Monday, June 19, 2006

selling of uncorrected proofs on ebay

PALE IMMORTAL ARC being sold on ebay. I'll probably report this to my publisher, but it seems almost impossible to crack down on these people.






ebay
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40 comments:

jason evans said...

Sad. Just sad. It is clearly marked not to be sold.

anne frasier said...

jason: yeah, it's kind of funny that the image they have up shows NOT FOR SALE in fairly big print.

I'll probably report them to my publisher and report the post to ebay, but i don't think it will do any good.

i do believe the seller is giving away a free copy to the first 10 people who send her a box of dog poop.

Kelly Parra said...

Yeah, it sucks when this happens. What's crazy is you don't know how it happens or who gave it to this person because your house sends out arcs too, right?

I heard of this happening to another author and she just reported it to her pub house. She was ticked because it was a series book but knew she couldn't do much else. She was hoping they would get it taken down. Don't know if it happened, but hopefully!

anne frasier said...

kelly, i was relieved to see an unfamiliar address. it would have been annoying to find it was a contest winner. i did have some winners on myspace who didn't really seem to want the arc after winning it.

yes, the publisher does send out ARCs. This is probably somewho on NAL's ARC list, which is why i saved the address.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Burn 'em! Bastards.

emeraldcite said...

Not my copy. :)

Although, on the bright side, a fan will probably buy it, someone who will buy a copy when it comes out in the fall. It could also lead to some more word of mouth sales too.

Well, that's all the optimism I can do today...

It's kinda shitty that they're selling it.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I went to NEBA last fall, and was disgusted by how many people were there just to load up on ARCs and free 1st editions (especially the signed ones). Because the press for which I worked was a small nonprofit, I only took a few copies of each title and was judicious about giving them away (the fact that it was all poetry slowed down a lot of the graboids as well), and I kept the extras behind the table.

The NEBA rules clearly stated no carts, but there were booksellers filling up their kids' strollers, or running around with the biggest tote bags you could imagine.

I doubt there's anything you can do about the e-bay seller, Anne, but it would sure be nice.

A related note about stripped mass market paperbacks: When I was 11 or 12, a used bookstore opened up in my town. They sold coverless paperbacks for ten cents each. I bought tons of science fiction and fantasy books from them. That was long before I knew just what stripped books were (didn't bother to read the fine print in the front matter...hey, I was a kid). Then one day, not long after it opened, that store was empty.

anne frasier said...

stephen: bastards is right!

emeraldcite: very good point about the person who ends up purchasing the book being somebody who might potentially talk it up.

patrick: some people have no shame! and I tend to agree that not much can really be done.


i remember buying stripped books when i was little! that must have been fairly common before people realized what was going on.

anne frasier said...

I just looked at the seller's other items -- there are several new ARCs from different houses, so it's obviously someone who gets ARCs regularly from various places. Looks like they basically sell books and music, and quite a lot of it.

I think shutting off the seller's supply is the best way to deal with it.

i can see it now. bring out the book-sniffing dogs.
and then people will start swallowing ARCs whole and smuggling them. somewhere... that's an unfinished idea. :D feel free to expand on it. or not.

it could be a comic strip that addresses the issue of ARC sales.

Sandra Ruttan said...

It's time someone put a stop to this stuff - the author gets nothing for it, the publisher, the jerk selling gets it all for free...

No wonder publishers are so cautious about who they send arc's to. With good reason.

anne frasier said...

i reported this to my editor and publicist who both seem upset about it. i think it's especially low when you realize this is a book seller doing this. it's not some random idiot.

Jer said...

Nope, it's not a random idiot. It's a known idiot. That makes it worse.

