On ARCs And The Opportunities Smaller Creators Aren’t Given

Here’s something that has kind of been bugging me these past few weeks. Some of you guys probably know that I’m super freaking excited for A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir to be released, right? And because I was so excited about the series, I had requested an ARC of the book so I could properly yell at people to read the god damn series – beyond just saying how awesome the previous two books were.

Well, I never heard back from the publisher either way (and I guess that could mean there is still hope for me but I honestly doubt it) which really sucks. I’m well aware that publishers are really, really busy people. And I’d guess even more so when these big publishing months inch closer and closer. But that’s also why I contact them well in advance – say, months usually.

But then you see the publisher send out a bunch of new paperback copies of the first two books to the bigger content creators in the book community who for the most part haven’t even shown any interest in reading the books in the first place. What ends up happening is that you get the book in front of a bunch of people once that big creator shares their Instagram picture. But that’s also about as much of a reaction as you’re going to get from me, personally.

I’m much more likely to pay attention to a book being promoted when I know that the person talking about it has been excited about and looking forward to that particular book for months now. It’s much more genuine coming from a creator like that.

For example, when Kristin @ SuperSpaceChick talks about her love for The Wicked King I know it’s genuine excitement and love for the book because I’ve seen her talk about and love on this series since the summer of 2017. She was one of the earliest people I remember gushing about The Cruel Prince. If she tells me I should absolutely continue reading the series, I will. I trust her endorsement.

But then there are a ton of other creators who get books sent to them that they mention once in their hauls and then you never see these books again – despite people claiming how excited they are to read whatever book it is they are holding up for the camera in that particular moment.

I feel like publishers would achieve so much more by getting these anticipated releases into the hands of people who are at the edge of their seats waiting to get their hands on these books because they just need to know what happens next. And you can bet good money on the fact that these people won’t shut up about their love for that book you send them. And they’ll shower you with love and appreciation too.

As an example, I had been really, really looking forward to Ace Of Shades for months before we had gotten any real information about the book because Amanda shared ONE thread on Twitter. I didn’t stop talking about the books in the months leading up to the release and even joined Amanda’s little promo team to help create buzz and excitement – none of that included me getting my hands on an ARC copy. I was happy to do all of it because I was genuinely excited about the book.

But I also tried my luck and requested an ARC which I ended up being approved for (which still floors me to this day, not gonna lie) and did you hear me shut up about the book after? No. I just kept on talking about it. You guys were probably sick and tired of me constantly bringing up the book any chance I got. But you could probably also tell that I was actually excited about the release and couldn’t wait for everyone else to read the book too.

And that’s the thing. I will yell and scream and shout about your book for months on end because I’m that excited about it. I may not have the huge audience so many bigger creators have (no matter what platform) but I am passionate about the books I love and I want to see them and the author succeed. And if I can contribute to it in any way possible, that’s what I want to do!

I’ve invested my own money in other books by authors because someone at a publishing house approved me to read a copy of a new release early. I’ve found new favorite authors that I’m willing to support to the best of my ability. I’ve added books to my list of things I just never shut up. Right now, I’m planning two posts for two series that have new books releasing this summer where I want to make you guys grab a copy and read the series too. I’m not getting anything out of it other than getting to share my love for my favorite books.

And sure, that should be enough, but sometimes it’s just really annoying and frustrating to see how smaller creators are given fewer chances and opportunities. Numbers shouldn’t be all that matters. What good is a creator with 30k subscribers on Instagram/YouTube when none of those people end up picking up the book? There might be a better chance for a smaller creator who their audience trusts to only recommend books they truly loved to get you a few more sales. And that’s a bigger impact too if you compare the numbers.

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How about you guys? How do you feel about the way smaller creators are treated in the book community and the chances they are awarded compared to bigger creators? Let me know in the comments down below, because I am super interested to hear your thoughts on this matter!

