With the ending of the BEA, or Book Expo America, in NYC, a big issue has been brought to my attention with all of the ARCs that participants have walked away with. While it would never occur to me to do this with the books that I recieve for reviewing, there are apparently quite a number of people who are attempting to sell and auction off their ARCs on Ebay.
I find this behavior dispicable, and it reflects poorly on book bloggers who hunger and thirst for those ARCs. While the sellers will make a quick, dishonest buck, authors and publishers will only be less inclined to part with those precious ARCs for honest book bloggers to review. ARCs are Advanced Reader Copies specifically meant for reviewers and book bloggers, and are often uncorrected proofs and come in limited quantities. They are given out to generate buzz and excitement for when the completed book is released in the bookstores. The relationship between reviewers and publishers/ authors is one based on mutual trust and respect - I recieve your book because you trust me to review it, and I respect you for that so I follow through with the review. When people sell ARCs, not a single penny goes to the author or publisher. It's like a friend making you her special banana nut bread, and then you turning around and selling the loaf to someone on the street without even bothering to tell your "friend."
I know from reading other bloggers opinion on this topic that there is no possible way within the guidelines of Ebay to have these sellers' items removed, but I did find a campaign on Behind Yellow Eyes to respect ARCs, and I have the button up on my left sidebar. On their site is a growing list of all the book bloggers who have joined the campaign. I will never sell an ARC, even if I am hurting for money, and I will support any other book blogger and reviewer that does the same.
Will you join the Respect ARCs Campaign?