Are ARCs Overrated?

Earlier you would find booknerds with broken backs and an unending stack of their to-be-read books that they carry with them, which would ultimately result in their death. As if that wasn’t enough there is an added weight of ARCs that we run after like crazy and then promptly stash on our TBR piles.

Am I the only one who thinks that ARCs or Advanced Reading Copies are overrated?

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Don’t start yelling or throwing tomatoes at me just yet! Let’s have a healthy discussion on ARCs and their worth.

So where did this trend of ARCs start from?

ARCs are usually up for requesting or sent to bloggers, reviewers and influencers since authors need pre-release reviews and publicity so that a hype can be created around their book and when it releases the initial sales will be high and they can get a general idea of whether their book is going to soar or drown.

And yes, this is important, I’m not denying that. It’s VERY important.

Bloggers and reviewers should request for ARCs and read as well review them but recently this has taken a different turn. Everyone has started to hoard these ARCs like a Sniffler hoards everything that shines. It doesn’t matter what genre it falls under, whether the blurb seems nice or whether it caters to their age-group or not- they just keep requesting ARCs. Don’t feel embarrassed to admit, everyone has been there.

Oh I’ve seen some hype around this book or author so let’s request the ARC!

Nope.

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Not being careful while requesting ARCs is one of the major reasons why you end up not finishing it, not really liking the genre and all together declaring the book as boring or poorly written. Don’t you see that this is just the opposite of what authors wanted? And just because you didn’t ensure by reading the summary, looking up the genre and age group that the book at least seemed to fit your interests. Great, now that poor book has a negative hype around it.

Not to mention that when people are collecting ARCs like crazy they end up having too many of them. Some of them may not be read well after their publishing date and what is the point of requesting an ARC when you’re not reading it before it’s available out in the world? Not only can you now simply buy the book but also you weren’t of any help to the lovely author who wrote it and lovingly sent it to you.

And that is if you even end up reading it. So many people end up never really getting back to all the ARCs they have and they just rust in their bookshelves or kindles. This means denying other readers the opportunity to read a wonderful story.

There is a whole new set of problems if we start talking about print ARCs. People are paying mad prices to get hold of ARCs, they’re taking the ‘I’ll sell me soul for that book’ phrase literally! I never get this concept of spending so much money when you could just wait for a while until the book comes out and buy it at a reasonable price with other people.

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But no, having ARCs seems to grant people a high status and the more ARCs one has the higher their status, this is at least what I have seen many people to believe. Print ARCs seem to be the most in demand and somehow seems to grant the owners an exclusive priviledge.

I am so very against this policy of hoarding ARCs because not only are those books not being read but you’re denying other people the opportunity to read it.

When I first joined the bookish community this was a totally alien concept to me. Being a go-with-the-flow kind of person I decided to start requesting ARCs too. I got an insane amount of rejections from Netgalley which was pretty disheartening so I stopped requesting ARCs and threw myself into blog tours, which by the way are so much more fun! Most of them were for books that had already been published but I did do a couple tours for ARCs too and honestly, there was absolutely no difference in both kinds of tours. I got the same joy reading ARCs and other books.

And then suddenly my requests started getting accepted. I was absolutely delighted but reigned myself in because even then I was sure about one thing- I didn’t want to read just any genre for the sake of having ARCs. And then life got busy and I was soon struggling to read my backlist books, new releases and the ARCs too. The ARCs started getting sidelined simply because I no longer had an interest in them. The thrill tends to wear off once your request gets accepted, until and unless you are really invested into it, and on the rare occasion that I really wanted to read an ARC I never got the time.

And I feel absolutely horrible about that so I’ve simply stopped requesting ARCs. I am not going to ask for an ARC until I am a 100% positive that I will drop every other book to read it.

I guess what I am trying to say is that people should only request for ARCs they actually have an interest in reading and just stop hoarding them. You aren’t better than some other blogger just because you have an insane amount of ARCs. You don’t have to give in to the pressure and start requesting ARCs just because others are. You do you!

So what do you think? I know this might seem like a slightly controversial topic but I want to know your thoughts. Are you an ARC hoarder or are you picky over them? What do you think about ARCs granting bloggers and bookstagrammers high status?

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32 thoughts on “Are ARCs Overrated?

  1. Jordan @ herpaperadventure says:

    When I first created a Netgalley account I went a little crazy and requested so many books. I’d been told that it was the best way to get accepted for a few because most people get rejected for pretty much everything at the start, but I ended up with most of my requests being accepted and half of them I didn’t really care too much about. I felt so bad, one was even book three in a series I’d never heard of and I didn’t even realise! Now I only request/email for ARCs I know I’ll definitely read. But I do get a thrill when an ARC turns up in my mail, so I understand how you can become an ARC hoarder. I’ve only received two physical ARCs since I started blogging (which was around two years ago), so I can imagine the thrill kind of wears off when you get them sent to all the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charvi says:

      Ah I totally get what you mean, Jordan! I once signed up for too many blog tours thinking that I wouldn’t get accepted but I did get accepted for all of them. I had to back out of a couple and even then it was a pretty stressful time.

