So, some of you may have heard of this stellar program that started not too long ago; ARCycling. It is a program for bloggers, librarians and teachers can request, trade and also recycle ARCs. One of my super-intelligent pals came up with this idea as a way to share the love and get the word out about fabulous books and their even more fabulous creators. So now I would like to introduce you to the super-groovy Jennifer.
ARCycling is a program for bloggers to give back the publishers that give to us. And since it’s not easy to send them cookie bouquets, we’re giving them continued promotion of their expensive ARCs by passing them on to other bloggers, teachers, librarians, and press outlets.
The idea was created in my little head from a combination of other ideas.The first was that I am very strict on the books (ARCs or otherwise) I keep. Why? Because I don’t have a space and for me, why keep a book I know I’m never going to look at again. While that’s great and all, it leaves a lot of books that I don’t always know what to do with. I’ve donated many to certain causes, but would you believe that they can get filled? They can! Secondly, was the whole #ARCgate situation that I watched from afar on Twitter. Summary: two girls excitedly taped their “haul”, displaying two copies of everything they grabbed after the American Library Association conference in June 2012. Drama started (of course) and I impassively watched, thinking that bloggers were getting such a bad name from greed like this. The spark happened when I was reading a literary agent’s tweets on the matter and she pointed out publishers are investing a lot of money in ARCs and promotional materials and when people blindly grab books and they don’t even know what they are, they are not getting their investment back. Okay, so I was a Creative Writing major and film minor in college, but I know just enough about business to understand that.
And that was when I had the epiphany.
What if there was a recycling program for ARCs? What if bloggers shared with other bloggers books that they had read and decided not to keep? What if instead of just giving them away to the public, they gave them to bloggers and librarians for the sole purpose to continue promotion, thus giving back to the publisher and upping their return investment? And unlike trades that usually require you to have one of the most coveted books of the season or a book tour where you wait three weeks and then have like, an hour to read the book and mail it on, it’s a gifting. And then it all exploded. In a good way. What started as a dinky little Google Doc suddenly HAD to get a bigger platform because even though it was still in its formative motions, the response I was getting was overwhelming. ARCycling.blogspot.com has been open not even a month with over 100 followers and more donations than I can barely handle in a session of ARCycling.
My favorite aspect of my own creation is that this benefits small, underprivileged bloggers AND librarians. The bloggers who DON’T have 10 million followers and every contact at each of the Big Six. And librarians who can’t go to conferences, but want to have knowledge of the up and coming teen titles. And at the same time it also promotes smaller titles from smaller publishers that sometimes get overlooked in the blogging world. It happens. I’ve seen it many, many times. So in summation, this is a program for the underdog. And in the famous words of (movie) Seneca Crane, “everyone likes an underdog!”
Jennifer can be reached at any of the links below for further questions or comments.