Dear Author Giving Preference to DigiARCs

By Neal Comment

Remember a few weeks back when we agitated for more digital ARCs for book reviewers? Jane Litte of Dear Author emailed us recently to discuss her blog’s new policy: “In an effort to encourage publishers to make cost efficient advance copies available to bloggers, Dear Author will be giving review priority to any review copy sent in digital form in advance of publication,” Little says. “Any finished print copies provided to Dear Author will not likely be read/reviewed until 1-2 months after publication date.”

“We encourage bloggers and authors to push for digital arcs in this time of declining ARC production,” Litte adds—referring to reports circulating earlier this month that several publishers are reducing the number of books for which they will print ARCs and/or reduce the number of bloggers to whom they will send those galleys.

But fair warning, publishers: If you do take the digital route, don’t go about it the way one unnamed company did with bestselling novelist Tess Gerritsen, who told another author who was looking for a blurb she”d see what she could do if he had a galley sent to her… and then found herself on the receiving end of some massive condescension. “We find that we receive zero responses to printed galleys, so instead we will email a PDF to interested reviewers,” a representative from the publisher told her—which would’ve been fine, except that the person didn’t stop there. “We also understand that people such as yourself write blurbs and then sell the galleys afterwards, as a form of compensation,” the email to Gerristen continued. “If I send you the PDF and you provide a cover blurb, I can send you a finished, sellable copy of the book… But I won’t send you the PDF until you let me know one way or the other if you’d have time to look at it.”

Yeah, that sounds like an effective way to cultivate a readership in the digital age.