Thursday, May 11

In Defense of Rabid Fangirls...

Can anyone believe I not only thought those words but also then typed them?

I've been following the bruhaha discussion over on SB about the selling of ARCs.

I'll start by saying I don't think ARCs should be sold on Ebay, since I'm not a lawyer I can't say whether or not it's even legal. But, if we go with the concept that it's not illegal but it's not very nice, then we need to look at who is actually buying them. It's not me, it's not the average reader or even the average fangirl, as I am a fangirl of many authors. The average fangirl wishes an ARC would some how fall into her lap, the Rabid Fangirl actively searches them out.

One of the comments closed with this line:

Only a great fool or a great fan would buy an ARC.

Personally, I can't imagine being so fanatical that I would pay large sums of money for a book that will:
  1. be availabe at the normal cover price within a few months.
  2. be available at UBS for half the cover price in a month after that.

I've been under the impression that authors love their fangirls. Perhaps only a "great" fan would be willing to pay extra for immediate satisfaction. These readers are so rabid they can't even wait for the release date. These are the very same readers that will recommend the book to every friend and fellow reader they come across and will defend your books with every ounce of their being.

And then some authors get all pissy with them for "lurving" them too much.

Maybe we need to start a new self help group RFGA... Rabid FanGirl Annonymous to help all these fans realize that they have stolen a handful of dollars from the very authors they adore and love.

Okay, I'm done being sarcastic, please note I'm pointing this out as sometimes those of us without sense of humors don't fully grasp this--yes, this is also sarcastic.

Now, I really am done, but I will go on to tell a tale that shows a little goodwill goes a long way.

I've mentioned before that I have a friend who owns a UBS, she also sells a nice selection of new books each month, most of which are romance and she will special order any book you're looking for and give you a discount similar to the big chain booksellers.

Several years ago she went to her first RT Convention, I think it was the one in Toronto, and she met one of her FAVORITE authors, who ripped into her for selling used books. Didn't she realize she was stealing from hard working authors, blah, blah, blah on she went. My friend was devestated.

Well, guess what this bookseller refuses to stock said author's new books. She stocks her used books and when asked if she'd recommend the author all she now says is "I don't read her, but many people do."

This author never realized my friend would have hand sold her new or used books to anyone who was even remotely interested.

It seems to me authors need to remember that a little goodwill goes a long way and it's sometimes better to bite your tongue than it is to alienate a reader.

Readers = customers and haven't we heard over and over that "The customer is always right." Even when they're wrong, they're right because ultimately they decide whether or not to buy your product.

Just my two cents, this was a little long, so maybe it's worth more than two cents, or maybe it's worth nothing at all--LOL

Have a good one and happy reading.


Bev (BB) said...

You know, after giving this whole thing some thought, I believe there may be an aspect to this that some are completely missing here. Fangirls equated to "readers" (as in rabid or otherwise) aren't necessarily the only ones might buy an ARC. A "collector" might, however, rabid or otherwise. Being involved in a TV fandom where they collect everything from old scripts from the series to old costumes it really doesn't suprise me that someone would pay good money for an ARC. What else would be collectible besides the books themselves in book author terms that authors routinely pass out but ARCs?

This also puts the price tags people are talking about in a different prespective too.

Bookwormom said...

I just finished reading all of the comments at SB. As far as I'm concerned it's a tempest in a teapot.

IMO, word of mouth brings in alot of $$- or can take away alot of $$. As evidenced by your friend's experience at the RT Convention & her subsequent actions.

As to "losing $$" due to ARCs being illegally sold- Get over it. I agree w/you. The rabid fangirls are the ones buying them. The fans who flame & troll anyone who disagrees with their paragon (whichever author that may be).

Maili had the most insightful comment, as usual, re: Ms. Cast having a track record of attempting to backtrack & defend what she said. I believe there was a similar bruhaha involving another author recently (MJ Davidson, I believe).

