Why I Don’t Review ARCs

November 5, 2015 books, discussion, miscellaneous 25

Quick confession: part of the reason I started this blog was because I read that book bloggers receive ARCs, and I thought that was so cool. Now I quickly grew out of this, because I love blogging, and I realized I couldn’t care less about ARCs, but still hear a lot about ARCs, so I thought I’d address the subject.

Here’s why I don’t read ARCs:

1. I live in Germany, but I read books written in English. There are more than enough book bloggers in English-speaking countries, so it doesn’t make sense for publishers to send me ARCs.
2. This could easily be remedied by requesting ebooks, but I prefer print books, so that’s not an option for me.
3. I’m the moodiest mood reader in the history of moods. If I had a list of ARCs to read, it would just feel like work instead of fun.
4. I, um, kind of like book shopping. Would I like for books I’m genuinely interested in to randomly appear at my doorstep? Certainly, but I really don’t mind ordering them myself either. It can be costly, but money spent on books is never a waste of money in my head so that’s fine.

And here’s why I still think ARCs are cool:

1. You get to read the book before (almost) everyone else. It’s like you’re one of the premium members airlines always specifically welcome at the beginning of a flight – you have privileges it’s easy to live without, but it’s still nice to HAVE them.
2. They’re free. And I hear sometimes publishers send along extra stuff with them. Like chocolate. There’s really nothing bad to be said about chocolate, especially when it comes with books.
3. If the prequel ended with a terrible cliff hanger, an ARC can save you from premature death by suspense. Who doesn’t want a book that can save lives?
4. You get to confuse us peasants common people non-ARC readers by posting reviews of books that haven’t been released yet. I cannot tell you how often I went to order a book only to find out it won’t be out for another four months.

Weirdest ARC offer I’ve gotten:

It was definitely a book on gardening. I don’t even have a garden. One time, at work, I had lunch with my colleagues and they talked about lawn maintenance for fifteen minutes. I’ve been working through lunch ever since.

What do when you get ARC envy:

I personally don’t get ARC envy much, so clearly I’m qualified to tell you what to do.

1. Chill the eff out, you can still read the book when it comes out and until then there’s the thrill of anticipation
2. Remind yourself that the bloggers who get tons of ARCs usually work really hard on their blogs (and I mean REALLY hard) and take it as inspiration if you have similar goals
3. Send a howler

In conclusion:

I don’t read ARCs because a. it’s too expensive for publishers to send me the few ARCs I’d actually be interested in and b. like most things in life, I’m just too lazy to enjoy them, but I still think they’re great, and I will cheer you on in your ARC endeavors.

Do you read ARCs? Do you get ARC envy? Did I offend you personally with this post? Don’t answer that last one, it’s par for the course here.

25 Responses to “Why I Don’t Review ARCs”

  1. Jillian @ Jillian's Books

    Post twinsie <3 Haha, coincidentally I wrote a post almost like this just yesterday. I don't care about ARCs anymore because they receive little reviews, and you might never know if you'd enjoy them or not. And plus, published books are so much better because ARCs are not final (and are more likely to be different than the finished copy) so I prefer book shopping in the bookstore than having to request from publishers online. :)
    Jillian @ Jillian’s Books recently posted…Why I Stopped Caring About ARCsMy Profile

    • Vlora


      Awesome haha. I just read your post, and I agree 100% about ARCs not being final. I’d just stress out over the changes to be honest! And it can be hard to decide whether you’ll like a book if there are zero reviews to back up a good cover or blurb.
      Vlora recently posted…NaNoWriMo Week 1My Profile

  2. Sarah

    Haha, I love this. I’m still new to the blogging world, so I haven’t even bothered with the whole ARC thing, but I’m content with never receiveing an ARC. I see people talk about all the ARC reviews they need to post and I just cringe. I’m a huge mood reader, too, and thinking about a stack of books that I HAVE to read stresses me out.
    Sarah recently posted…Review: Joyride by Anna BanksMy Profile

    • Vlora


      Part of the reason I started this blog was because I wanted ARCs and then I realized what that would actually entail and was like NOPE I’LL JUST BLOG OKAY. I’m SUCH a mood reader. I might hate a book if I’m not in the mood for it and love it when I am. I mean it’s a bit more objective than that, but I wouldn’t want to be unfair towards the author, and I don’t want it to become work for myself. I’d consider reading ARCs if I was so popular a blogger that people would send me ARCs I like without me even having to ask obviously, but since that’s prooooobably not going to happen anytime soon, I’m quite content with buying the books I like. Also, I just like buying books.
      Vlora recently posted…NaNoWriMo Week 1My Profile

