Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Catching Fire Round Up

Pre BEA, Carlie Webber at Librarilly Blonde received a review copy of Catching Fire.

As did Monica Edinger at Educating Alice.

As did Cindy and Lynn.

And Professor Nana (Teri Lesesne). (Yes, the Goddess of YA Literature has been blogging about YA literature since October 2004. And writing books like Naked Reading: Uncovering What Tweens Need to Become Lifelong Readers. In terms of online, everyone pales in comparison to Jen Hubert of Reading Rants, who has been writing online about YA books for a YA audience since 1998. Yes, you got that right. She is The Original YA Blogger (even tho back then it was not blogger technology) and one of the few book bloggers to turn her online content into a book, Reading Rants: A Guide to Books That Rock!.)

Given their roles within the industry, as reviewers and the like, I understood why Carlie, Monica, Cindy, Lynn, and Teri received ARCs in the mail. And I did not. As I told Carlie, jealous in a good way.

It's interesting how, for each of their online reviews at their blogs, the personal experience of reading the book enters into the picture. If someone would ask me, "what is the difference between a 'professional' review and on online 'review'" I would point this out and note that when reviews appear in Kirkus, SLJ, Voya, Booklist we won't see that personal note. That, and wordcount. Among other things.

Publishers Weekly posted an article about the pre-BEA buzz at Catching Fire Catches Fire.

BEA had copies available; I can attest to the fact that no, you didn't have to arrive super early on Friday to get a copy. Mine is now in a UPS box, making its way to the Jersey Shore.

There is no doubt that Scholastic's marketing campaign to create buzz is working. The buzz, she is here. Collecting Children's Books examines the marketing scheme in greater detail, as well as the "hunger" for ARCS, even though as we all know - the ARC is not the final book. If you still don't believe me, after all I've posted here, go, write it down an 100 times and then come back to talk to me. And CCB has an intriguing idea for what to do to promote the third book's ARC...

Apparently, people are selling their copies vie Ebay. Ebay itself says the item is hardcover and the final book. Liars. Prices are from $15 to $75. Some note it's not the hardcover in their seller notes, but c'mon, people. Calling this a true first edition? With the note to the general public of "Read the sequel to Collin's The Hunger Games 4 months before everyone else!"? Really, you should say "read the sequel with typos, errors, and possible changes in content before everyone else reads the final, polished, revised, edited version!"

The problem with using ARCs to create buzz is that Scholastic loses control. Does anyone here think that Scholastic gave you that ARC at BEA, along with the pin, for you to turn around and sell it on ebay? Really. And, as the ARC goes from those who know what an ARC is to those who think its just a paperback copy of the hardcover, exactly the same, only earlier and free, the readers will think that the ARC is indeed the hardcover. And let's not even get into who is going to be the first who thinks a "review" of this book is a "play by play plot description with spoilers" and posts it.

Me? I'm betting that with the huge buzz for this book, combined with the movie, adding the appearance of ARCs for sale and being treated as final copies, and the possibility of pre-September spoilers, we end up with no ARCs after this one, like Harry Potter (Scholastic's other baby) and Percy Jackson.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy


Tasha said...

I agree. I think this is the last ARC we will see for the Hunger Games trilogy. Sad but true.

Michelle said...

What a shame that some feel the need to ruin the process for others.

I read The Hunger Games this weekend and it was honestly the best book I've read all year. Hands down. I'm ridiculously eager to get my hands on a copy of Catching Fire but I will NOT purchase on eBay. I'll throw my hat in the ring for a blogger give away and perhaps if I can finagle it a copy from the publisher. But I certainly won't line the pockets of an individual that chooses to sell ARCs on eBay.

I hope you are wrong that we won't see advance copies for the third but in the end I suppose it would be prudent if the publisher refrained.

Heather Zundel said...

Oh wow, excellent post. That is a great round-up. I certainly hope they give out ARCs for the third.

Mrs. Karen said...

The buzz for 'Catching Fire' didn't start with ARC's; it started when readers turned the last page of 'The Hunger Games' and said 'That was the best! I want more!'. My students already know Book 2 comes out in September and even tho they'd love it to be sooner, they know they have to wait. Giving them an ARC just so they can read it before everyone else does is not going to help them any because once they're done with it, they still have to wait for Book 3 before the whole story is complete. It's a bit like getting a Christmas present early - it's nice but it still doesn't mean it's Christmas. Instead, we're going to wait for release day in September, savoring the anticipation, then devouring what we already know will be a great book.

Anonymous said...

Funny, just today I was at the library, talking to the teen librarian I subbed for last fall (who is the only person I have in real life so far to gush about Hunger Games with), and, after bragging that she was about to get hold of the copy her friend had got at BEA, she continued "I'm surprised they were even giving those out already!" True; with the excitement everyone who read the first one has, you'd think ALREADY they'd be less inclined to let too many advance copies out into the world! I agree with Karen above me-- it's just not needed. Not that I don't wish to get my hands on one myself...

Emily Lloyd said...

Hi. And hear, hear. And you might like a comic strip I put online a few days ago, re: how desperate we all are to get our hands on a copy of Catching Fire [grin]:


Jen Hubert said...

Liz, I didn't get Catching Fire either! Despite my "original" status:)

3m said...

I'm really looking forward to starting this series. I hope to read The Hunger Games very soon and see what all the fuss is about!

Rebecca Herman said...

I got a copy at BEA (Along with many other ARCs) and I was so disappointed to get home and see all the copies on ebay (especially since I barely managed to get one). One seller had like forty different books that were obviously from BEA. I think it's sad. But I'm pretty sure I've seen other big book ARCs on ebay before, I just can't remember which.

Terry Doherty said...

Great roundup. I didn't get a copy, but then I didn't look for one. It is no wonder the publisher reps mutter and spew when the hordes start coming through their booth each morning.

It would be awful if this becomes the book people point to when publishers decide to stop giving out hot ARCs at BEA.

Peggy S said...

i got a copy at BEA and on my train ride home to boston as i was looking through all my ARC's, some 10 year old girl named samantha ran over to me and told me all about the book i had and didn't know about! she was gushing about it and i looked over the back because i had no idea what it was, and said, okay, guess what, merry xmas! and gave it to her.

Liz B said...

Emily, great comic!

At some point there will be less ARCs. They are just too expensive to print. With an established series like Hunger Games that has such a huge following, I don't see the need for ARC Buzz for the third book. I do see how ARC buzz is working for the second book, ,including getting new readers. I'm pretty sure the paperback is being published in september.

And peggy, great story!!

Shaunti W said...

At some point the greed associated with ARC's has to stop. I see them in bookshops all the time for sale. The original intent in distributing this title at BEA was to create buzz, but the it has gotten completley out of hand. I would love a copy. BUT it goes against everything I believe in to purchase this title on Ebay or a bookshop. I don't see a third copy of an ARC coming for this title. I'm completely disgusted in how this one is being exploited.

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