Friday, March 6, 2015

Hardcover Lover Confessions (5)

Hey there, everyone! By now, I hope that you've become a little more acquainted with my new every-once-in-a-while feature, Hardcover Lover Confessions. This is my fifth HCL Confessions post, and I've found that people seem to be enjoying them.

If you're new to The Hardcover Lover or just missed the first few posts, I'll fill you in. HCL Confessions are my discussion posts. Every few weeks, I'll post my thoughts on something going on in the book blogging world or just general bookish thoughts.

I'm encouraging all of my followers to join in and discuss your thoughts on each topic with me and with the other bloggers/people who leave comments. It's all about kindly expressing ourselves and making connections with other bloggers and readers while forming blogging friendships.  Don't be afraid to reply to a comment made by someone you've never spoken to! I can promise you that all of my followers are kind and outgoing.

HCL Confession on ARC Envy:

ARCs - (n.) advance reader/review copies; galley copies of books that are soon to be published that are sent to reviewers and bloggers for review purposes
related terms - eARCs, galley

Recently, people have been asking me a lot of crazy questions about my blog. Most of them are about ARCs and how I get them. Unfortunately, a few people have admitted to me that they are  jealous that certain bloggers are sent physical ARCs. A few people just want to start blogs for the ARCs. I understand feeling jealous sometimes, but I do not understand starting a blog just for free books. It's absurd, and that's not why book bloggers do what they do. We're here because we all share a love for reading.

I'm sure that many of you are familiar with the Twitter discussions on ARC Envy because it's literally been a huge issue within the book blogosphere. So what is ARC Envy? Well it's pretty simple. People get jealous of bloggers who have been granted access to digital galleys or sent physical ARCs. Things have been getting out of hand. People are extremely angry that some bloggers are able to obtain ARCs - so mad that they have pretty much thought that just because they also blog, they deserve these books. Here's the thing: ARCs are a privilege, not a right.

I'm sure that many of you already know that you just won't be sent ARCs because you already have a book review blog. Some people unfortunately don't know that. Being sent ARCs is a tricky business, and it all depends on the books and publishers. I won't speak for publishing houses, but all of them have their own preferences. They might send one blogger one ARC but another blogger might not be sent it. Why? They want to make sure that they are sending these ARCs to people who will read and review them, and most of the time, it's to bloggers who they trust.

Trust me. I don't get all of the ARCs that I request. It's all about waiting and doing your time. But the ARC Envy needs to stop. There are ways that you can prevent this:
  1. Do not create a blog just for the ARCs - Mostly everyone who has a book blog keeps one because they love reading and sharing their thoughts with others. Many people do not wake up and create a book blog because they know that ARCs will be involved because that's not the case. Book bloggers are here for the community.
  2. Only request ARCs that you want to read - When you've reached a certain point (usually around six months of active blogging), you can start to request ARCs. You should only request books that you want to read. If you get an ARC and decide not to read it, you're essentially taking it away from a reviewer who would have read and reviewed it. Advance reviews generate buzz, so it's best to pass on a book if you won't read and review it before it's published.
  3. Sign up for an ARC tour - There are certain groups and authors that send out ARCs through snail mail. You don't get to keep the ARC, but you will be allotted a certain time to read it before sending it to another person. 
  4. Enter giveaways - Goodreads always has giveaways, and many of these books are ARCs. This is how I got my first few ARCs, and it's nice, especially if you are just starting your blog.
  5. Don't ask someone you don't know to send you their ARCs - I've had this happen. It's true that some bloggers (including me) will share their ARCs with other bloggers (if permitted by the publisher), but you can't just ask someone you don't really know to send you one. I'm all for sharing, but I share with the right people. I want to make sure that I get my ARCs back and that someone won't just steal them, so that's why I only share with my blogging friends or with trusted groups.
  6. Do not engage in ARC drama - Too many times, I've heard about this happening. If you don't get an ARC, don't badmouth the author or publisher. It only makes you look bad, and it will probably cost you any ARCs in the future because you don't look professional.
  7. Do not buy ARCs from other bloggers - This is something new I've noticed on Twitter and Instagram. People are selling their ARCs after they are done with them. This is illegal! They say "NOT FOR SALE" on the cover for a reason. Do not purchase any ARCs from another blogger because they are breaking the law. You should really report them to the publisher of that book. 
Now I want to hear from you! How do you prevent ARC envy? Have you ever had a case of it? What did you do to prevent ARC envy? Do you have any other tips to share with other bloggers?