  3. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I do actually get a bit of aRC envy…IS IT OKAY TO CONFESS THAT?!?! heheh. Mostly because I somehow am always off in my own little world and by the time I realise a publisher has ARCs available to request…they’re all gone. -_- Or worse is when I’m told I’ll get one and it never arrives. I just get my hopes pinned on it, you know!??! BUT YEAH. ARCs are pretty awesome, but I’m definitely not as hung up about them as I was!! Getting my first ARC was like SQUEEEE EVERYTHINNNNNNNG. And now I’m super grateful for them, but I’m also grateful just to read library books and buy things for myself and just chill about the whole thing. The stress is like neeever worth it, right?! :P
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Dangerous Lies Blog Tour // With Bonus Nefarious and Dangerous BookPhotographyMy Profile

    • Vlora


      It’s absolutely okay haha. I can’t say I’ve NEVER had it, I just don’t usually get it. The only time it irks me nowadays is when I want to buy a book based on a review and then see it’s not available for another few months. I can see how it would suck if you’re told you’ll get the book and then wait for nothing! Ah, the library. I used to do that. I kind of have a post called Why I Don’t Go to the Library scheduled haha. I fully support it though obviously! I just suck at librarying. And you’re right, the stress SO isn’t worth it.
      Vlora recently posted…NaNoWriMo Week 1My Profile

  4. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    I absolutely get ARC envy! Like, every day! Not even ashamed. I mean, I am not an asshole about it though, so I think I can be envious, right? Like, I am not MAD at anyone. I just wish I had the book. ::Shrugs::

    So, yes, I love ARCs. I don’t even know why. Because seriously, it IS a ton of work. A TON. And then I can’t read the books I DID buy. So I mean, I should stop caring about them. Maybe one day I will. I hope. Maybe you can organize some kind of 12-step program, with meetings? Also, who are these publishers who send chocolate, and how do I get them to like me?
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…This Week At Midnight (86)My Profile

    • Vlora


      I think as long as you’re not going to pick up your crossbow and find out where the people who have the book live, you’re good! I definitely sometimes wish I had a book earlier, but I’m not that impatient about it today. I used to need the next book NOW when I was younger, so I feel like if I’d been book blogging then, I’d probably have been very envious of ARCs. I think maybe my lack of envy is also just because I’m not really reading a lot of series I’m over the top excited for at the moment? I mean obviously I still love reading a lot, but I think I was more emotionally invested when I was younger, because every story was new and every world was special and now that happens much more rarely. I think maybe I envy 14-year-old Vlora a little? Then again, she had bigger problems, so maybe not. Actually, I think I’m fine. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE CHOCOLATE. I think I saw it on Cait’s blog? You should ask her and find out. I was definitely envious of the chocolate. I mean really. And that 12-step program would probably have a lot of participants. Maybe THAT’S my niche. I’ll think about it.
      Vlora recently posted…NaNoWriMo Week 1My Profile

  5. Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    I’m such a moody reader too! I might have three ARCs I need to read NOW for blog tours, yet if I’m just not feeling it I’ll read something else. I like to keep the balance between reading ARCs and already published books.

    Yes yes yes about the ARC envy thing! Bloggers who get the ARCs you want work super hard to get their blogs to a place where publishers correspond and work with them and send them books. It’s so important to remember that THE BOOK WILL COME OUT. At first I was so impressed and fascinated by ARCs, but now it’s just meh. Cool if I get one, but I don’t really request much or accept many review requests anymore. Yet the review copies still pile up. It’s actually kind of stressful.

    • Vlora


      I think a balance is definitely important when you’re reading ARCs! Being a mood reader is such a struggle haha. No regrets though. If I’m not in the mood for a book, it won’t do the review of it any good at all.

      And yes, from what I’ve seen the people who actually get tons of ARCs spend a lot more time on their blogs and definitely deserve the special treatment. xD And I can see how that would be stressful! That’s one of the reasons I’m avoiding it haha. Good luck! :D
      Vlora recently posted…NaNoWriMo Week 1My Profile

  6. Valerie

    I think everyone thinks that physical ARCs are the way to blogger success, which obviously isn’t true, because there are a ton of blogs out there that have so much success, and yet never get sent any ARCs. And as you said, I don’t think it has anything to do with getting books, because they WILL be released in the end. Plus, having ARCs mean you HAVE to review them, which means that you will never be able to read and review the books that you WANT to read. This is why I have stopped requesting the books that I don’t really want to read. I’m really picky when I go on EW and Netgalley.

    But then with that said, ARCs are cool! I just think that we should stop viewing them as ways to be successful.

