29 January, 2012

In My Mailbox (2)

Another crazy week in books!

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren

Here's what I got:

ARCs for review:
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Buried by Linda Joy Singleton
BZRK by Michael Grant
Caddy's World by Hilary McKay
Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers
The Fourth Stall, Part II by Chris Rylander
A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle
Kill Switch by Chris Lynch
Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler
The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Protection for Hire by Camy Tang
Rock On by Denise Vega
Secret Letters by Leah Scheier
Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy
Starters by Lissa Price
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis
The Storm Makers by Jennifer E. Smith
There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff
The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade
Zombie: A Novel by J. R. Angellela

Bought: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Downloaded: The John Carter of Mars collection (public domain)

Actually, I bought more books, but they're not here yet :/ Next week!

I have to say one thing now that I have told you what I got. Bloggers are getting flak again for giving away ARCs--this kind of backlash usually happens right around ALA or BEA, which are two of the very large annual conferences centered around books and literacy. I already know this is going to sound like I'm protesting too much, because I want to separate myself from the type of blogger that would misuse an ARC, which frankly, I do. But I want to clarify my stance and it's too long to tweet--so, here's my two cents on bloggers, ARCs, and ALA.

For those not in the know, ARCs are Advanced Reader Copies--produced by publishers with the intent of generating interest and, bottom-line, sales of books prior to their release. Teachers, librarians, and press--book bloggers included (and indeed, overlapping with quite a few of those groups) go to these events and pick up ARCs, which are not for sale, and which cannot be circulated in libraries (only finished books may be sold and circulated). 

Bloggers are getting flak for using the ARCs they receive from industry outlets to drive views and followings on their blogs. And really, from a book blogger perspective, I see the appeal--you got something for nothing, and you're getting more something (followers, status, pageviews--whatever) for the same investment. I know there are people like this. The rationale is that the blog is still generating excitement for the book and the author.

I think that's only really wrong if 
a) the blogger picked up the ARC only with the intention of giving it away to gain followers.
b) the blogger has no intention of reading the book.
c) the blogger will not be supporting the author and the publisher by influencing sales/making purchases that DO generate revenue for the book.

I don't think I am one of those bloggers. I would like to point out that last year, Read Now Sleep Later gave away a total of 2--count them, 2! ARCs. One was for Where She Went by Gayle Forman, which we received not one, not two, but three! ARCs from different sources. We kept two and raffled one off (and bought her other three books). The other was an ARC of Aprilynne Pike's Illusions, which we got from two different sources--we raffled one off, then bought Wings and Spells, since Illusions is book three of that series.

Two publishers, Walden Pond Press and Harlequin, offered us finished copies of The Fourth Stall and Touch of Power to raffle. We just conducted the contests. I'm probably going to end up raffling The Fourth Stall, Part II since I've received 2 copies of it, and also my copy of The Fourth Stall is a hardcover--so I'm definitely buying a matching hardcover for the sequel!

We purchased all other books given away on the blog... plus some copies for ourselves, because we are weak-willed in the presence of books. For Touch of Power, I am in fact buying two for giveaways and a third one for myself :)

This week, I'm giving away an ARC of Fracture by Megan Miranda. There are a couple of reasons for this.
1) I got the ARC after I bought a copy of her book at the signing I attended at Vroman's. Or rather, I had it before then, I just didn't know it was mine, because I'm dense like that.
2) I normally would have raffled the finished copy and kept the ARC so as to avoid wading into the muddy waters of ARC-giveaways. But have you seen the cover of Fracture?

Come on. I'm SO keeping the one I bought ;)
3) It's not just any old ARC. It's signed. It's special!
4) It's technically no longer an ARC--the book is out already. So it's just a Reading Copy, now.

So, bloggers, go ahead and attend those events. Request those ARCs. BUT.
a) Thank your source/the author/the publisher.
b) Read them.
c) Review them.
d) Don't sell them! BIG no-no.
e) Don't pick them up just to give them away.
f) If you do need to clear them out to make room (they tend to pile up!) please find a responsible educator/librarian who will give it a good home.

Full disclosure: I received my ARCs from ALA from an attendee who a) is a librarian b) is my good friend c) has a tiny apartment which seems even tinier now that she has packed ARCs into it d) knows that when she shares her ARCs with me that I will use them for good (generating buzz, encouraging reading/buying of books) and not evil (giving away to garner favor for myself and my blog). 

Frankly, I didn't have room for them either. They are sitting under my coffee table because I don't have any shelf space and I'm too clingy to clear out my yarn closet for them. But it's ok. I will read them. I will likely re-buy the ones that are really good, since there are often differences between the uncorrected proof and the finished book. And I will encourage people to buy/borrow/read them! And when I really don't have room anymore, they will go to an educator/librarian/reader who will put them in the hands of even more young readers. 

So if a finger-pointing troll gets the urge to poke at me for giving away ARCs, go for it. I won't be able to believe you :) 

**deep breath** 


  1. Awesome mailbox! So many good titles that I don't know how you'll choose which one to read first! Zombie: A Novel caught my eye and looks good!

    As for the hoopla about ARCs, well, there will always be finger-pointing and backlash. While I'll never sell my ARCs, I don't see anything wrong with sharing them. I'll read & review them, then sometimes hold a contest to give them away. As I never make following my blog a contest requirement, my only gain is the happiness I get from spreading the book love. :)

    1. Thanks, Alexia--I do get my back up a little when I see ARCs in used bookstores. On the one hand--rule-breakers! On the other hand, I want to rescue them and take them home where they belong XD

      I don't usually make following my blog the requirement for a giveaway (I make it optional--I figure they can decide whether to take it or leave it!) and I agree with you--I just want people to feel the <3 of books!

  2. Great set! I can't wait to read Fracture! I wish I could have gone to ALA, drama or not.
    My IMM

  3. Ive seen so many IMM videos of bloggers actually saying, "dont really know much about this book" or I actually have the other books in the series but I haven't read them" meanwhile other bloggers and readers like me would KILL to have them.

    Great set of books! New blog follower. Check out my IMM and follow me back via GFC if possible at:

  4. this hoopla over ala and bloggers is seriously a little crazy. i can't speak for everyone but i feel like there's always going to be a few bad apples at events like these. there are just some people when they hear the word "free" do whatever it takes to get said free item.

    and i can personally vouch for alethea when i say that she is always super generous with lending out her books and passing them along when she is done with them. those giant booster boxes for bridge to books are insane.

    it's all about spreading the book love. i hope everyone keeps that in mind during all the ruckus.