Obviously, I think on some level publishers and authors find them valuable. If the book is getting good reviews before publication, they know there’s a chance that it will continue to get good reviews and many will buy the book.
When I started this blog, I mostly just focused on writing reviews and my thoughts on books that I was reading, particularly classics, since I didn’t really have anyone to discuss with. As I slowly built my blog up and followed more bloggers, became friends with them, etc. I started to see more and more of them talk about the emails they send to publishers and the ARCs they get in the mail.
Naturally I got a case of FOMOOB (Fear of Missing Out On Books). Just go look at my Goodreads TBR .. it’s currently at like 800 books or something ridiculous. Many of those are books that I see bloggers talk about or even via Goodreads.
Since I’m still a very new user to NetGalley, I’ve only had the chance to read about 4-5 ARCs. I was excited that I was finally using this site that everyone else was using. However, I find it hard to keep up with reading and revewing the ARCs when I know I have a handful or two of unread books sitting on my shelf in addition to what I have on my TBR list.
I started to really think about ARCs and their value when I read Morgana’s post Why I Don’t Accept ARCS Anymore on her blog Morgana’s Book Box. She lists out eight reasons why she doesn’t accept or ask or read ARCs anymore. Out of those eight reasons, maybe three are reasons I can relate to. It’s hard to keep up with an ARC list as well as a regular TBR list and ebooks isn’t my favorite format, which most ARCs come in.
One of her reasons really stood out to me though. She talks about seeing too many reviews start out with ‘I received this book for free in exchange …’. She mentions a line where it’s sometimes annoying because disclosing that doesn’t add any value to the review.
So of course, that makes me wonder: how valuable are ARCs and their resulting reviews from various readers?
As I mentioned earlier, the value of the resulting review is still high for authors and publishers. It’s particularly more valuable for lesser known authors and books because they probably have to rely on more word of mouth advertising than others. As for anyone else, I would think it’s lower though I can imagine that not many would care if they’re reading a review based on an advanced reader copy.
Personally, I plan on trying to use NetGalley less in 2020 so that I can focus on my backlist of owned books and those that I want to borrow from the library.
What’s your take on ARCs and related reviews? Let me know in a comment!
Related Blogger Posts (recent):
The Importance of Arcs. by Clarissa Reads it All
An ARC Discussion by The Elven Warrior
Hot Takes: ARCs by Modern Witch’s Bookshelf
MY TRUTH ABOUT ARCS by Fiction No Chaser
ARC vs Final Copy by Colline’s Blog
What Is an Advance Review Copy and How Is It Useful for Authors? by Author Learning Center