Late last night, one of my friends pointed me at an eBay listing for an ARC . . . of ASUNDER. Without reading it! *scandalized*
ASUNDER ended up going for $86 — which is just crazy, if you ask me. ARCs have all kinds of errors (mine are always hilarious) and furthermore, the only person making money off that sale is the eBay seller. Not the publisher, and not the author. I wish people were that enthusiastic about buying finished copies! (And for much less than $86, it’s practically a steal, right? Not to mention how the sale brings money for the publisher and author. We like to be able to afford groceries and to write more books.)
All that said, I’m not against doing things with your ARCs when you’re finished with them. Here are some ideas:
1. Give them to your local librarian so s/he can read early and recommend to other librarians and library patrons. (And nominate books for awards if the spirit moves them.)
2. Give them to your local bookstore owners or employees for the same reasons.
3. Give them to a local teacher or school. School libraries have shrinking budgets, and most classroom libraries are purchased with the teachers’ own money, so donations are always useful.
4. Give them to a local battered women’s shelter. (Though do keep an eye out for triggery content.)
5. Give them to homeless shelters.
6. Give them to charity auctions and raise money for a good cause.
7. Give them to a children’s home.
8. Give them to friends who don’t get ARCs but want to spread the word about great books.
9. Give them to an archivist. They love keeping stuff forever.
10. Give them to the authors, who can probably put them to good re-use.
11. Do a giveaway on your blog.
12. Keep your ARCs and build a fort.
There are lots of great things you can do with ARCs when you’re finished reading them, and you can really make people’s week by giving them a good book. Isn’t giving and sharing happiness much better than working the system by selling something you were given for free? (And says “Not For Sale” on the front, anyway.)
So tell me, friends who get lots of ARCs: What do YOU do with them?
EDIT: A few more ideas from commenters:
a) Give them to a juvenile detention center.
b) Give them to a children’s hospital.
c) Give them to a local pediatrician.