Every blogger I’ve ever spoken to understands how lucky and privileged we are to received Advance Review Copies from authors and publishers. Every author I’ve spoken to really appreciates the work that goes into reading and reviewing them.
But, what do you do with them when you’re finished?
ARCs are not allowed to be sold (although, obviously, there are always a horrible handful that flout the rules and make us all look bad…). eARC’s pose little bother, but a pile of books you can’t get rid of can be a problem.
* Some people like to keep and collect their ARCS and that’s absolutely okay. This is just for fun and for those of us who might lack the space or desire to hold onto theirs. *
Here’s a few suggestions for what to do with used physical ARCs.
What do you do with yours?
Let me know your ideas!
Swap ARCs with other reviewers.
You’re not actually selling the ARC for money, but you get to read a whole new book out of it.
Even better, if you’re swapping while the book is being publicized, the publisher gets two reviews for the price of one!
There are tags you can follow on twitter (#ARCSforTrade and similar for individual countries) to show off what you’ve got and what you’re looking for. Something to keep in mind though is that everyone values different titles differently, so don’t let your feelings get hurt if someone knocks back an offer. You can only ask, right?
Ask at your local library.
This can be a hit-or-miss. I know my own local library can not accept any ARCs for their shelves, but I’ve heard of others who have in the past. This can vary by your country or even just individual library policy. But it’s worth asking right?
Hospitals, schools, shelters.
To be honest, these are the type of libraries most likely to accept ARC donations.
They’re often underfunded and lacking (especially in diverse) reading material. Just think how you could be taking a kids mind off their hospital visit, distracting them from a tough living situation, or just providing something to read for someone that has fewer options.
It can be a nice way to pay back the privilege of having got the free copy yourself, and the libraries are usually really grateful for donations.
Build a book fort.
Because, why not? Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
The age old alternative to pillow forts.
Some might think it sacrilege, but it’s often the official stance. If you have a paper recycling bin that gets collected from home it can go straight in there, or take a bunch to your local recycling facility. If nothing else, you’re clearing space for new ARCs and new purchases.
Feeling creative? Been browsing Etsy lately? There are dozens of exciting ways in which people turn old books into works of art, from jewelry to homeware. Using ARCs is a great way to save on buying books for parts, and lets you keep the ARC but in a different form.
Pass them along.
Got a friend you know loves historical romance? A nephew that’s a huge fan on MG fantasy? Promote the heck out of your new favourite author.