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Books for Thought is where I post a discussion topic related to books, reading, writing, or something pertaining to one of the three. I hope you’ll join in, and discuss today’s topic of

supporting authors

As book bloggers, a lot of us get access to ARCs (advance reading copies) or eARCs (the ebook version). There is no concrete definition of an ARC (that I could find with my quick Google), but the general consensus is that ARCs are books given to people with sway in the book industry to promote the release of a new title – e.g. librarians, book bloggers, professional reviewers, newspapers, booksellers. ARCs are given freely to these people with the hopes that they’ll read it and enjoy it and publicise it. I think that is what most people would classify ARCs as: a publicity tool. Because no one makes money from ARCs. The publisher pays for it to be made but the people receiving them don’t pay to receive it. The author certainly doesn’t get any money from these early review copies.

Which brings me to the heart of this discussion. Some might say that we “pay” for ARCs with the time we spend reading them, thinking about how we’re going to review them, actually reviewing them, and then sharing that review across our different platforms. But … we do this for books we buy and borrow from the library, as well. These are not exclusive things that we do for ARCs, and while reviews do have their place in this community, they aren’t giving support to the author directly.

Supporting an author is important. A debut author’s sales of their first book can determine if they ever have another book. Sales of first books (and subsequent books) in a series can determine if that series is going to be published to completion. Sales are so important to authors because it says to the publisher: readers want the words that this person creates. And if they don’t get sales then the message given to the publisher is something a lot less positive.

ARCs are not something we should rely on to show our support to authors. Supporting authors means buying their books. It is that simple. We should never expect creators to give us something for free (which is what an ARC is when you really think about it). We should be paying our creators, which means we should be buying their books. I know that not everyone is in the position to purchase books, but another thing you can do is suggest the purchase to your local library if you have one (I have done this heaps and they’re usually pretty great about getting them in).

If you love a book you read as an ARC, and you want more from that author, or the second book in the series, I really urge you to buy that beautiful finished copy, or suggest a purchase to your library, or grab an ebook copy. Support the author whose words you’ve fallen in love with so they have the opportunity to make you fall in love again.

(source)

sig-chiara

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Posted on: March 1, 2017 • By: Chiara

20 Responses to The Importance of Supporting Authors

  1. okay i love love love this post chiara! while i’m not always in a position to buy books being a student that doesn’t work many hours due to how much i have to study, i do defs suggest my library to bring those books in (school and public library!) and encourage my online friends to read and review it and my real life friends to read it and tell others about it! and whenever i can, i do try and purchase the book if i’ve enjoyed the arc!

    but awesome and unique discussion and one that is really really important!

    • Chiara says:

      Thank you so much, Anisha! There’s always times when affording books is hard and I totally get that. From what you’ve said you do I think you’re putting so much effort into supporting authors. Thank you for that <3 I think if we buy books when we can then that's the best we can do!

      I'm so glad you enjoyed it, lovely!

  2. Valerie says:

    I need to do this more often! Well actually I have done a great job at preordering books of my favorite authors, as I try to preorder one book a month since that’s really all I can afford haha. Sadly I have yet to get to any of the books I bought, but I will one day. Also I would suggest a ton of books to my library, but from their website, it doesn’t seem like I can request anything. Fortunately they do a really good job getting all the new releases!

    I’m with you on the ARC discussion. I think it’s great if you do share and publicize the ARC you’ve received, but publicizing it and supporting the author are two different things! Like you said, if you really love the book, then buying the book will show support!

    • Chiara says:

      I think preordering one book a month is fabulous! I have tried to do the same thing this year, way back in January when I made a huge order because of a sale, haha. It’s awesome because it’s like a gift from you past self, haha. It sucks that your library doesn’t have an order form on their website! Maybe they could do it in person?

      Yep, they definitely are two different things even though they are pretty closely tied together. Buying a book is so important, especially for debut authors and new series. They can get dropped so easily if sales aren’t “good enough” :(

  3. Jennifer says:

    I’ve only ever received one ARC before – it was a middle grade novel by Lauren DeStefano. I think I even started a post for a review, but I just sat there not knowing what to do because, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to review a middle grade book. How do you do that? I’d never read one before. I feel bad for not putting up a review, though, because it was a good book. I even have a Rick Riordan novel, but I haven’t read that one yet.

    I want to pitch in with hyping up a good book before it’s release (and ultimately buy it on its launch day), but that’s easier said than done, I suppose.

