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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Woe is the ARC...


So I have often wondered if used book stores are bad for authors. They don't get a cut from the sell of the book, right? Every book that is bought or traded is potentially a loss of profit, right? So why aren't authors and publishers against this practice? Is it the hope that reading one book will spur a reader to buy/read an author's backlist or buy their new books when released? (Maybe Megan will shed some light on this for me?????)

So why don't ARCs fall under this used book category?

I would like to enter into evidence Exhibit A:

Smart Bitches post which is an email by PC Cast about how readers who buy ARCs on ebay are ripping the authors off.

If I was MJ Davidson, Susan Grant and Gena Showalter I would not be happy with PC Cast right now. She put ALL of them on people's shit (aka 'do not buy') lists with that little rant.

As I'm reading the comments two things are obvious:
1. She pissed off the readers/fans
and
2. Authors kept repeating the comment, "It's about trust."

As I see it, when a potential reviewer receives an ARC they are going to do one of two things: read it and then review it or not read it. For those who are not reading the ARCs they have three choices:

1. Throw it away (does the author no good)

2. Give it away (unless this person blogs, slim chance to do this author any good)

3. Sell it [on ebay]
(a rabid fangirl buys it for $30, gushes about it EVERYWHERE and also brings notice to other readers who see the ARC went for 30 fucking bucks and thinks it might be something worth checking out! Sounds like that could be a positive thing for an author.)

So the result is that authors are pissed? And accusing the fans of ripping them off?

Smooth Cast, real smooth. In my opinion, *comment edited because I just can't single out another member of the sisterhood and call her names*

But on a POSITIVE note...can someone please tell me who commenter Tonda is? I will totally buy one of her books based solely on her kick ass comment.

For another take on this subject, visit Dear Author's Author/Reader Disconnect post

And in an attempt to be "fair and balanced" here are PC Cast's first and second blog posts about ARC selling:

So Disheartening

Disheartening ARC Sales Part II

...Fiona...

Post Script:
Honestly, I don't have it out for authors! Unfortunately it has just been the luck of the draw that all of my rants have been of the writing variety. I will move on soon...promise!

17 touched me

Blogger Dagoth pondered...

I think that most authors don't actually make a lot of money, they mostly just want to be "The Storyteller", and are probably most happy when people are reading and enjoying their stories.

5/10/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Jay pondered...

I think publishers are against the trading/reselling of arcs because theyre not selling them in the first place. I think authors are against them because then the people who read them could leak spoilers. But really, I would think if arcs were used as the tools that they were meant to be, and not guarded like the holy grail, they really could boost an author's sales

5/10/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Fickle Fiona pondered...

Dagoth,
I agree, most authors are not getting rich and quiting their day jobs and they are happy with the thought that there are people out their who want to read their words.

Jay,
I understand why they are against the selling. Really, I do. I just see so many more possibilites and advantages to getting ARCs out there and around than I do disadvantages.

...Fi

5/10/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Valeen pondered...

Notice how she makes a mention that the comments on ebay say "like new, spine not creased" or something like that. And she's upset b/c that means the reviewer didn't even read it before rushing off to make a buck from it.

I have to say that not one book I've ever bought new has a crease in the spine. I'm anal. I want them to look new and stay that way. But I've read them all ... sometimes more than once.

As you've mentioned, someone buying that book and loving it - gushing about it to everyone - could have potentially sold alot of books for her.

5/11/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Fickle Fiona pondered...

Also Valeen, I don't have a problem with her being upset, I can understand why she is even if I don't agree with her. My problem is the way she addressed it.

Using fuck, fuck, fuck and ripping me off in the same breath as reader and fan? Not cool.

...Fi

5/11/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Jane pondered...

I finally read Cast's blog posts:

"ARCs are Advance Review Copies and they ARE NOT FOR SALE. They're for review. Hence the name."

I have a couple ARCs that I won from authors and they say Advanced Reader's Copy/Edition.

5/11/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Fickle Fiona pondered...

My ARCs also say "Reader"

And one thing that still has me scratching my head...who said the ARCs being sold didn't result in a review? She doesn't know that for a fact, correct? They were second hand to both sellers, right?

...Fi

5/11/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Valeen pondered...

My ARC's all say Reader as well. Or everyone of them I can find anyway. (and no I didn't sell them, they are just laying around somewhere)LOL

5/11/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Fickle Fiona pondered...

So did you like the book I included with the post?

"I gave you my heart but you sold it online."

Too funny. I couldn't resist. ;-)

...Fi

5/11/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Tara Marie pondered...

"I gave you my heart but you sold it online."--nice touch LOL.

There are a lot of authors who don't like UBS for the same reason they don't like the selling of ARCs.

All my ARCs say "reader" too, I guess Ms. Cast is wrong, gee whiz, there's a shock.

5/12/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Jane pondered...

There was another post at the SB by someone - * going to look to not misquote anyone * - the reveals the underlying anger at the sale of ARCs.

okay, back. Lynn Scanlon posted "Until the publishing industry changes the way it does business (don’t hold your breath), you will continue to see a thriving online cottage industry of new and used books undermining retail sales."

I truly think that is what authors believe. Get rid of the secondary market and they would be able to write for a living. Sara Donati posted that she supported libraries but made no mention of UBSs.

5/12/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Fickle Fiona pondered...

"Why aren’t you mad at the publishers for the indiscriminate method of distribution? Why aren’t you ranting and raving about the fact that the pubs aren’t doing a better job of direct marketing? Seems to me that if you want to make a real change in the ARC business, you want to clean your own house (ie the publishing house)."

Brava, Jane, Brava. Best argument yet.

Tara, I'm having a whole ethical debate in my head about used book stores. Will be interesting to see which side wins out in the end. I'm sure it will become its own post.

...Fi

5/12/2006 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Megan Frampton pondered...

Fiona:

I am such a little fish in the big authors' pond, I'm just happy if someone would want to buy my book, even if it was used. No, I don't get any money from that, but maybe someone would like me enough to buy my next book new (that is, if there is one).

And I happily buy and sell used CDs, so it would be hypocritical for me to be against UBSes. Plus I buy used books, too. And then, when I find someone I really like, I buy their books new so as to support them in their writing. I've got a whole ethics system set up about it, actually, which sounds odd.

I think these authors are upset about losing potential sales, although honestly I don't see where one ARC is going to make a difference.

5/15/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Megan Frampton pondered...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/15/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Megan Frampton pondered...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/15/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Fickle Fiona pondered...

Megan!

I hope you had a Happy Mothers Day!

I agree...UBS should be looked at as author fishing grounds. I mean look at me and Quinn. I picked up Romancing Mr. Bridgerton from my UBS and then went to B&N and bought the rest of the series new. UBS work in that instance.

As far as ARCs are concerned...they are gifts.

...Fi

5/16/2006 12:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous pondered...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/20/2006 06:08:00 PM  

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