So last week, Wendy talked about how you shouldn’t sell or purchase ARCs — well, in our (and most authors and publishers) opinion. So what should you do with that ever growing pile of ARCs?
Please keep in mind that as we gave or sent you the ARCs, we did so on the assumption that you were an influencer/opinionmaker in the field. As a bookseller, librarian, educator, reviewer, blogger, etc., you will either make a purchase decision or influence a purchase decision(s). That’s why we want you to read the book in advance.
So, what should you do with all those amazing, but space-hogging ARCs?
Ideally, we want you to love the book so much, that you place the ARC in a prime place on your bookselves to be saved for all eternity.
Barring that, I think giving a book to a particular friend or acquaintance who would like the book is okay. This can lead to a new fan for an author and it’s been done in a thoughtful way. I do have to admit to placing ARCs in apartment house lobbies. It’s easy and could help build buzz for the author. However, it’s really not the best thing to do.
As much as it sounds lovely and generous, we do not really want you to donate the books to your local school or library. The truth is that we want them to buy the book. However, a teen or kids book club at the school or library is a great place to donate. Teens, especially, love to discover new books and authors.
My favorite recommendation is to contact a local homeless or women’s shelter. Shelters rarely make book purchases (money going to food and heat, usually) and the kids there really need more access to books. It’s a win/win/win for everyone. Sometimes shelters (especially women’s shelters) can be hard to find. Try calling a local religious organization. They usually know just who to call and may be able to take the books to deliver as part of a larger donation.
I hope this gives you some ideas. Of course, you could always make a new chair or lamp!