Discussion Post: ARCs vs Finished Copies


I apologize now if I ramble with this one.  It was just something I was thinking about and wanted to see what others thought.


What do you think about reading ARCs? 


Do you ever feel pressure to read ARCs?  Either from publishers or other bloggers?


Are you more likely to read an ARC before picking up a finished book that you already have?


Do you usually buy the finished book of ARCs you’ve read?


Do you think ARC reviews are helpful?


Do you ever feel like you need to rate an ARC higher because you got it from the publisher or author?


Do you review ARCs on your blog that you’ve given a low rating to?



For me, I tend to pick up ARCs before picking up a book I already have.  I’m not sure why.  It’s usually excitement.  But sometimes it’s pressure.  Luckily, I’m the type of person who does better with pressure, but there can be days that it makes me feel anxious.  I am lucky in that I can buy quite a few books per year.  I’m more likely to buy a finished copy of a book that I’ve already read the ARC of, but it’s not a deciding factor.  I don’t do negative reviews on my blog.  It’s just my preference, but I’ll do a small review on goodreads.  Luckily I like most of what I read.   I personally think that ARC reviews are very important for sales.  Probably more than publishers realize.  I skim reviews to see if I want to request or purchase a book.  Seeing early reviews is helpful for me and my decision making.



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Author: confessionsofayareader

I'm Kristi. I'm a wife, mom, and grandma. I have been breeding leopard geckos for ten years. I love to read and have been trying to review more books (the reason for this blog besides wanting to talk about books with everyone). I also love music and going to concerts, mostly punk and pop punk.

30 thoughts on “Discussion Post: ARCs vs Finished Copies”

  1. I love having the opportunity to read a book before it is released. I have not bought a copy of a book I have the ARC copy of, I never thought about showing my support for the author in this manner, but it may be something I do in the future!! I love ARC reviews because it gets me excited about what is coming out; however, I hate when the reviews are done over a month in advance…I get excited and then realize, wow, that book comes out in a month, meh. Weird, I know! The ARC reviews help me decide what I want to buy or check out from my library. I’ve gotten quite a few books in to my local library because they’ve been raved about in advance. When I review and rate ARC books I feel it is my duty to be as honest as possible. If I truly felt the book was 3 stars or lower, I usually don’t mention a rating on my blog out of respect to the author, but I will rate it that way on Goodreads and other sites. When I post a review on my blog I make sure to point out what I liked about the book and what I didn’t like about the book, so that people reading it can decide for themselves. Take The Silent Patient for example…for me that was a 3 star mediocre at best read. I wasn’t that into it and it just fell flat for me. So many people LOVE it. I made a post about what I liked and what I didn’t like…as with any review, that is what I look for so I can judge for myself if I want to pick it up. If someone says they loved the open ended ending I probably wouldn’t read it because I hate that, haha. So when it comes to reviewing the ARC, out of respect for the author, I don’t rate it in writing unless it’s a 4 or 5 star. Just because I didn’t care for it doesn’t mean everyone else feels the same way and it is only fair to that author who poured their heart and soul they get a fair and honest review and it doesn’t always need to be bogged down with a star rating! WOW, I sure talked a lot, haha, ok, I’ll stop now!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love getting ARCs but I hate the guilt that comes when I don’t read them because I can’t find the time. It feels more like a job to read them than it is to just pick out a book from the library or off my own shelf.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely understand that. I generally read about 85-90% of the ones I get, if I request them. Unsolicited may or may not get read. It does sometimes feel like work, so I try to take a break and read something else in between. This month, I’ve read 4 books so far and only 1 was an ARC. But most of the books I read for the last half of the month will end up being arcs for tours.

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      1. That’s great that you’re able to read so many! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. I’m also such a mood reader anymore, and I think I’m burnt out on fantasy novels.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I do feel pressure, trying to stop feeling that even if I am behind. But I know I will finish them all eventually so they still getting a review. I do post low ratings on my blog, they asked for an honest review so I give it. I am never mean I just give facts. I have a new stystem which is getting me through my arcs and my bought books. Seems to be working well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very cool that you came up with a system. I know quite a few people who post negative blog reviews and I definitely respect that. I just keep it to GR to try to keep my blog a bit more positive. Even with a book I don’t like, I try my best to point out something positive because I can’t imagine how hard it was for that author to write their book.

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      1. I agree with you I always find something positive. I try to be constructive and usually say why I chose to read the book too . If a book that has lots of reviews on goodreads only has good reviews I am less likely to read it. I think bad reviews show that real people are reading it. So for me bad reviews can help as much as good. You can also look to see if why one person didn’tlike it, but you might not mind that reason.

