Hi everyone! Welcome back to Amber’s Rambles, my feature where I discuss bookish topics.
Last week I discussed a lot about justifications on buying and selling ARCs. For the majority of the post, I was for the buying and selling of ARCs. I said then that I would be bringing up a more important issue, in my opinion.
The More Important Issue?
Now that I’ve said what I have to say about buying and selling ARCs, it’s time to switch the focus over a bit.
Every few weeks I see authors talk about how google results show unpublished electronic ARCs of their books up on pirating sites or sites that have their books.
I think this is a more important topic because piracy is becoming more and more common. It started with music in the early 2000s, expanded to movies, games, software, ebooks and is now hitting eARCs. I suppose it was only a matter a time before eARCs came along, but I had hoped it wouldn’t.
This is an issue for a few reasons:
eARCs are only distributed to bloggers, librarians or booksellers, so when an eARC shows up on a piracy site, it is someone from the community that has done this. eARCs are widespread, once it is out there, it is out there. There’s no way of recovering it, no matter how many times you may report the link (if possible) or find it deleted.
This DOES cause lost sales. Unlike someone who may buy an ARC of a book along with a finished copy, a person who downloads an eARC seems unlikely to buy a physical copy if they can just download it. Once you purchase an ARC, it’s a one time purchase, once an eARC has been uploaded online though, there’s little to be done with it.
These lost sales can be really important, especially for under-the-radar authors that aren’t being boosted by bloggers, booksellers, etc. An unknown debut author could suffer from a lack of sales and end up being dropped from their publishing house.
You could also call this one “karma”. 😉 This is more on the pirate’s side than the authors. If they go to download an eARC from a website, a lot of times there are viruses and no actual book. This is horrible. One could say they deserve it, but I think there are different reasons people may pirate books, that I won’t get into right now.
I think a lot of peole have this “now” mentality, when something is out or even before it’s out (ALA, leaked albums), people are in the hurry to get it right. that. second. They don’t want to wait and who can blame them? I was never patient person, so I can relate. However, distributing eARCs is so wrong because they were given to you by publishers who decided you were a good person to have them, with the faith that you would use them as they were intended and not leak the eARCs online where many can download them.
I think piracy is a bigger issue because of how widespread it’s impact is. It can directly link to lost sales, which causes authors to not be successful in addition to the publishing houses. It disrespects the authors and publishers by releasing an ARC they were given access to before it was published.
What do you think of piracy of eARCs? Have you thought about it? Have you seen authors discussing it on Twitter?