First off, I really have a preference for paper books in general-- nothing compares to holding a beautiful book in my hand and being able to turn the pages, as well as smell the book and just...it's how I like my books, alright? But I understand the push for E-ARC's on sites like Netgalley and Edelweiss (even though I don't even know how to use Edelweiss). It makes sense. Here's my theory, and way I may be switching sides with ARC's:
- Paper ARC's cost a lot to make, from what I've heard. The fees are astronomical. Then you have the E-ARC side, where all that has to be done is simple-- someone types up the ARC, then you can distribute to hundreds of bloggers without even really spending a penny. Believe me, I definitely see the appeal!
- Paper ARC's can be traded, given away, or otherwise gotten rid of, resulting in everyone and their brother's dog having read it before publication, or even after publication and never having to even pay for it. E-ARC's are completely different-- there's really not a way to re-distribute them (unless you take the time to fully retype every bit of it o.O), and no one has any real urge to do that. They expire, and are then corrupt, and the files can be locked so you can't mess with them. (Seriously, try copy and pasting a quote in for a review.)
- After a blogger reads an E-ARC, if they really like the book, they'll have to go out and buy a lovely copy of it, because as I mentioned before, they expire! Hence, the publisher makes more money and they don't have to pay shipping/ARC-making-costs. Sounds like a good deal to me!
- Everyone who's not a blogger/librarian/reviewer will get to read a finished copy of the book. I've heard that some ARC's even get donated to the library! o.O
So, to be honest I really do prefer paper books, but I'm definitely warming up to E-ARC's, even though I have to read them on the computer (and man, TMI moment: my butt really hurts), I feel like they're a much better option for the publishers. I still get to read a book early (assuming I get approved), and they don't have to pay all of those fees. Everyone is quasi-happy.
So, what do you guys think? Are you warming up to E-ARCs? I know that I would take paper over digital any day, but the appeal is there. Are you a lover of E-ARCs or paper? Just, you know, what do you think?