ARC’s: Just Like Scarves, They Aren’t For Everyone


When I first started blogging, it was an activity to keep me from online shopping as much as I had been. It was a natural progression from my Twitter account to where I had been tweeting my love for books for some time. I thought “What the heck?” I didn’t have this big game plan. I didn’t have a 5 year blog plan. I just wanted to talk about books y’know?

I had never really heard of an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy). I thought they were something that authors got to read and blurb for other authors- but never knew that non-publishing people could get their hands on them. Color me intrigued when I received my first one a few months after I started blogging.

I’m going to be brutally honest: I still get excited when I get one. Whether it comes from UPS and I’m expecting it (which means face pressed against the window, eyes peeled for the big brown truck) or a surprise (which are the best kind!) There is happiness. Jazz hands. Maybe loud music. Chair dancing.


You know, it’s ok to not like them. To not want them. To not want to have them because you feel like you have to read them. In fact, it’s totally fine.

I compare the ARC to a scarf- because while most people like them (like many people like scarves) there are people who are out there in the world who know that an ARC or a scarf is not the best look for their blog or them.

I think back to when I started blogging- and how I feel I have grown and changed. For me, I have become pretty lucky- I have enough contacts that basically know my reading tastes- and while I still do get pitched books I don’t desire to read- I do know that I get pitched way more books that I am actually interested in reading than not.

I also think back to when I just a baby blogger- and it’s not always been easy- finding my voice, my groove, understanding the meaning behind some advice (not all advice is helpful) and embracing this ultimate truth: It’s my blog. It’s my blog. And I have to do, write, say what feels right to me. Feeling caught somewhere between veteran/baby bloggers- I’m not quite to that length of blogging where I can wax on sentimentally about the “good old days” and yet- you’d have to be blind to not notice the changes between how some of the older (as in length of blog- not necessarily age) talk about how things were.

But back to the ARC’s- if you love getting them, YAY for you. Sincerely YAY for you. I think that’s great. Get after them. Read them. Have fun. If they leave you cold, and you just aren’t feeling them- hey, I totally understand that as well.

For me, I continue on with my love for ARC’s (mixed in with some reading from my own stacks or the library).


Tell me: What are your thoughts on ARC’s? Do you feel pressure to read them ahead of other books? Have you considered stopping accepting them? Do you like to read them  along with a healthy dose of previously released books? Chime in. I want to know.


Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

T Traveling With T pic sign off


28 thoughts on “ARC’s: Just Like Scarves, They Aren’t For Everyone

  1. I do love to receive ARCs, although I’m not so keen on eBooks through NetGalley (which seems to have a really arbitrary yes/no policy, I’ve found through discussion with fellow UK bloggers.) But yes, I do feel pressure to read and review them as quickly as possible. I didn’t know bloggers got them either; I thought they were reserved for broadsheet reviewers – probably in the past they were! And I feel so guilty if I didn’t like it or don’t read and review them rapidly…which can make reading sometimes like homework (I’m terrible for guilt over everything!) One book I’m dying to get hold of in the UK early is My Sunshine Away by MO Walsh – but websites want $24 postage, which on top of the book adds up to…well, too much. So if anyone has a spare copy, or one they’re finished with, and would be willing to send it if I pay P&P…maybe I could help out with something from here, now or in the future…I’m on Twitter @crimeworm1, if anyone wants to contact me. It’s a book that really excites me, and we all know how that feels, I imagine?!

    • I don’t know why it would cost so much for postage. I mean this is the reason why I shop on because of the free shipping or because I like the UK edition of a book better than the US edition. Did the bookdepository change their policy with the free shipping?

      • Must have – maybe when Amazon bought them?? I found another company that quoted $16 or $24 depending on book weight, but when I e-mailed them to ask how much My Sunshine Away would be, they replied, quote, “We can ship to the UK from as little as $55” !! That’s £30-40! As little as! Don’t do me any favours, book company! And then the price of the hardback on top, obv!

