RARA-AVIS: E-ARCs, ARCs and Used Books

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 13 May 2009

  • Next message: Joy Matkowski: "Re: RARA-AVIS: E-ARCs, ARCs and Used Books"

    Dave wrote:

    > It's kind of an interesting concept for publishers to give out free
    > electronic copies of a book before it's published. Probably won't
    > cut down into sales, at least no more than sending out ARCs that
    > later make their way onto eBay and used bookstores,

    And I wonder how much even that really cuts into sales (and how does that balance against potential future sales if someone gets hooked on an author?).

    A lot of mainstream used bookstores these days don't really want ARCs
    -- or even hardcovers. They can't sell them. The few used bookstores that still exist, that is. Most of them have gone online, and of the few that are still around, a lot of them aren't even taking in mass markets anymore -- except for credit. I've heard Amazon won't even allow their used book dealers to sell ARCs.

    (Mind you -- Palmdale isn't exactly the most literate area of the country so I could be wrong. Boston, however, is a great book town. What's the used bookstore situation there these days, Dave?)

    My guess -- and it's only a guess -- is that most ARCs and e-ARCs will eventually end up in the hands of the relatively small number of buffs and collectors or simply get tossed out or erased; not the general public who have the real buying clout.

    The general public generally likes mass market paperback when it buys used. Generally.

    Kevin Burton Smith Thrilling Detective Web Site Spring 2009 Issue Now Online
    "Love Rears It's Ugly Head"

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