ARC’s or Advanced Reading Copies are not a rare sight these days. They are being distributed to the masses(in the book blog/vlog atmosphere anyway) through sites such as Netgalley and Edelweiss, or even physical copies by the publishers themselves. It gives the reader the chance to read books before they are being released to the public and this way the reader/blogger can create a hype about a book before it’s even in the stores. It really is a smart system, but as great at is sounds, it does have it pitfalls. Let’s take a look at both sides.
Free books: This is just one of the biggest perks about ARC’s in my eyes. Book-owning is a costly hobby and this way you can really cut back on buying books. But be aware of the fact that the ARC’s are often not the final draft of the book, there might still be some typo’s or lay-out issues going on in the book (especially in the e-book format).
Getting new books before they hit the stores: This is pretty cool as well, I mean, we all have those books that we’ve just been dying to read but it’s not out yet! Though you will not receive ARC’s of every book you want to read, it does improve your chances to be one of the first people to read the new book. Especially if you follow what will be coming out in the close future this can be really fun because you will just have to wait a little less long than all the others. And this way it’s harder to be spoiled on things as well!
It’s easier to try new genres: I will start off by saying that since I don’t live in a country where the national language is English it’s hard to find a lot of variety in the English books in the libraries. Especially if you’re looking to read new books that are being talked about on the internet. And since I love reading books in the language in which they were originally written (if that’s within my possibilities) I will try to do so. Having this option of requesting books from other genres so you can read them for free helps me hugely in this case. I used to be pretty narrow-minded when it came to genres, I liked thrillers and detectives and some paranormal YA. And that was fine, but now that I can easily pick up books without thinking to much about it, I have started picking up books from all of the genres (sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction, etc.). And it’s been very nice so far.
Too many books: I know this is really my own fault, but I have just too many ARC’s to really keep up with them now. At first I just didn’t expect that many people would agree to send me a digital ARC, so I started requesting a lot of books. And then to my immense surprise a lot of them accepted. Not all, thank the Book gods for that one, because as it is, I’m already drowning in books. And the thing is, there are still books coming on Netgalley that I want, so the pile is ever-growing. Though I really try to make headway with reading and reviewing the ARC’s.
Obligation to review: So now that you have received all of these glorious books you are sort of feeling obligated to review them. I mean, they sort of expect you to do so, and if you’re honest you, as a book blogger, also feel the need to talk about the books that you have read. But it can become a bit daunting to see that huge piles of books that you should be reading and reviewing while Charlie and the chocolate factory is calling your name from the back of the shelf.
Keeping track of all the deadlines: I will be honest and just mention that I hardly do this. Usually when you request an ARC they will ask to publish your review of the book within a certain time around the publishing date of the book. And I just fail at keeping my eye on these dates and I just have so many books on backlog. But I am a firm believer in the whole “better late than never” thing and I’ll just do things at my own pace. Praising a book after the publishing date can even recreate the buzz if you’re a really great reviewer.