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41 thoughts on “On ARCs And The Opportunities Smaller Creators Aren’t Given

  1. This post speaks to my soul. I was just having this same conversation recently. It hurts my heart that smaller book bloggers are ignored by larger publishing houses. Like you, I’ve been non-stop gushing about my favorite book this year (I won’t say which one) and have convinced so many of my followers to read it. Heck, I’m even “re-reading” it right now on audio. But so far I’ve been rejected for the eARC of its sequel. Twice. I mean, I get it. I don’t have as broad of an audience as a YouTuber or as much influence as a bookseller. But I know my followers still value my opinions and I’d love to help promote one of my favorite books and authors! I’ve been so privileged to have received other ARCs I ended up LOVING. And I recommend them to everyone any chance I get!
    Anyways, sorry for the rambling. Haha. I’m totally not hating on any publishers or big influencers, but it does make me sad when us little bloggers aren’t given a chance for popular titles.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Same here! I’ve been given some incredible opportunities with other ARCs before (mostly digital because I live in Germany, but still) and those have lead me to some of my new favorite authors and series I want to just push on people because I love them SO much.

      Please don’t ever apologize for rambling on here! I’m such a rambler myself so I totally get it! xD Oh, and it absolutely didn’t come across as you hating on anyone! It just is really frustrating to be in this position and it’s not like we’re doing LESS work or are less passionate.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said! I completely agree with your thoughts. It would be more beneficial to all involved (especially at a near free promotional level) to send out ARCs to people that are invested in the work. Obviously, they need others to read it as well, but by making sure it gets into the hands of people that have been promoting their work for a while, you are almost guaranteed to see their followers go out and purchase it (or pick it up from the library) when it is released!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, exactly! Like, there are a very limited number of bloggers where if they talk highly about a book or an author, I will check them out and try to support them the best way I can. But I RARELY ever pick up a book that the big YouTubers or influencer show off. I just don’t know if they are actually excited or if it’s all just part of a sponsored post.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! I have now gone out of my way because I trust the opinion of the blogger that I follow and even if I don’t love it as much as they did, I know it will be a good book because the recommendation comes from the heart!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great discussion on ARCs and the unfairness of how they are sometimes distributed. I understand that the point of sending out ARCs is to get the word out there about the book, so they obviously send them to creators with a large following, but it’s still unfair because a lot of these big creators aren’t even huge fans of the author or excited about the book in the first place – and like you said – won’t be squealing about it for months on-end. I’ve seen way too often on Instagram where people are sent books (but sometimes they never even requested them to be sent, but they’re on publisher’s marketing team’s list) and they take a picture and say “oh i am so excited to read this book!!” even though they never mentioned it before… and never mention it again… but then there are smaller creators that don’t have a large following that want an ARC of their most anticipated book for the YEAR and yet don’t get it solely because their following is smaller. It’s unfortunate 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah and I totally get that too and understand that it’s all a business and people need to earn money to keep their business going but it still annoys me sometimes.

      Yeah, that’s basically what frustrates me the most about this. There are people out there who would not shut up about a release because they’ve literally been waiting a year or something and they won’t be able to get that ARC simply because of numbers. No matter how dedicated they are.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t even request (physical) ARCs anymore – too much stress for me – but I completely agree with all you said. I often see big booktubers and bloggers feature all the books they’ve gotten from publishers in a month and for the large part, they don’t even seem very interested in them and I suspect they don’t even get around to reading them all. It feels like such a waste when there are so many passionate people around that are truly interested in reading those books and promoting them because they love them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t often request physical ARCs either. I concentrate on the books I am really, really excited to get to and then just hope for the best. And if the book happens to be up on NetGalley, I’ll try that too hoping my chances are better for a digital copy because that doesn’t include additional cost for the publishers.

      Whenever I watch book hauls on YouTube I’m always like ‘YOU’LL NEVER GET AROUND TO READING ALL THESE BOOKS’ especially because those booktubers usually get that amount of publisher sent books EACH MONTH and it just seems impossible to get through them all in a reasonable amount of time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. i get what you mean and totally agree with you 100%! but from a business perspective, i guess the reason why publishers often times send it to creators with bigger followings is because, in a way, it’s a cheap way of advertising their books. I don’t think it matters to them if it gets reviewed or not, as long as people are aware that a certain book is available to buy, which sucks for smaller creators like us. i wish publishers would also give us a shot at getting these. great post! this is definitely something worth talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, me too! Whenever I get positive feedback about what I do as a blogger (like, recently I shared a picture to celebrate the release of I Was Born For This on Instagram and only had the author tagged, but then the publisher saw it, liked the post and gave it a shoutout in their stories which I really appreciated) it gives me another push to continue doing what I’m doing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely empathize with you! I’ve actually given up on requesting physical arcs from publishers. I do not know what I’m doing wrong when I attempt requests, or what publishers don’t like about my blog or instagram, but I rarely receive a response to my emailed request. I heard back from one publisher, once, only to tell me that they had no more of that physical copy ARC to send to reviewers, and they said they’d keep my information on file for future ARCs, but I never received anything.

