Friday, May 8, 2015

Why I Don't Read ARC's

Back when I first started blogging, I heard about these mythical creatures that only a few saw, called advanced reader copy. When I heard that I immediately thought 'free books! How do I get them?' Recently I even joined NetGalley in the hopes that I could get them - but that was before I found out all the hoops you have to jump through. Does it bother me? I don't know, really. One of the things that they need, however, is a picture. I don't even have one on my blog - so the likelihood of me putting one on another website? Yeah, slim.

To me, reviewing ARC'S is more of a tradeoff than most (especially publishers) seem to think. They each have something the other wants and…well, that's not what this topic is really about.

You see, once I found the requirements for NetGalley, I started thinking more about ARC's. The reason behind them as well as the reason to read/review them.

First up, they generate hype. If no one received ARC's, few people would be rushing to the store - or the internet - to buy the book the day it releases unless it was by an author you love. I know for me, I usually wait with most books until after they have been out for awhile - long enough to read reviews both good and bad - before buying it. So, ARC's give me opinions of people before the book has actually released. In that respect, I like people reading/reviewing ARC's.

For me personally though, I've thought about ARC's and… A couple of times I accidentally bought ARC's off the internet. Besides feeling ticked off - after all, it says right there 'do no sell' - I wasn't willing to read them. Yeah, I'm kind of odd that way. But then I got thinking about why exactly I wouldn't read it. 

I feel that ARC's aren't the finished story. They're like watching a deleted scene for a movie or TV show that wasn't actually finished. They're up against the green screen, or they have those little black with white writing placeholder cards. Or like playing a beta version of a game that might have bugs. The full story is there, but it's not finished with all the bells an whistles.

After all the work the author and publishers did, I want to read the finished work - not a version where things could still change.

How about you? Do you read ARC's? Why or why not?


  1. I totally get why you choose not to jump aboard the arc train - it's a lot of work! Not to mention the fact that it can turn reading into a chore if you request too many. Then you HAVE to write a review (I do anyway). It's a pain. Still, every time I see that book I'm just dying to read, I just can't help but request it haha. Side note - I know they are technically unfinished copies, but I believe they are at the very end of the revision process, so the only thing they are waiting on is that final proofing pass to catch any remaining typos. :)

    1. I'd really hate to be all excited for a book, request the ARC and then hate it. I'd still review it - and honestly - but I'd probably feel a little guilty. I did not know they were that close to being finished. From the little I picked up about them from reviewers, I thought they were still being edited. (Not sure this makes much of a difference to me, but it is good to know. Thanks.)

  2. I do read ARCs and I didn't share my picture either but that's not a problem to most publishers. What I hate in them is how sometimes it doesn't make sense what I get approved for. I get declined for way more unknown books than ones I do get approved for. Another thing why I don't like them is that I'm a total mood reader. I might not want to read a book for months and then it gets archived and I can't read it. Also, some e-galleys can't be read on my phone or even on tablet... only on computer because they are like scanned pages this you can't change the size of the letters. Anyhow, I'm still thankful for Netgalley because I got to find many new, amazing books. And was able to advertise them a bit.
    Great post, Amy. :)

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean about being a mood reader. I'm the same way. I can have books for a really long time and never get around to reading them then suddenly: that's the only book I want to read. That's really interesting about the picture. It sounded like that was one of the things Netgalley themselves required. Maybe I didn't read the rules as well as I thought I did. Or maybe they've changed the requirements a bit since you joined. I've heard from some of the people that started using Netgalley almost as soon as they 'opened' that the requirements have gotten stricter over time.

      Even though I personally don't read ARC's, I'm still glad that they give them away and that there are people that do want to read them - after all, reading all those early reviews helps me make my mind up about a releasing book.