Someone pointed an article in Publishers Weekly (article here) and I had some immediate thoughts that wouldn’t fit into a comment, so I decided to give a little speech about it on the blog. Plus, it has a few good points that I wanted to hear YOUR opinions on – no matter who you are, blogger, librarian, not in the industry, etc.
As a blogger, the discussion of ARCs and bloggers that over-take is an issue that strikes a lot of nerves. I have seen SO many people getting hate for taking too many ARCs, people choosing sides – it’s just ugly, and definitely not what I want people to think of when they think of bloggers. I also know people who have gotten serious hate for GIVING AWAY Advance Copies on their blogs because “It is bragging”. I just wanted to yell, “THEY’RE SHARING. LET THEM SHARE AND LEAVE THEM BE.” Then there are the people who are criticized for posting super long IMMs/Book Haul Videos, and I have a similar reaction: “Leave them alone – they’re simply showing what they got.”
I never thought such an amazing community would go so low as to publicly (Twitter. Come on people. At least keep it private.) hate on bloggers for any of the three reasons above – or some many more. It’s a side of blogging/bloggers I really don’t like, and honestly, makes me sick. It’s kind of pathetic, that people will go to that level of hate and take it to Twitter where people have to combat this hate and have everyone else see it.
When I went to BEA, I caught myself taking things I didn’t want many times, and I would pass them along to other bloggers, or to people I ran into wanting things but not being able to get a copy. I think people, bloggers and librarians (I love both, don’t get me wrong) need to evaluate how many of the books they have sitting in their bag they will ACTUALLY read. A big notice for me was when I had issues packing them all to come back from BEA, and had trouble. I wanted to avoid shipping books as much as possible, and I did, thankfully.
Also, as a teen, for a perspective on TT4L day of TLA, I think that it is brillant, but a lot of adults in the industry don’t understand the value of it. Many teens that go adore books and after they finish an ARC will go out and tell everyone about the book. I’ve heard so much hype about books at my school coming directly from TT4L.
Last thing – what I do with my ARCs. Currently, my shelves are exploding with not only my personal, hard cover books, but also ARCs. I just gave a slew of books to my school library (including a bunch of ARCs), which I loved doing. I also gave a lot of my middle grades that I know I won’t read again to a school that has a tiny library. Lately, I’ve been trying to do more giveaways where I can let people who didn’t go to trade shows have the opportunity to get their hands on these books early. I also give my books to friends and share my books that way.
In summary: My stance is very simple. Don’t take more than you will read. If you know that you won’t be reading any middle grade, for example, (I don’t usually read middle grade, so I didn’t take any) then don’t take any middle grade. If you accidentally get two or three copies of a book, find someone who missed getting a book and give it to them. Lastly, don’t hate. Let people do what they want, and if you think it’s something that needs to be addressed contact the person PRIVATELY before telling the world.