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  4. I usually read 2-3 books at a time: a physical and/or an ebook, and an audiobook. Audios are backlist or reread 90% of the time. And if my physical book is a backlist I’ll do an e-ARC or vice versa.

    I like keeping my reading balanced so I don’t like to read too many arc or backlist books in a row.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have bought final copies of favorite ARC’s but I mostly have just been recommending them to my library so it’ll still get purchased cause ya know, bills.

    Also I am trying to limit my ARCS with must reads only instead of anything that catches my eyes.

    I was in a major book slump this year and went from 100 percent to 76 percent on Netgalley after I marked 8 books as DNF cause of my 2-3 month slump. I just could not do reviews then. I’m in one today too but that is because of how my day was, I should be fine now that it’s the weekend.

    But I was just like…words….what’s words? After I messed up sports schedules at work a third time…I’m not a sports person but that’s why I’m in my book slump today.

    But yeah sorry that got off topic. But back on topic, slumps do have part in ARC’s also which is why I request a limited number now.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Check out Libby/Overdrive! I know on Overdrive you can recommend them. Publishers/ authors get money for the first time they buy the books, not the amount of times it is checked out from what I understand which makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know libraries are having issues with publishers lately and it makes me feel bad. For me, I personally like to buy my books. I’m not a fan of our closest library (another town away), so when I do go, it’s back to my hometown. I prefer to read physical books whenever I can for my eyes. I am thrilled that I can try to recommend them through the sites you mentioned above. I hope they are able to buy at least some of them. The prices are getting pretty high, so I can understand that they need to be picky.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Mine actually buys pretty much all of the ones I recommend… it’s actually my mom’s library in Ohio. They have way more ebooks than my library does but I do also get some from my library in town too, just not right away.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t stress over ARCs I will read them whenever I can and don’t let the pressures get to me. Yes I feel bad if it takes me forever to get to them but it is what it is and I don’t beat myself up over it. I do share negative reviews on my blog because for me personally I feel like I would be lying to my followers if I didn’t include the bad along with the good.

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  7. I think the publishers create a lot of hype and marketing for new releases and then the big influencers really spread that excitement to others and it can be hard to ignore that excitement. I can stress over ARCs if I have a lot with deadlines to read them by (which is the case right now). I do wish that we would have more discussion and motivation to read backlist titles so that both are balanced, but people will be excited about for things they’re excited about. Great discussion 🙂

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  8. I love the idea of ARCs and I think their reviews are super important for both readers and publishers in the coming months before a book is released. However, I don’t know if it is just me or not, but especially with books I am highly anticipating, I am almost scared to read ARCs of them because I am worried they will get changed before the release and then I won’t have an accurate review of the published book. For example, I recently got my hands on a HIGHlY anticipated fall release (The Girl the Sea Gave Back) and I just can’t bring myself to open it because I know I have it preordered and I almost want to guarantee the best story the author/publishers felt to put forward. I have only recently started thinking about this because one of the authors I follow on twitter posted about making heavy edits to her book (which is being released this fall). But this was after a ton of people got her ARC at Book Expo…. I don’t know. Maybe I am just paranoid, but I also don’t have the time to re-read finished copies of ARCs I have already read just to see if anything has changed. What do you think? Do you ever wonder if the book you read as an ARC is the same story as the one everyone else has read/been reading?
    On one hand reviews of ARCs help publishers and authors find issues that can be altered before publication, on the other though, if an author makes changes to their story based on initial ARC reviews, and someone sees those ARC reviews without knowing the author made changes, they may not give that book a chance, and then the edits are almost for nothing. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s actually a really good point. There have been times I’ve wondered. I know a book I read an arc of had the last 40 or so pages changed. I still need to reread those, but figured I’d wait until I start book two. But you make a good point. I rarely reread something unless it’s with an audiobook. I know some things are just minor changes, but there are some books with big ones. I would like the authors and publishers to let early readers know if there was a major change. That way we can decide if we want to reread it? Or if they can tell us what part changed? I really like that you just made me think of something that I rarely think about. Thank you so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that would be awesome if publishers/authors let their readers know if any major changes have been made between ARC and published. It would better inform readers for sure. I’m glad (?) I could put that thought bubble in your head, though I fear it may not necessarily be a good thought.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, it is. I love thinking about issues and trying to come up with ideas to help. Unfortunately, I can’t really make publishers/authors do that. But it would probably be a good suggestion for them when they ask for feedback.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I mean especially if publishers send the ARCs themselves (whether unsolicited or requested) to reviewers. They should keep that mailing list and in the very least send a note to reviewers of any major changes since the copy that they sent out. That way reviewers can add a note to their reviews stating that the book has since changed since their initial read, and may be different (whether they read the difference or not). It would give readers a fair idea of what to expect rather than outdated information.

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