How To

What To Do With the ARCs You Want to Unhaul

Olivia Páez

Staff Writer

Olivia Páez is a Cuban-American journalism major. When she’s not writing articles for her classes, you can probably find her devouring a novel or watching a classic film. Along with reading and watching films, she has a hodgepodge of interests. Some of them include writing, sketching, traveling, dressing up as some of her favorite characters, and caring for the environment.

ARCS, or Advance Reader Copies, are a small selection of proofs that are provided to bloggers, journalists, librarians, etc. to review before a novel is published to the general public. ARCs are used by publishers to generate buzz by reviewers and those with influence in the book community in order to get readers excited for a book’s upcoming release.

These are not finished copies of the novel. In fact, some ARCs say “uncorrected proof” on the cover, meaning that there may be typos or grammatical errors in the novel that will be resolved in the final copy. Another important detail on the cover of physical ARCs is the statement “not for sale.”

ARCs are not meant to be bought or sold like published novels can be. They are copies that are given to influencers in the community before publication. These influencers then share their thoughts and ratings with their audience who look to them for book recommendations.

So, what does one do after they have read an ARC, reviewed it, and do not want it on their shelves for one reason or another?

Here are some ideas for what to do with copies of ARCs that you may want to unhaul:

Host an ARC Giveaway

Giveaways are great ways to pass on Advance Reader Copies to other readers who may be looking forward to reading that specific novel before its publication date. Even if the novel is already published, some readers enjoy collecting ARCs of their favorite novels.

Hosting a giveaway to pass along proofs to other bloggers or readers is a great way to increase engagement on your blog, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. while also being able to unhaul some proofs you no longer want that have been sitting on your shelves for months, if not years.

Donate ARCs to a School or Shelter

Schools and shelters are always in need of books to add to their collections. Not only will this provide novels to those in need, but it’s also a great way to get rid of large amounts of ARCs in one shot. This is a wonderful way to pass on novels to other readers and potentially introduce them to their new favorite book.

Pass ARCs Onto a Friend Who May be Interested in the Story

Sometimes I pass on my ARCs to my friends, after I have reviewed them and no longer want to keep them on my shelf. If I know of a friend who is also interested in reading the novel, I’ll gladly hand it over to them to add to their own book collection.

What better way to unhaul a book than to pass it on to a friend while also knowing they’re heading to a good home?

Give Unwanted ARCs to Other Bloggers for Them to Review

If you don’t want to keep an ARC anymore, consider passing them onto another blogger who is also interested in reading the novel. That way the book gains more coverage from two bloggers reviewing the novel rather than just one.

One time, a handful of fellow book bloggers and I passed around an ARC to one another throughout the year. We each took turns reading the novel and then reviewing it on our own personal blog. It was a great way to discuss a story together and have one massive read along while using one copy of a ARC that was then mailed between us all.

Trade ARCs Using #BooksForTrade on Twitter

#BooksForTrade is a hashtag on Twitter where readers can trade ARCs and finished copies of novels between one another. Usually, a person will tweet out a specific ARC that they’re looking for by using the hashtag #BooksForTrade. They will also post a list of finished copies or ARCs that have and are willing to trade to get the ARC they are looking for.

While I’ve never personally used this before, I have many book blogger friends that have found rare ARCs for some of their favorite books by diving deep into this hashtag. It is a great way to trade proofs between readers and potentially find an ARC that you’re interested in while unhauling and trading ARCs that need a new home.


Editor’s Note: The recommendation to donate ARCs to libraries was removed. Libraries can’t accept/include ARCs in their collections.