    Also, LOLed at your airline comment. THAT IS SUCH A GREAT ANALOGY.
    Valerie recently posted…An Innocent Life #1: Books, BEA Decisions, & Inside OutMy Profile

    • Vlora


      It’s like they’re a status symbol or something. xD Yes, exactly, that’s my main problem with them. As soon as I feel like I HAVE to read a book, I don’t want to anymore, so they would actually be very detrimental to my reading life. I think being picky about is definitely a good way to do it! And I’m glad you liked the airline thing. :D
      Vlora recently posted…NaNoWriMo Week 1My Profile

  7. Tasya

    Love this post! I’m new to the blogosphere, but I’ve seen a lot of ARCs review. I don’t really care about them. Like you said, even though I love getting free books (who doesn’t??) the book will be published at some point and I love going to bookstores and browsing through the shelves. And I live far away from US so it’s basically kinda imposible for publishers to send me ARC where there are many bloggers in the US also requesting for it.
    Tasya recently posted…5 Fictional World I’d Love to Get Lost InMy Profile

    • Vlora


      Ah yes, I know that all too well. No one’s gonna send books to Germany when there are what feels like 1,6 billion book bloggers in the US. Like you said though, it’s not really a problem! And welcome to the blogosphere! :D
      Vlora recently posted…NaNoWriMo Week 1My Profile

  8. Sabrina Fox

    I was very hesitant to sign up for any ARC’s because I would feel bad for posting a terrible review, because I usually rely on someone else’s reviews and then I pick if I think I’d like the book or not.
    Reading ARC’s is like taking a leap off a cliff without looking down first in a way. Lol! I’m always hoping there’s smooth way down and when I get there everything’s fine, but when it’s not…oh boy.
    Sabrina Fox recently posted…Animals in Books: November Discussion Challenge!My Profile

    • Vlora


      Ah yes. I’d feel very bad about linking the publisher (or worse author) to a bad review too! And you’re right, I guess reading ARCs is a bit riskier than reading published books!
      Vlora recently posted…NaNoWriMo Week 1My Profile

  9. Romi

    Whilst I didn’t start my own blog to receive review copies, when I learnt they were a thing the excitement was big. I don’t get a whole lot of ARCs, but I do regularly get review copies and it’s amazing, but can also be a double sided blade, in many ways. I get to review and own books I otherwise wouldn’t have heard of or tried, and sometimes they lead me to new favourite authors and become these incredible, all time favourite reads, but a lot of the time it means I don’t get to read the copies I own, or the copies I want to read- reviewing comes first. And I read quite a lot of not so great books, which is frustrating at times. Don’t think I’d change it, though.
    I’m another one who doesn’t review ebooks! I refuse to read them, actually. Print is always for me. I do miss out on a lot because of that choice, but… it’s the right one for me.
    Romi recently posted…Perceivable Intensities (5)My Profile

    • Vlora


      Whoops, somehow I missed your comment, but better late than never, right? I have actually slightly amended my opinion on ebooks. I bought a Kindle Voyage and I do read ebooks now, but I also read physical copies, because I want all the shiny books I read on my shelf. :D I figured since I’m reading ebooks now, I might as well request some ARCs. I got approved for two of the ones I requested, one of which was horrible, so I DNF’d it and one of which was really good. Before that I read like two ARCs and they also sucked. So my policy on it right now is to only request ARCs I really want and not request too many at the same time, so I can actually give them a try and also read some of the books I bought myself. It’s also a lot easier to DNF a book when I REALLY don’t like it, because I didn’t pay for it and it won’t be lying around afterwards to remind me of it! Hope you’re enjoying your internet break (not sure if it extends to emails) and look forward to seeing you pop up in my comments and on my feed again! :)
      Vlora recently posted…Shoulderpads and InterventionsMy Profile

  10. Jamie @ Books and Ladders

    I am a mood reader as well so sometimes I find it hard to read the ARCs I’m sent. And I only really request books I’m so excited for that I am literally jumping out of my seat to grab at. But I’m starting to just read backlist books and series that have been out for a while because that’s just what I enjoy to read more of. I do say that I’m “jealous” when I see people get ARCs but only because I am excited for them. Most of the time I would rather read the book once it’s been out for a bit because then I can see if I want to invest my time in reading it based on other reviews.
    Jamie @ Books and Ladders recently posted…Happy Book Birthday FIRE FALLING by Elise Kova!My Profile

    • Vlora


      Very true about other reviews – today I left the first review for a book and it’s 1. kind of daunting, but also cool and 2. a lot of hit and miss with books you can’t read reviews for. I decided to request some ARCs after all, because I have a Kindle now, and I’ve been reading more ebooks, so publishers can actually send me stuff now. I read two and one was great, while I had to DNF the other one. I hate to say it, but I think I’ll stick to publishers I know will probably have good books? Like, I know there’s still a chance I’ll dislike them, but at least I know that the writing likely won’t be horrible. Yeah, I understand that! I always want to use “I’m so jealous” even when I’m not actually jealous, just because I see a shiny book I’m excited about. :D
      Vlora recently posted…Shoulderpads and InterventionsMy Profile

  11. Piper

    I don’t believe ARCs make a book blog. I do get envious when it’s a book I really WANT to read. But as I work in a library I find myself filling up my TBR pile with library books and not bothering with ARCs. Websites like Netgalley are good to find out what’s coming soon though.

    • Vlora


      I have recently tried Netgalley and as long as I don’t randomly request tons of books, but only stuff that I’m genuinely interested in, it seems like a good thing! I think if I worked in a library, I’d just want to read EVERYTHING. :D
      Vlora recently posted…Happy New Books!My Profile

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