Will eARCs be Swapped Out for “Advanced Samples”?

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:

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?

How do you feel about samples instead of full review copies?

Do you think more publishers will try this out?

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98 comments

  1. I didn’t know that Orphan Queen was just a sample. I would have never requested/downloaded it. They should have marked it somehow.
    I hate reading samples. If publisher switch to samples instead of eARCs I think I will just stop using NetGalley and Edelweiss altogether.
    I hate cliffhanger endings and in sample you know it’s not going to end well… Also, I am really bad remembering to continue reading series.
    Also, although I write reviews for books I dnf and didn’t read until the end. It’s easier to conclude that the book didn’t work out for you. But how can I rate/review a book where I read only a couple of chapters? What could I say? It promises to be good?
    One example: The Jewel by Amy Ewing. If I read first 30% of the book it would be 4star review about world full of potential and refreshing story without romance. And then we know what happens…

    1. Yeah I was in the middle of considering downloading Orphan Queen (still not sure if it’s “for me”) when I found out it was just a sample. Now I’m definitely not downloading it. X_X

      And yeah, if publishers switch to only samples, then I won’t be reading them at all. That would be a huge bummer. People can’t review a portion of the book, and The Jewel is a GREAT example of that!!

  2. Oh god, if they start doing this for all their titles, I’m going to cry. And they’ll get so little promotion from me. As a reviewer, samplers are just kind of pointless. I’m not ever going to write a review or promotional post about a SAMPLER, if I even bother reading it. So there goes the hype creation that they were hoping for.

    Cliffhanger endings are bad enough, I don’t need to just read part of the story, with the most interesting bits to come in a few months. That’s a way to make me ragequit. I’d much rather they just stop with eARCs if piracy is such a problem and only send out physical ARCs. Or just be extremely selective – and, you know, don’t auto approve every single blogger to ever request one of their titles.

    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted: Confession Time: As a kid, I hated reading..
  3. I’d probably read a sampler, just to see if I’m going to like the book. But I certainly wouldn’t in any way, shape or form, actually REVIEW a sampler. I might mention “oh i read an excerpt/sample of this and it seems good” in a conversation or in a post where I’m talking about what books I’m looking forward to. But if eARCs go the way of ONLY samples, well then I’m out of the game.

    Jaki recently posted: Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
    1. Yeah I could NEVER review a sampler :/ I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending a book to someone based on only having read 30% (or less) of a book.

    1. I completely agree. I don’t waste time on samples either. I’d rather read the whole thing or nothing at all.

      And yeah, I’ve never been into novellas just because I feel like you can’t pack enough plot/character development into a 100 page (or less) story. So if it’s going to have barely any plot/development, what’s the point? Whole book or nothing!!

    1. Yeah I never ever ever read those “first chapter” things or excerpts or samples. I’m just not into it. I want to read the whole book or nothing at all.

  4. I never read samples. As you said – it seems pointless to start a book, possibly enjoy it and then have to wait about a month before continuing it. Knowing me, by the time I finally get my hands on the full book I won’t feel like reading it anymore, and who knows when I WILL feel like that again?
    I don’t request much arcs at all, as I have a problem with time scheduling and tend to put the books off for so long that I feel ashamed of myself, but I would never request a sample. Like, ever. What would I do with that? I won’t review it, that’s for sure. So what’s the point?
    However, the most concerning bit of your whole post is that that sample was UNMARKED. Some people might enjoy samples, and some don’t, and you’ve got to give the reviewer the chance to decide if they want to do that – not force it on them by sort of “deceiving” them, promising a full book and giving them a small part instead. (Also, again, as a reviewer – what would you do with a sampler?! The only thing it can actually do is maybe up the book on your TBR, but that’s about it).
    If this ever happened to me, it would put me off the book so badly I probably would never finish it–but I would rant on the experience on my blog, which is probably counterproductive to the publishers….

    1. Yeah that’s an excellent point. I probably wouldn’t feel like reading it anymore either. Even if I loved the sample, it would just be hard to get back into that story’s vibe. And as I said, I’d have to start over anyway in order to get the full experience, so what’s the point in just reading a sample?

