Discussion: Why ARCs Matter to International Bloggers

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I’ve been seeing a lot of drama regarding ARCs especially during BookExpo and BookCon, so I figured I would create a discussion post as to why ARCs are a big deal especially to international bloggers*

*By international bloggers, I’m referring to those who blog outside of the United States, specifically those who come from developing countries such as myself. Please take my context into consideration before making any judgments.

Accessibility to ARCs

Let’s face it, those who blog internationally do not have as much access to ARCs (if they have any access at all) whether digital or physical. Netgalley and Edelweiss+ were websites where international bloggers were able to get digital galleys of books they wanted to read ahead of its release date; however, a few months ago there was an issue of international bloggers not being able to even request for digital galleys.

Where does that put international bloggers in the book community? We are constantly being excluded from things that book bloggers should be able to enjoy.

An Issue of Privilege

The accessibility of ARCs comes down to privilege. We [international bloggers] are people who cannot afford to fly across the world to attend events such as BookExpo and BookCon to meet our favorite authors, fellow bloggers, and get as many physical ARCs as we can. We are already marginalized in the book community and denying us ARCs is just the cherry on top.

People Complaining About our Friends Getting ARCs for Us

This is the most prominent topic during BookExpo because there were tweets from people that others should not get more than one physical ARC for their international blogger friends.

Again, I’m bringing in the issue of privilege. We have friends who are kind enough to include us to a space where we are physically excluded from. It really hurts to see fellow bloggers blatantly talk about how our friends shouldn’t take us into consideration. Frankly, I’m disgusted.

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Not All Publishers Ship Internationally

Even the most prominent book bloggers get denied physical ARCs by publishers due to geographical constraints. Shipping is expensive overseas. Some publishers have no international contacts for certain countries. Physical ARCs are considered a treasure to us, why are you making us feel bad for wanting it? Who are you to tell us to stop whining about not getting ARCs and wait for the release date instead?

It’s not the ARC, It’s What it Represents

STOP telling us that “it’s just an ARC” because really it’s not so much the ARC itself that matters.

When publishers take us into consideration and actually send us ARCs (whether physical or digital), it is more the recognition that validates us as bloggers. That recognition allows us to feel like we are part of the community as POCs. In a time and age where POC authors are seen and heard, I like to think that POC bloggers should have the same recognition as well.

I am not targeting anyone specifically because quite frankly I don’t remember who tweeted/posted what, I just wanted to take the time to write a post about an issue that hits home to us because we are international bloggers, we are POC, and we matter.

If you have comments, experiences, and other things you would like to say, please feel free to comment below because this is an important topic we would like to discuss.

23 Replies to “Discussion: Why ARCs Matter to International Bloggers”

  1. A lot of US bloggers lose sight of the fact that book blogging is a passion that crosses international borders, but, unfortunately, the tools to do that – like ARCs – don’t often do the same. The entitlement and anger from US bloggers (especially white bloggers, not gonna lie) about not being able to get their hands on ARCs because other bloggers were kind enough to get them for their friends who couldn’t afford to come really galls me. You people have $300 to spend on a con but don’t want to just pay for an actual book instead of getting angry that kinder people are getting ARCs for their less fortunate friends? Come the hell on.

    This is such a great post! Thank you for writing it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My issue here is that privilege often makes bloggers entitled and feel superior over international POC bloggers regarding ARCs. At the end of the day we’re all bookworms who (ideally) have the same passion for books, there’s really no need to discriminate.

      Thank you for your input! This really added a lot more to the original post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hell yes! I’ve been blogging for more than a year and so far I have never gotten a single physical ARC, but I understand that it’s because if the shipping costs. What I don’t understand however is why put constraints on the digital ones? Does my opinion suddenly count less because I’m not an American? Manages to piss me off every single time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This!!!! It really shocked us when we learned about the issues of Netgalley and Edelweiss about the digital galleys. I know it had something to do with the rights but still it really discouraged us for a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel your pain! I’m from Portugal and publishers very rarely send me physical ARCs, it’s usually eARCs and that’s when I happen to get lucky. I’ve been contacted by an English publisher that wanted to send me books, but when they realized I wasn’t in the U.K. they said they couldn’t send them my way. European publishers won’t even send ARCs to other European countries, it’s so unfair 😭
    Hopefully that will change one day 🤷🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same! Or at least I hope they have more avenues for international bloggers like maybe opening up digital galleys for us again 😦 I haven’t been active on Netgalley as much but whenever I am and try to request for titles, I realize I can only wish for them now. Super sad.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you as well!! I tried my best to stay away from the BookCon and BookExpo hauls because it was really painful to see, but I’m still happy for those who went!

      Hopefully we’ll all be able to go someday 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t think it should be on us, bloggers and readers wherever we are, to do something about ARCs and it makes me sad that we have to. It should be on the publishing industry themself. Sometimes I feel like rolling my eyes how hard they promote (racial and cultural) diversity but excludes the sources of those race and cultures. About the comment on getting ARCs for friends, reminder that since the US book industry turns the other cheek on the accessibility of ARCs, all they will see are people getting MORE and that some people saved for the event to get a chance at those and they feel cheated. There’s nothing wrong with both your view and the comment’s. But all publishers will see is that people are hoarding the books, and that will hurt the industry (A sort of karma, I know but) making ARCs rarer esp for small authors and publishers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, yes we agree that the responsibility should fall on the producer; however it’s not ideal since both sides have to do the work (consumers more than producers nowadays) and this post really is just to shed some light on how international bloggers feel, especially after the drama BookCon caused regarding ARCs.

      Thank you for your comment though! I didn’t know that that is how publishers will see this issue.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As a POC blogger (though not international) I can definitely see what you are talking about! Most popular book bloggers and straight cis woman which is bothersome because it creates a environment of privilege in a place that many minority’s go to for a escape. POC, and international POC in particular, seem to be less popular and less recognized in the book community. Book blogs/youtube should be a place that is more inclusive but it is still western and white centric. *insert passive aggressive smiles faces*

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Westernization will always the case (I hesitate on calling it a “problem” because it is so institutionalized and internal today that we can no longer tell the difference) but that exclusion is really felt for international POC bloggers despite the community having the claim of being a safe space 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Even living in Canada, I find it hard to get one. So I’ve stopped trying.

    But I cannot imagine what an international blogger in a developing country has to deal with this situation.

    I do find getting an ARC a privilege, and I’m considered part of North America, but anything outside of the USA doesn’t really count, now does it?

    If I were to go to BookCon, I wouldn’t have a problem with getting several copies of said book for my international friends. And I’d gladly pay for the shipping even if I’m considered low income. If we can’t support our community at an event, then don’t say you support the community at all because you truly aren’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The only thing I’ll say on the topic–because I absolutely believe that it is unfair that International bloggers don’t have the same access to ARCs–is that I went to BEA and BookCon in 2017, and they typically limit everyone to just one copy of a book, so grabbing extra copies for someone else is not exactly easy to do. But, considering the fact that you don’t pay for the books themselves, I would have no issue with paying for the shipping to send any spare ARCs to any of my international friends.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah. I know that sometimes if you’re with others waiting in line for one ARC and another one drops, they’ll let someone take two purely for the person stuck waiting in line. But they have people watching the ARC piles to make sure people aren’t taking stacks and running away.

        Liked by 1 person

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