So, I opened my twitter file this morning and only had these two tweets from author Libba Bray:
Where are the rest of the best, you ask? Well, I admit I just didn't keep up this week. And every time I popped over to twitter, not much was happening. January's like that I think.
But then I realized that there was a hashtag the previous week that I wanted to discuss #askYAed. I noticed some of you were about, and there was one topic that arose that I have been thinking about ever since: Do Advanced Reader Copies sent to book bloggers lead to book sales?
One editor in particular raised the topic because she herself was unsure, and she stated ARC's are pricey to the publisher. So, one agent asked:
An interesting question.
Some teachers piped up and said they often share galleys with students, and before long the benefits of ARC's heading to teachers took over. When it comes down to it, teachers are the most likely to get books in the hands of teenagers, right?
Hmmm. So wouldn't that be book bloggers with lots of subscribers? Some book bloggers stated that they get sent books that they don't always get to or that they get books they didn't want to review in the first place.
I can see why this would be inhibitive to sales, and might not be a good investment on the part of a publisher. Something to think about.
Others passionately defended the fact that most of their book recommendations (and therefore purchases) come from book bloggers.
Seriously, ARC's are not often wasted. But one person pointed out that it's very hard to come up with data that directly links a book blogger to a book sale.
All you have to go on is the feedback from readers. How do you figure out where sales are generated? So, dear readers, while we might not all be interested in the "business" of books, we'd still like to know: What makes you buy a book?
For us, it's starred reviews, word of mouth from trusted reader friends, sequels from authors we already know we like, twitter buzz, goodreads, amazon, and, yeah, book bloggers!
We Heart YA does not review books for our site. We don't get ARC's from publishers, but sometimes we win them or sign up to get one if we are particularly excited about it. And we always pass these on (unless they're difficult to part with). This is because sharing books we love is our own personal way of recommending them. In fact, any book we talk about is a book we think you'd like to read. It's as simple and genuine as that.
Do ARC's sent to book bloggers lead to book sales? Of course. Why wouldn't they?
But the best way for a publisher to guarantee a sale is to invest in a story by an author who has perfected their craft. To get these stories into the hands of YA readers through strong word of mouth. To take risks on well-written YA, even if it's not the "trend" or "what sells."
That's your only guarantee that the girls at We Heart YA are going to be buying. ;)