  5. I’m not on Edelweiss or NetGalley so far because I prefer physical books to eBooks, but I hate reading samples too. Even when I’m trying to decide whether or not to buy a book, I either don’t read a sample at all or only read the first few lines to see whether the writing style is okay for me – and that’s when I can actually buy the book right away. If I were reading eARC this would bug me A LOT, especially when it’s unmarked (not cool).

  6. I decide if I want to read a book based on reviews, genres, synopsis and opinions of friends. So I would never read a sample in the first place. But if eARCs are replaced by samples… I mean, I don’t even know how I’m supposed to review something that is incomplete? And moreover, isn’t the whole point of an eARC that it’s a fair trade? You get to read the book early and in exchange you write a review? It no longer seems like a fair trade if you have to write a review of something incomplete. Personally I wouldn’t want to spend my time on a review, in that case… Plenty of other books I could read instead.

    Carola recently posted: August Wrap-up
    1. Yeah I feel like there’s just no way we can review samples. Even if I loved it, I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending a book to someone just based on a sample.

    1. I find samples semi-often on NetGalley.. mainly for some of the books they expect to be SUPER popular (so maybe they don’t feel they need the buzz/early reviews). But this was the first one I’d seen from HarperCollins. *sigh*

  7. I totally just downloaded The Orphan Queen from EW! I’m so disappointed now. Like you, I don’t read samples. It’s kind of a waste of time for me, because I’m going to start the whole book over when it comes out since I won’t remember what’s going on or even where the sampler stopped. I think if they want to do samplers that’s fine, but they need to be clearly marked. I don’t think it’s fair to make it seem like we are getting the whole book and then just have it be a few chapters. And it’s not like I’m going to review the sampler. I’m going to wait until the book comes out and review the whole thing. So now I have this unreviewed sampler sitting in my EW or NG account hurting my feedback ratio. This makes me mad.

    Rebecca @ The Library Canary recently posted: Review: Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday
    1. Yeah I completely agree. They need to be marked. I’d be so pissed if I got to the “end” of an “eARC” I downloaded just for it to say “…This was just a sample! Finish the book on publication date.”

  8. I don’t think samples make sense for ARC’s. I mean isn’t the point of an arc reading early then reviewing or talking about so that the book gets attention before the release date. I would feel kind of off reviewing or talking about a sample of 60 pages. Sometimes I dont even know what I think about a book in the first 60 pages.

    JennRenee recently posted: Delightful Discoveries #78
  9. Sample don’t make sense for a reviewer because we are suppose to be some of the first people to post reviews about a book and you can’t give a full review based on a few pages. You might be able to tell if you will like it or not, but then your stuck for 3-6 months before finding out anything more about it..in that time I would probably have lost interest in what happened.

    I downloaded the sampler not knowing it was a sampler and I won’t read it, as I don’t do samplers. So I was very disappointed when I found out it was a sampler. Harper is my favorite publisher and now when I download on EW I will be leery of downloading for fear of a sampler. 🙁

    Stormi recently posted: R.I.P IX reading challenge!
    1. Yeah if I read samples I feel like I’d end up having read 50 samples and only like 10 complete books because I’d lose interest in half of them (even if I read the sample).

      I love Harper too. 🙁 Now I’m just afraid of what’s to come…

  10. I feel like samples are a waste of time. I’m with you, why would I want to read part of a story now, and then months MONTHS later have to start over to read the full story. I won’t remember much of the sample that I read. Honestly though, how do they expect a true review on a sample? “Well, so far the plot was ok and the world building was interesting, but I can’t speak to how anything plays out in this story” <- that is not a review I want to write!

  11. Grrrrr. This frustrates me so much. I’ve NEVER read a sampler, and I never plan to. Like you said, what’s the point for us reviewers? We would just have to read it again once the book was released. I understand, like you mentioned, reading a sample before purchasing a book… But for us book reviewers, it’s honestly just a waste of time. 🙁

    I’ve seen a few on NG as well, and passed on them. But having them on Edelweiss where it’s not stated is a little unnerving. Like you said, I also wonder if I’ve ever read a book thinking it was the WHOLE book, when in fact it was just a sample. Scary thought!

    In conclusion, if they do start putting up more samples for review, PLEASE let us know it’s a sample so our reviews will be accurate, and so we’ll know what we’re reading. It’s only fair.

