
    3. They go to the charity shop…but that is only copies that are the final versions, not the actual ARC versions.

    I can’t even fathom trying to profit from books, I don’t even do that from books I’ve bought. Ludicrous.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. LOL so many great points! That South Park meme was perfect. I get really annoyed for people who get really greedy with ARC’s to make it look like they’re a boss. But the book will come out one day dude! Lol wait for it to come out if you don’t read it early. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a single ARC. It was from a library. I saw it, checked it out, and was horrified. It was missing an entire very important chapter (it was a book I had read many times) and anyone who didn’t know would get a skewed version of the story. So, like any good book collector, I bought the final copy and traded it for the ARC. It now resides on the shelf with all the other books by that author.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I obviously live a sheltered life as I didn’t even know this was a thing. Once I’ve finished with them I give away my ARCs to charity shops and I put my hands up, my daughter borrows a few but they are on my bookshelf – I can hardly say, no darling you can’t read that one although I do say you can’t have any of those as I need to read them for review purposes and you’ll have to wait!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s a thing. Lots of old ARC’s but also new ones of books yet to be released too.

      No harm in your daughter reading them, my mother has read some of mine. Same for charity shop. You’re giving them to charity and then the charity gets the money even if it’s only 50p for the book, it’s not like the eBay sellers flogging them at high prices.

      Like

  12. With all books, ARCs or otherwise, I’m very much a hoarder. My bookcase is full, and I have several boxes of older books in the loft from when I’ve had to make space for new ones. I think that the only time I’ve passed on an ARC is in the rare situations I’ve received two copies of the same book. The first time, I asked the publisher if they’d like me to send one back to them, but since then, I’ve passed duplicates onto another blogger.
    And I did like the story of how the ARC blackmarket works! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I must be so naive – it never occurred to me that people sell ARCs on, let alone buy them! My ARCs are all on kindle, but I can’t bear to get rid of any books – & my adolescents are following on nicely, meaning overflowing bookshelves and shared kindles libraries stuffed full. Your dodgy dealings at the beginning did make me laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, there seems to be quite a market for them! If the book has already been released then I’m not sure how it works as it’s still an ARC but when it’s a book that’s yet to be released then, no, that’s just wrong and people buy them too which is crazy.

      Thanks, the beginning was meant to make people smile.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve only ever received a handful of ARCs, but the ones I have received have always been on the condition that I won’t sell them on. Making the decision to sell it is essentially slapping the author in the face (metaphorically) and is such a shitty thing to do. I do honestly try not to judge others by my own standards, but surely ARCs are just about being a good book blogger and providing an honest review to generate some interest prior to its publication as opposed to them being a money making game?
    I like your suggestions on what to do with old ARCs you have kicking around! I particularly like the toilet paper one…I’m soon to be a poor student again so will bear that one in mind should the funds be ever running low ;P
    Also, bad egg!? And you complained at me for using ‘poop’!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, they do say not for resale in them! I’m not sure how it works with old ARC’s and some (doubtful) might ask permission to sell them on. But, donating to charity is where it gets murky, technically they say not for resale but you’re not selling them and making a profit, you’ve donated them and then the charity will sell them, even if it’s only 50p per book and helping charities is always a decent thing. So, old ARC’s it’s hard to know what the rules are especially as you also have the whole collectable debate too like music, film memorabilia and fans might want the ARC’s to add to their collection if they love the author.

      However, yeah, it’s the dreaded however! New ARC’s for books that have yet to be released, that’s just plain wrong especially the prices they are trying to get, wrong wrong wrong!

      Hey! There’s nothing wrong with bad egg! And I did write c#nt after it!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Resent?! You leave the delectable Becky alone!πŸ˜‚

      I know! I knew it went on but there’s pages and pages of them on eBay! Lots are old and the books already been released but there were lots of new ARC’s too some even with 2018 releases which is just so damn wrong.

      Like

  15. Wow – I had no idea! I would never even think of selling an ARC. I’ve got rid of books in the past but they usually go to the charity shop to be honest when I need to make more room. In fairness I’m much more attached to ebooks these days and lets face it – you can’t sell those!
    Lynn πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I try to make people chuckle, I’m not a serious blog post blogger! πŸ™‚

      If they are old ARC’s then I’m not sure what the rule is over them but for new ones where the book hasn’t even been released then that’s definitely wrong and is a big no no especially the over inflated prices that the sellers try charging and I bet that some people will pay the $60 just to get the damn ARC!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Holy crap, and your one on ebay is asking top price for these arcs! who’d pay? I wouldn’t!
    I was wondering what to do with ARCs, whether swapping or giving away was acceptable, and you answered my question… thanks! πŸ™‚ Although, I never give books away. Never… even if I have to find different uses for them, like making a bedframe out of them or a knife block as I recently saw someone do on internet…
    Using them for TP, though? that poor arse! not to mention putting plumber guy on speed dial for blockages πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! Top price and then some! It’s crazy but there has to be people who buy them otherwise there couldn’t be sellers!?

      Lmao, that poor arse and speed dial plumber, quality!πŸ˜‚

      Swapping and giving away ARCs is definitely acceptable and I’m not even sure if there’s actually anything wrong with selling old ARCs, they are sort of like promotional material for movies, etc only for books. But, new ARCs of yet to be released books, no, that’s just wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. OOh another good idea would be to do black out poetry with them! If you don’t want to do it in new books then ARCs is a good alternative.

    In a similar vein to the selling of arcs, do you have any thoughts or have you heard any opinions about people who sell books that are given to them for free by publishers? Because they’re still making money off of it, but it isn’t an arc… I feel like that’s kind of on the fence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a tough one! I’ve read where people think it’s OK to sell ARC’s that are of old books that have been released. So I’d guess those same people would say it’s fine.

      It’s a tough one though. It’s a finished copy and chances are it’ll already have been released to sell. So as you say it’s something to be on the fence about as it’s not an ARC and it can technically be sold. I guess it very much depends on the person who receives the book, some would be happy to give it a way for nothing as they got it themselves for free. Whilst others would sell the book to make some money just for that reason, very much depends on the person who receives it.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I have seen many ARC books for sale on eBay so wrong. I’d never buy a ARC copy from someone. You are not even allowed to give them to a charity shop, so why people are selling them on eBay is beyond me. All my ARC copies I give either to my daughter or my mum to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really not sure with ARC’s if you can sell them after the release or not. I think it’s a grey area as they are promotional merchandise and you see it being sold for other things like games, music, film, etc. But for yet to be released ARC’s there’s just no excuse and it’s completely wrong. Sad thing is, people must buy them otherwise there’d be no market for sellers!

      Like

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