Monday, November 8, 2010

To Sell or Not to Sell: An ARC Debate

So I went to Half Price Books this evening and you can imagine my shock (and horror!) when I find in the youth section an ARC copy of Matched. FOR SALE. Yep. Not even joking. And then it gets better, because I not only did I find an ARC copy of Matched but also found an ARC copy of Sapphique, the sequel to Caroline Fishers highly popular Incarceron also for sale.

I know, people sell ARC's online after the book has been released all the time and its really not that bad right? But Matched and Sapphique haven't even been officially published yet! I could not believe that a book store would try to sell them. Especially when it explicitly states on the cover of the book NOT FOR SALE. At first I was excited because I am DYING to read Matched and I thought "Yes! I can't believe I found this I am so buying it!" But then I realized that it wouldn't be right for me to buy the book. The publisher and author have not received any compensation for it. And that just didn't feel right to me. So I decided not to buy it.

My brother did bring it to the attention of the Half Price Books manager to see what he would say. He proceeded to get quite flustered and then tell us that "Not for sale" really means that the publisher can't sell it but if the publisher gives it to you, you can because it becomes your property and you can do whatever you want with it. He then said that they normally don't sell ARC's because "its a little weird" but they do if they think that the book will be highly sought after BEFORE the publication date. I was quite shocked by this answer. The fact that they would take advantage of a publisher/author in such a way by selling ARC's of their books before they had even been published? Appalling.

So my question is what do you think? Is it really okay to sell an ARC before the publication date? How about after? Or do you think they shouldn't be sold at all? I would really like to know your opinions on this.

Julia :)


  1. I don't think it is right for the bookstore to sell it for the same reason as you. The author and the publisher don't get compensated and we need to support our authors.

    If somebody doesn't want it maybe do a giveaway or don't maybe you could donate to a school or something :)

  2. Great question....

    I dont think ARCS should be sold at all, at any time. They are unfinished, unedited, the covers may change, its just not a complete book. We as bloggers and reviewers should support the NO SALE rule for ARCS. Im glad you didnt buy it and maybe the author of Matched will read this and send you a signed copy.....:D

  3. Wow...I think that was very shady of that manager! "NOT FOR SALE" means not for sale! Bravo to you for resisting the temptation and not buying Matched. I'm dying to read it too, so I know that couldn't have been easy!

  4. ARCs should not be sold EVER! Wow, I would think Half-Price Books would know that too. Good for you guys to confront them about it. Sad that they seemed to think it was alright. :(

  5. Julia - I totally agree with the other posters - they say that they are not for sale, and that's why at the library we give them away! I am impressed that you didn't buy it and that your brother said something to the manager. I think other people have gotten into trouble for that! Miss you all!!

  6. P.S. - are you checking my blog? At :)


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