Harmony Book Reviews

Discuss: The Selling/Trading of ARCs

Posted on: September 19, 2009

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of questions and comments around the blogosphere on the selling and trading of ARCs, specifically after the opening of Books for Grabs.

 I thought it would be good to start a discussion for everyone to express their opinions. Do you think it’s wrong for bloggers to sell/trade ARCs? Bloggers, have you done it before? Authors, how do you/would you feel about your ARC being traded among bloggers?

 Personally, I don’t think it’s wrong. Bookstores (aka The Strand) are doing it and some libraries are even shelving them (that, I don’t agree with, btw) so why shouldn’t bloggers be able to trade amongst themselves? I have made use of sites like Books for Grabs before, sometimes “selling” them for a little more than the shipping costs. I do make it a goal to only do this to other bloggers because I feel that it helps spread the word for the book – if the blogger ends up loving it, they’re going to talk about it. I also tend to give away my copies of the ARCs that I absolutely adored because it gives me an incentive to buy myself a copy.

The argument has been brought up that trading ARCs takes sales away from the author. In some ways, I guess that could be potentially true but I think of it this way – if I sell/trade my ARC of a book to another blogger after reviewing it, that’s one more pair of eyes that get to see the book. If they like it, they’ll probably at least mention it on their blog and it’s highly improbable that we have the exact same audience. So there’s even more people hearing about the book that wouldn’t had that blogger not been able get the book from me. Also, it’s not guaranteed the blogger would have bought a finalized copy of the book even if they had not gotten to read an ARC. I know that I, personally, rarely buy books I haven’t read any more. So there’s no sale loss there, in my opinion.

I’d love to hear what you guys (especially authors and publicists) think about this subject. Feel free to post anonymously but keep it clean!

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13 Responses to "Discuss: The Selling/Trading of ARCs"

I think it’s fine – I mean if you swap an arc that’s another person reading and most likely reviewing the book, meaning more buzz for the book. Plus if I love an ARC, chances are I’ll buy a copy once it’s out.

Yes and yes. I don’t think that swapping or selling arcs with other bloggers is that big a deal. Espcially not when I buy most of mine at strand. I could see if i went on ebay and started selling them for like fifty bucks or something, but i share them with other bloggers. Blogers who will most likely write about the book on their blog and give it even more publicity.

Trading an ARC is fine by me. I give away my ARCs on my blog to followers as contest/giveaways.

I DO NOT agree with selling ARCs. I know The Strand does it but they go for pretty cheap there, right? So, in that case I think it’s fine but they should not be sold by individuals that receive them as review copies who are looking to make a profit.

I am against selling ARCs.
Ask someone to pay shipping cost of said ARCs is fine though, we all know shipping gets expensive, expescially if like me, you live outside US.
I would actualy recommend trading ARCs between bloggers. Publisher can’t give ARCs to all of us, but if we share our copies it will be more publicity for said book. I don,t see how that could be wrong. And I think author subscribing to website like 1 arc tour is a proof that some Author would appreciate if we would share our ARC copies.

I review every single book I read since I created my blog, so any ARC someone would pass to me, any contest I win is free publicity for the author/publisher.

my 2 cents.

I see no problem with trading ARCs. I think it’s actually a great idea because they are limited. I don’t really see the big problem with selling the ARCs on a site like Books for Grabs. Last week I bought a couple of books and the cost was more to cover shipping and handling. It wasn’t like the person was making a huge profit from it. Plus it seems most bloggers are using whatever profit they make to put right back into their blogs.

Selling ARCs is against the law PERIOD. I’m against it as an author and as publishing industry employee.

I see no problem trading ARCs, I actually think it’s a good thing. It gets more exposure for a book that some people may not have read at all, much less buy when it’s avaliable.

As for selling their ARCs, I think there is a limit to it being okay. Places like The Strand sell them for really low prices, and when other bloggers do it, they usually only ask for shipping and that’s fine. But I don’t think charging for profit off an ARC is okay. When you get an ARC for free, you shouldn’t try to make money off of it from someone else. Other than that, I totally support trading books and selling them to cover shipping. I myself have gotten a few and I think it’s great!
That’s just my opinion.

I use Saperback swap and it has been a blessing to be able to swap my arcs because of living in a fifth wheel full time I just don’t have the space to keep all of my books (:

I don’t think SELLING an ARC should be done. I’ve traded or just sent it for another reviewer to read. Only other reviewers though.

