Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hello ARCs thinks "a serendipitous moment has arrived when publisher, web, consumer, and reviewer come together in the crosshairs." Apparently, 68% of consumers will turn to "people like me" for purchasing advice before they'll consider the views of professionals. This means the top-of-the-list Amazon reviews could have more impact on a book purchasing decision than a New York Times book review. Couple this with the fact that many publications are decreasing or eliminating book coverage, and we're left with a happy result: Publishers are seeking to create more pre-publication on-line publicity by handing out free ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) to normal people.

Want free books? Check out the HarperCollins First Look Program, the LibraryThing Early Reviewer Program, the First Impressions Program, the Barnes & Noble First Look Program, and the Amazon Vine Program.

A cautionary note: Most of these programs have ways of punishing people who receive free ARCs and do not follow up with the requested book reviews within a reasonable amount of time (generally 3-4 weeks).

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