Feel free to leave comments and share your thoughts, but please be kind, courteous, and professional. I don't want to see anyone naming names or calling out other bloggers.


  1. I hands up admit that I've had ARC envy before, like anything jealousy related sometimes it just happens. When it's particular books that I've been waiting for and/or requested, it has rubbed me up the wrong way, but the other bloggers have likely earned it so I'm not about to go bad-mouthing anyone! It also doesn't reflect that I have a bad blog - just that the publishers are looking for something else. You don't want to let it bog you down and become insecure, there will be more oppotunities in the future! Meanwhile, I wait for the release and then pick it up. No harm done :)

    Most recent post on Enchanted by YA:

    1. I think everyone will have a little case of it from time to time, but we just have to remember not to be jerks about it. You know?

      I also buy a book when it's published if I didn't get the ARC. I'm in this to read and share my thoughts with people - not free stuff.

  2. As a newbie to book blogging, I found this post very interesting! I've certainly been aware that receiving ARCs is common for book bloggers who have an established blog, lots of followers, etc. I didn't even know that you could request an ARC. To start a blog because you want ARCs just sounds crazy to me. I love the idea of ARC tours, and I think authors and publishers would too - the more people reading, reviewing, and blogging, the more publicity the book gets!
    Lauren @ Lauren Hearts Books

    1. Thanks, Lauren!

      NetGalley is literally the best thing for requesting ARCs. I have had pretty good luck with eARCs on there.

      I love ARC tours, and I participate in quite a few of them, but just yesterday, I saw a post from an author, and apparently she was really angered by them. Apparently a lot of ARCs have been getting pirated lately, so she wants ARC sharing to be eliminated. I don't condone sharing the digital files, but a lot of publishers allow bloggers to share their physical ARCs. I think it's a great way to get more reviews and help sales.

  3. I get jealous of people with ARCs all the time! But, I never act on it and I don't get angry about it. I am still happy for the person who got the ARC, and it also makes me more excited because it reminds me that the book is coming out soon.
    For example, I've seen plenty of people who've been able to read A Court of Thorns and Roses and I can't wait for that!
    I guess it's a little different for me though, because I don't request ARCs, so I never see someone receiving a book instead of me - which I can imagine would cause a lot of disappointment. Still, I don't see why anyone has to be mean about it!

    1. I get some ARCs, and I still get jealous when I see people with some of the huge titles, but I realize that it takes time.

      Not acting on it is the smartest thing to do! That's what I do, or I just wait to buy the book.

      OMG. Yes. Everyone is reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, and that made me want to read it more, but now I'm kind of feeling like I don't really have to read it. It looks interesting, but it's probably not for me. That will definitely be a library book.

      I don't see why people are mean about it either. I usually never even say what titles I get until I start reading them because I've had a few people question me, and it kind of makes me uncomfortable. I hate making people feel bad.

  4. Oh yes, a very controversial topic and you've hit the mark with your points! I can totally see how arc envy can come about. I get super easily jealous, but weirdly enough, not with arcs. But that's mainly because a) I'm in a region that is super behind the US so I've just had to learn to block it all out and b) honestly, I'm crazy busy most of the time now and can barely read my normal amount. But I appreciate everything that I get and totally understand how it can cultivate such a deadly culture. It's become, to an extent, this arc culture and it's like this collectors item or something--I see people trading and stuff and, you know what, I zone it and don't think too much about it now. Fantastic topic, Erin! x

    1. Thanks, Jess!

      I still get jealous sometimes. I think it's just a natural thing, but I would never, ever go out of my way to make another blogger uncomfortable or start an online battle.

      I've seen the trading, too. I think that's pretty cool for the collectors, and I love how Brittany and Andi have that "Have You Seen This" feature for trading ARCs that have already been released. I think that helps some people out.

