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What do we owe publishers and authors? If we accept ARC’s do we “owe” anything to them or just an honest review to our followers? As book bloggers are we obligated to do more than just review books? Post covers – participate in book tours – host guest posts - promote authors?
This is a really tough subject. It really all depends on who you ask. I imagine:
- A publisher might say, "We paid for that ARC and of all the people we could have sent it to we picked you so pay up in a stellar review."
- An author might say, "I wrote that brilliant novel from the deepest reaches of my soul and it is nothing less than brilliant and should be treated as such."
- A blogger who didn't get the ARC might say, "I would gladly read it and give it five stars and a raving review you ungrateful half-wit."
- A mailman might say, "Hey, what do I care? Just keep mailing these books around ; it keeps me employed."
- A review reader might say, "Honest review? You call that a review? It isn't even balanced. You just nit picked at that book."
- A tree might say, "I died to give you that ARC so you better show some love and respect."
- A bookshelf might say, "I am already crammed full of books either give some of these love or give them to someone who will."
- A book cover might say, "I don't care if you read the pages so long as you admire me."
What do I think? I wrote a post that answered some part of this, or more likely in which I posed a similar question. Read it here.
But seriously I wonder some days if ARCs are worth it. There is a ton of pressure and stress placed on ARCs. It makes sense to me that the publisher and author expect a review and hope very strongly for a raving review. That is why they took the time and money to send it to you. But we aren't doing anyone any favors by lying about our feelings on the book. If we have collected followers it is because they either like us or like our point of view on things. So we have to be true to who we are individually. This might mean we won't be well liked or maybe even worshiped. Okay the worship thing might be putting it a bit strong. But haven't you met those people who just have a charisma that can't be denied? I have. I am a lemming to their sheer brilliance. Anyway, I think all the extra promotion should be based on your personal choice. I love a pretty cover so I don't mind sharing them. But when it comes to authors I am a bit lost. Therefore, I still avoid all that stuff. Maybe someday I will try that route but for now I am mostly content.
There are some downfalls to an ARC:
Longer wait for the sequel
Requesting an ARC
I love ARCs, don't misunderstand. Nothing brightens a day like an ARC in the mail. But I am trying to not put so much weight on them and just get back to reading for the simple joy of it. I started that way and I want to get back to it.
Anyway, thanks for the topic.