    • YES! I totally understand the guilt thing. Living in the US, being approved on Netgalley is not so hard- though I do still get denied from time to time over some books. It’s hard- you know, b/c you want reading to be pleasurable- and not to feel like homework!

      I see that Helen has been helping you with your quest to get My Sunshine Away. It’s a lovely book- and I hope that you find a way to get it (or that it gets published in the UK soon- I feel sure it will!)

  2. I had no idea what ARCs were either when I first started blogging! And now I tend to just request books I’m interested in from NetGalley or Edelweiss. I do like being able to read ahead of pub dates…makes things seem way less crazy for me. I am getting to the point of thinking about not accepting any pitches via email for awhile. I’ve been in a slump all year (My Sunshine Away not withstanding!) and kind of want to read some backlist books and change things up.

    And – I agree. Everyone has to do what works for them because most of us are doing this in our spare time. If we don’t love it anymore, that’s one fast way to burnout!

    • I understand exactly what you are talking about the slumpy feeling. I was having that last year! I feel pretty lucky that I do get offered the books that I naturally gravitate towards (at least for the most part!)

      And YES! You have to do what works for you. Otherwise this fun hobby begins to overtake your life- and that’s zero fun!

  3. I like paper arcs but do request from NetGalley. Lately I have a beef with some of the eGalleys I’ve received though. Most are good but some have (shaded or pink depending on if I’m reading on my Kindle or iPad) numbers on every line of text. It is so distracting that it effects my enjoyment of the actual story. I’m in the middle of one now and have resolved to not review any that have it from here on out.

    • I really like the paper ARC’s better for those reasons. I HATE when an e-ARC is messed up b/c it makes reading a chore! I completely understand why you would not want to review any that are messed up!

  4. Well I do love ARC’s in moderation…scarves…not so much 😦 Back to books: I am very guilty of ignoring ARC’s though when they start to pile up, or even changing my mind about one if I receive a copy super early. I do feel guilty but I’d rather be able to enjoy what I’m reading. And if the ARC I missed is still one I really want to read, I still will do eventually.

    • Ahh, yes- you have to walk that line so carefully. And, I think, as we get deeper in book blogging we’re becoming more mood readers- and that makes it hard for the pile of ARC’s!

      However, I think, if you are making a good faith attempt to read a fair amount of the ones you accept- then you are ahead in the game. Just my 2 cents 🙂

  5. ondbookshelf says:

    I’m fairly new to the book blogging world, so for now I get my ARC’s only from NetGalley. I have found that I really have to pace my requests, because once I accept one I do feel the obligation to get it read and reviewed by the release date.

    • lol! Confession: I used to not like scarves. No, actually, I liked them- I felt awkward wearing them (I’m a little “stacked” and I felt that wearing scarves would just draw more attention to that area. And then I wasn’t sure how to tie them. But I have overcome my fear and accessorize with them whenever I can (like all the time!)

  6. thebookdate says:

    I live in a part of the world that doesn’t have that has that opportunity for physical ARCs. (New Zealand). I do request from NetGalley but try to keep myself only needing to read them at intervals so that I can read the books I have piled up on my book shelf or ereader. Some times I accept a pitch via email for books but have been caught with one or two meh books so am very careful now. I get a buzz though when asked by an author I really love.
    I do like that you blog what you want, and not get put in a box by others!

    • I ALWAYS feel so bad for the bloggers that I know that don’t get the physical ARC! I went nutso on Netgalley one time and paid for it for months after- and so now, I only log in occasionally and my approval can’t drop below 85% (self-imposed boundaries for me!)

      Gosh, yes! I know what it’s like to accept a pitch then it be all- MEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

      I really just want to have fun with blogging. I still like the ARC’s, but I understand that other bloggers are wanting to move back to basics. I do find myself being more choosy- but I think that is just lessons you learn in blogging!

