I wanted to do a follow-up to my post a few days ago titled “Do ARCs Make You Important”. I shared that post on my Instagram account and received a fairly substantial amount of feedback via comments and DMs. I thought it would be cool to share some of this because conversation is important and this feedback gives that post some dimension; it’s not just me talking AT you. I will be sharing quotes and bits and pieces of all of the feedback because I’m ok that it’s known that some supported me and some were quite upset with me. That is ok. That is what makes us all unique and wonderful and beautiful.
Here are some of the comments or parts of messages I received:
- Thank you for this!
- Loved this post!
- I think you had a great article. I don’t think cutting down any types of accounts is constructive.
- I really needed this today. Thank you.
- I don’t want people to be afraid they will be judged for posting book mail.
- I don’t think that accounts that display their ARCs in their accounts are bragging.
- Thank. You. For. Saying. This.
- I loved this and appreciate you putting this out there.
- If your goal is to be added to lists and to get ARCs in the future, this isn’t the kind of content that helps.
- I really truly needed to hear this today. Thank you. My self worth has been so low in this area and I am just going to do me.
- This post makes me feel like I’m not losing my mind. I can’t count the number of times I’ve messaged a larger account that receives huge amounts of ARCs to ask how they got started and if they could offer advice. They ignore me like they don’t have time for me. My message is seen, but they don’t reply. What is that?
- You are not what this community wants to see.
- You are an awful example of a bookstagram account.
- Amen. I want to see people reading and reviewing- not just sharing titles. Where are the reviews?! I unfollowed a bunch of accounts this week because I want to see what they think of books- not just what books they get.
- People are upset about this post, but none of them are willing to comment to tell you.
- Your post reminded me why I’m even here on Instagram. Thank you.
- Such a good reminder that I’ve needed recently.
- Go away. You only have 700 followers. A publisher wouldn’t even give you a glance.
- There is so much truth to this- all of it!
- THANK YOU for this post- so much.
- I was told by a larger account just last week that I wasn’t good enough yet to get ARCs. Why is that a marker for success?
- Well now that you’ve posted this you will NEVER get an ARC. I’ve messaged my publisher contacts and told them to avoid your account. You are not what anyone wants to see and nobody would trust your reviews either. I’m fairly sure I represent most people in this community.
- Great honest and brave of you. I’m worried that sharing is seen as bragging and now I’m kind of paranoid of that too.
- Thank you for lifting my spirits. I feel completely better and am just going to keep being me.
- WOW- just like that and I feel better. Thank you for making my entire week better. NOBODY wants to talk about this. Why is this such a taboo topic. I don’t get it. It’s like the huge elephant in the room that everyone pretends doesn’t exist.
So, there you have it. I feel like that’s a pretty solid mix of what I received. I will say though, that after all was said and done, the supportive comments and those thanking me ended up at approximately 95% (I did a little bit of rough math). Does the percentage matter? No. Everyone has their own opinions and I think it’s safe to say that I struck a nerve with some, and really helped others.
I would like to chat for just a little bit about the part of my post that really struck a nerve, but before I do that I did have a few people ask me if I realized that ARCs NEED to be shared. Did I realize, that when an ARC is received, that it’s expected that you share it and read and review. Yes, yes I realize and am completely aware. I wish I had made this more clear in my original post and that is on me. I have received ARCs from publishers. Not a ton, but I have received them. I completely understand that there is an expectation to share the book, share what it’s about, hashtag it appropriately in a certain timeframe, create a buzz around the book, and all the other things that come with this responsibility. Yes, yes and yes. I apologize for not making that clear.
And now for the part that really upset some of you. When I spoke about accounts that brag about their ARCs, was I talking about the account that does what they are asked to do by a publisher, but also has other content and engages with their followers? No. Was I talking about book mail as in “if you receive book mail then I’m talking to you”? No. Was I talking about every single account that has ever received an ARC and has shared it to their stories and posts? No. I have shared my own ARCs. I want to fulfill my responsibility that comes with that ARC just as all of you do. I did, though, go back to my original blog post and read the paragraph that is discussing this to see if I had really grouped ALL accounts that have ever received an ARC into one big bragging pile and then tore them all down one by one. I don’t believe I did. I did say “I think it’s important to mention that there are far more ARC receiving accounts that don’t do this, but I’m just talking about the ones that do”.
I’m talking about the accounts that post ARC after ARC after ARC, but NEVER read them. They don’t comment back to their followers. They don’t engage with anyone. We never see a review. They are clearly there to just receive FREE product and to send a message that they are better. Their entire experience in the community feels like it’s built on ARCs and that’s it and I was talking about how that could make other people feel and value themselves. Those are the accounts that I was talking about. I won’t apologize for my opinion, but I will apologize that I didn’t elaborate more on this in the original blog post and that I didn’t make myself more clear.
In the end, I think it was a great conversation (that did cause me quite a bit of anxiety- I’m not gonna lie about that!) and I want to thank EVERYONE that messaged me privately and commented, no matter what “side” you were on. I heard you all. I really did and I hope my message is still heard. You are valuable. Your opinion is valuable. If you read books, you have a place on Instagram and we want to hear from you. An ARC does not make you more valuable. If you are genuine with your intentions then it will SHINE THROUGH everything and we will all be able to see it!
*(Review of “Brother” by Ania Ahlborn will be up today or tomorrow morning!)