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ARC Dilemmas

One thing I'm usually pretty good at is pretending that I know what I'm doing. It's probably one of the most important things I learned in school! (Don't worry, my education wasn't that bad - that doesn't mean that faking it isn't a life skill.) But there are still a lot of times that I don't actually know what I'm doing. And that extends to blogging. Actually, it's especially true of blogging. Most of the time, I figure "my blog, my rules" and do what I want, which is usually making things up as I go along, but there are things I actually don't know.

(For example: does this count as a discussion post when it's basically just me asking for help and advice and not really offering anything? Who knows? Not me. But we're gonna call it a discussion for tagging purposes anyway.)

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about two dilemmas posed by ARCs. I'm pretty new to the world of ARCs - I've known what they are for a while, but I've only been getting them for a few months. (Which, by the way, is SO EXCITING and I internally freak out about it all the time!) And so, as I said before, I don't always know what I'm doing.

First dilemma: how long before a book's release do you read/review the ARC? I know a lot of this is affected by how many reviews you have due at the same time, which is something that I don't have to think about with how few ARCs I get. But I've seen reviews for books popping up months before release date. I usually read an ARC two weeks to a month before release and post the review the Friday before release. Is that good? Is it bad? Is there some kind of somewhat official timeline that I'm supposed to be following that no one's sent to me? I don't know.

Second dilemma: selling (but not really) ARCs. Hear me out. I know the basics - don't sell ARCs for profit, especially not of new/upcoming releases, don't get ARCs just to sell them, you shouldn't be able to buy ARCs. But my question comes from a specific situation at a bookstore down the street from my college. They sell a bunch of ARCs for upcoming books and recent releases for about $5 - but 100% of that money goes to charities, which I think they change every month or so. Is this allowed? I haven't been buying them because I wasn't sure and I figured better safe than sorry/guilty, but a lot of them are ARCs of some of my most anticipated releases and I am so tempted.

So what do you think? (Yes, you. If you have literally any experience/opinions for either of these questions, tell me. Please.)

(Bonus ARC-ish question: How does Edelweiss work? Is that also for bloggers? I've figured out NetGalley, but Edelweiss still eludes me.)

Do you have answers to my questions/dilemmas? Do you know what you're doing? Do you pretend to know what you're doing? Do you have questions? Tell me in the comments!


  1. Ah, I remember when I first started receiving ARC - I went into a fluster too. And Honestly, if I requested the book - I try to have a review out at least within the same month as the release date. Of course this doesn't always happen - the trick is to try not to feel to guilty, but get to it when you can. However when you're sent books you didn't ask for ... well I feel less obligated to read them. I know a lot of bloggers will do an "in my mailbox" type post so that even if the books aren't reviewed, they at least get some exposure.

    As for your second Dilemma - I don't think you are supposed to sell ARC, although the charity part does make it a grey area... IF in doubt you could just ask the publisher about how they feel about you donating the book to charity? They'll give you an honest answer.

    Although if you're wondering - I usually use my ARCs for crafts (after I've read them of course and got the final finished version) Or I pass them on to a friend.

    Hope that helps!

  2. The excitement about getting ARCs. I definitely still get that feeling everytime as my blog just takes up this little corner of the internet. I don't think there are any definite rules. Most publishers prefer for you to have your review up no more than 2 weeks before publish date because otherwise the hype dies down. Reading it, though, you can read whenever. I've got ARCs for books being published next year and some I've read already and others I'm waiting with. It really is just about when you want to read it and then you have a review sat in your drafts for a while.

    As for the selling ARCs to charity thing... it is a bit of a moral grey area. No, you shouldn't sell ARCs, but if the proceeds go to charity then it almost feels right. I don't know, that's really the publisher's decision so I'm not sure. Unless you ask at the bookstore and see if they're aware of the not selling ARCs thing and if they've had it ok'd to sell them?

    I hope that helps anyway.

    1. That definitely helps! I know that I've seen reviews of books pop up MONTHS before release date, and it just makes me feel so behind! As for the ARCs, from what I've seen, everyone seems to be on the same slightly-unsure-but-wary page. I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels weird about it.

  3. I have to kind of agree about buying the ARCs. I definitely wouldn't sell them, but if your local bookstore sells them and gives 100% of the proceeds to charity, that doesn't seem so bad. It's essentially like donating the books to charity, right? I don't know, but I wouldn't feel nearly as guilty in this sort of situation and I'd say that if they have an ARC you really like, go ahead and buy it and then just make sure you review it (and don't sell it yourself). But that's just my opinion.

    By the way, feel free to link this up to the December Discussion Challenge Link-Up. It definitely counts as a discussion!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. That's some good advice about the ARCs! I feel a lot better about it when I think about the money going to charity - and I know I've seen authors on Twitter giving ARCs in exchange for charity donations, but that's different when it's coming directly from the author.

  4. I've never received a physical ARC, so I'm afraid I can't help you with your dilemmas! Go you for receiving them though - that really is exciting! I have used Edelweiss before, however, and it is for bloggers. The principle is the same as NetGalley, but everytime you request a book, you have to provide a letter of sort. This is the guide I used to understand it:

    1. I haven't gotten any physical ARCs either - all of mine are from NetGalley! I guess I should have been a bit more specific about that. And that Edelweiss advice is INCREDIBLY helpful - thank you so much!

  5. Pshh, I'm pretty sure we all just pretend to know what we're doing ;-) As for your questions...

    I was under the impression that publishers generally don't want reviews published over a month in advance of the release date. At least, that's what I've read for some specific publishers (sometimes it says it in their NetGalley profile info or email that gets sent when you're approved), so I just kinda apply it to all of them even though I suppose some might not mind earlier. But it seems like it probably isn't as helpful for gaining hype when a review is posted like 4 months before anyone can even buy it. I usually post mine right near the release date.

    I have no clue about buying the ARCs :-/

    Edelweiss is SO CONFUSING. I have gotten a few books from there though, so yes, it is for bloggers. Start by making an account and maybe you'll be able to figure it out from there or can ask for help again when you have specific questions :-) That's what I did when I started using it lol.

    1. That's really helpful! I'm pretty sure I've posted reviews anywhere from a few days before release to a couple of weeks before, so I think I'm good.

      Edelweiss is really confusing! After I felt pretty good about NetGalley, I decided to give it a shot, and then I couldn't figure it out at all and got intimidated and left. But I'll be going back soon! Thanks for the help!

  6. Idk. I'd do whatever you're comfortable with. I would recommend shooting the publishing company an email to see what they think of it.
    Thanks for the post! Make's me realize I'm not the only one who doesn't understand Edelweiss. :)

    1. Good idea. And you're definitely not the only one who doesn't get Edelweiss! I'm starting to get the hang of it a bit, but it definitely took a while.


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