Discussion: What to do with old ARCs

I recently won a box of ARCs, and while I’m super grateful to have won them, I’m also a bit at a loss as to what to DO with them. Of course I’m going to read the majority of them (duh!) and pass along some newer ones to other bloggers for review. But then some of them are ARCs for books that were published in 2015/2016, so I don’t really feel right about passing them along, but I can’t really just throw books in the garbage…

Edited to add: I’ve seen several authors put up posts PLEADING with reviewers not to pass on ARCs to schools/readers etc. These copies are meant for review purposes and are NOT “real books” (even though they’re masquerading as them in pretty covers) and are filled with typographical errors and in many cases are missing entire scenes and things. One point brought up was that it does the reader a disservice to read an ARC instead of the finished, polished copy of the book and that these books are for REVIEW PURPOSES ONLY. ARCs are not the best version of the book, y’all. You are missing out on some glory and beauty by reading only the ARC and not the final version.

This is where you come in, bookish webiverse! What do you do with old ARCs? I know they’re just draft copies in fancy covers, not meant to be forever books. (Don’t let the cover fool you! These are not “real books!”)

I have mighty aspirations to turn the pages into craft projects. Here are some of the ideas I found so far. Since the holiday season is approaching, you can see my mind kind of went hard in very Christmas-y ways… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bookish paper ornaments

I love this adorable monogrammed paper star ornament from Jaime Costiglio – check out her blog for step by step direction.ย 
These book page star ornaments are also really cute – you can find the how to guide over at Harbour Breeze Home.ย 

I must just be into star ornaments right now… this 5-pointed origami star ornament tutorial can be found over atย Homemade Gifts Made Easy

And if you want to get a little fancier with your paper folding, this tutorial over at Krista Sew Inspired for (yet another) paper star ornament is glorious.

Bookish wreaths

This Christmas book page wreath is gorgeous, and you can find the tutorial over at Sparkles of Sunshine.

Another variation on the book page wreath is to use rolled pages fanning outwards. Vintage Paint and More has a good tutorial on how to get started on this type of wreath.

Origami & papercraft

I could always use book pages as origami paper to make things like lucky stars and flowers, and even if I turn out to stink at the art of folding paper there are non-origami ways of makingย pape
r flowers
ย too.

Do you have any good ideas about what to do with ARCs for books that have been published for a while? Is it OK/good/better to pass them on to other readers? Should I try to “upcycle” them?ย 

12 comments

  1. Wow, all those crafts are beautiful! If I had artistic talent, I'd try my hand at making one.Another option would be to give them away on your blog to those of us who haven't read them ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. I do intent to pass on the newer ones, but for the ones that are for books that were published more than a year ago I've seen several authors talk about not wanting ARCs to be out there floating around because they're unfinished copies of the book and as such not good copies – often with typos and entire scenes missing and stuff! I'd originally planned to have a giant box of ARCs as the giveaway for my blogiversary/unbirthday giveaway (which I'll be posting about later today!) but after reading several author posts pleading not to give people ARCs for published books… I'm torn. :/

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  3. Like I said to Skyblue527 in a comment below – I've seen several authors talk about not wanting ARCs to be out there floating around because they're unfinished copies of the book and as such not good copies – often with typos and entire scenes missing and stuff! I'd originally planned to have a giant box of ARCs as the giveaway for my blogiversary/unbirthday giveaway (which I'll be posting about later today!) but after reading several author posts pleading not to give people ARCs for published books… I'm torn. :/

