Monday, May 15, 2006

ARCs for sale on ebay?

I need to call attention to something going on that, quite frankly, disturbs the fuck out of me. Fellow novelist PC Cast stumbled onto several ARCs of her novel being sold on ebay. For those of you who don't know, ARC stands for Advanced Review Copy. These are advanced copies of novels - sometimes unedited - that are sent to various readers at no charge so that they may read and review the work. You know how sometimes you'll see quotes on a book jacket of this person or that person saying "This book was a nonstop thrillride!"? ARCs.

ARCs are not for sale. They're not meant to be sold later, either, because the author herself has made no profit from the ARC whatsoever. Even more infuriating is the fact that these auctions are closing at $30, sometimes more. One woman said she saw an ARC of a Janet Evanovich book go for over $600. That is $600 of pure profit for the asstard who created the listing. Ms. Evanovich will not see one single penny of that.

Some of you may say, "well, that's capitalism for you".

No, it's not. It's theft. A rather nasty debate on the subject arose over at Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels. Some people were claiming that just because the cover of the book says, "ARC - Not for Sale" doesn't make it illegal to sell them.

Bullshit. It's called Copyright violation.

So please, folks, if you happen across an ARC for sale on ebay, lend a hand. Report the sale to the publishing company, or to ebay, or both. If you can't be arsed, at least don't bid on the damn thing.

We authors are not greedy people. We aren't. I don't write for the money, and I don't know of any author who does. We write because it's who we are. But that doesn't mean it's okay to let this bs continue.

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