    1. I’ve always skipped the ones on NetGalley, but I appreciate that they’re clearly labeled as samplers. This whole unmarked thing is just annoying. 🙁

  12. The eARC samples I’ve run across have been clearly marked, but it’s annoying to think there might be publishers out there trying to trick bloggers. I honestly would NEVER read one, I mean what’s the point? It seems like they are trying to up the sales on books by making bloggers buy the book in order to read the whole thing. I certainly don’t have time to read books twice.

  13. No, no, no, no, no, no. I do not do book samples. I saw the one for Isla & The Happily Ever After, and despite how tempted I was to request, I don’t do book samples. I either want the full thing, or nothing at all. I hate reading to a certain point and then having to wait for the rest. I want instant gratification.

    I would be quite furious if I downloaded an eARC from Netgalley/Edelweiss and started to read it, and came to the end to be told it was a sample. Furious.

    It’s the same with this new UK trend from publishers to release full-length, proper novels in parts. It drives me crazy. Books aren’t meant to be split into parts, unless it actually is an episodic novel. It’s my biggest bug-bear with reading. /endrant.

    PS: I love the new design, Ashley, it’s beautiful!

    1. This was me 🙁 I was reading The Orphan Queen this morning and it’s a really good book, and I’m in a funk now because of that compelling need to know what happens. But because I’m an international reviewer, the chances of me getting a full review copy before publication are extremely limited, so March 2015 it is.

      1. Sorry about that Hannah. 🙁 I’m glad you were enjoying the book though! It just sucks you have to wait so long to finish it.

  14. I am also super annoyed to find out that the Orphan queen is a sampler. I don’t really have a problem with publishers putting samplers on Edelweiss or Netgalley. But THEY MUST label them as such. This is absurd. I also very rarely will request or read samples. I have read a bunch of Harpercollins books at Edelweiss. Do you know which other of their titles are samples only? I really am shocked that they would not mention that the books are samplers.

      1. Thanks. i wrote to Edelweiss about this and received a response. I personally don’t care if they choose to use samplers. But it is common courtesy for them to note it. They do this on netgalley.

        Joe responded saying that there is the option for publishers to note the e-arcs as samples but they have the option to do it or not. But he did say that they were going to contact the publisher and remind them about this policy.

        I requested Orphan Queen. If I do get accepted I will probably only read it a week or so before the release date. I have a huge TBR list and can’t be reading books twice.

        1. Thanks for doing that Jennifer! It’s good that they at least have the option for it. Bummer that Harper chose not to utilize it…

          1. My guess is that they didn’t realize what the backlash would be. They’ve probably never put up a sampler before. Hopefully they will just make sure that they do it next time they decide to have a sampler instead of the whole book. I am just glad that I found out right away.

            1. Well it’s not really even the backlash. Marking a sampler as a sampler is just the obvious thing to do. If you’re uploading a sampler and there’s a “Sampler” box and you don’t check it, that’s just being misleading!

  15. I’m actually quite disappointed about this. There was nothing to say on Edelweiss, at least that I could see, that the copy was a sampler. I was really shocked – only having just been immersed into the world, and boom, I was told to wait until March 2015 before I could read more.

    If e-arcs are turning into samplers because of piracy, then I think it’s a bit harsh to those that do legitimately read and review. Maybe Harper need to revise their auto-approval policy a bit more, or look into investigating how copies are getting ripped and put onto piracy sites. I was quickly pre-approved for titles, and it makes me wonder how many other people are as well, considering a lot of other publishing imprints (especially as Edelweiss is more US based) decline due to having already given e-galleys out to US residents first.

    I can’t review a sampler. How is that an effective way of telling someone what a book is like?

    I’m really grateful that HarperTeen and its imprints have given me the chance to read and review titles via their egalley process. It makes life as an international reviewer a lot easier, beacuse a lot of titles don’t get picked up by the Commonwealth, or if they do, it’s not until the book has already been released in America. It’s getting better nowadays, but there’s still a divide there. For them to put up a sampler kind of makes me feel a little bit used and tricked. The no warning stumped me, and I honestly thought there was a glitch because an hour into reading, the book was at 90% done. It’ll definitely make me think twice about what I request from Harper in the future as well.

