The Good And Bad About ARCs, Galleys, and Finished Copies
ARC – Advanced Reader Copy – not the final version, usually paperback, rarely hardcover.
Galley – ARC ebooks supplied by sites like Netgalley, Edelweiss, and Amazon Vine.
Finished copy – a finished copy of the book sent for review by the author/publisher. Physical or ebook.
I love ARCs, galleys, and finished copies, but I don’t request very many. Lately though, with my husband’s hours cut at work and our subsequent loss of income, I’ve come to appreciate them even more. I know that “once the book’s been published you can just buy it!” but now sometimes I literally can’t afford books, and books are my priority after rent, bills, and groceries. I run a book blog! I need books.
Why I love ARCs
- I love the thrill of a publisher thinking I’m important enough or popular enough to receive an ARC. Sometimes I feel as if I’m tricking them, though, or being deceitful. I report my stats faithfully and accurately, but because I run this blog all by myself and I see way more ‘successful’ blogs getting buzzed ARCs, sometimes I don’t feel like I can ‘compete’ – which is ridiculous, I know, because book bloggers aren’t competing with each other!
- I love getting a book early, especially if it’s a sequel to a book I loved. Which is rare, because I will often read a first book in a series but it doesn’t mean I’m going to continue the series. A book’s gotta be really special to make me want its sequel, and extra really special to make me seek out its sequel’s ARC.
- I love getting ARCs from authors I adore and getting excited to read their new work and promoting it.
- Unsolicited ARCs make my day. I can be having a shitty day, and when I come home to an unsolicited ARC, I instantly feel better. The publishers value my opinion! They think I have clout!
- I love the variety offered from both publishers and online galley services like Netgalley, Edelweiss and Amazon Vine. I love my local bookshops, but they really do cater to the masses. We have more Cassandra Clare and John Green than I can poke a stick at. In the past few months my favourite bookshop added an entire new row to cater to the Teen/Young Adult section, but when I went in there the other day I found one book – ONE – that I wanted to read. I can get ARCs of books that aren’t even being sold in Australia, or aren’t due out here for ages.
Why I’m over ARCs
- I have unsolicited ARCs and some of them I’m really not interested in reading.
- When I first started blogging, I requested way too many galleys and never thought I’d dig my way out of my Netgalley hole. I finally did, and now I’m guarding my 102% (due to a glitch) ferociously by only requesting books I think are so compelling I’d buy them if I saw them in the shop.
- I feel obligated to read and review within the set timeframe, and this can cause me stress.
- I feel obligated to read and review unsolicited ARCs, which causes me stress.
- Sometimes publishers send me finished copies and it’s too late to read and review before publication date and I have to fit them in to my schedule.