Last night, or I should say very early this morning I was sucked into a giant blackhole on Twitter. The discussion started as a way to shame those people who grab ARCs at conventions and then put them up for sale on eBay for their own monetary gain, and it morphed into a whole other spectrum of blogger behavior when it comes to ARCs and the frenzy around getting these Advanced Readers Copies.
Before hopping into this full discussion I want to clarify that when I say BLOGGER I am talking about regular bloggers, instagrammers, and youtubers who’s main focus is books. I include all of these in one term because they are all involved in this.
To break it down a little bit, let’s talk about BEA. BEA stands for Book Expo America, it is a conference held for industry professionals. This means people who own bookshops, librarians, teachers, authors, and obviously publishers. I don’t see anything wrong with bloggers attending, but personally I believe that BEA is too lenient with who they allow in. I honestly don’t think the 16 year old with the book blog that’s read by two people should have the same access to these ARCs like the librarian or teacher who is trying to research what books their teens might be into, Or the indie bookshop owner who has buying power.
The Entitled Book Blogger Problem
As you can see I am a book blogger. I haven’t been doing this for very long, but I started this blog as a way to keep my sanity. It is something I enjoy, and have fun with, as it should be. My impression in this group is small compared to many others in the book community, but I don’t mind. I do think there is a lot of you who feel you are entitled to ARCs. THIS kind of attitude won’t get you very far in life. Entitlement is ugly. I understand that reviewing a book takes time and effort, but this is a choice you made. You could have easily kept to goodreads, and not start a book review blog. Publishers don’t have to give you shit, and the sooner you realize that, the happier you will be. Sure I can understand the excitement of getting these advanced copies, but it is not a right that as a blogger you should receive them. ARCs have more important hands to be in as well. You can feel privileged if a publisher finds you professional enough to hand you an ARC.
Let’s also talk about privilege a little bit. Someone on twitter mentioned that people should feel privileged to go to these massive book conventionså and I guess I can see some truth to that. I now live in Germany and going to BEA would be expensive for me, Expensive, but not impossible. I can work hard and save up for it if I really wanted to do it. Sure that may be a privilege I have as an adult, and above others who may not have the luxury to save up money for this sort of thing, but someone who worked their ass off to be there, may take offense to that sort of comment. Also you can’t say that, and then in the next breath say that the people who paid to be there shouldn’t be mad about not being able to grab ONE copy of an ARC when they already have 20 different copies of other books. If someone paid to be there, is professional in their demeanor, and simply waited hours to grab a copy of an ARC to be able to read it and review it, then they have every right to be pissed off at the asshole who grabbed 3 or 4 copies to do giveaways on twitter to simply just boost their followers or in the worst case scenario the asshole who sells those 3 or 4 copies on eBay. You are taking away from that person, and from the professionals who really need these books. Many librarians allow these ARCs to be read by underprivileged kids who can’t really afford libraries of their own at home.
You’re sad and/or mad you couldn’t attend? Get over it. You want to be treated as an adult then you have to act like one as well. As an adult, you learn to deal with the fact that some things you simply can’t do and you move on. That’s life. Put the entitlement away.
Look, I have only received Digital ARCs, and I am extremely grateful for it. I was able to read This Savage Song as a digital ARC and I honestly felt so honored to be able to do so because it’s the release I am most looking forward to. I feel grateful each time I am accepted for a digital ARC, but if I receive physical copies at some point, I WILL NOT sell them. That brings this discussion full circle. Selling an ARC is beyond illegal, and I hope publishers take action. Buying an ARC does not make you any better, just WAIT for the release like everyone else.
This ARC frenzy seems kind of nuts to me. If you go to these conventions, just be a professional. Grab one copy, and move along. If you are not able to go, don’t expect to get your hands on the extra copies. There are other people who should have those in their hands. I know this is going to anger some people, but again, time to grow up and move on. Wait till release date for it. Shit, I have been waiting for YEARS for the next Game of Thrones novel, you can certainly wait a few months. This turned out to be longer than I wanted it to be, but also deal with the fact that I do not share the same views as you. I am open to discussion of course, but I will not tolerate any personal attacks.
Peace & Love