Hope the catch the jerk. And for a punishment make him read bad novels aloud in Tarrytown's business district. On a soapbox.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

If this person is listing multiple ARCs on e-bay, then clearly he/she is someone who deals with pub reps and/or attends publishing & bookselling conventions. So the seller knows damn well it's a no-no. I hope your editor can do something about it. There's a world of difference between this and selling a used book for a couple of bucks. This person is fucking you out of income.

anne frasier said...

excellent idea! :)

patrick: yep, this is somebody who knows what he's doing. five ARCs on the first page.

here's a little cut and paste:

Perfect ARC of New KATE ATKINSON Novel "One Good Turn"
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Perfect, ARC, Anne FRASIER's New Novel, "Pale Immortal"
-

Perfect ARC of LOUIS BAYARD's New Novel, Pale Blue Eye



Perfect ARC of New FREDERICK FORSYTH Novel, The Afghan


Perfect ARC of New John Harvey Novel, "Darness & Light"

these complaints are probably futile, but at the same time I think we have to complain even if it doesn't help.

oh, and nice to see you here, patrick. :) now that mystery circus has changed formats it's going to be hard keeping up with everybody.

anne frasier said...

oops.

jer, that excellent idea comment was for you!

Jeff said...

This is ridiculous. I'm glad you reported it, and I hope whoever is doing it gets caught, fined, tarred and feathered, whatever it takes.

stay_c said...

It sounds like the publicist and editor know who this is. Can't they black ball them? At least for their own projects? Or am I missing something?

anne frasier said...

jeff, i remember when the ARCs for hush were being sold on ebay. those looked like the actual book, cover and all. i flipped out. now i've gotten used to it, although it's still annoying. it's so blatant!!


stay-c, the publicist doesn't know who it is, but she hopes to find out.

Tami said...

Good luck Anne! I hope you find the jerk who's selling them. Wouldn't it be great to stop their little "business?"

I will admit, I bought a Sue Grafton ARC from a used bookstore once, but I had already bought the hardcover version from barnes and noble. I just thought it was cool. I'd never pick up an ARC wihtout buying the book first!

angie said...

*Sigh*
Sometimes people just suck. Glad you're not just letting it slide, though. Even if you can't stop it, at least you're raising a ruckus!

Karma's a beautiful thing. Too bad we're not always around to see it happen.

anne frasier said...

tami, i think it's different once the book is actually out and available -- although the ARC still shouldn't be sold. i also think of it differently when years have passed and an ARC is collectible. i can remember drooling over a James Ellroy ARC being sold for a hundred dollars.

angie said...

Just checked eBay. Looks like it's been sold for $7 already.

anne frasier said...

angie: yeah, i just don't think we should keep quiet about this stuff because silence might lead sellers to think we don't really care.

anne frasier said...

angie: i'd almost decided to buy it myself in hopes of getting a name, but then i saw somebody beat me to it. :D

Bailey Stewart said...

i can see it now. bring out the book-sniffing dogs.
and then people will start swallowing ARCs whole and smuggling them. somewhere...


Then they would be easy to find because they would be walking awfully funny. *gg*

Isn't it illegal to sell them with the NOT FOR SALE stamp on them? I know that some ARC's don't say anything about resale. I'd never sell any of my ARC's - they're too important to me - even more important than the actual book (which I also go out and buy, even if I don't keep it).

anne frasier said...

bailey, i don't know about that. it's illegal to sell stripped books, but i'm not sure about ARCs.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

I'm not sure in this case it's illegal. Technically, it's now this person's property. Much as I think it's rude, annoying and counterproductive, I'm not sure there's anything legal to be done about it.

Which means, of course, that we'll have to resort to illegal means. Say, large Italians from New Jersey with Louisville Sluggers, for instance.

Jer said...

Having a decent self-image means knowing when an "excellent" comment is for you or not. :)

anne frasier said...

stephen: that makes sense -- both your legal/illegal comment and the louisville sluggers. :D i have a really pretty pink bat.

jer: LOL! and i do mean out loud!

Rob Gregory Browne said...

I see ARC's being sold all the time. Seen a number of them in thrift stores and library bookstores.

anne frasier said...

i don't have much of a problem with their being sold after the book comes out, which is usually the case with libraries and thrift stores. then it falls into the used book issue. but i do have a problem with someone pretending to be interested in reviewing/promoting, but instead is deliberately wasting and making money on one of only a few ARCs. that ARC could have gone to somebody who would have actually helped talk up the book.

