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 eBay 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!
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“.
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.😂
- 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!😉
- 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!😉
- 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!
Follow The Tattooed Book Geek on: