Are ARCs really better than final copies?
As many of you book bloggers know, the holy grail of reviewing is receiving ARCs from publishers. You spend months or years building up a repertoire and a fan-base, pumping out reviews as quickly as you can to show what you’re made of, to show you’re reliable, to snag the eye of some big publishers. Receiving ARCs is often seen as the ultimate determiner of whether you’re an accomplished book blogger, but…
Are ARCs really that great?
I received my very first physical ARCs in the last six months and I was ecstatic! I actually got two of them and they were both sequels for books I’d received digital ARCs for in the previous year. I enjoyed the originals and was beyond belief that I was being sent physical ARCs of the sequels! I felt like I’d finally ‘made it.’ I’d finally become an ‘official book blogger,’ but why is that?
I had been reviewing books for some time before I received those books. I could have just as easily waited until the books were published and bought them to review. After all, it’s not like I was going to be posting my review WAY early or anything. I only post ARC reviews a couple days before publication so as not to spoil anything and to remind people of the book that’s coming out. So, why did I strive so much to receive ARCs?
Well, for one thing, it definitely is a status symbol.
secretly glare at other book bloggers when they flaunt they’re gorgeous, esteemed ARC of a book, especially when it’s an ARC we were hoping to receive. We envy them for being sent books directly from publishers. We want to be able to say we’re in the ‘in-crowd’ and have the validation of a publisher. Aaaand ARCs are pretty, rare, and collectible (as many book bloggers can attest to.)
Still, even after receiving my ARCs and requesting more (because I still want them books. :p ) I can’t help but wonder whether or not the ARC is really worth it. After all, the cover is often different. In fact, sometimes it’s not even a finished cover: the back or side could be blank and without artwork. There could be typos and grammar errors in the novel. Or! The publisher could decide to change something entirely by the time the book actually comes out, meaning your book (while rare and cool), is not ‘official.’
Oh! And more often than not, the ARC is a paperback. For those of you who read my discussion from two weeks ago, you’ll recall that I am partial to hard cover books. They’re durable. They’re pretty. You can protect the dust jacket by removing it during reading, but the same cannot be said for paperbacks. Thus, it’s much more likely that you could scuff, dent, or ruin your precious ARC just by reading it! And it’s not like you can go out and get a new copy either.
But what do you think?
Do you prefer ARCs to final copies? Why?
Leave your thoughts below!
And check out my discussion from last week: