Book Nerd Problems #15: ARC Envy (A Confession)

Posted August 4, 2013 by Debby in Uncategorized

This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the many problems one can run into as a book nerd.

#15. ARC Envy

I have a confession to make, and it’s one that will likely have you rolling your eyes or scoffing at me. Because, and I am fully aware of this, this is a total issue of “woe is me” “first world problem” ridiculousness. And for all intents and purposes, I am mad at myself for this. I don’t want this to stir up drama, but probably some of you can relate. Here we go:

I suffer from a massive case of ARC envy.

Here’s the deal. I’m an international blogger. By definition, we get less ARCs. Physical ARCs are out of the question. Author events/conventions, forget it. Electronic galleys? We still have a shot there. And at the beginning of my blogging journey I had a moderate amount of success getting accepted for those, getting Parallel, September Girls, The Testing, Transparent, MILA 2.0, Dualed, Ink, Just Like Fate, After Eden, etc. But time has gone on, my blog has grown, and now I find myself getting rejected at every turn.

I don’t know what happened. I honestly don’t. Am I too critical, and do publishers not want to take chances with me? But other reviewers are even harsher than me. Harper still accepted me for The Burning Sky after I posted my uber-harsh review of September Girls. So…

It’s become more apparent lately that even electronic ARCs are (sometimes) subject to location-based restrictions. In rejection notices, it’ll sometimes say, “We are legally restricted to offering these copies to residents of the US, UK, and AUS,” or some derivative thereof. Now I don’t know exactly why this is a legal restriction, since it also doesn’t apply to all publishers apparently, but it’s really gotten me pissed off lately.

Why? Well you know how on NetGalley and Edelweiss they ask you to make your location clear in your profile? I did that. I followed all their guidelines and thought that would pay off in the long run. Wrong-o. Now I get rejected for these egalleys with the location-based reasoning, okay… but I see on blogs of other internationals that they get approved for the same. damn. egalleys. Most often, they have a smaller blog following than me, post less frequently, etc.

This alone has made my ARC envy increase to monumental proportions, almost making it ARC resentment. Many people have tried to explain to me that acceptance via Edelweiss or NetGalley is typically a touch random as well, but I honestly cannot understand it for a second. I’m not a big blogger by any means, I know that, but I have a modest following, a relatively constant stream of content, and, to be frank, I put in a lot of effort. I had hoped that showed. Apparently not. So, publishers,

This envy is a personal problem that keeps getting worse. It’s gotten to the point where I’m almost going out of my way to avoid ARC reviews or any mention of ARCs, because I can’t handle being confronted with opinions or news about a book I have no shot at getting my hands on (yet). And if other bloggers comment on a Waiting on Wednesday post or a review of a book of which they have the sequel ARC and say, “Oh! This one/the next one is so great! YOU MUST READ IT SOON!” I’m just sitting here like… really? … Really? It feels, and I am perfectly aware that this is no one’s intention and it’s me being ridiculous, like they are just rubbing it in my face. I don’t even know how to respond to those comments anymore. “Ooh. Yay. Fantastic. Glad you liked it. Can’t wait.” It doesn’t even sound genuine when I try, at least to me it doesn’t.

(To be honest, I need to stop with Waiting on Wednesday posts, or have them be about books that don’t have ARCs yet.) 

To clarify…

I am not writing this post to get your sympathy, and likely comments like, “Awwww, how saaaaad,” will not really help. I just needed to vent and get this out of my system. Blogging is an outlet for me, and hopefully the simple act of writing it out will already get me past the worst of this. But yeah, I’m just pissed about all of this lately and I can’t keep it in any longer.

I’m not saying that I’m entitled to ARCs. Not at all. I’m really grateful every single time I’m accepted, and I know it’s a gift to me. And I love the publishers for it. But the constant stream of rejections really stings… especially when there appears to be this randomness to who they accept and who they reject.

And I know, I should “keep my head up” and just “keep trying” and “improve the blog” but… this has been going on for so long now that I don’t even really feel like it. I feel like the blog has stagnated, in terms of content, followers, everything. And I don’t have the time to put in the amount of effort necessary to make large scale changes or a strategy to improve… and I shouldn’t have to. Blogging is supposed to be fun. When did it stop being fun? When did I start getting this massive sense of insecurity, inadequacy, and ultimately resentment? I just can’t anymore.