    1. I think Harper has stopped auto approving. Honestly, I was surprised at how many people they auto approved. They auto approved me after only ONE request last year. Obviously I’m pleased with that, but one request isn’t enough to see how good/reliable of a reviewer I am. They should wait and see what the person is like first.

      So if they’ve stopped auto approving, I guess that’s a step in the right direction. But it majorly sucks that a handful of pirates are ruining a good thing for everyone. 🙁

  16. Ain’t no blogger got time to waste on a sampler, just saying. I have only read one of them and that was for Isla. That’s it. I think it’s also bad form that there wasn’t a label attached to that particular book stating that it was a sampler. I’m sure most bloggers would have stayed away from it instead of wasting precious time requesting it, downloading it then reading it to be left hanging.

    1. Isla and the Happily Ever After was also the only sampler i ever took/requested. I’d waited 2 years for that book and was dying to get the chance to read 5 chapters.

      I think the issue here is mostly that it wasn’t noted that it was a sampler.

  17. What? I didn’t know The Orphan Queen was just a sample, if I had known that, I would have never downloaded it. I don’t have a problem with publishers doing only samples, but they HAVE to label it somehow. This feels like they’re tricking us to do something that we don’t want. I never read a sampler, and I doubt I ever will. I never even read excerpts, because I hate knowing certain parts of the books and not being able to know everything.

    And to answer a question, will eARCs be swapped with samples, I really hope they wont. Not only just because I don’t read them, but because they’re not useful. I’d never do a review/promo post/or anything really based just on a sample. eARCs are here to create buzz around books, and I doubt samples could have the same effect. I’d consider a sample review a DNF review, because really, you didn’t finish the book. You only read a part of it, and because of that, I wouldn’t trust it.

    But if does become like that, and samples really replace eARCs, well then I just won’t read the eARCs/samples. I read them so I can help publishers promote their books, but if I can’t read the whole book before it comes out, then I’ll just read the ones I buy. God knows my TBR pile is huge. Then publishers will have to find some other way to promote their books really well. We all know physical ARCs are very expensive, and it wouldn’t have the same effect. Also, there are lot of international bloggers, like myself, who would be left out.

  18. I thought it was bullshit that there was no disclaimer of it being a sampler anywhere, not even in the book. I would have been super pissed if I read it and got to the non-ending. eARC samplers are dumb, how can you rate or review a portion of the book. I was so confused when people started reviewing the sampler of Isla.
    Now, if Harper didn’t auto approve everyone and their freaking mother, maybe they wouldn’t have so many piracy issues. Seriously, new bloggers with less than 100 followers (and very little page stats) are auto approved nowaways. It took me more than 2 years to get auto approved from them…

    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted: Mood Board (5): Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas!
    1. I know. I got auto approved from them so early on. I submitted like one request for them and got auto approved. Now obviously I’m pleased about it, but if I’m being honest that’s not nearly enough time to gauge how good/reliable a reviewer is.

  19. I don’t even read samples posted on Amazon, the author’s website or anywhere else, whether the book is released or not. What makes them think reviewers will read them pre-release and want to wait months to find out what happens next? Hell no.
    I literally would never request a digital ARC from them again if they began doing this for every book. And if they didn’t want to send me print copies, that’s fine, there’s always the book store or library.

  20. I’ve seen samplers posted occasionally on NetGalley, but have never requested one. I’d be very upset if I requested a book and found out it was just a sampler after the fact. I’m like you – there’s no way I want to start a book and then wait months to finish it (and I definitely don’t have time to read a bunch of stuff twice). Hopefully this will get enough negative feedback that they’ll re-think the whole thing.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted: Let’s Discuss – I Don’t Read the Way I Used To!
  21. I think this would end in a disaster.. I think there won’t be many reviewers who will download those samples – and how are we supposed to review them? You can’t say anything about the overall story and the ending.. I know I would never download a sample, because I don’t feel like reading some pages and then waiting for the book.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted: Thirteen days of Ash & Fire blog tour.
  22. I’ve never downloaded a sampler. I don’t like starting a story and waiting for it to come out. I wouldn’t remember half the details from the first 50 pages by the time the novel comes out.
    Reviewing a book based on less than half a book would be ridiculous. My opinion of a story often changes by the time I get to the end. I also wouldn’t be able to write a comprehensive review without looking at the overall story, especially the ending, which always leaves the most impactful, longest lasting impression of the story.

