How Valuable Are Advanced Reader Copies and their Reviews?

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

Related Articles:

What Is an Advance Review Copy and How Is It Useful for Authors? by Author Learning Center

13 thoughts on “How Valuable Are Advanced Reader Copies and their Reviews?

  1. I don’t request a lot of ARCs so I don’t have to read on a schedule, and I only really read ARC reviews for books I was already curious about. However, I agree they have value for the publisher in creating buzz and general awareness. It always surprises me when a book I actually KNEW existed has already been released and I did not know and saw no one talking about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, definitely more the publishers and authors. I also just realized that I definitely check out ARC reviews about books I”m curious about. Otherwise, I don’t care I think. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. ARCs serve a definite purpose by getting advanced buzz going about a book; however, if it becomes a chore reading and reviewing then a second consideration should be made. It doesn’t do the book’s author any benefit or potential readers if the review is done for the obvious reason of simply getting a free read (I’ve seen some really blunt, unprofessional ARC reviews).

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  3. I love this discussion. I currently receive ARC’s from Netgalley and Edelweiss, and I’m so behind on my reviews. To the point where I’m checking the books out of the library in order to read and review them, the way I’m most comfortable with. For 2020 my goal is to review every ARC I currently have, while not asking or receiving more. I’m not sure if I’ll move away from ARC’s completely in 2021, or if I’ll create a new system for what I ask for and how I plan on reviewing it. Lots to think about. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great discussion to have! Personally I’ve never been that into getting a ton of arcs (and generally try to request things I’d read anyway). That said, I definitely think they can create buzz for books- I’ve seen loads of books get hyped before release because of good arc reviews (and have bought a fair number of books because of that kind of hype). I do think it’s important to note that the disclaimer is there for legal reasons, so I don’t think anything of reviewers when they put it in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was really excited when I first started a NetGalley account, but now I’m behind and sometimes wishing I felt like I could pick up a book I already own. Most of the ARCs I’ve gotten weren’t on my TBR when I asked for them, so it also made my TBR longer. And yes, that’s a good reminder that saying it’s an arc is for legal reasons. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I only read ARCs that are in paperback and I read for just one publisher. I find what they send me is manageable enough. When the pile of ARCs get too high, I am unable to read books that I have chosen to enjoy.

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