  7. Well since my blog is considered newish to most publishing companies I don’t receive that many ARCs but I can say that when I do receive one or two I’m giddy with glee. It’s like Christmas to me. Also I don’t feel pressured to read them unless the release date is fairly close or the publicist ask me to do a post on this particular day or week. But like I said before I don’t receive many so I don’t really know what it is like to feel pressured to please everybody.

    As for NetGalley it’s pretty much hit or miss when it comes to requesting a book. And I have to be really interested in a book in order for me to request because reading on my kindle is not that very appealing to me unless on vacation because I don’t want to lug a whole bunch of books with me. Those traveling/luggage fees are to damn high.

    Great post as always.

    • I love that you still feel all excited about ARC’s 🙂 As you can tell in my selfie posts on Twitter- I get ALLLLLLLL excited as well 🙂

      I think you just have to know that you can’t please everyone- and just do what feels right for your blog!

      I stay away from NG b/c I went crazy and requested too many ONE time and got approved for EVERYTHING. And then I was all “WHAT?” I do like it to check it sometimes- but I have very strict rules about my NG use!

      Why thank you lady! Glad you liked my post 🙂 And agreed! Those travel/luggage fees too high- so when I go to BEA in May, I’ll be taking only 1 book with me- and if I have any downtime, I’ll read my magazines on my Ipad!

  8. I love ARCs, but have to be very careful what I accept, since I really hate having to review (or even read) books I dislike, and I feel like I have to read them if I have accepted them-to some degree. I was reading an arc at the gym one day-was supposed to be historical fiction-and it was so awful I was laughing out loud on the treadmill. It was soft core porn at best- not even up to 50 shades standards. Yet others gave good review- oh well. I also find I go in spurts with them. I will accept and read 3-4 in a row and then take a break. I feel lucky that I am able to get these books!

    • YES! I totally understand. I feel that if I accepted it I need to do my darn best to try to read. BUT if it’s just terrible, I move on. Again, I AM VERY LUCKY that my contacts know my taste or that I have such mainstream taste in my reading- b/c most of what I get offered I would pick anyway!

      I’m still struggling to balance the read other vs read my own books. It’s a struggle!

  9. I’m a little bit addicted to ARCs. I find it hard to say no to them in the same way I find it hard to leave the library without a stack of books and it’s harder to avoid ARCs because I don’t want to miss out on opportunities by not subscribing to mailing lists or ignoring review requests. I also find it a bit of a thrill that blogging allows me to do a hobby I love for free. It’s pretty cool! But I also sometimes find myself feeling overwhelmed by my ARC commitments and wish I were better at limiting the number of them I read. That’s something I’m to get better at this year.

    • YES! You just summed it up all perfectly! I don’t like to miss out and even when I say no b/c of time- I find myself having a bit of a regret! But, I can’t read ALL the books. I do love that this hobby has turned into something more- and I can’t imagine life without blogging. But, balance is so crucial in blogging.

  10. Great post, Tamara! I had no idea what ARCs were when I started blogging either. I still think it’s wild that anyone cares enough about my opinion to want me to review their book! I personally want to read and review a mix of books, both frontlist and backlist. I think the mix works for me, and that’s what is most important, right? If we all did everything the same way, it would be a boring blogging world. 🙂

    • Thank you!! Yes, I can totally understand your feeling of “why would anyone want my review of this book” thought process- because it is still wild to me as I begin my 4th year that people care about my thoughts.

      I heard it summed up best when I became acquainted with someone who knew a publicist that I was getting books from- they said that publicist always finds people with the biggest mouths about books- and I had to laugh- b/c I surely will tell everyone what I’m reading, what I liked/disliked and all that jazz!

      And YES! For all the bloggy goodness- blog how you want. If you just want to read the latest and greatest- no problem. Just the oldies- go forth and blog! A mix- hey, it all works!

      You have to blog to the beat of your own drum 🙂 🙂

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