  5. Erin,
    I actually JUST subscribed to NetGalley! I think because I'm a librarian, they let me sign up pretty easily. I've never gotten into using an e-reader, but this may just be the kick in the pants I needed to bring me to the 21st century.

    I guess I was looking at the ARC issue from a totally one-sided perspective. (Also, I had no idea they COULD be pirated, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised!). I can understand why an author would want to protect their work. With e-books so widely available, there are going to be the same issues cropping up as there are with songs and movie sharing.
    Lauren @ Lauren Hearts Books

    1. How do you like NetGalley so far? I had trouble at first because I didn't have an e-reader, and I was reading all the books on my computer. I made sure that I bought myself a Kindle for Christmas, and I've loved it since.

      I think that I get better approval ratings on NetGalley for being a teacher, so it's definitely been good for me. With you being a librarian, you might have better chances than if you were just a newbie blogger. Just make sure that you include it in your profile too. They look at that a lot.

      I knew they could be because people pirate ebooks all the time, but I never really thought much on it until I came across a bunch of Red Queen pirated ARCs. I just stay away from people like that because it's shady and unprofessional.

  6. I love to read and I love the buzz that ARCs create for books, I've literally found so many good books because of bloggers sharing their ARCs either by posting a review or a Stacking the Shelves. I hope when I tell other bloggers I am jealous, I don't come off as a green monster lol I guess for me it's more of an "I'm excited for you and I really want to read that book too feeling" than coveting what they have. I can't believe that people are actually bad mouthing other bloggers, authors, or publishers over ARCs! That is appalling, you hit the nail on the head "ARCs are a privilege not a right".

    If people want free books so bad they should borrow them from the library!

    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road

    1. I OMG. I say that I'm jealous of others bloggers all the time when I see they get an ARC that I am waiting on out of excitement too, but I always add a friendly lol or something to it so they know that I'm not an evil monster. Those kinds of comments are just kind of expected, especially when they are friendly. It's just sad and completely inappropriate when some people call out other bloggers or criticize the publisher. But it lets you know the good bloggers from the ones who only want free stuff.

      And the library is the perfect place for free books. Read it, take it back, get another one! Lol

  7. Number two here is one I struggle with (because sometimes a book sounds like one I want to read only to turn out to be something very different). I also, as someone who gets arcs, try to be mindful of passing on arcs I have (or have not read) in a timely manner so that other people can review the books I may not have read or loved.

    1. I struggle with #2 too, Emma. Sometimes the synopsis just isn't right at all, and I end up disappointed. I usually leave that in the notes section of NetGalley because I don't like being misled and I wouldn't want others to feel that way either.

      I love when people share their physical ARCs, and I'm working on sharing mine more. I need to learn how to budget for shipping. I've read quite a few that way, and it makes it fun to know that you're not the only one who has read it. That's why I love On the Same Page ARCTours.

  8. I didn't know ARC envy was a thing! I can't believe some people sell their ARCs after they are done with them, especially when they are advanced copies gifted for review, and not something they should take advantage of. Gosh... I didn't know this was going on! I am someone who lives internationally so I can't go to any of the bookish events and get tons of physical arcs or be sent a lot of them. I would love to be, but I am content with my ecopies and the occasional ones I do receive from those lovely publishers ^^ I think it is important for people to remember blogging is NOT about the ARCs. It is okay to be jealous sometimes --- sure, people get jealous of other things all the time as well. But it's not okay to let it control you and act on those feelings.

    1. Right? I didn't think it was as bad as it was, but I looked into it, and people are crazy! Someone was even selling an ARC of Robin Benway's Emmy & Oliver on Ebay, and she found it and Tweeted about it to let people know to report it. There's even an Instagram account that sells ARCs.

      I don't get a lot of physical ARCs, but I am content with the eARCs too, especially now that I have a Kindle. I think those are perfect for international book bloggers because they (and you) still get a chance to read and review, which is wonderful!

      I agree - blogging should be about sharing your joy and passion for reading, not free things and books.

      Great thoughts, Olivia! :)


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