TL;DR: this is a thinly veiled rant that happens to serve well as a Book Nerd Problem, but it’s a serious personal issue that is getting me down. I really don’t want this to cause any drama. I just needed to vent, because…


Let’s Talk!

Enough of my ranting, what about you?
Do you suffer from ARC envy? How do you cope?

Let me know in the comments!

(Please keep it respectful, no drama. I’m not doing any finger pointing. This is mostly a self-esteem issue.)



    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    22 responses to “Book Nerd Problems #15: ARC Envy (A Confession)

    1. I recently started blogging and have always looked at the bloggers that have ARC books with envy. Who wouldn't? It's definitely a goal of mine to be popular enough to receive an ARC copy somedy =D

      How do I cope? My list of to-read is crazy long, so I can usually keep myself so busy with those that I don't have time to miss the books that aren't out yet.
      My recent post Review: After Daybreak

    2. musicplusbooks

      Debby, I feel you. Haha, that sounds so weird but sometimes I really wish I lived in the US. I live in Australia and most of the time, ARCs are restricted to the US and Canada. I'm sitting here like whut?! I just don't cope. Good luck though! Maybe in the future, us internationals will be given more love.
      Laura @ Music Plus Books

    3. achoquet

      I think this post will resonate with tons of others who have the same problem, so even if it's ranty and you're ashamed of dealing with these feelings in the first place, I think it's great you wrote about it. (And really, I hope that you writing about it has helped you feel better. Sometimes just getting it all out there makes a world of difference.)

      I honestly cannot relate one way or the other since I've never requested an ARC. I do think it's ridiculous though that those in other countries have such troubles getting ARCs (especially for ebooks) when they obviously can have successful blogs just like anyone else. When I go blog-hopping, I don't limit myself to only those blogs which are set in the same country as me. That's ridiculous. I follow blogs for their content and personality, and even if that means a blog I visit features the same book but with a different title or different cover, so be it. It's all the same. If they love it, they love it, and they'll likely convince me to put it on my radar. Where a blogger is located has nothing to do with it.

      I will say I do hope that blogging becomes fun for you again. I'm not saying this for any other reason than it being the truth, Snuggly Oranges is one of my favorite book blogs. I've been following you since I first started blogging, and added you to my blogroll shortly after. Your blog is cute, your content is awesome, and I love your personality. (Even more so since we've communicated for the Games.) So, even if it doesn't mean much, I'm glad you're still around and doing what you do. <3

      The only thing
      My recent post The Bookish Games: Let Day Two Begin!

    4. Shannelle (The Tracery of Ink)

      Poor Debby. This sounds like it really sucks.

      I was also thinking that it's so weird that galleys are even being restricted depending on your country. It might be a rights thing, but still. Netgalley was supposed to be a way to get more ARCs out to more people, and limiting it to a certain country just makes it so unfair.

      I'm kinda going through the same thing, although I don't have as many followers as you, Debby, so it doesn't really irk me at all. But from your viewpoint, I would be pissed if this happens to me. Hope the situation improves for you.
      My recent post Book Review: Quarantine by Lex Thomas

    5. river

      I can understand this SO MUCH and just want to hug you and offer my sympathies because I went thru the same thing and kinda am still going thru it. I actually started requesting before I began my blog… A friend of mine uses Netgalley and told me about it and I was like 😀 and signed up. I was posting reviews on goodreads but then started to get into other book blogs and decided to turn my personal blog into a book blog. Mines nothing super serious, i just don't have the time, but I think I have a decent following and I've tried really hard to keep up with ARCs. I got accepted for some AMAZING things when I first joined Edeweiss and read and reviewed and then requested more and got the 'sorry, if you're a book blogger, let us know!' rejection and wanted to cry because I PUT ALL MY INFO WHY DON'T YOU SEE THAT I AM A BLOGGER ヽ( ̄д ̄;)ノ=3=3=3 and since then that is the NUMBER ONE REJECTION that I get and I just want to be like ARE YOU BLIND!?!?!?

