Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Discussion: ARCs and Book Buying

Open BookI recently received an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. I loved the book so much that I decided to purchase a finished copy of the book as well. I realized that this is something that I do fairly often -- I can think of at least five books that I have bought finished copies of after reading an advance copy.

If you read an advance copy of a book and love it, do you buy a finished copy when it's available?

What do you do with the ARC if you purchase a finished copy? Do you keep it? Do you pass it on to a friend or another reviewer?

Have you ever NOT purchased a book that you normally would have because you received an ARC?

24 comments:

  1. I haven't bought I book I read as an ARC yet, but I have several on my wishlist. (I like to pass ARCs on to the local librarians or indie bookseller.) I wish I'd held on to my ARC of The Gargoyle--I liked the ARC cover better than the market cover; maybe I'll order a UK copy. And sometimes I just hold onto ARCs/galleys instead of adding the titles to my wishlist, because--well, it seems like a good idea sometimes.

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  2. Jena, I really liked the ARC cover of The Gargoyle as well. It's interesting to see how covers change from the ARC, hardcover and then the paperback.

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  3. If I loved it as an ARC, or if I love the series and have the others in a different format (matching paperback spines or all other in hardback) I would buy a copy.

    If I enjoyed the book, but did not love it, yet might read it again, I probably would not buy another copy, but just keep the ARC on the shelf.

    If I did not like it at all, if I have a friend that wants to borrow the ARC, I let them, and most know about the policy behind ARC's. When I get it back, it usually just goes on the shelf, because I cannot bare to toss a book, even if it is just an ARC.

    What I really like, is how some ARC's are getting prettier as they are testing out the covers on them as well. Those are the ARC's that I am excited to keep. The ones that are just white, black words on spine, and small cover image on the front are okay, but not desirable to me. The other issue for me is the ARC's that are printed on the BLEACHED WHITE paper with the coarse fonts. Those I can hardly stand to even read for review because they irritate me so much and literally cause a headache.

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  4. Honestly, if I could afford new hardcovers right now, there are 3 that jump to mind (that I read as ARCs) that I'd buy. Shanghai Girls, Naamah's Kiss and The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane.

    As for the ARCs themselves, I'm a bit of a book hoarder, but I lend them to friends that can't wait to get the completed versions.

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  5. About the only time I would ever buy a book after receiving an ARC is if I planned on giving it as a gift. I have had a few cases where I planned on purchasing a book but ended up with an ARC instead and didn't buy the book. Couple of those were when I worked at a bookstore, and a few where I won contests. I never ask for review copies, so in no case was it ever a case where I decided against buying something after asking for a freebie.

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  6. What I usually end up doing is buying finished books for friends and family of the ARCs I really love. I'd probably buy them for myself but I seldom reread books.

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  7. I don't buy the book if I have the ARC, but I buy a lot more books now that I have contact with authors and publishers. I pass my books on to trusted friends and family and then I keep them!

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  8. MJ, I do the same thing, especially in the case of an author I've read before. I have to have all the books in a series in a matching format, whether it's hardcover or paperback. I also keep ARC's that I liked and may re-read, but rarely buy a finished copy. I will, however, usually purchase other books by that same author after reading an ARC.

    Kylee, you bring up an excellent point about the affordability of hardcovers. Would you wait and pick up paperback versions of the finished books?

    King Rat and Pam T, do you find yourself buying a lot of of books that you read as ARCs for other people? I love giving books as gifts and am excited when I read something that I know a friend would love (especially if a birthday or holiday is close at hand).

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  9. Kathy, my book buying has increased since I started blogging as well. If I discover an author who is new to me through an ARC and enjoy their writing style, I'll often buy their past work.

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  10. Of the 3 I mentioned, I do plan on getting Physick and Shanghai Girls when they are released in TP or MMP.

    All my other Jacqueline Carey "Kushiel" related books are HC, so I will wait to by Naamah's Kiss in HC when we can afford to or ask for it when my next birthday rolls around.

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  11. I haven't bought any books yet that I have read as an ARC but I think that if the time came for a second read, I would probably go buy the book at that point if just to have a smoother re-read.

    That said, I haven't even read my ARC of the The Angel's Game yet but I'm already thinking of ordering a signed final copy from Powell's!