    Dana @ The Nerdy Journalist recently posted: Review | Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
  23. I’m quite irritated with this. I got all excited and downloaded The Orphan Queen only to find out that it’s a sample. It doesn’t say on Edelweiss. It doesn’t say at the beginning of the book. I hear that it says some form of “To Be Continued” or “sample” or whatever at the end but, if I’d read to that without knowing it was a sample, I’d be so very pissed. So, no. I hate samples. I want the whole book or nothing. I understand the theory behind it, trying to prevent piracy, but there’s got to be another way.

    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted: Moving to Wordpress...soon!
  24. I’ve never downloaded a sample from Netgalley or EW. Is it then counted towards your feedback ratio? Because how can you give an honest review if you don’t finish the book.

    I used to download samples on Barnes & Noble but it was frustrating. Some samples were 1 to 3 chapters long, which was great because then you get a feel for if its something you want to buy. But then there were some samples that were only 12 pages long and that is only the table contents. Or the sample would stop in the middle of a chapter which was frustrating. So now I don’t bother with samples.

    Kathy A. recently posted: Cover Reveal – My Salvation
  25. Oh god I really hope these ‘samples’ don’t become a thing. I get why publishers might start doing this more and more but I just won’t be one of those people getting a sampler. Like you i’d just hate for the ‘sample’ to end right before the good stuff and picking it up MONTHS after means i’d lose my stride and i’d end up just not enjoying the book since i wouldn’t want to reread the beginning again *sigh*

    Lily recently posted: Deeper(Caroline & West #1):Review
  26. I don’t do samples either. I just don’t think they make sense from a reviewer standpoint. I don’t feel comfortable recommending something based on only part of the book and I would feel wrong giving something a less than great review if what remained could have swayed me otherwise. I think it works well as a teaser, but for me blurbs and other reviews are enough of a tease to decide if I’ll read a book or not.

  27. I am so very annoyed about the whole “unmarked sampler” thing, I can’t even. If you’re going to put a sampler of a book up on a site where (I’m assuming) EVERY past eARC has been complete, it’s straight-up trickery to not mark it as a sampler. There’s no way they can judge its success based on downloads, if the downloaders don’t know what they’re getting into. -_-

    Regarding reading samplers at all – heck no. ESPECIALLY early samplers. Why would I waste time reading *part* of a book, which I then can’t even review? I deal with that w/ DNF’s, I would never willingly walk into that situation??

    And an early sampler doesn’t even make me more likely to add it to my “I want to buy it when it comes out” list – I add things to my TBR and wishlist based on synopsis, buzz, and early reviews – of the WHOLE book. I buy books based on reviews of the WHOLE book. A pre-release sampler doesn’t fit into that… anywhere. I won’t read it myself, AND it doesn’t help me, as a consumer, decide whether I’ll want to purchase it 3 or 4 months later.

    Ugh. I sincerely hope this doesn’t become a thing.

    Nikki recently posted: How do you write your reviews?
  28. WHAT. I just downloaded Orphan Queen and I didn’t know it was a sample! That makes me really upset!!! I think they need to label those things CLEARLY – because now I’m stuck with half a book. 🙁

    I mostly feel the same way about samples – I read a sample of Talon out of the Forever Song eARC, and it just made me want it even more (which I haven’t been able to get from ANYWHERE, despite my desperate tries lol). I did download a sample of both Inland (that I haven’t read yet) and Atlantia from Netgalley. I read the Atlantia sample and liked it, but was denied for the full eARC. Now I have to wait for the rest! I don’t know if I’ll do that again. But, I do like to get samples of books I’m not sure I’ll like to see if they’d be worth downloading/buying. But not of advanced copies!

    Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat recently posted: Life of a Blogger: Fitness
  29. I read pretty quickly and I read a lot, so if I read a sample and have to wait three to six months for the rest of the book. . . well, like you, I’d have to start all over again. So I don’t do sample books, either – with one exception. I’ll sometimes get a “sampler” collection that has excerpts from five or six books to see if any of them interest me enough to actually read the book. But half the time, I don’t end up reading the sampler, either.