      I was really torn about the location part too… I have mine set to USA only because Japan isn't an English speaking country and I am terrified that I'll get rejected on that basis alone. I'm technically a resident of the US (I'm legally an 'alien' in Japan, wtf) and I have a US kindle/ permant address, so I figured that was resident enough. I hate that we can't all just put THE INTERNET tho for egalleys since, come on, does location honestly matter when it comes to e-anything!? (I hope nobody yells at me and tells me to change my location now that I've confessed this… But publishers can clearly see that I AM in Japan).

      I think the number one thing that gets me is when I see people getting ARCs that they don't even want… coughAUTOAPPROVEDHARPERTITLEScough. I had to unfollow some people on goodreads because they had arcs of things I am DYING FOR AND WOULD TRADE MY NON-EXISTANT FIRST BORN FOR and they were hating them. I just couldn't watch.

      I could go on, but my train ride is ending and I really want to re-watch New Girl now so good post! I love yr rants and your gigs. ( ̄^ ̄)ゞ

    6. ARCs is something I had a lot to say when I typed up my post on why it sucked to be an international blogger yesterday and it didn't used to bum me out so much but I had some recent experiences with some publishers that just enraged me so much and frustrated me to the extent that I just couldn't stand seeing pictures of ARCs at all.

      For one I have no idea how publishers approve eARCs sometimes. They approve me for one but then the next one I request, they reject me and the previous book I didn't even give a negative review or haven't gotten to it yet because it's not released yet. Uhm what? People say that it will get better and when your blog starts to grow you will get more acceptances but I don't think that applies to international bloggers. It's touch or go for us, we are at the mercy of how the publishers approve eARCs and some of them just don't even have a proper system. The reasons they give sometimes are ridiculous too because I don't think rights is actually an issue in some cases, especially if they're the only publisher for that book and no other foreign publisher has the rights to it. They're the only source for it.

      I don't think not putting your location on your NG or EW profile actually helps at all unfortunately. I tried that once and still got rejected numerous times because they might still go to your blog and check or snoop around.

      I feel your pain Debby, the system is unfair to us. Us and ARCs were just never meant to be if publishers are dead set against allowing international bloggers in. I just hope that publishers will start to open their eyes and realise that international bloggers are also essential in the blogging community.
      My recent post Hiatus &#8211; Be Back on 17th August!

    7. I get rejected on Edelweiss all the time. I even banned it for now, because it's depressing me, haha. Netgalley is quite nice to me most of the times, but yes, I do feel jealous that we can't get physical ARC'S. I even wrote a post about my jealous feelings a while ago, so you're certainly not the only one. It's almost like.. we INT aren't important enough, but I think we are also helpful when it comes to promoting books. I do know that it's very expensive to ship to us, so yeah.. That's why I'm so incredibly happy with HarperCollins INT. I love those guys.
      My recent post Review 180. Adam Gidwitz – In a glass Grimmly.

    8. Ugh, I totally feel you. Being an international blogger sucks, especially if you live in Indonesia like me. Some ARCs are only available on US, UK, etc and that sometimes annoys me when I see a book I REALLY want to read up on NG and then I realize that the pubs only approve US bloggers :/ (Yes, I mean Bloomsbury and Random House.)

      So… I'm highly aware that my blog isn't popular and I can only manage 3 posts per week due to my lack of time but I do put a lot of effort in writing the contents, especially reviews. I'm making a big improvement in the last three months and my blog stat increases gradually but what? Pubs still reject me on EW and NG. And a couple of my requests are still ignored until now. I try not to request eARCs anymore unless it's a book I really want to read but some publishers are just SOOOOO STRICT *coughPenguin&Scholasticcough* I'm also confused cause I was approved for a book months ago by Harper but they rejected all request I made last month. BUT WHYYYY??? My blog has definitely improved so much from then :'((( I can totally relate with your post, Debby! I trully appreciate every eARCs pubs has approved me and I could see why they haven't approved me again, probably because of my followers number but deep down, I still feel really sad whenever I get an email notification from NG or EW saying that my requests were rejected.