    It’s not like I feel like I’m owed ARCs, but there have been books I’m really passionate about that I get totally overlooked for and I have no idea why. It sometimes seems like it’s luck of the draw, you know?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t often request physical ARCs either! I’ll usually just try my luck with NetGalley and hope for the best. But even with them, their emails letting you know that you’ve been declined and why aren’t much help 99% of the time either. I was actually approved for more digital ARCs when I first started blogging than I am these days – which baffles me. xD

      Oh yeah, definitely! And I’m almost convinced that it is a game of luck with some releases or publishers…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with all of this! It’s a waste of time for the publisher and the creator to give a copy to someone who will never read it and who will unhaul it behind the scenes after a couple of months. It makes no sense when there are always so many other people who are genuinely interested in the book but are never “chosen”. Like, for example, Kristin didn’t even get an arc of The WIked King from the publisher, she borrowed it from a friend. It makes no sense, she would’ve been one of the first people I went to to offer an arc.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is SUCH an interesting post, thank you for writing it. I have to say, I’d love to be a little mouse and get inside the publishing houses and just see what happens there and how they pick which books to send to which bloggers and so on. I guess it’s “normal”, in a way, that they feel like they have to put their books out so that the maximum of people can see them, so reach out to the bigger bloggers, but you’re 100% right that these people are drowning in books and won’t necessarily be screaming about the book as much as other people could, people with a smaller following but maybe, more dedication because they ‘really wanted to get to that book. I don’t know honestly, though, how everything works out but I so get that frustration :/ I feel like sometimes it’s out of luck or just, really random and I don’t get it at all. I wish smaller creators were considered a little more on that matter, but I guess sometimes maybe publishers feel like, because they’re not with 30 K followers, it won’t be worth it?! THEY ARE WRONG about that obviously, but… I really wish I could understand how they work haha. Anyway, lovely post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As a small creator, I am ALWAYS shocked when I get approved for highly anticipated books. And sometimes, I think it’s sad that I feel that way. The only ARC systems I use are LibraryThing Early Reviewers (which usually gets me book from smaller presses and after publication, but that’s okay) and Netgalley because I assume off the bat that no publisher will send a book to me.

    I agree with the beginning of this post where you say that passion = conviction. I got a review copy of Tess of the Road in July 2017 and am STILL gushing about it because OH MY GOD IT IS MY SOUL STORY. And I have gotten SO MUCH of a response about my review for that book, including a LINK ON THE AUTHOR’S BLOG WHICH IS JUST !!!. Because I love Rachel Hartman and I will read her grocery list.

    But on the other hand, I feel like a jerk sometimes because, for example, I’m reading LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff right now and while it is AMAZING I also feel guilty because I’ve not read any of his other work and me having this Netgalley copy has deprived some true fan somewhere. While I totally appreciate the copy and, like I said, I am LOVING it… there’s a diehard fan out there with a smaller blog than me who needed that copy. :/ So I’ve decided to only request the ARCs I am DYING for to give other people that shot. I wish I could just… gift the ARC to someone else when I’m done, y’know? We should be able to do that with eARCs… that way when the publishing houses make weird decisions, we bloggers can help get the books into the right hands. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too! I still remember feeling SO excited when publishing houses approved me for eARCs when I had JUST started blogging last year. I didn’t have a lot of followers or many reviews up yet, but I got some ridiculously good eARCs. But what baffles me, even more, is the fact that I seem to have LESS chances for popular releases NOW. xD

      I actually think it great that you were able to read this particular copy of LIFEL1K3 because people who follow superfans of an author probably already know that they are really excited for that release and that they would recommend reading this book. But you’re someone who hasn’t read Jay Kristoff before and you can bring in a different audience – at least that’s how I see it.