    As for the unmarked sampler, I would have been disappointed and angry that it wasn’t marked as such. And I certainly wouldn’t review it, because how can you review a book if you’ve only read part of it? (Unless it was so awful it was a DNF.)

    Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard recently posted: Loving Rose, by Stephanie Laurens (review)
  30. I didn’t realize The Orphan Queen was a sample and now I feel disappointed. Especially since it doesn’t really say anywhere on that listing that’s what it is. I have no interest in samples because my problem is I’ll read the sample then it will be too long until the book comes out and I lose interesting in going back to finish the book. I’m not sure if it’s because it feels like extra work to go back and reread or if at that point I’m over it. I don’t know but I can tell you I would just rather wait until the book comes out then read a sample.

  31. I’m completely with you Ashley! 😀 I’m not a huge fan of book samples either, because usually they just leave me wanting more – ha! 😉 And while I understand why they might be necessary, it would be nice if they were actually labeled as samples so people like you don’t download it and get frustrated when they find it’s not a full book. Definitely a bit deceiving!

    Zoe N. recently posted: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  32. I think that if samples became the norm, I would stop requesting “arcs” of any sort. I don’t have Edelweiss, but I would stop using Netgalley even. Samples are pointless unless you are trying to decide if you want to buy a book or not. On an advanced reader site, they have no place. These companies would want you to still rate things, and would probably use the ratings as part of their sales and promotions. How can you rate something that you didn’t really read? You can rate that sample, but not the book, and I don’t think that these publishers would see it that way. It’s the same way most people won’t use a star system for DNF books. How can you feel justified giving a book that you didn’t read the whole of a proper rating?

  33. I’m soooo agreed with you! I never have request/downloaded before a sample and I wouldn’t do it either. What is the point of read half of the book and then, read the other half three month later? I simply can’t understand it.

    I mean, I understand the pirate thing and all of that, however, I also think that the samples are a jokes for reviewers because, how could they give us few pages for review? It’s like the same as read a short story, which doesn’t have the information needy to review.

    Even so, if I want to know how is the writing style and if the book could suits me, I just read the official charpters and teasers realease before the book comes out. I don’t know, the samples are pointless to me.

  34. Wow! I didn’t know about this. I’ve seen a few samplers on Netgalley – but they’ve always been clearly marked as ‘sample’. Downloading a sample copy doesn’t appeal to me at all – and I really think they should be clearly marked as such. I don’t want to download and start reading a book only to to find out it’s a sample – seems like a waste of time!

  35. Advanced Samples sound like the dumbest thing ever. I get that publishers may or may not have problems with sharing eARCs, but this is the wrong way to combat that. This will only turn more people off of a book. If you know a book is coming out, but there’s only an advanced sample available, you can either wait until it’s actually released, or you can read 50 pages then and still wait. IMO, I would rather wait out the whole time, and I think a lot of people feel the same way. By doing that, you’re limiting chances to build buzz pre-release. Not a good move…

    Kate recently posted: CREATE: Birthday Shrine
  36. I think publishers probably will use samplers more often but hopefully not switch over to only samplers. I doubt they’ll only use samplers – what would they use to help get the word out about new books coming out? I did download a sample of Unhinged before it came out because I was desperate, lol. On the whole I wouldn’t want to download them though.

    Jennifer @ Donnie Darko Girl recently posted: Review ~ The Girl Who Believed in Fairy Tales by Heidi Garrett
  37. I am SO disappointed. I had no idea The Orphan Queen was a sampler when I downloaded it! I’m SO not reading it now, and that is devastating. How did you find out? I can’t find anything anywhere.

    I think instead of a review I’m going to submit my reasons for not reading and reviewing samplers to Harper through Edelweiss. I understand the desire to keep piracy at bay, but I don’t understand being tricked into reading part of a book. *sigh* I SO hope this does not become the new norm, because I will quit promoting their books.

    Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl recently posted: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson | Book Review
    1. I found out because the author tweeted about it. She said something like, “The Orphan Queen is on Edelweiss! But it is only a sample, sorry.” So that’s how I found out. But around that same time a few other people started tweeting, “Why is the eARC of The Orphan Queen not the whole book?” So they must have gotten to the end at that point and saw it cut off.