I love the idea of trading ARCs. I don’t think it takes away from sales as most people who are blogging about books are die hard reading fans. So I would think if they read a book they really like they are also recommending those to other people who do end up buying the book.

I don’t sell my ARCs though. Somehow that just seems wrong but I do either give them away on my blog or trade them.

I’m going to weigh in my opinion here, and hopefully not offend anyone in the process. Books for Grabs was something that I created on a whim. I have books sitting in boxes, that I’ve bought, that are arcs, books I’ve read and probably won’t read again.

I donate to my library, although for some reason they are not big on “book” donations here. Most of the time, when they are donated to the libraries instead of being shelved they are given to the Friends of the Library sale. I’d rather give them to someone who is actually going to read them, but maybe that’s just me.

I’ve tried trading books too. But most of the time, when I want a book I buy it. So, I don’t have a lot of trading options. I know, poor me. I’m very ocd when it comes to my books. I must have them in excellent condition. Which is why I’m not very active anymore on bookmooch.

Ultimately this is why I created Books for Grabs because I wanted to give a book to someone who actually wanted it. It was never meant to have books for sale. I assumed, which I should have known better, that everyone read the “read before you grab” and saw that the books posted were free and that only shipping was charged.

I wasn’t exactly thrilled that this person was selling books, but I am also a wimp and didn’t want to exclude this person either. I try to avoid confrontation at all costs. I’m not going to apologize for being that type of person. They had a list of books and arcs, again I assumed, that they wouldn’t be selling their arcs, even though they had them listed. Honestly, when I found out the person was selling arcs I was shocked. I was working up the courage to say something to this person. Yes working up the courage, as mentioned before I do not like confrontation, of any type. When surprisingly someone decided to call me out on Twitter. I have no problem what-so-ever with someone telling me I’m doing something wrong. I don’t! I may not agree with you, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to listen. But when you do it on Twitter under an anonymous account, you’re just going to piss me off, and even if you are right, I’m going to be less willing to listen. Call me a stubborn bitch, I don’t care. Email me, don’t take something like that public. That is tacky!

Needless to say the list has been removed on request from the owner. I never had a chance to voice my opinion. So let me do that now.

I don’t support selling arcs. It pisses me off when I see people selling them on ebay. If people are stupid enough to buy them, it’s there own fault. Even though, I’m sure the majority of the public have no idea what arcs are, all they know is that they are getting the book they’ve been dying to read early!

I don’t see anything wrong with trading them. Aren’t the purpose of arcs to create buzz? Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’d think the more exposure a book gets, the better. There are people that buy books and there are people that don’t. I am a book buyer. If I get an arc of a book and I like it, I almost always buy it. I think that would go for the same for all “book buyers.” If you’re not a book buyer getting an arc would just be saving you a trip to the library. Perhaps it’s naive of me to think that way, but it seems pretty logical.

And I’ve taken entirely too long to comment, but at least now you know the story.

Passing on ARCs is what you’re supposed to do, as a librarian. You’re supposed to share them with other librarians, and with your teens/patrons. The ARC is designed to create buzz, and to also help you decide if the book is right for your collection.

I see no reason why trading/passing them on to other bloggers is wrong. In fact, I feel like it’s supporting what the ARC was designed for. Bloggers are becoming more of an influence in the book buying world. We’re seeing bloggers quoted on final book copies based on ARC readings. We’re seeing authors credit bloggers for the exposure of their books. We’re seeing authors reach out to bloggers to increase the publicity of their books.

Asking a fellow blogger to cover the cost of shipping has nothing to do with “buying/selling” an ARC. That money is to cover shipping and is perfectly fine.

I do not agree with selling ARCs, either in a bookstore or online. I also do not agree with putting ARCs on library shelves. That’s just not what an ARC is for.

That’s my two cents there.

And just so you know, I typically wind up buying a copy of the ARCs that I love.

In todays tough economic times I as a librarian am very grateful when I get a few free ARC’s especially young adult. My budget is very small being a small library in a small town but, at least i have a budget. To be able to supplement it with a few ARC’s makes me happy and the readers here in our community happy too. I always read them first and then correct any obvious errors in grammer and then put them on the shelf. I know the author is not getting the proper credit but at least I am getting their names out there and if they are well liked and or a series I try and buy their next one.
To sell them I think is very wrong. They were free in the first place and that I would never do.

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