Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: ARC Tours

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down is a newish feature on my blog. If you are a loyal follower of my blog, you know that I put a big emphasis on interaction and discussion and my favorite posts are the ones with a lot of interaction. I also like a good healthy debate where opinions are shared and respected. You may also know that I like talking about random bookish things. Put all of that together and you get my inspiration for this new feature. Every other week I will give a topic to be discussed. You can give your vote on whether or not it is a thumbs up or a thumbs down for you and then explain why. The topics will cover anything related to reading, blogging, the book industry, etc. etc. Basically whatever is on my mind!

Last week we discussed self-published novels. The majority of people voted thumbs down but there were quite a few advocates of self-published novels sharing compelling arguments. This week is all about ARC tours. 

If you aren’t familiar with ARC tours I’ll brief you on them real quick. Basically ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) are donated by either another blogger, an author or a publisher and then bloggers sign up to be part of a chain of bloggers that  pass the ARC on. There is a certain time frame in which the book needs to be read by and then you are required to write a review.  So are you a fan of ARC tours or do you find them annoying? Do you participate in them or have you in the past? Tell me your experiences and opinions!

My Opinion: I can’t really give a thumbs up or a thumbs down yet. I’ve been blogging about 5-ish months and I just signed up for my first ARC tour so I feel like I haven’t really formed an opinion about them one way or another. Sometimes I get a little weary of seeing so many reviews on one book because of ARC tours but in general I think it’s probably a good way to get coveted ARCs in the hands of many bloggers. I think the one downside is that if you LOVE the book you aren’t able to keep it. The other downside is the amount of time you have to keep it (about  a week in most cases). You don’t get any control over WHEN it comes so if you recieve the book during a crazy or inconvenient week, then you are just out of luck! 

Check out Melanie’s list of ARC tours. I was too lazy to write out a list for you all. Why reinvent the wheel when somebody else did the work 😛 

Let’s take it to a vote!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Theresa @ TheCreativeWell says:

    Definitely thumbs up on this one. There are so many people out there who just aren't able to buy every book they want to read. ARC tours allow them to get their hands on it and read it without buying it outright. The tours also create more buzz for the author, so I think they are a win/win situation. As long as the tour coordinator makes sure to not over book the tour, then I don't think too many reviews would be a problem. Also, since each reviewer gets one week, it prolongs the exposure of the book on the tour blogs, keeping it in front of the readers longer.

  2. DOWN! THUMBS DOWN! They are horrific things. While it's a nice gesture, it really does my head in. Likelihood is, I'll see 50 reviews of the same book in one week and that is hardly exciting. That, and usually the books featured in ARC tours are *yawn* YA which I have no interest in anyway. So it's a big NO from me!

  3. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    Oh I definitely have some comments on this topic…

    I just participated in my first ARC tour this past week I was very displeased with it. It's sort of my own fault though. I got the book the day before Thanksgiving – which mean I'd have zero time to read during the holiday break. I also had a major assignment due for one of my classes, so ALL reading was put on hold. The timing was just really off for me. Unfortunately I had to send the book on without having finished it. Good thing is, it's already out on bookshelves! So when I'm ready to finish it, I can read it. I don't like the "not knowing" when you'll receive it though. I wish there was a more organized way of handling that. I was also stupid & signed up for an international ARC tour – so I think I paid more for shipping the book then I would have if I bought the dang book myself! Just over all bad first impression. I am still signed up for more tours, so hopefully the next one will go smoother?

    I can't vote thumbs up or down, yet. I feel like I need one more shot at this.

  4. I love ARC tours. I think they're a great way of getting books out to people. Sometimes things go wrong – might get lost in the mail, you just don't have time, whatever. It happens, but I mean, that could happen with anything. I really enjoy receiving mail and sending mail. I feel like it connects me, in a way, to other book bloggers and usually I find new blogs this way too.

