So you’re a new self-published author. Congratulations! It’s been a done thing to send ARC and copies to book reviewers, in hopes that they like it and post a good review on Goodreads, Amazon, or even their blog! But stop right there. Stop sending paper books, authors. I’ll tell you why.
I think reviewers don’t need to get paper books. I have a very real reason for thinking so and this is something that all self-published authors should read and remember. I recently wrote an Instagram post mentioning that I prefer receiving e-books for review.
Specifically, I prefer receiving .mobi files as it’s easier for me to carry on my Kindle. I love that the Kindle holds so many books as I tend to switch between multiple books, with the result that I am often switching between 4-5 books at any given point of time, be it print, e-books, kindle copies, etc.
I enjoy it that way and I also like switching across genres.
I do adore paper books as much as the next bookworm, but for review copies sent to me I definitely prefer e-books. This is because it costs the author money to send me a paper book, and I don’t want independent authors to go through that. They invest enough money as it is creating the book, formatting, designing the cover, hiring editors, proof readers, beta readers, etc.
If I do not charge for reviewing, why should I make them spend money for sending me a book? I can read just as well on my Kindle, and the author isn’t burdened either that way.
The worst is that I know of a few unscrupulous reviewers who then proceed to sell the book second hand, thus making money on it while the author loses money sending across a paper book. I know there are some reviewers who demand paper books only. Now I understand that if they have eyesight issues, or they do not own an e-reader and thus do not want to strain their eyes on a phone/tablet screen. Or if it is a graphic novel that cannot be comfortably read on a B&W e-reader. But if it isn’t, and you do own a Kindle or a Nook or whatever brand you prefer – my fellow reviewers, I see absolutely no reason to demand that independent authors send across a paper book.
Even though you are not actively harming the authors, you are indirectly contributing to their loss because a book costs them. If you do want a paper book because you love the book so much and you would like a physical copy as a keepsake; well buy one. You have gotten the e-book for free, and if you enjoyed the book that much and believe in keeping physical keepsakes, buy the book. Support the author. They’ll be grateful, too.
I try to keep it chill for people.
I hope more reviewers do the same.
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