      Right now I'll try to read and review my own books or the ones I borrowed from my friends, build my followers and just have fun with blogging. Getting approved for ARCs makes me really happy but getting thoughtful comments on my blog somehow is exciting too. 🙂

      Oh, and btw, you're right Debby, I finished Shadow and Bone yesterday and it was AWESOME! 😀
      My recent post [Hot from the Oven] August 2013

    9. Pam@YAEscape

      I completely identify with your ARC envy, but for different reasons. I'm in the US, but just recently started blogging so it will be forever before I can even request an ARC, and it does sound like there's a lot of randomness to it. I try not to worry about it because there are no many books to read, but when I see someone reviewing an ARC of a book I really cannot wait for, it is depressing. Or seeing the Stacking the Shelves where it's filled with ARCs they were just approved for. But I do have to tell you, I absolutely love your blog, it was one of the first ones I started following. You obviously put a lot of time and thought into your reviews and the discussions you post, and you have such a great sense of humor about it. And love the gifs!
      My recent post Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    10. Oh, I so know what you mean! I got that "this egalley is restricted to US/UK/Canada/AUS" a few times too. I don't understand it. And here's why. I thought the whole purpose of egalleys and websites like Netgalley and Edelweiss was to reach those bloggers/reviewers that don't have access to physical copies of the ARC. Right? RIGHT??? Well, that should, by default, mean that it's not restricted to those specific countries. Why make egalleys is you're giving them to those who can get paperbacks as well? (please, don't get me started on giveaways and contests held by publishers that are open only to certain countries!)
      I hate it when I see that.

    11. trishhannon111

      I hear you and feel your pain. I'm resigned to getting next to no physical arcs but I always have high hopes of e-galleys. It is like a slap when I'm rejected especially when its one I really, really want. And yes there is no rhyme or reason to it, the same publishers approve and then turn me down for books in the same genre. Its hard to understand.
      Maybe its just as well I don't do Waiting on Wednesday as it will be a long wait for me for so many books 🙂
      Don't take it personally though, your blog is fab and your reviews are full of personality.
      My recent post The Sunday Post – Get your bookish news!

    12. lucythereader

      Although I live in the UK, I do suffer ARC envy a lot. I know a lot of other bloggers who don't have as many followers or the same amount of page views as me and they're getting loads and loads of ARCs. I often think it would be a lot easier if I lived in the US. Oh well! I just try and think now that I don't blog for the ARCs, I do it because I enjoy doing it.
      Got me thinking now!
      My recent post Letterbox Love (18)

    13. Being in the same country as you I know exactly what you are talking about. I did some reading on this because I own a Kindle and am therefore only allowed to buy my Kindle books in the US shop and not the UK.
      There is more information on the deal with foreign rights in articles like… and other articles about the famous Kindle swipe. Though I do understand rights should be protected I feel that eGalleys should be handled different especially because we blog in English (not in our native language) and for me at least most of my visitors are from the US.
      My recent post Review: The Ambitious Card, John Gaspard

    14. NGL, I'm always SUPER offended when I get rejected for an egalley. I mean, how does letting me read it hurt the publisher? If I love it, I'll have to buy a copy for myself and likely a giveaway copy. If I don't get approved, I probably won't read it. So….seriously? You could maybe have sold two books, but you just sold zero of them. Sound plan. This is also why I almost never accept egalleys anymore. If I request them and get turned down, I feel a fury. At least if I get turned down for a print ARC, I know the supply is limited and they're expensive and all that.

      Basically, publishers don't make any sense. I'll see books I've requested going to bloggers with a smaller following who post one paragraph reviews that say nothing and I'm just like REALLY? Not that I should be judging, but, well, I'm me and I can't help it. I just want it to be logical. To be all about stats or all about quality of reviews or what have you, but it's just RANDOM and it makes me insane.

