Sybil recently asked if other readers get jealous over other readers receiving ARC’s. My response was negative. I don’t much care. What I do worry about is the accessibility of them recently. Almost everyone I link to has had a ARC sent to them by an author. Solicited or unsolicited, who knows. Is this a growing trend now to send ARC’s to readers instead of professional review sites? I find it interesting. I know word of mouth is always good but there was a time when ARC’s were hard to get. Most publishers only sent them to print media and if you had a blog – you didn’t qualify. Of course things have changed.
My question for those who have received ARC’s: Has there been an ARC sent to you that you didn’t like all that much? That you didn’t finish? Did you have to struggle with your conscious to write a review of it stating your likes and dislikes? Decided not to review to avoid the hassle? How many times have had to revise something because you felt it might hurt the author’s feelings? Have you written a bad review of a ARC and then had the author get upset at you? I can guess half the answers already. My point is that some objectivity is lost in the exchange. When you start looking at authors as your personal friend then there’s a problem. You can’t be completely objective about their work. In closing my thoughts on this topic, some authors are nice and can handle constructive criticism while others cannot. All I am saying is that there are expectations from you: said or unsaid. In my past experience, I think I felt bad once writing a review with the perceived notion of the “author looking over my shoulder experience.” At the time, I was friendly with this author via email. I had recently bought his book, told him how excited I was to read it and when I did, I didn’t much like it and said so. Never heard from him again. Such is life.