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Let’s Discuss ARC Envy

Let’s Discuss ARC Envy

ARC or Advanced Reader Copy: An advance reading copy, advance review copy, advance reader’s edition, advance copy, or reader’s edition (ARC or ARE) is a free copy of a new book given by a publisher to booksellers, librarians, journalists, celebrities, or others, or as a contest or school prize, before the book is printed for mass distribution.

Envy:  noun 1. a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.

verb 1. desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to (someone else).

This is not a new topic. There are hundreds of discussions out there about ARC envy, how to get ARC’s, etc. What I wanted to do was finally chime in on some of my thoughts regarding the issue. First, let’s tackle the ARC. An ARC to me other than an avenue for authors and publishers to promote their latest project is a way to measure my success in the blogging/YouTube community. Only the bloggers and YouTubers deemed worthy receive ARC’s. I 100% understand that concept. Why would a publisher send an ARC to someone that cannot properly promote said book receive one when the next person could potentially boost sales for release day? So, it makes sense. Next, let’s tackle envy. This is a bit harder to discuss because envy is not seen as a positive trait. If we’re being honest though at one point or another we have all been envious of someone or something.

Unless maybe you’ve been a Buddhist your whole life.

The fact of the matter is we’re readers. We love books. We develop favorites. Favorite authors, publishers, series, trilogies, artists, etc. So who wouldn’t want an ARC or pre-release of a book by their favorite author, publisher, etc.?

huh GIF

With ARC’s comes great responsibility. Whoever sent you that ARC is expecting promotion – pictures, posts, videos, and reviews. It’s the classic “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours.”


Here’s where I have issues with ARC distribution and ARC envy in general.

I’ve been blogging off and on for more years than I care to count. It’s been about three years since I seriously started blogging and just about one and half years since I have been book blogging. In August it will be my second year as a content creator on YouTube, again talking about books, yet I still don’t manage to get ARC’s like others in the community do. The problem is in the numbers. It’s always about the numbers. In order to get ARC’s you have to have a huge following for lack of a better word. One subscription box company I reached out to said I need to have 10K+ subscribers on YouTube before they would send me any review boxes. I am sitting at less than 700. So it’s safe to say that’s not happening anytime soon. I’ve reached out to publishers and have been met with a cold shoulder more times than the Earth rotates around the sun in a year. It gets discouraging. So when I see someone get an ARC I tried to get yeah, I get envious.

But here’s where I get really pissed. And this might have been sparked by a video I watched last night….

If someone has 90K+ subscribers on YouTube and they receive a highly anticipated ARC by one of your favorite authors and they casually mention they have never read anything by said author and maybe they would give it a try because they received it for free……oh man, the steam that emitted from my ears was probably unsafe.

pissed off GIF

How in the world is that person going to properly promote that book, that author? With social media and outlets like Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter it’s so easy to find out if a blogger or YouTuber would be interested or even the right fit to promote a book. I know there are a limited amount of ARC’s printed. That’s why e-book ARC’s are so popular, but for someone that prefers physical books that doesn’t really help.

So I get it. In theory, bigger numbers mean more promotion. But does it really? I’m not so sure. I recently read a post by a blogger (who I am not going to name!) and I absolutely adore who received 40+ ARC’s that month. Think about that! Is she going to give those 40+ books an equal platform for promotion? What if instead of sending one blogger those books they spread it out to 10 bloggers who each received 4 books? I mean after all the biggest voice of reason says that eventually all of the books are going on sale. So if someone really wants one they can purchase it when it is released, but that’s not the point. Don’t you get it? How are newer bloggers and YouTubers ever supposed to be considered good enough if the same people get all of the ARC’s all of the time?

I’ll just say I usually don’t get envious because I don’t want the responsibility that comes with receiving an ARC. However, if I see someone receive something I would have chopped off my left arm for….yeah I get envious, especially if I know my promotion would have been through the roof. Their loss I guess…

Let's Chat

There are some great discussions out there about the subject. What do you think about what I said? Let me know. Also, check out what Lisa and Becca had to say. Paper Riot also had a great discussion regarding ARC envy.

4 thoughts on “Let’s Discuss ARC Envy”

  • I can see what you’re saying in this post for sure, why send all your ARCs to a single blogger and then maybe not even get a review? I often wonder when looking at people with huge ARC TBR lists how they’re possibly going to get to all of those. From a publisher’s POV, I guess they’re thinking that even if this person mentions the book once, 10k people will see it. Vs. spreading out among less known bloggers where they would have to send multiple copies to equal that audience.

    It’s hard because often publishers will send books to popular bloggers even though they haven’t explicitly requested them. But if the blogger has specifically asked for that book, there’s a certain responsibility to promote it and not just have it sit on a shelf. Because otherwise, what’s the point? It’s like taking a bunch of free samples of peanuts when you’re allergic, just because it’s free, doesn’t mean you have to take it.

    • I absolutely understand the number factor. I just don’t think it’s fair that one person gets 40 and the next person gets zero. But really that’s beside the point, isn’t it? Thanks for listening and chiming in with your thoughts 🙂

  • I see both sides to this. You want to target the people with a higher following, to, in theory, get a higher reach. But, at the same time, if that person has 10k+ followers, odds are they are getting things from various outlets and the fact of the matter is, they might not get to YOUR product.

    Yet, as someone that gets unsolicited items, it’s not feasible to review it all. Publishers have auto lists. Not all mail out everything to everyone on that list, but you have to make contacts. Have you tried reviewing on Edelweiss? Or Netgalley? Most publishers use ebooks now over print.

    I am curious, though, how marketing to publishers with even 700 subscribers went. And not all publishers are about followers. They want consistency and engagement. Subscription boxes are another ball game, and in my opinion, shouldn’t be put into the same boat as publishers.

    I love seeing your side to this! Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave your feedback Tonyalee. Yes, I regularly review for NetGalley and do not like the layout of Edelweiss or else I Would there as well. Unfortunately, as I said I am not a huge e-reader so that limited me somewhat.
      I think the difference in what I offer is multiple platforms for one. YouTube, blog, and Instagram.
      I completely agree and understand that some people receive items unsolicited and that was entirely my point. Why send it out to someone that may or may not have time to give it the time and attention that another smaller blogger or YouTuber would have to give it?

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