      I had a phase where I was like this when I first got involved in the community. What I did? Entered a shit ton of giveaways and won enough ARCs that I felt special. That worked until I got over it. Also, helped that I realized I'm not just jealous of ARCs: I'm jealous of any book someone is reading that I want to read, even if it's a book I've already read. You just read The DUFF, and, guess what, I was jealous, even though I've read it and own it. lol.
      My recent post Review: How to Train Your Dragon

    15. littlebookstar

      Go girl, rant rant rant! Thanks for posting your thoughts & how you feel because a lot of people will relate to this. I totally understand you. Ugh, I DON'T know how these publishers choose on who gets the ARC and who doesn't. You know how in the email they say "Thanks for requesting BLAH. Unfortunately you do not have access for this book at this time etc. etc. etc…." and then they give you like 5 reasons why you weren't accepted and one of them is the reason why you were not accepted. I mean, CAN YOU JUST GIVE ME THE MAIN REASON WHY I WASN'T APPROVED!? Like, it's okay! Be straightforward to me so I know what I need to work on, or what I need in order to be qualified for that book instead of ME getting my hopes up and at the end getting my heart crushed. You know?. I just WANT the publishers to say "you do not have enough followers" or "you need more pageviews" or "you need to post more reviews" not a list of reasons and then having only one of them be the legit reason. So, I get you and I'm sure others understand you.

      Leigh, LBS
      My recent post Review: Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarry

    16. littlebookstar

      Harper rejects me too 🙁 for Scholastic I've been forever rejected, but when I reached my 600 followers, they started giving me ARCs via NetGalley. I think they [publishers] mostly look at your pageviews and followers. But I hate how they only (maybe) care about those because they should look at your CONTENT and not your ff or pv. I GET why they're looking at that.. it's for promotion, but seriously, they should look at your blog's CONTENT MORE.

      I also do not understand why they only accept U.S./UK/Australia. Don't they want to promote the books ALL OVER THE WORLD? They should ALSO accept all the countries. I know it costs money to distribute e-arcs but ughh idk, I just don't understand.

      Leigh, LBS

      My recent post Review: Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarry

    17. Debby, I think we should go out and tackle this issue over an ice cold tankard of beer. I can feel your fury and resentment about this issue on ARCs because I am also suffering from the same thing. If I could only curse some of these Publishers with my hatred, I would have done so. For the life of me, I couldn't fathom why they need to prohibit access to e-ARCs when they're not wasting any money for shipping. And it's not as if we're going to request all titles that they have posted in NG or EW.

      But okay fine. I understand that with my current status as a new blogger, I would really have difficulty in getting ARCs. But I can't understand why they're subjecting you to this kind of treatment when you have a wonderful blog with a good number of followers. Oh no, maybe there's some sort of a conspiracy here.

      What I'm trying to tell you that I totally understand and there's nothing to be ashamed of because I also felt that way if I see someone reading an ARC written by my favorite author.
      My recent post Surviving a Dystopian Trip…

    18. I am also an international blogger and have some SERIOUS ARC envy. I'm not a huge fan of reading on my ipad, so when I'm granted approval on Edelweiss or Netgalley, it doesn't really feel that great. I never really feel envy for anyone that gets approved when I didn't. My ARC envy comes into play with physical ARC's. Because I'm not from the US there is absolutely no chance of me getting the ARC's I crave. It can make a person quite down when they see another blogger feature an ARC of a book they are dying to read, in their haul. I hate seeing that and must admit I get so jealous! But truly I suppose there's nothing to be done about it!
      My recent post Entangled Teen Blitz!

    19. Huh! I think this just became my favorite blog ever!

      I just started blogging so I don’t think I’m on the rant-worthy status yet but I do feel you.

      Oh, and great gifs by the way!

    20. I believe most of the international book blogger would feel your frustration. By thinking we could receive the ARCs on NetGalley or Edelweiss, we’re restricted by the region we’re living at. To be honest, I NEVER get approved on Edelweiss before so I gave up on requesting on it now.

      Talking about physical ARCs, I did receive very limited copies from a local office of a well-known international publisher because I’m a bookseller and the marketing executive is so kind to send me some. But I received the guidelines from them that I’m not allowed to share the cover of the ARC and I can’t even use the word “ARC Review” on my blog title. They didn’t give me a reason by I guess that is because those ARCs are not meant to be shared to the public in my region.

      So I think for now, I’ll just stick to NetGalley and get ready to be rejected for those region-restricted titles.