  38. I downloaded The Orphan Queen yesterday, and I was all excited. You’re right, there’s nothing on Edelweiss saying it’s a sample. However, when I opened it in Adobe Digital Editions, there was a little notice on the cover saying “sample” or something like that. I flipped to the last page too, where it said something like, “Read the rest of the story when it comes out in March 2015.” I immediately deleted it. How can I be expected to write a review when I don’t know how it ends? It made me super nervous that all the other books I’d downloaded from them weren’t complete. I think it would be a bad move for them to do this with all their ARCs. I would never request them, and it seems like a lot of people feel the same way from the looks of your comments.

    Laura Ashlee recently posted: Audiobooks and Literacy
  39. Oh gosh, now I’m wondering if some of the recent eARC’s I downloaded from Edelweiss are samplers :/

    Samples aren’t for me, I can see why people would like them but I’d rather just wait and read the book. If eARC’s become e-samples, I won’t be reviewing them unfortunately, it will be agonizing to wait for the books to be released! Plus I’m not sure how much interest will be in reviews of esamples… I mean what would I talk about? It wouldn’t be an accurate review as far as I’m concerned because you know that they would pick a really great part to be the sampler, but what if the book is not great after that? I’d just stick to reading my TBR and give up eARCs entirely.

    Lauren @ Lose Time Reading recently posted: August Wrap Up
  40. Here’s what I’m upset about: I didn’t know The Orphan Queen was a sample. It didn’t say it ANYWHERE. So I loaded it because I got super excited. And now I have this sample sitting on my reader and I won’t read it, b/c I just cannot review a sample. I have done it once and then I emailed the publisher to try and get a full copy (which they did send me at the time, but I have had it happen with others that I didn’t get anything and had to wait and I was super frustrated). And now I fear that I loaded it and I won’t review it (b/c it’s a sample) and then I will get penalized by the publisher by them not allowing me to load books anymore because I didn’t put up a review. I’m not even sure what to do about it. Do I contact them and let them know? Send them a note through Edelweiss? I just don’t know.

    1. If I were you, I’d fill out feedback on Edelweiss (as if it were a review), thank them, and say you didn’t realize it was a sample until after you downloaded it and you don’t review samples.

  41. EXACTLY. thank you, Ashley! So glad to know I’m not the only one. I actually was one of the people who unknowingly got the eARC that turned out to be a sample. I didn’t even know until I scheduled a buddy read of it with another reviewer and someone posted it on the thread! I would’ve been SO pissed if I started reading thinking it was the entire book.

    Who wants to read the first 12 chapters and stop? And then, MONTHS later go back to reread or at least pick up and try to remember the first 1/3 of the book? NO WAY JOSE. nope.

    I’m thinking maybe the publishers should just expand the budge for paper ARCs and only send them to reviewers who have been verified not to pirate or something idk…or maybe like how u build your approval ratio you could build a “non-pirate” stamp on your profile lol 😉 just throwin ideas out there.

    But anyway, the answer to your question is no way I would not and this has honestly pissed me off a lot that they didn’t label it. I don’t even know if I’ll read the book now… Bc I don’t have time to put up with this crap when I have 7540000 eARCs and ARCs to read! Haha

    1. I think the problem with HarperCollins is that they went through massive phases of auto-approving practically EVERYONE. And many of those people (including myself) hadn’t proven themselves as good, reliable, trustworthy reviewers. They just auto-approved them anyway.

      I include myself in that list because I got auto-approved after only requesting one or two HarperCollins titles. Even though I am a blogger, do review books, and don’t pirate, I still don’t think I should have been auto approved yet. Maybe now that I’m more “trustworthy” and have been blogging/reading ARCs for two years, but at the time I’d only requested like ONE book from HarperCollins before. There’s no way they should have trusted me enough to auto-approve me, you know?

      And I know from Twitter that they would start mass auto-approving people in waves. Then those people have immediate access to ALL their Edelweiss books. I bet that’s largely how the piracy got started. If they’d been a bit more selective in the beginning, maybe this wouldn’t have been such a huge problem now.

  42. Everyone seems to be in agreement about samplers being a waste of time (agreed) and that HC was being super shifty when they didn’t mark that this was a sample (SUPER AGREE!) but what actually upset me the most was the stance the author took on the whole thing?