      Yes, that’s the best strategy when dealing with ARCs! Glad to know not everyone in the community is hoarding them ☺️

      Like

  2. the bookaholic dreamer says:

    This is definitely an important topic in the bookish world. I like requesting arcs and everytime I’m approved I squeal from happiness. I don’t request arcs that I wouldn’t like to read and I don’t really understand that either. Nevertheless, I do end up with quite a few arcs because I like many different genres and I’m open to try new things. To manage my arc pile I simply keep a reading order calendar. As a mood reader it can be sometimes hard to stick to the schedule but I tend to treat arcs like contracts; I promised to read and review so read and review I shall, even if I’m sometimes a bit late.

    I think everyone has their own way of requesting and dealing with arcs but I think Netgalley and Edelweiss are designed to act against arc hoarding; if you don’t read and review your arcs then your percentage drops and you are likely to not get accepted any more. So isn’t arc hoarding a bit self-destructive? I feel like those who hoard arcs simply stop getting them before they read the ones they have and that’s the end of hoarding.

    Above you said “I am so very against this policy of hoarding ARCs because not only are those books not being read but you’re denying other people the opportunity to read it.” I understand that a physical arc can only be owned by one person at a time and there is a limited number of them, but how is requesting and delaying the reading of an E-arc denying others the opportunity to read that book? Do you mean that because that person with an E-arc doesn’t read & review promptly, the book doesn’t get as much exposure and find it’s way to the hands of others? But I think that if you’re not in the mood to read the arc, it might be better to save it for later. Personally, I would just end up giving a negative review because that book didn’t fit my mood at that time and I genuinely enjoyed less because of that. That’s not to say that I didn’t want to read that arc, but all the genres I love have their own time when I feel like up to reading them. It’s also very hard to compensate for mood in reviews.

    I don’t find hoarding arcs a big problem (because you stop getting them). And I think everyone should keep reading as an enjoyable thing, don’t read that arc if you don’t feel like it. It will still be important exposure to the author and publisher if you put up your arc review 3 weeks late. Or that’s what I think.
    Sorry for the long comment and thanks for the interesting discussion topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Phantom Paper says:

      Hey you! Didn’t know you followed Charvi, too 😛 The world of book bloggers is small, eh?

      I think you presumed right about the hoarding e-ARCs thing. (a) The book doesn’t get the anticipated amount of hype around its publication date, and (b) if the reviewer never ends up reading it, then the author and publisher loses ’cause they have a set no. of ARCs they can dole out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • the bookaholic dreamer says:

        Hiya! Haha the book blogger world is indeed small 🤣 and thanks for responding!
        I totally understand that it is difficult for the publisher if many of the people who receive an arc fail to review it by the pub date. But isn’t that why the reviewers have the percentages to take care of? If someone systematically hoards arcs and doesn’t review them, then the publishers soon won’t give them any arcs anymore because their review percentage is low.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Charvi says:

      That’s a great idea to manage reading ARCs and I find quite a few people have elaborate systems to read them which is great! If you have a lot of ARCs and a couple get delayed reviews then that seems fair, readers are only humans.

      Yes, I agree Netgalley and Edelweiss do seem to have that system in place which prevents hoarding but mostly this problem occurs in print ARCs and ARCs sent to people by writers and editors through other spaces like blogs and instagram.

      About hoarding denying orher people the opportunity of reading ARCs, many a times publishing houses or authors can only give away a certain number of e-ARCs and print ARCs and I think that is stated in Netgalley’s refusal mail that you get when your request is denied. So yeah limited copies means people miss out on having an ARC if a hoarder got it.

      Ah yes I am a huge mood reader too hence reviewing books can be very difficult and highly influenced by your mood which can mean you put off an ARC. It is actually a part of why I rarely request ARCs. The exposure will be important even 3 weeks later but it will be slightly more important if they get it around a week of it’s release or before.

      No need to apologise, I love discussing these aspects of the bookish community with other people!

