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Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted on Rainy Day Ramblings where we discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Do you think Advanced Reading Copies are worth it?
I think the bound, marked Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) are a bit of a waste. I know they use cheaper paper, and they don’t have the finished covers on them, but they would still cost to produce and ship. Once a reader is done with an ARC, there is not much you can do with it. A lot of second hand book stores will not accept ARC’s. You could probably share with friends after the book’s release, but there could have been changes made to the book before final production. They also do not look very nice on the shelf. Sometimes, I find I will still buy the physical book after release. Both to help out the author as well as have a nice looking copy on my shelf. I definitely prefer my physical ARCs to be finished copies.
Digital ARCs are a different story. I know it costs to have your book on Netgalley or Edelweiss. You also don’t usually get cover art. At least I haven’t on the books I have gotten from Netgalley. But I would hope that the cost of adding your ARC to the digital catalogs would be significantly less than the production of a physical copy. I love digital ARC’s, both in audio and ebook.
I do think ARCs are an important marketing tool. Bloggers and reviewers are able to help spread the excitement about a book after they’ve read it. Some people post their reviews before release day while others wait until release week. Even those that don’t post before release can contribute by sharing on social media and other places about the book. Those initial numbers are important to authors so whatever hype that can be built for a release is good marketing.
Another positive for ARCs is getting an authors name out there to drive sales of a book. Especially during release week. Some people who enjoy the genre(s) a person reviews may not have heard of an author before, or that author doesn’t have a big following on social media where they can broadcast about their book’s release. If you see a review, rating or post about an upcoming book from an unknown author, a person may be more inclined to pick that book up. Advanced Reader Copies just help boost that author during the crucial release period.
I believe ARCs are worth it to the publisher and author. The strategy with them is important. I will be interested to hear what others think about them. It would also be interesting to see how the publisher’s rate the effectiveness of distributing ARCs. What do you think?