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