First of all, thank you SO much for reading my very first "discussion" post. The response was so amazing and I am so grateful to each and every one of you that took the time to read it. I would like to preface my next discussion post in the same way -- nothing is new and I'm sure that this topic has been discussed by someone, somewhere but this is what is on my mind:
SHOULD THERE BE ARCs?
Truly, not everything I think about and write about is regarding Maggie Stiefvater's epic series, The Raven Cycle, but it just so happens that this discussion post will mention this series, too.
Those of us that are obsessed with this series (like me) know that there will not be any ARCs for the highly (HIGHLY) anticipated last book of this series, The Raven King.
There will be no ARCs (advanced reader copies). Y'all are just going to have to trust me. https://t.co/xYDv0q1tXN— Maggie Stiefvater (@mstiefvater) December 5, 2015
Oddly, I think this is a good thing. Even though I want to read The Raven King more than anything in this world, I do not want to be spoiled for it even more!! This book, and this series, in particular, may have plot points that some of us have been waiting years to discover. I would never, ever get over being spoiled if it were to happen. Yes, I will be imposing a social media ban until after I read the book but the good news is that I don't have to worry about ARCs spoiling me way before the release and I can read TRK as soon as it comes out like everyone else. I can only assume that this is a big reason why there will be no ARCs of TRK -- no spoilers so that the end of the story will unravel for everyone at the same time.
However, this lack of ARC got me thinking, should there be ARCs at all? I'm mostly thinking about for series more than standalones but the same adage regarding spoilers could apply to both. I know that ARCs are helpful for us as bloggers to get the word out about upcoming books, especially since pre-orders are so crucial for an author. If we read a book early, review it early and generate some hype, it is possible more people will pre-order that book. But the flip side is that more people will be spoiled regarding the book and could possibly be influenced not to purchase a book based upon a few negative reviews of an ARC. And what if the ARC is seriously different from the final book? I do worry about the possibility of reviews about a book (ARC) that people can't actually purchase if the final book undergoes more editing and/or changes to story, etc. and may ultimately be a better book than the ARC that was reviewed. Are we relying upon reviews of ARCs too heavily in our book purchasing decisions? I very well may be guilty of this. If I have pre-ordered a book and then start seeing a lot of less than favorable reviews of the ARCs of that book, sometimes I cancel my pre-order (unless it's an author whose work I know well) and may wait for the book to release and/or go on sale. I usually don't stop to wonder if maybe the final book will be different from the ARC even though that disclaimer always comes with an ARC.
I definitely think that publishers should perhaps think twice about releasing ARCs for highly anticipated next in series and/or series ender books like The Raven King. The possibility of spoilers is so high and nothing can ruin an amazing series more than being spoiled for what happens/how it ends. This may be unpopular in the world of bloggers where we rely on ARCs but I would rather wait and pay for a book than be spoiled for the end of one of my favorite series.
Of course, this is just my opinion. What do you think, should there be ARCs? Especially for highly anticipated sequel enders or for books in an ongoing popular series? How do you feel about being spoiled?
LET'S DISCUSS! WHAT DO YOU THINK?