    • Chiara says:

      I have reviewed a MG and picture book here, and it’s just the same! I just break it down into things I liked or things that stood out to me. Just think of it like any other review you’ve written and it’ll come just the same, I think!

  4. I agree with this so much. When I love a book enough I always try to buy a physical copy if I can afford it. I adored reading my ARC of Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas earlier this month and I just ordered the physical copy yesterday, which I especially wanted to do because she’s a fairly new author and I don’t see a lot of internet hype around her books (which is such a shame because the Because You’ll Never Meet Me duology is beautiful).
    I might go and make a list now of all the wonderful books my local library needs to order!

    • Chiara says:

      I bought two finished copies of Nowhere Near You! It was so perfect, and I needed the paperback and hardback to go with my ARC, haha. I have quite the collection of that duology because it is one of my absolute favourites. I don’t know why people don’t talk about it more! I know the author has an idea for a third book so buying the two that she has out is super important. I hope your list was approved by the library, Helia!

  5. Great post. I’ve been thinking of doing a similar post, so I need to think about doing that now! I completely agree though. I don’t always have the money to buy books, but I do the best I can, and I think everyone else should do that too. Like you said, buying the book or having libraries buy the book is really what tells publishers to keep publishing that author. ARCS can spread the word and maybe get other people to want the book enough to buy it, but buying your own books is still something you yourself should do.

    -Lauren

  6. Right now with uni and no job, I don’t always buy a finished copy if I get a physical ARC. But if I love an eARC from NG or EW that book goes straight on my wishlist!! Especially if I want to reread them. As soon as I am earning money and can buy books regularly I plan on buying ALL THE EDITIONS of ALL THE BOOKS XD In the meantime I just shout my love at everyone

    • Chiara says:

      Of course there are times and people who can’t afford to buy books whenever they want to! I completely understand that. And adding a book to your wihlist so you remember it when you can afford it is a great idea. This post was more a reminder, I guess, that ARCs and blogging aren’t the only way to support the authors and works that we love so much!

  7. This is such a great reminder! I can count many series that ended abruptly because the sales weren’t there for them despite people reading and blogging about them…

  8. Kelly says:

    For me, an ARC is usually just an opportunity to read a book before release. By reading and promoting (the great reads mostly), I hope it encourages others to purchase or ask their local libraries to purchase. Anything that I’ve enjoyed, so three stars and above, I typically also buy a copy or eCopy for books I like to highlight and read again. I couldn’t agree more. Authors are artists and without monetary support, publishers assume a book isn’t popular and it’s the author that suffers. While it’s lovely to be acknowledged as a blogger and given the privilege to read books before release, bloggers need to put their money where their mouth is (or typing fingers). I often ask myself for those who blog and can’t afford to purchase books, where would you find books to read without ARCs? Libraries are amazing and each book they purchase can help reach young readers. I think as bloggers we can become too dependant on review copies and although we’re both old hats at this darling girl, it’s such an important message for new and young bloggers. I adore this post! <3

    • Chiara says:

      I’m the same, Kelly. I always buy the five star reads, and I try my hardest to buy three star and four star reads, as well. Just because I was given an ARC doesn’t mean that my support of the book ends there. This conversation gets tricky when we talk about economically disadvantaged readers who can blog but can’t visit a library because there aren’t any or buy the book because it’s too expensive. That is another conversation, though. This post was certainly aimed at those with the capability of supporting authors either by spending their own money or by asking an available library to. I think sometimes bloggers who can do this forget to because being swept up in the ARC-centred blogging world can feel like that’s all there is. I’m so glad you liked the post, lovely!

  9. As you know, dear Chiara, this subject is so incredibly important to me, & it makes me deeply happy that you chose to explore it in today’s post. <3 I think that, in the rather terrifying/chaotic world we live in, artists are needed more than ever – but the only way for artists to create is if they actually have money to live on. Art has value. It is needed, & worthwhile, & deserves to be paid for. I think that many book bloggers tend to overlook the importance of supporting the authors they love, & only request ARCs rather than also purchasing books or requesting them at libraries – which negatively impacts both authors & the artistic economy as a whole. Thank you so much for raising awareness of this; I truly hope it reaches the eyes that need the reminder. <3

    • Chiara says:

      I don’t think I have anything else to add to your comment, lovely. Artists definitely do need to be paid, and as much as I value the work of book bloggers I think we forget that book blogging isn’t the only way we can support the authors we love and the works they create. I’m so glad this post resonated with you, dear <3

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