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  10. You have exactly articulated everything I feel on this issue. Sending ARCs to big creators publicises that ARC to a much bigger audience, and that of course is profitable for the publisher. But at the same time, it hurts me a little when big creators get ARCs but don’t seem genuinely into them, or don’t read them ever. It’s just a little unfair, because while there are TONS of people far more excited for any book, only the big creators get pretty much every ARC and a lot of the times, they don’t really take efforts to read and know the book, or aren’t as excited for the book as other smaller creators may be.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This was such a wonderful discussion! I definitely agree 100% with what you said. It sucks how books that we smaller creators are hyped for get sent to larger creators who only show it once and then you never hear about it again. Even though we would talk endlessly about it in almost every post and help promote it. I get that they want to have a larger audience see their stuff but I think genuine excitement is better than a simple “i’m hyped!” and nothing else happens. Idk if that made sense lol but long story short, you’re totally right!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Taylor! I’m so happy to read that especially because I was a bit worried about posting it originally.

      YES, exactly! I mean, are you going to buy a book that someone help up for maybe 30 seconds and said they were excited about but they seem to barely know anything about the release or do you trust someone who is EXCITED AF about the opportunity of holding that same books in their hands because they’ve been talking about it for weeks/months? I know who I’m going with.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I totally get where you’re coming from, and honestly I think it’s a tricky line for publishers to walk. On the one hand, more eyeballs (in the form of super popular bloggers), means more potential for actual buyers. But on the flip-side, more dedicated readers (in the form of smaller bloggers), means more genuine interest. It feels more like an art than an exact science in trying to figure out who to send books out too, especially since I hear physical ARCs can get really expensive.

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  13. THIS POST!!! You perfectly put into words what I have been thinking lately, so thank you for sharing this with us 💗 I always find it sad when bigger content creators get Arcs and books unsolicited that they might not have any interest it … I always wonder: why not send those books to smaller creators that are really excited about them instead? I always support and scream about books I got an Arc of or just books I bought myself, because I love promoting things I love. (Your Ace of Shades fangirling totally worked, as you know :D) It would be great if smaller creators could get better opportunities. Don’t even get me started on getting diverse Arcs into the hands of the readers that actually share the marginalisation, that’s another important thing that publishing needs to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you for your super kind words, Caro! ❤

      Yeah, that's what I try to do too – especially when I loved the book! And why wouldn't we, right? And I feel like if you spend your own money on a book, that endorsement is 'worth' even more because you wouldn't pay money for just anything and you probably wouldn't talk as highly about it if it wasn't actually something you absolutely loved.

      Hahahaha, I'm so glad all that talking about Ace did some good! xD

      I can't believe I didn't think of that because that's so true! I'm so glad that there are people out there who make it their mission to get those diverse releases into the hands of the right readers though!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ❤ ❤ ❤

        That’s right! I always fiercely talk about my favorites and that of course happens with Arcs as well, which is worth a lot to build up hype for a new release!

        Definitely! I saw Jesse from jessethereader pass on some duplicate Arcs that he got to marginalized readers, so they could read them!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh my goodness! ! I definitiely agree! At times I end up feeling so bad, because when I legitimately love a book I just want to drown it in my love and affection and get people to read it. But I’m not big enough… and like you said the bigger creators get the book- mention it once- probably don’t even read it- and then move on, when a smaller creator can do so much more with it 💔 you wrote everything I was thinking! I’m going to send this post everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. On one hand, I get why publishers would want to send big creators books, because they have the following where them mentioning it once probably gets the book more attention that my little blog talking about it for a week. But it does suck for us little people, not only because we get passed over for books, but because our blogs don’t get the attention that would come with having access to the highly anticipated books. It keeps the divide between large creator and small creators significant in terms of access to popular titles.
    I’ve accepted that my blog will always be small, because with my work and other time commitments, I just can’t put in as much as some of the larger ones are able to. And I’m fortunate that I do have some good relationships with Canadian publishers and distributers that I’m able to get some bigger titles (and more importantly, the ones sent to me have my preferences in mind), and for NetGalley. But it’d be nice to get one of the highly anticipated ARCs one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been pretty lucky with German publishers too! I mean, I asked and got accepted for Godsgrave’s translation RIGHT AWAY and I feel like that’s a rather ‘big book’ and SO many people posting sponsored content about the book on Instagram too! Plus, German publishers often send out finished copies before the release for you to be able to review them, so I’ve gotten ACTUAL HARDCOVERS which blows my mind every time. Because they are EXPENSIVE AF.

      I’m so glad for NetGalley too! Though with the changes they’ve done in the past few months it’s gotten a bit more difficult for international bloggers to get accepted for titles. But I still try my best. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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