Okay, all of you know I'm something of an obsessed reader. Hell, my dream job is a librarian. So, lately the talk on some of my authors' blogs has been about Advanced Reading Copies (unedited proofs sent to reviewers and interested parties prior to a book's release). A lot of these have been turning up on sale sites like eBay and Amazon. This is illegal! These books have not been purchased. The authors have not received credit for sales.
Sometimes authors will give an ARC away as a contest prize. I'm craving one from Julia Quinn at the moment, actually. This is fine. The problem only occurs when the book is sold.
Please, if you see an ARC for sale somewhere, let the author or their publishing company know. It's like buying books without covers (which I did before I knew better, I will admit).
Now, before anyone refers me back to my publishing rant a few weeks ago, I consider buying books at used bookstores totally different than this. That was a case of buying a RE-sold book. Feehan and Coulter at least received credit for one sale from them. This is a case of buying a book that has NEVER been sold - basically, the book is stolen merchandise.
There are at least two eBay sellers that have special sections for ARCs in their stores. They are citing them as collectors' items. There is currently an ARC of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on eBay with an asked-for opening bid of $800.
To be honest, I would probably be a little more lenient if the ARC is of a book older than, say, four years. These probably could be considered collecters' editions. Theoretically, the person buying it is a huge fan trying to collect everything the author ever published and would have already been buying the books normally as they come out. There's still the issue that it was never paid for in the first place, though. So, someone is getting paid for something they had no right to sell. (hot! hot! hot!)
Okay, I guess I've made my point - time to pack up the soapbox.
Um, anyone know how to fold these things? I can never figure them out. They're like maps.