I for one feel that any publicity or word of mouth is good for an author's sales. Including illegal ARC sales & UBS purchases.

As a former bookseller, I know for a fact that publishers send ARCs out like candy & don't appear to care what happens to the material once it leaves their warehouse. I used ARCs to handsell an author many, many times. Do authors not want free publicity via a rabid fangirl or bookseller who took their ARC home?

Bev (BB) said...

It is very much a tempest in a teapot, Amanda. And it's a very small teapot, I'd think, because the numbers just don't make sense.

I'm actually rather more curious about Fiona's commenst related to reader-author disconnect. Now, that I'm not sure what to make of.

Tara Marie said...

Bev, you have a very good point about collectors. But the ranting author wasn't taking on collectors, she was berating reviewers and readers.

Amanda, I almost used the old "it's a tempest in a teapot" line myself while commenting. When I posted my last comment I had already formulated in my head what I was going to say, Maili beat me to it--LOL.

I think there are some authors who don't realize that readers and booksellers can be their best friends.

Bev (BB) said...

Well, @#$@. It wasn't Fiona, it was Jane over at DearAuthor. Blame that on family-visit induced distraction. :D

Bev (BB) said...

But the ranting author wasn't taking on collectors, she was berating reviewers and readers.

Yes, that's true and also what's so strange about all this. Why do I feel a definite rant coming on? :p

Tara Marie said...

bev, don't feel bad Fiona blogged about reader disconnect/disappointment too--LOL.

Jane said...

I think if the Rabid Fan Girl really lurvs (I want to use the right terminology) the author, she should send money directly to the author that she would have spent on the ARC because that would do more to support the author's career. Right?

Wendy said...

Amanda is right of course - some publishers do send out ARCs like candy. It's not just "evil reviewers" who sell ARCs on eBay (and for the record - I give them away or throw them in the garbage). For instance - I'm a librarian and landed on a ARC distribution list for Warner Forever. My "reviewer" status had nothing to do with it I assure you. Plus, I work for an extremely large library system in California - we get boxes and boxes of ARCs all the time.

Tara Marie said...

Jane--what a great way to show the lurve. LOL. They're all nuts.

Wendy--my friend who owns the UBS/indie shop gets loads of ARCs and free final copies. She gives them away, you know that goodwill thing really works.

Sam said...

I'm an author and I honestly don't understand PC Cast's rant - I read it over at Smart Bitch's blog and kept trying to put it in context, and honestly, just couldn't. It's a tempest in a teacup, is what I think.
Publishers send out ARCS (or not at all, in the case of my publisher, which pissed me off.)

I'd rather they sent the ones they said they would and I saw them all for sale on E-bay, at least then I'd know Someone wanted to read them.
My rant is: My publisher sent me a box of 25 books, it came Federal Express and they wanted me to pay 398 euros for customs tax. I refused, and the box got sent back to my idiot publisher who had screwed up on the declaration sheet...(imagine me, new author, book in print, in a box - and I couldn't even open it to look at one and hold it! LOL) My publisher then sent the box to my mother in the US, who took pity on me and air-mailed me a copy, where I found typos and a repeated sentence my publisher added to my impeccable edits. (Why? bangs head on desk - why?)
Publisher then
told me they didn't send out any review copies except one to Harriet Klausner.

Ask me if I'd like to see some of my ARCs on e-bay? Hell yes -even if I don't get any royalties on books sent off as ARCs. (that's probably why the other authors are so peeved - it's money no one is making except the printer and the reader selling the ARC)

Tara Marie said...

Sam, It really doesn't make sense to rant over something like this that they can have absolutely no control over, and besides the only people buying them will be readers who truly want the book. Eventually it would even out, the more people finding their books, the more interested in their next.

I guess they're not seeing the forrest for the trees.

I'm glad you finally got a copy of that book, even with mistakes, it must be amazing to see your name on a book cover for the first time.