Discussion: ARC's v. eARC's
Kel Sunday, September 14, 2014 discussionI completely forget who, but a blogger mentioned on Twitter how she wasn't requesting eARC's anymore and was focusing instead on physical ARC's. Which got me thinking about the pros and cons of digital and physical advanced reading copies.
First, random question: do you call them "arks" or "A-R-C's"? I've talked to some soon-to-be-published authors who use the former, but I've always used the latter. Also, disclaimer: I've never received a physical ARC from a publisher (just the lovely finished hardcovers from the Prometheus/Pyr booth at BookCon- thank you!), so all my thoughts on that end are purely theoretical.
I love the idea of these, and goodness knows I'd be thrilled beyond belief to see one in my mailbox, but I've seen other bloggers running into problems- one problem, really. On the bright side, it's a real, substantive THING you can hold and hug and smell, and it oftentimes has pretty cover art, and you can put it by your bed to remind yourself to read it.
On the dark side, it takes up space. Lots of space. I think most bloggers receiving ARC's are major book buyers, too, so they're often buying finished copies of the books they love. Thus, what to do with the ARC's? Giving away the read/discarded copies entails shipping costs if no other bloggers/readers live nearby; you can only replace so much furniture with shelving before family members protest; and bonfires are frowned upon. Is a puzzlement! (Kudos if you know where that line's from!)
These I know, though I've seriously cut back on my requests. I think they've worked out fairly well for me, but eARC's have their drawbacks, too. On the bright side, it's digital, so it doesn't take up any space. When I finish, if I like the book, I put it on the to-buy list; if I dislike it, I delete the file, write my review and forget about it.
On the dark side...it's not something you can hold in your hands, and I hate it when titles get archived or expire before you get to them. Then your NetGalley stats suffer and you have to wait until the official release date to track down the book, read, review and fix your stats. Also, the formatting. I don't know if it's as bad in physical copies, but eARC's are notorious for cruddy formatting.
All right, you guys! I know lots of you have experience with eARC's and physical ARC's (or ARC envy). What do you think? Do you prefer one format or the other?