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  12. Honestly, if I own it as an ARC, I'm not likely to buy the book in hardcover. I can't afford it, much as I would like to support my favorite authors. I might do so in paperback, but since I've only been receiving ARCs for a year, my initial reads have barely started come out in pb. I have, however, bought several copies of my ARCs as gifts for friends.

    I can name tons of times that I have purchased books I've heard about on blogs, though, when I didn't get an ARC for myself. The most prominent example right now is John Scalzi - everyone got Zoe's Tale last year except me (or so it felt!) and I have now purchased everything in that series and am longing for his other books. So it goes.

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  13. I have not purchased an ARC book as of yet. If I read an ARC that I really enjoy, then I will probably keep it. As of now, I pass my ARC's on to my mom to read, then she donates them.

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  14. Ruth, you hit a point that I missed. Reading ARC's by some author do get me hooked and almost guarantee that I will buy future books by the author. One example, I had not read the first one by ARC, but from the library, and then I preordered all the rest of the series as soon as they were available without knowing if I would like them as much or not. (Stephen Lawhead's King Raven Series)

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  15. I wish I could buy more books once I've read the ARCs, but it's hard b/c I'm not exactly swimming in money and I want to get a lot of other books that I haven't read yet...but I have bought two books (I wanna be your joey ramone and willow) that I'd already had an ARC of and I keep the ARCs b/c they are fun to have.

    I know I'll buy Stephanie Kuehnert's latest as well too,even though I have the ARC, b/c I love her and want the actual cover (arc is just blank) LOL

    -Lauren

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  16. I release most of the ARCs I receive via BookCrossing. Sometimes later I'll decide I want a copy for my personal collection and I will buy a new copy for myself.

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  17. I definitely read books I would not have read had I not received an ARC, and I definitely then go chase down the author and buy more if it is a book I really like. I do give ARCs away to those I think would like them if I don't want to keep it for some reason (like to compare to a follow-up book or something). I have not NOT purchased a book because I got the ARC because I don't think I've ever gotten a book I would have known to purchase. So for me, the marketing is very effective!

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  18. Well, I have never purchased a finished book of an ARC I have received. But, I also send the ARC to another reader, either through a giveaway or Book Mooch. The reason being I know the ARC was to get more people to read it and review it. I loved Secret Daughter by June Cross but did not run out and buy it. I only really keep my absolute favorite books, which are all of about 15, so on the books go.

    I don't feel guilty about not buying the book because I wouldn't have bought it probably in the first place. I am mega-selective about the books I buy, even from used book stores. I don't have a lot of money to spend, though if I did the book store would have trouble keeping stock up!

    So to receive the ARC and be able to review it and help the author out is really great. It benefits me and the author. And then I pass it along for more people to read.

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  19. I haven't yet purchased a book that I have as an ARC, but then again, I don't have many of those (maybe 2?). If I like the author, I will see what else they have written and purchase there earlier or newer works. I don't tend to re-read books, with the exception of a few, so I keep the ARCs on a shelf or I pass them along to trusted friends or family.

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  20. I admit that for the most part, I don't buy a finished copy if I have an ARC already unless I absolutely and completely loved the book. Even then . . . It's a money issue. But as others have said, I do often end up buying an author's older or future books if I like the ARC. As for ARCs I've read, I sometimes will give them away, but most often I end up keeping them. I'm a bit of a book hoarder. It's one of my vices.

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  21. I have not bought a book yet, if I have loved the ARC. I just hold on to it. But books that I have read and lost [ by way of never getting back after giving it off to friends], I have bought them again :)! Just for keepsakes :)

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  22. I only just received my very first ARC book and have not had a chance to read it yet. Until I started entering book giveaways on the blog sites, I had no idea what an ARC was. I will have to wait to tell you whether I give this away or keep it and if I buy a copy later.

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  23. I've bought quite a few books in hardcover (or paperback) that I've read as ARCs - especially in the case that I want to support the author. I usually pass my ARCs on to other reviewers, friends, or donate them to charity.

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  24. Yes, if I love the book I often buy a finished copy for myself, or for a gift.

    If I go to an author reading I always buy a book to be signed, even if I have an ARC (and even if I haven't yet read the book)

    I've held on to my ARCs or shared them with other bloggers.

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