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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Advance Reading Copies on Loan?

Scott Brown over at Fine Books Blog has some interesting news about one publisher's new attitude about Advance Reading Copies (ARCs). Since many of my fellow book bloggers receive ARCs from various publishers on a fairly regular basis I think that most of you will find this to be an interesting development.
I've written on this subject before, so I won't rehash the whole thing, but basically there are two issues. 1) Do publishers have the right to prevent sales of ARCs; and 2) Does it really matter. The answer to #2 is NO. The number of ARCs trading online (which is a much smaller number than the count of copies LISTED online), is quite small and they are a specialty item for collectors who are not likely to do what publishers fear: buy the ARC secondhand instead of the real book new.
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However ridiculous their concerns are, publishers do get worked up over ARC sales and Scribner has come up with an innovation: legal wording inside the ARC that says it's on loan:

Click the link over to Scott's original blog entry for more of his thoughts on the issue. Personally, I'm a collector of ARCs and I can't recall ever selling one, or even giving one away. I find them to be fun items to add to my book collection and I'm always on the lookout for older ARCs and Uncorrected Proofs. I have regular first edition copies of many of the ARCs that I own because I consider the ARCs to be complimentary to the hardback first editions, not a replacement for them that will save me a few bucks.
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