Anonymous said...

Everyone sells ARCs. It's not worth getting upset over. If someone's willing to pay for it, it's a nice collectible for them. They'll probably still buy the book anyway. Don't start worrying unless no one will buy it! That might be a problem.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

No, everyone does not sell ARCs. I know plenty of used-book dealers who won't touch them.

By the way, "everyone's doing it" has always been a lame-ass excuse no matter what the issue.

Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

Selling of arcs has gone on a long time and it won't stop.
For the record I have never sold one nor will I.
However i have bought plenty. And then bought the hardcover as well.

The thinking that it cuts into sales is a urban myth. The people who buy them are either collecters, and they will also buy the first edition. Or they are reviewers and needed a copy so will help promote the book. Or they are huge fans and will still buy the hard cover.

The fact that it says not for resale means nothing. It's hardly legally binding and impossib;e to prove where they got it anyway. A lot of these come form the media. The local paper never has arcs for the reviewers because people from other departments take them and sell them.

Another angle to this is that sometimes sale of arcs actually causes advance buzz about the book.

SOme bookstores do indeed sell them, but with so many bookstores going out of business due to the chains I don't begrudge them doing it to help keep the doors open. Because by staying open they will hand sell a lot of books the chains don't care about.

I alos know of a number of stores that got turned in by authors for selling arcs. They no longer order any books by those authors.

All in all it's not really worth getting upset about. Frustrating, sure, but in the scheme of things I'd be more concerned about the publishers not sending out enough arcs in the first place.

anne frasier said...

jon, you made an excellent point about the bookstores. thanks so much for weighing in on this.

my own emotions are kind of tangled on the subject because i would be happy as hell if, at some future date, a favorite bookseller sold one of my ARCs for some big bucks.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I was under the impression this wasn't a bookstore or bookseller, but an individual. In that respect, my feelings are pretty much the same. If I get a review copy, it would be improper of me to sell it on ebay.

But Jon has chimed in with good points about bookstores to consider, which I never thought of, because not once ever in a bookstore here have I seen an ARC for sale. In fact, I had never set eyes on an ARC before January of 2006 so it never really occurred to me that bookstores would sell them.

Although I'll demonstrate my ignorance on this, and say I'm not sure why bookstores would get arc's. I thought the idea was to generate reviews...

There's a lot about the business side of the industry I clearly don't know.

Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

Bookstores get arcs (and sooner than reviewers I might add) because when the book hits the shelf, they've alreadt read it and can recommend it to people with honest from having read it. Plus many bookstores are putting reviews on line. It's alomst more important to have booksellers readingthe ars than reviewers. Truth be told, I don't know how much good a review does as far as seling the book to individuals, but a bookseller will hand sell like crazy and really make a difference.

If some one gets sent arcs and wants to sell them groovy.
The only thing I would have an issue with would be someone mispreprestenting themself just to get arcs to sell.

An average book has at lest 1000 arcs sent out. If 500 get sold or thrown out or burned or whatever it doesn't matter, because at least the publisher is sending them out. A lot of publishers still don't bother to send many out, and some don't send them out. As and author you should just be glad they send them.

anne frasier said...

i think arcs going to the right bookstores can be very effective. some bookstores don't care -- i'm not sure chains really do anything with them, but i've definitely had independent bookstores get excited about a book because they read the arc. sometimes a writer will get invited to do a signing based on the arc. they definitely generate word of mouth.

not sure how many of mine are printed. i'm guessing about 50. i usually get...i think seven, but i can beg and try to get 25. they don't seem to mind printing extra as long as i can use them.

Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

You know, way back when...

My sister had a high school job working for Waldens books and brought home an arc by a new author, John Sanford's RULES OF PREY. Three of us read it and loved it. Since we shopped there also we all talked about how much we loved the book. They ordered extras and sold out.

I still have the Arc, and even got it signed.

Arcs work.

anne frasier said...

oh yeah! if someone at a chain reads my arc, it's almost always a high school or college student. i've had that happen a few times. it's nice, because they're usually also excited about the book.