{Discussion} ARCs vs Published Books

Posted March 16, 2018 by Liza in Discussion / 14 Comments


Before we start this discussion, let me define these terms for you:

ARC – Advanced Reading Copy.  It can be a paperback or eBook of a book that has not been published yet.  Usually these copies are limited to people in the publishing industry (authors, publishers, agents, booksellers, etc,), librarians, teachers, and reviewers (including bloggers).

Published Books – This is self-explanatory, it’s a book that is available for sale.

Why are ARCs Important?

The main purpose of an ARC is marketing.  It promotes the book in the hopes that it creates hype, good reviews, and endorsement/recommendations from authors.  It also serves to make changes to the final book, often errors are found and in rare occasions, parts of the books are changed based on the feedback received.

How About Books Already Published? 

As bloggers we are always happy to read and review books before they are published and write an honest review.  It is usually accepted to review ARCs up to two months before or after the publication date. But, what about books that were published a while ago?

It seems like once a book has been published and the hype dies down readers lose interest in them.  Is this true or is it my perception?  It seems to me that I receive less or no comments when I review those books than when I review an ARC.  Do you think it might have to do with how popular the book is or was?

I think this makes bloggers feel like it’s not worth it to review older books.  Writing a review is a considerable time investment for most bloggers, and why go though the trouble is no one is going to read it?

Final Thoughts

I’m a mood reader, so I will read what I want to read at the moment.  I do have ARCs, but I also spend an unseemly (or so my hubby tells me) amount of money on books and I also visit the library.  I think all books have value, no matter how popular or unpopular they are or when they were published.  Good knows I love to read Austen’s books, Jane Eyre and other classics 🙂

How about you?  Does it matter to you when the book was published?  Do you only read ARCs?  Do you get more comments about ARCs or previously published books? 



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14 responses to “{Discussion} ARCs vs Published Books

  1. I like to review almost everything I read. I do arcs and a lot of backlist reads. I am not one with a lot of comments to begin with so I don’t know about that aspect. I do tend to read more reviews on newer books. I think it’s only because I have seen reviews already on older ones. Nownon goodreads. I read review while choosing my next book to read. So those are important to me too. I also really like to read reviews On books I have read to see if others feel the same as I did. So my opinion. Keep writing reviews for all the books.

  2. Sometimes my backlist reviews get as many views as newer releases and I definitely think that’s because more people have read the book and want to see what someone else thought about it– and actually have thoughts to leave beyond: I’m really excited for this book!! I am a mood reader, so I have to go where my moods lead me, but I really really want to focus on older books– it’s SO hard because new releases and ARCs are SO enticing, but I got some FAVE author’s books just sitting around collecting dust, and that is just not cool with me!!

  3. I think I’m a mood reader, but I’m not sure (the mood does impact my reading in a way though… not always). I used to give high priority for ARCs, but since 2016 I stopped giving it as much priority, though I always try my best since I feel it’s respectful for me to at least review the book close to the publication date if I requested it.

    I do think while ARCs are important, so are the backlist books. Writing a review of a book that’s been published months ago is still just as important as writing a review for that same book when it first published. Not everyone has the time to catch up with all the books or even remember them, so months later might help them remember and it continues the sales, which I find to be a good thing about backlist books.

    Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts recently posted: Fandom Friday: Fantastic Beasts + Sabrina the Teenage Witch
  4. I like writing ARC reviews because it’s fun to read something new, but I also love reading and reviewing older books because my readers and blog commenters are more likely to have read the book and I can get a great discussion going in comments.

  5. Leah

    Mood reader all the way. I have a lot of purchased books I still have to read…but since I work in a library, I find myself picking up books there and reading those instead.

  6. I have been really surprised by how many views I will get for an older book. I think it’s because more people have had the opportunity to read it. I like to review an ARC the same month it is coming out, because again, I feel like the buzz builds a lot closer to publication. I am trying to do a 50/50 thing mixing ARCs with backlist, and if I read a backlist book I really loved, I will feature it.

  7. Nathan

    I am also a bit of a mood reader. I don’t read ARC’s (I don’t have my own blog as of yet). The books I do read have often been out for some time by the time I read them. Some are read the year they are published, others, may have been written in a different century or era all together. The age of the book being reviewed does not affect whether I comment or not. Just if I have something to say and if the book is of interest to me does.

  8. I never read ARCs except the occasional review copy but that works out at a couple per year. I don’t really want to see a book full of editing errors and know that the story could change before publication. When I read I want the finished product to enjoy! And I have got mad at being sold ARCs on Amazon from a few marketplace sellers.

  9. I don’t care if a book is already published or not. In fact, I actually usually prefer reading books that have already been published. ARCs always come with a bit of pressure: to read the book at all, and to like the book as well. Most of that is pressure I put on myself I guess, but I don’t have that at all when reading a published book I bought myself. I feel way more laid back reading published books.

  10. Bee

    To me it doesn’t matter if the book is already published or not. I’m a mood reader too so I read what I’m in the mood for at the time. Though I do give ARC’s priority in my monthly TBR’s because most of the time I requested a copy and I want to give the publisher a review for said book.

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