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  4. If you have close friends that like similar books as you, you could always give them to them. I try to give away ARCs on the blog that are either not released yet or have been published for less than a year. All the older ones I accumulate that I don't want, I'll give to my friends. My best friend actually just happened to get like 5 older ARCs from me like a week ago because they were from like 2013 and I felt weird about giving them away on the blog. She understands the whole things around ARCs despite not being a blogger. And plus I know she doesn't have nearly enough money to buy books as often as I do. So I like to help her out by giving her reading material. Especially if its a book with a series. Cuz then it encourages her to buy the rest of it when she has the chance if she liked it. What really annoys me is that someone in Tucson keeps turning in ARCs to the used book stores around here. How hard is it to read on the cover of an ARC \”NOT FOR SALE.\” Someone is literally making money of ARCs around here by getting credit for them from the store and that really lights my fire. I kid you not, I considered buying the ARCs I found of Shades of Earth by Beth Revis and Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey (both of which I own hardcovers of) that I found just to give to my best friend because she at least respects that your not supposed to make a profit off of ARCs. I mean, it really makes me want to bang my head on the wall seeing ARCs being sold. I don't blame the store, because they hire a lot of people that probably have no idea what an ARC is. I blame the person knowingly bringing them in and taking advantage of that. They are lucky I don't work at that store or I'd call them out on it. I think everyone can agree, the ARC selling is not ok. I feel like even though authors really mean well about not wanting older ARCs passed around, there also isn't much to be done if they are. I mean, they will continue to exist, and they can't expect anyone who got an ARC to just hold on to it forever. But I also know there are other authors out there that would rather see an ARC of their book, no matter how old, get into the hands of a reader who might not have the chance to read it or many books in general otherwise. I think this particular situation is one that's hard to get a good read on what to do.

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  5. This is genius! I've been wondering what to do with the one I have (The Marriage Pact). This post convinced me to try reading it again, but the published copy, though it's been at the back of my mind because people have told me things about it that I've realized are minor differences. I love the idea of making origami stars out of them. I'm big on words, and they make great accessories for photos.Another craft that seems possible is making wrapping paper by [carefully] taping the pages together using clear tape (probably the kind used for moving). It might be a tedious feat, but I kind of want to try that now. It'd be great for bookish gifts or to add some of my personality into the gift (more love).Alternately, I could pick up a few from a thrift shop and see if any collectors (since I know they exist) want the ARC.

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  6. I am absolutely saving this post. So many good ideas!! The ARC thing is sticky. I love getting them, they're great! But I understand the author side and also, as Brittani stated above, there are people out there who don't respect the ARC and make a profit off of them. Recently I've received finished copies, early, from Penguin and I think that's a fabulous idea. It eliminates the typo-filled ARCs but still gets the books out to reviews before the publishing date.

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  7. Thanks for your really thoughtful comment, Brittani. I'm glad you have someone to give your ARCs to. ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm including my newer ARCs (from 2018/2019) in my Unbirthday giveaway (woo!) and will include a little note letting the winner know that they're not for resale and to either pass them on to another reader or dispose of them please… :/ And the author in question was asking people to throw them away, not expecting people to hold onto them forever. She even said something along the lines of \”I know it's super hard to throw a book in the garbage, but it's really not a real book!\” Part of the problem too is that you just don't know where in the editing/final product process an ARC is at when it was printed. Is it an almost finished product that's really close to the final product that was published? Or is it REALLY an unedited proof that's full of typographic errors and missing whole scenes? In the latter case, an experienced reviewer KNOWS the ARC is unedited and unproofed and to allow for that in their reading experience, where some poor shmuck who unwittingly paid money for an ARC in a secondhand bookshop just totally got ripped off and is having a less than stellar experience and now may not read anything else by that author thinking they don't put out a good product. :/ It's so hard ahhhhhh! I almost wish I'd just stuck with egalleys, lol. Those can just sit on my Kindle forever. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  8. I do a few bookish exchange boxes, and I think bookpage wrapping paper would be a really cute touch!! I'm hoping to make a few of the ornaments to include in some December swap/exchange/secret santa type boxes too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. Early finished copies are GREAT! That way you know where they're at in the editing/proofing process. One of the ARCs I got in this big box I'm kind of tempted to just request from the library because I don't know how different the ARC is from the finished copy. Are there just some minor typographical proofing type things? Or are there whole edits of scenes that might be added/removed? I'd hate to post a review that says something like \”Overall I liked this but the ending felt really rushed\” and then find out later that in the final version the author added an epilogue and the ending was actually perfect and would have made my 4 star reading experience a 5 star one, you know? I feel like ARCs are great to get reviews out early and generate buzz, but they can also be tricky depending on how early you're sending them and how FINISHED the book really is… :/

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  10. First of all, I LOVE all these ornaments, and I now want to make them all!! Secondly, I think I've learned as much from your comments and replies as from your pos—I've always passed my ARCs along, and it never occurred to me that authors wouldn't want them out there. This is some food for thought…Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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