  5. I'm going with a thumbs up for this. I think it's important to realize that "ARC tours" does not mean "blog tours", in which there is a schedule of reviews posted on blogs at a particular time. ARC tours are a fantastic way of getting a pre-pubbed book into the hands of more people than can perhaps be done with individual ARC mailings. Also, I am supremely bad at getting to books unless there is a deadline-esque reason for me to read them, so the typical one-week limit for ARC tours really helps me buckle down, READ the book, and get it out of the apartment! 🙂

  6. Steph–I think that is a very good distinction to make! Haha I'm with you though. I think it gets my butt into gear to have a deadline. Although there are just certain weeks that would make it humanly impossible to get that done!

  7. I wrote a long post about this, so I don't want to reiterate everything.

    Basically, I like them enough that I still participate, but I do have many of the issues you mentioned regarding not knowing when they will come and timing and a bajillion reviews of the same book at once. The deadline can be helpful, but it is also hard when I have to read a book I am totally not in the mood for. Makes me wonder if I would like it better in another context.

    On the other hand, I get exposed to new things I might not try out if I had to buy the book, and it helps me participate in the community discussions a bit more.

  8. Thumbs down I can't enjoy the book under pressure of finishing it before a deadline and getting to the post office. Also some host of blog tours charge the authors to organize the tour which seems wrong.

  9. I love ARC tours because you can save a lot of money this way or find a book that you want to purchase at a later date. I know I've discovered and read books that I might not have given a chance before. Like Steph Su said sometimes it's good to have that deadline of having to finish a book. My blog isn't very old so I don't really receive a lot of ARCS myself so tours are a great way to read books before they're released. 🙂

  10. I tend to say thumbs up. I use them all the time and think they're great. I do get annoyed, however, at having zero control over when the books show up, as they often arrive during inconvenient times. It's also nice because I can try out a book that I want to read and instead of having to buy it I just pay a few dollars for shipping (I mean, I could just get things from the library, but sometimes this winds up being faster).

    As for the thing with lots of reviews coming up, I don't mind that too much. I think it's not only the fault of ARC tours but just what happens when a hot new title is released. It's always good to see a variety of takes on one book.

  11. Jason Henderson says:

    As an author, I love ARC tours because, although you run the risk of some bad reviews, you also get some reviews out there. So it's a big plus for me. Last year for Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising I sent my own ARC to one tour, and the readers kind of liked the notes and scrawling I'd made in the margins.

  12. April (BooksandWine) says:

    Personally, in my life, Thumbs Down. I mean, for other people they are great. However, I already get ARCs. I'm already under pressure to read the ones I have and the books I own. Plus, I don't like the whole deadline thing, I'm not going to change my whole schedule around to send out a book on time. Although, I did participate in ARC tours before I had a whole lot of followers.

  13. Jenni Elyse says:

    I've only been a part of one so far. It was kind of an unofficial one, but it was still one. I liked the idea of it, but I didn't have the time to read it in the allotted time. So, right now, I say thumbs down. But, in the future, I'd totally be for it!

  14. The1stdaughter says:

    I think the reasons I dislike ARC tours are the exact ones you mentioned. It's mostly a time issue for me, what's going on & no control over timing of the arrival of the book. Also, I have a terrible time getting to the post office with two very little ones in tow. Outside of that I think they're a great idea. I love the idea of passing around a book that would normally sit and collect dust for years. The deadline issue though can also have a positive connotation as you & Steph mentioned earlier; I definitely work better under a deadline.
    Great topic!

  15. I just signed up for 2 ARC tours but have not received the books, so I can't fairly give a thumbs up or thumbs down yet. I will say, however, that I signed up on two different sites and there has already been a significant difference in the organization and the communication. One tour site took over 7 weeks to respond back saying I even got accepted to the tour – the other site responded within a couple of days. I'm anxious to see how the actual tour goes and if the one site continues to "outshine" the other.

  16. I've done quite a few ARC tours and I must say I usually enjoy them. It's a great chance to read books you might not find out about otherwise and the authors are usually very involved with them!

  17. I've never done an official ARC tour, and I probably wouldn't, due to my overseas circumstances. I did just read my first unofficial ARC tour book, but it is just an informal sort of thing done by a blogger buddy.

    I can't say thumbs up or down for other people. I'd say it seems like a good thing for people who normally can't get ARCS, are flexible in their reading schedule and who are very organized!