THURSDAY RAMBLINGS IS A CASUAL FEATURE/MEME HERE ON JOSIE’S BOOK CORNER WHERE I PICK A TOPIC AND DISCUSS IT WITH YOU. THIS IS A CASUAL POST, FILLED WITH RAMBLING AND CHATTING! SO BASICALLY, WE ARE SIMPLY HAVING A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE TOPIC AT HAND!
Hello bookworms, and welcome back to Josie’s Book Corner! It’s another lovely Thursday and this is my first bookish discussion of 2016. For this week’s topic, I want to start the year off by discussing ARC envy. As a book blogger who has now blogged for almost a year (technically a year if you count by months rather than days), I have been around long enough to see displays of ARC envy and hear experiences of ARC envy. It’s a pretty toxic thing, and I wanted to start off the year letting you all know – whether you’re an older, more experienced blogger or a newbie book blogger – about it and how you can avoid or deal with it.
What is ARC envy?
First off all, we have to establish what an ARC is – it’s an Advanced Reader’s Copy, which is essentially, a book that is given to certain people in advance of being published. People receive ARCS to give honest reviews and feedback of a book before it gets published, to (hopefully) build hype around it. Bloggers, Booktubers and such can request for ARCS, and this can be done in many ways – contacting publishers by email, using sites such as Netgalley that provide ARCS for people, contacting authors through Twitter, etc.
This is where ARC envy comes in. Not everyone gets ARCs. Only a select few people get them – and usually it’s those who are active, possibly more well known, or something of the sort. And for many of us bloggers, it causes us to be very envious, especially when we are NOT on the receiving end. Some of us feel a little bitter when out requests get rejected, some of us get angry, some of us get really sad, and some of us get really desperate for them.
Why do we even HAVE ARC envy?
Personally, I’ve never had ARC envy in the entire year that I’ve been blogging. Upon starting my book blog, I never even knew such a thing existed, until someone started mentioning Netgalley in one of their posts. I even had to Google what an ARC was (oh I was such a noob back then).
I’ve heard so many stories involving ARC envy. Some book lovers start blogs only for the purpose of receiving ARCs. Many people misuse the concept of the ARC and in my opinion, I think the envy surrounding them can stem from a wrong perspective of what ARCs really are for. I think that it’s those people who want ARCs so they don’t have to pay for the book themselves.
But of course, this is not the case for all of us bloggers – some of us just don’t understand why we can’t be granted an ARC when another of our blogger friends gets to receive ARCs. I will admit, sometimes I gawk a little at how some people I know, are constantly receiving ARCs. The majority of these people I am thinking about are Booktubers. I feel as though they get quite a lot of ARCs. But in saying that, I know many bloggers who get ARCs quite regularly, while I struggle to get my requests accepted. However, I’ve never taken these observations to heart, and the closest I’ve ever come to ARC envy is feeling slightly disappointed that I didn’t get accepted for that certain book I wanted to read in advance.
ARC envy is not okay. It makes bloggers lose focus on why they are blogging and can sometimes cause drama. It’s unnecessary. So, I’m going to discuss with you some of the ways I keep myself from experiencing ARC envy:
1. Ask yourself why you want that particular ARC
An ARC is not available so that you can get a book for free to read. Going in and requesting ARCs with an intention like this is definitely not the way to go – this is manipulating and taking advantage of publishers to freely allow people to not only read a book at no cost, but also BEFORE the release date.
ARCs are available so that they can get critical and effective feedback that will help with the sale of the book when it is finally released. If you go to request a book just because you’ve heard that it’s a good book and you want to read it, but you don’t want to pay for it, you have no reason to get upset if you are declined access to it.
2. Publishers have a certain limit/are careful about who and how many ARCs they give out – there’s a reason for that
None of us should get upset if our requests are declined, because there’s a reason for this. Publishers have to be careful how many ARCs they give out and they must be selective about who they give them to. Are you envious of that one popular Booktuber or book blogger who seems to get ARCs of the exciting books? There’s a reason for that: they’re popular, so they have a wide audience so publishers know that the book will reach the eyes of many. Most likely, this booktuber/blogger has a history of good book reviews. If you’ve ever been on Netgalley, you know some of the requirements that you need to have to receive ARCs.
Publishers need to be careful, because as I mentioned in my last point, there definitely are those out there who will only request ARCs so that they don’t have to pay for the book themselves. It’s good to keep this in mind before letting your envy take over.
3. It really isn’t the end of the world if you don’t get the book early
So you’re sure you don’t want the book just for the fact that it’s free? Because usually, it’s these people who would get upset that they didn’t receive an ARC. Something we always need to remind ourselves is that, what harm is it going to do if we don’t receive the book a month/ a few weeks before it’s ACTUAL release date? There are millions more book lovers out there simply waiting for the book to be released – you can read it with the rest of them! Sometimes the wait is fun… but then again, waiting for a sequel or a next book in a series is definitely a tough thing to do!