Every now and then I stumble across an eARC sample on NetGalley. I’ve never requested them because I’m not big on samples, but they’re still there. Then, on Friday, an unmarked sample of an eARC was added to Edelweiss. When I say “unmarked” I mean that nowhere in the listing did it actually say it was only a sample. This actually had me freaking out a little. Had I ever downloaded an eARC from Edelweiss thinking it was the whole book, then read the book, reviewed it, rated it.. and was it really only a sample all along? Maybe that “cliffhanger” I complained about wasn’t a cliffhanger at all, but where the sample ended?
Okay I’m probably being paranoid. But that may be a legit concern. (Jodi Meadows—the author of this particular sampler—did kindly inform me that at least her sample has a “Continued” kind of line at the end to mark it as a sampler.)
ANYWAY! In this particular instance it seems the reason was:
@katiesbookblog They've had trouble with piracy from EW and are trying samples out.
— Lauren J (@laurayjames) August 29, 2014
Okay, HarperCollins seems to be trying out samples on Edelweiss instead of full review copies because they’ve had issues with piracy. Harper’s reason for doing this is a whoooole other topic that isn’t for this post. What I want to talk about is:
Why I don’t read samples & do they really make sense for reviewers?
I have never ever EVER downloaded a sampler from NetGalley (or Edelweiss) and I never plan to. For a moment, let’s skip the fact that it’s a sample from an eARC (meaning it’s released 3-6 months in advance of publication). I understand why some people choose to read samples before buying a book. It’s a good way to check the writing style and see where the story is headed. I personally still don’t read samples, but at that point it’s just a personal preference.
Now let’s introduce the eARC factor.
Do I seriously want to read a sample of a book before it’s released? Do I want to read 40-100 pages then have to wait 3-6 months before I can read the rest? At that point I can’t just jump back into the middle of the book, I’d have to start over. So what would be the point in even starting it early? It’s bad enough to have to deal with series. I read one book and have to wait a year to read the next one. That sucks. I don’t want to segment my reading even further by reading one third of book 1 in January, reading the last two thirds in July, then reading book two in July the following year. I mean, really?