      Liked by 1 person

      • the bookaholic dreamer says:

        Thanks for your elaborate reply 😊😊
        Yeah I definitely agree on the problem with physical arcs, I don’t think there is any tally about review percentages on those. I don’t get access to physical ones as I live outside the US so I don’t really know anything about that. I reckon that a small part of E-arc reviews are always missing due to mood reading, lack of time or hoarding but I like the system in net galley which basically forces you to review if you want to keep on getting approved

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charvi says:

        Yeah, don’t think we’re getting a tally on the print ARCs anytime soon! I live outside US too so most of my ideas about print ARCs are observations and basically what I hear from my blogger friends. The Netgalley system does help you keep yourself in check ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Well I have never requested ARCs I did not intend to read or too much ARCS because all that you said above is true and they could feel like a golden cage. Now yes I would so like to get some printed ARCs but that’s related to my bookstagram account and not to be hype LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charvi says:

      Same! I would love to have print ARCs but being international can kind of hamper that 😛 And there’s nothing wrong with wanting print ARCs, just hoarding them.

      Like

  4. Clo @ Book Dragons says:

    I don’t request ARCs simply because I don’t want to feel pressured into reading them, I have review copies of books already published as it is which I’ve not read cause erm…I’m a horrible blogger and I just lost the motivation to read in Aug and haven’t found it since. I’m trying though, but also I tend to read backlist books, I’m not a huge reader on new releases haha. But loved this post girl, definitely something which needs to be discussed! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charvi says:

      Ah I know right! The pressure is too intense. Oh damn still haven’t found the motivationa to read? Maybe try reading an old favorite or a short novella? You’re not horrible, it happens to the best of us! Haha same like etsygive the backlist books the love that they deserve ❤️
      Thanks, Clo! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Phantom Paper says:

    Oh my god. You just nailed each point in this post! Every.Single.One.

    I cannot agree on this more!! I got on NetGalley, and later Edelweiss, and I didn’t know my approval chances so I requested two handfuls. A newbie mistake I’m sure most of us have committed 😜 And now I’m feeling guilty about all those I didn’t review around the publication date.

    I realised that I was falling for the alluring covers and attractive blurbs like pirates tripping over themselves for sea sirens. I mean, EVERY book blurb promises ‘mYsTeRy’ and ‘BeTrAyals’ and will-she-won’t-she, right? This is one area where Edelweiss does right, they ask WHY you’re requesting a certain ARC before you submit a request.

    So, I’ve drastically reduced my requesting now cuz I’ve got enough to read as it is. I’ve employed tiny methods to deter myself from hitting that, cue angels singing, irresistible ‘Request’ button.

    I would REALLY like to know what it’s like on the other side(the ones who approve our requests).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tanaz Masaba says:

    I LOVE this post! This is such an important topic right here. I do believe that there are certain readers in the community who are doing more damage to the entire book community by not really understanding the importance of ARCs to authors, especially debut authors, when they hoard ARCs instead of reading them and reviewing them. I think we need to stop treating ARCs as some sort of jewels and start seeing them as they are–they are marketing activities initiated by publishers that book bloggers can choose to take a part of, which if they do, they should be responsible and try to review them on time instead of hoarding them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ivyclad Ideas says:

    I’ve never requested any ARCs. I’m just not interested in them. I have read one, for a fellow blogger who was self-publishing, but that’s it. I want to read what I want to read, if that makes sense.
    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with someone requesting an ARC that doesn’t fall into their age group though – people can read what they want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charvi says:

      I get that feeling. There’s nothing wrong with requesting out of your age group, I’m sorry if my post seemed to imply that. But I must say sometimes doing that can increase the chances of a reviewer not liking or getting tgetgetbook and dnfing it.

      Like

  8. Aditi @Dreamy Reads says:

    ARCs are kind of overrated. They come with their own pros and cons of course. I mean getting an ARC is a big thing but I feel that people who’re new to this will feel that if you get an ARC then only you’re valid. When actually ARCs =/= validation.

    Plus ARCs are a huge responsibility. That is why I never requestan ARC because I always have this doubt that I won’t be able to find the time to read it or what if I dnf it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charvi says:

      Yes exactly! That was kind of what I felt when I joint the community but now I really don’t care 🙂

      I know! I would hate to get accepted and then end up not reading it- it makes me feel too bad!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. flippingthruthepages says:

    Why does it feels like you are talking about me? 😀 Well, I am definitely the one guilty for hoarding too many NetGalley ARCs and never actually reading them. When I started on NetGalley, I was overjoyed to see so many books in the Read Now section and I downloaded most of them blindly. Also, I requested so many books and when my requests started getting accepted, only then I realised what a mistake I was doing. But it was too late. I have tons of pending arcs and I don’t have much interest in reading them. But now I have banned myself from looking to NetGalley and this is the best decision I took. Also, I am a mood reader and this definitely doesn’t help with the ARC situation.
    I really feel that getting arcs is a thing of privilege though and the people who get physical arcs are really lucky. But yes, you are right, if you can’t devote your time for those, then there is no point in requesting them.

    Liked by 1 person

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