Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, friends! I hope your week is going great so far. I’m thrilled – and a bit nervous – to be back today with another of my blogging discussion. As always, talking about subjects we bloggers, and book bloggers in particular, struggle with, and speaking with an open mind and sharing my thoughts. I hope you’ll enjoy it, and want to share yours too with me. Today’s subject is kind of a controversial one, but it’s been on my mind lately, so… let’s talk about these ARCs.
I don’t know about you, after all, every blogger’s adventure and beginning is different, but when I started, I had no ideas ARCs existed, or were such a thing. For those of you unfamiliar with that term, ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy, and to sum it up in two words, it’s getting lucky enough to be able to read and review a book prior to its release date. Since I am French and currently living in France, I have no such privilege as to get that many ARCs, especially physical ones. There’s always, obviously, this pang of jealousy whenever I hear about people getting books I am DYING to read, and well, getting advance copies, screaming and fangirling about it, while I’m here, like, I’m waiting for my turn to join in the fun.
But getting an ARC really is a privilege, and if there’s this bit of jealousy which makes us all human, there’s also the part of me that feels happy such bloggers get this chance, this privilege, really, even if I, don’t. It really shows that, as bloggers, we get to read them before, root for them, stand for them and make incredible promotions for great titles. We have this power, not only because of ARCs but because of a little plateform on the internet where someday we decided it was okay to shout some nonsense about the books we love into the void. Except, not really. We don’t. Shout into the void, I mean, because with this, our voice are HEARD, and ACCOUNTED FOR. ARCs get attention to the book prior the release date, ARCs make an incredible deal of publicity for the book, for the author, and it’s something both bloggers and authors are grateful for, and should be grateful for.
Countless dramas started because of ARCs as well. Why did he/she get one, while I’m here waiting? Am I no better than this? This obviously raises a LOT of insecurities in the bloggers’ minds, and in mine as well. I’m not going to lie, when you ask and get refused for a book you have been dying to read, it’s disappointing. It’s crushing, even, and it makes us wonder if we get enough followers, enough attention, or if our blog is good enough. But publishers have limited ARCs so I guess that’s it. I try not to take it personally, even if it’s hard, at times. And blogging isn’t blogging for ARCs, it’s blogging for yourself after all, isn’t it ? To be honest, getting them is a privilege, but if you’re here ONLY because of this, and by that I mean your only goal is this, then… this community wasn’t made for this (well, I think it wasn’t). And I came here for something else, for some bookish love.
Then there’s the pressure. You’re getting something, why are you complaining, you ask ? Because ARCs ARE work. It’s not doing complicated math or trying to resolve an equation to save the world, thankfully, but it still takes time and energy to read and review the book, and no one found out yet how to make days grow longer. There’s also the pressure of enjoying it, because if I’m getting a privilege at all, I don’t want to be too disappointed. The thoughts of wanting to thank people for this with a good review. Not necessarily good because you loved the book, but good because it’s a review you put work in, showing you actually care about this privilege. It’s important. Or at least, I think it is.
So swallow back that jealousy, I tell myself. Ask, and sometimes you might get lucky. But also remember you’re blogging for BOOKS and the community, NOT ARCs. Read and love what you want, before anything else. Don’t let yourself slowly devoured by ARCs. Stop asking too much, and stop saying yes too much – or no. Give books a chance, but if you’re overwhelmed, just stop. From now on, this is my motto. Less stress from getting demands I can’t, or don’t want to answer – because there is no shame in not being interested by one book. More want, because I only ask for things I really want to read. Less jealousy because whatever if I didn’t get this ARC. My TBR is already waiting to swallow me whole. Be thankful, and try not to let the pressure get to you. Love blogging and everything it can bring. Advance Reader Copies, or not.