    Like, “sorry to disappoint you all but…I wanted to.” is basically what her blog post says. And I don’t understand her reasoning.

    I totally get that pirating, especially early pirating, must be upsetting for authors. I get that. I do. But at the same time, it’s a part of the publishing industry and as much as it sucks, it’s never going to go away. I do not understand why this one author is now a pretty pretty princess and gets special treatment. Annoyingly masked special treatment.

    Especially with her (at least in my head) condescending “maybe you’ll request the physical ARC.” ….I feel pretty sure that all of those bloggers who want to read the book would be happy with a physical ARC except the whole point of eARCs was to cut down on the need for physicals ARCs…and this just feels like a step backward?

    Also, I don’t see why HC would try this out on this particular book? I enjoy Jodi Meadows’ books but they’re not that popular outside the community. This whole situation just seems silly and really turns me off wanting to read her books at all as she doesn’t seem to want bloggers to read her books.

    Maybe I’m projecting my own feelings onto the writing in her blog post. Maybe she didn’t mean to sound as mean and condescending as she did but the hiding that it is a sample upsets me a lot less than the fact that she requested her book not be made available to bloggers. And that her publisher listened to her.

    I was really looking forward to this book and now I could not care less about it.

    1. I totally understand what you’re saying. To address one thing you said:

      Also, I don’t see why HC would try this out on this particular book?

      My understanding from Jodi’s post is that she specifically requested that it only be a sample. I assume no author requested it so they were happy to publish the whole thing.

      Moving on…

      I honestly think that authors exaggerate (even if not intentionally) how much money they “lose” from pirating. Don’t get me wrong, pirating SUCKS and it’s wrong, but it’s just like every other industry (like movies).

      Let’s say 500 people pirate your book. That doesn’t mean that you lost out on 500 sales and thus “lost” that much money. Most people who pirate books probably wouldn’t have bought that same book if they WEREN’T able to pirate it. That’s exactly how it works with movies, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be the same for books.

      I just can’t help but wonder when authors say, “I lost SO much money due to pirating”, they’re just looking at how many people pirated it and immediately converting that same number to lost sales. Because they’re certainly not the same!

      But yeah, pirating will never go away. It’s like physical ARCs being sold on eBay. It happens, it sucks, but we deal with it. The eARC will be pirated and the finished, final book will also be pirated. Just because the eARC is now a sample doesn’t mean the pirating is gone. The sample will be pirated (the author may not care) and then the final ecopy that was on Amazon (or whatever) will also be pirated. So regardless of whether the eARC is a sample or a full thing, it’s going to be pirated.

      Releasing “advanced samples” will result in less pirating (of the advanced copy), but it will also result in fewer reviews and less buzz. There’s no method that they can “experiment” with that will remove piracy completely.

      I still maintain that HC’s downfall was how many people they auto-approved without thoroughly scanning them or waiting to see if they were reliable. Many people (myself included) submitted only one or two requests to HC before being auto-approved. That’s not enough time to determine whether someone is “trustworthy” and a reliable reviewer.

    2. Oh and I forgot to say:

      “maybe you’ll request the physical ARC.”

      That was a good thing to bring up. Many people can’t get physical ARCs even if they try. Either they get declined (because fewer people get them) or they live outside the US and HC will happily give them an eARC but not a physical copy.

  43. What? Unmarked samples??? I’m worried now, too. I don’t want to download an eARC and read it, then discover that it was just a sample. Now, I can’t review it and I have to wait months to finish it?! I really hope that doesn’t become the norm. I think they should at least tell us that it’s just a sample before we download it! I, like you, am clearly not a fan of samplers.

    Sam recently posted: Review: Revolution 19
  44. I kind of get the reason for some publishers trying this out, but I completely agree about the frustration of eARC samplers. What is even the point? Just put it as a pre-release sampler offered to the general public! I didn’t realize that Orphan Queen was a sampler and was planning on jumping into it soon and am now so frustrated with this revelation that my excited for the book is tamped just from negative emotional association…. HC might have just shot themselves in the foot by getting reviewers super excited and then pulling the rug out from under them.

    I never have downloaded a sampler and never plan to as well. I can’t write an early review based on a sampler so I don’t have the time to waste on them. It really makes me question what they think the use of them is and if they expect us to review and rate them??

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