Shannon Messenger did a blog post yesterday about people selling their BEA ARCs on ebay. Selling ARCs on ebay is nothing new but it pisses me off every time I hear about it being done.
After all, ARCs specifically say on them–SEVERAL TIMES–that they are “NOT FOR SALE.” They’re a marketing tool the publishers produce–at a HIGHER cost per book than finished hardcovers–so that they can get the ARC in the hands of reviewers and hopefully generate some buzz and excitement for the book’s release. Authors also receive no money from the unauthorized sale of an ARC, so anyone who sells them is *technically* stealing from us.
When you sell ARCs on ebay it makes all book bloggers look shitty. Like all we’re out to do is take. I’m not saying my soul purpose in life is to be fairy dust on author promotions or anything ridiculous like that. But I blog about books because I love them. Because books fill me with an unholy passion that I must either unleash upon the world or repress until it creates its own black hole and sucks you all down into the cavity where my heart used to exist in order to force you to feel as I do.
And if you’re selling ARCs on ebay then you, my friend, are shitting in the face of those authors, and their publishing team, and the publishers. If you’re giving away the galleys you get from Netgalley and Edelweiss to your friends and seeding it on sharing sites then you might as well go slap them in the face. Go ahead. Slap all of them in the face*.
I was emailing with an author today about an ARC of her book and she was sending it to me without DRM. Her comment was, “Please don’t share it online.”
What has this come to when someone actually has to ask that of a book blogger?! “Please don’t trash my house, murder my children and beat my husband with a pipe. Please.” This should go without saying! If you don’t love books, if you’re not trying to spread the love, shake your fist at the hate, wanting to see your favourite authors flourish and get more book deals then what the hell are you doing? Why are you a book blogger?
We get trusted with this stuff so that we can give our honest opinions and talk about the books. For most of us it’s gotten to the point that actually buying a book after release date is a freakin’ tragedy. “I love this author so much! FAAAARRKKK!! I didn’t get approved for their book. DAMN YOU HARCOURT!!!!! Now I actually have to pay money for this! Damn it! What did I ever do to you?!”
There are a lot of book bloggers out there doing the right thing. But here are ten useful things you can do with your ARCs – just in case you didn’t know that selling your ARCs on ebay was a giant, dickwad of a thing to do and that by doing so I curse you with the itch of a thousand louse and hope your children become fans of Justin Beiber.
10 Ways not to be a douchebag with your ARCs
1. Send your ARC on a book tour for other, less fortunate, bloggers to read.
2. Donate to a librarian or book seller.
3. Give the ARC away on your blog.
4. Return it to the author or publisher.
5. Tell people the book contains a genie who will give out wishes if it’s read at midnight, under a full moon, when the stars align and the book is then passed along.
6. Send it around the world having its picture taken at famous monuments and blog about it.
7. Offer it up as a sacrifice to a literacy god and BLOG ABOUT IT.
8. Fill the pages with notes of everything you loved and then leave it on the author’s doorstep as a launching pad to even more disturbing stalking methods.
9. Try to use it to solve an elaborate crime – forcing an entire police division to read it in the hopes that it contains clues to the murderer – then BLOG ABOUT IT.
10. Trick a religious sect into believing the book is evil by reading out several pages of the ARC, waggling your eyebrows every now and again to indicate there is some kind of nefarious innuendo. Encourage them to buy lots of copies but before they burn them, recant and explain it was all a mistake and to prove it, they should read the books for themselves.
So there you have it. Ten ways to not be a douchebag with your ARCs. Remember, being a book blogger is a fantastic, amazing blessing and if you really love books, love authors and love publishing then you won’t abuse the system.
*Don’t really slap anyone in the face, please.