A Statement: On the selling of ARC's defacing ARC's and pirating eBooks

Jaime Arnold | 1:39 PM | |
Hello All!

We didn't think we'd ever have to post something like this seeing as we thought that everyone knew right from wrong but apparently some don't.

We here at Rockstar Book Tours love working with authors and publishers. We love it so much we do it for free! That's right we don't charge for the tours we host!

That being said it has come to our attention that some of our tour hosts may not be as honorable. We want to state it so everyone knows our policies about the selling of ARC's, defacing and trading the defaced ARC's, or pirating eGalleys. WE DO NOT CONDONE THIS PRACTICE AT ALL! If you are a tour host and you're caught selling ARC's, pirating eGalleys that we have shared with you, or putting a blog stamp of your own inside an ARC and then selling/trading it, YOU WILL BE REMOVED from our tour host list AND BANNED from all future tours. Not only this but we will share your information with other blog tour hosts so that they are aware of your bad behavior.

What do I do with my ARC's after I read them and don't want to keep them? The lovely blogger Hannah at The Irish Banana did a post today and had some great ideas also YA Highway has an in depth post you all should read. But basically these are the things you can do with them.

***Note we are all for trading ARC's just not trading defaced ARC's (author signatures are not included in said "defacing")****

1. Share with other bloggers
2. Donate to teachers or school libraries
3. Donate it to a program like ARCcycling (they're not running now but we hope they will be soon)
4. Look on Goodreads for ARC swapping groups. There's a few we know of.
5. Have teenagers or a free little library in your neighborhood? Donate them there!
6. Toss it in your recycling bin.

What about eGalley's? Those are for you and you alone! If you share them online that is pirating! If you email it to a friend that is pirating! So if you don't want to keep the book on your eReader delete the file.

Now for the defacing part. It was brought to our attention that certain bloggers are stamping the inside of ARC's with their blog name then trading/selling them with the #BooksForTrade hashtag. That is what we consider defacing books and that's not cool. People that are trading for those books sure as heck don't want your stamp all over the book. You will also be banned from tours.

We're sorry we had to post such a downer post today but we want all authors, publishers, and bloggers to know that Rockstar Book Tours has everyone's best interests at heart and we abide by the laws and we will not work with people who don't.

Cheers,
Jaime and Rachel

28 comments:

  1. I read Hannah's post and this post, totally agree! One thing I didn't know about was the stamping/defacing WTF. That is ridiculous! I sure af would not want someone to send me a book via trade with a stamp on it. Not even a little bit okay! I understand library books have certain remainder marks, and I know The Book Thing in Baltimore stamps books because those books are donations, you're not allowed to resale them since they were given for free and are available for free. But a BLOGGER stamp? Not cool at all -_-

    Lovely post, Jaime and Rachel!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. (It's Rachel.) Until Jaime told me a few weeks ago that people were stamping ARCs I couldn't believe it. I mean I guess I'd understand if you were keeping an arc for yourself and stamping it "property of" in those cute bookplate type stamps, but stamping them strictly for the purpose of marketing seems awful. Especially if it wasn't expressly mentioned to the person you're trading them with.

      Library books are always stamped because they're library books. They're not trying to market themselves and say Follow/Like My Library.

      And this was all Jaime but I totally agree. I hadn't even been aware it was such an issue. Have to check out Hannah's post.

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  2. I know exactly who you are talking about that's stamping books with her blog stamp. And it frustrates me so much because who the hell wants that?!! Take that promotion elsewhere for goodness sakes :/

    ~Karina @ A Reader Under The Sea

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    1. (It's Rachel) - I'm just so glad Jaime keeps me in the loop about this stuff. I hadn't even been aware it was a thing. I didn't even know about the Books for Trade hashtag until she mentioned it to me.

      Yeah trading books is NOT a promotional thing I'd imagine. I know I wouldn't want a book/ARC in my collection with someone's marketing stamp on it. That's why bookmarks are a great idea in those instances.

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    1. (It's Rachel) I think Jaime saw something about ARCs being sold that prompted this and combined it with the ARC stamping/marketing issue she'd heard about and informed me about, both of which I agree with and which is why she alerted everyone to our policies to make it clear to our hosts that they don't sell or otherwise deface the ARCs they receive for our tours. This post wasn't directed at any one blogger - it was for all our hosts.

      Though with your comment I do have a couple of clarification questions:

      I'm a little confused about your reference to something that you were asked to do years ago if you're saying that you've been continuing that practice until this past March/April. Are you saying the publisher/author asked you to continue stamping your books/ARCs, even ones that weren't yours, until this past March/April?

      And, more importantly, had you stamped and traded any ARCs you received from Rockstar Book Tours?

      Also, it seems an unusual request for them to ask you to put your own name in the book vs. something that states IT IS ILLEGAL TO SELL THIS ARC. Which I think all ARCs already state? I don't know that this is common practice to ask bloggers to buy a stamp and stamp books - in my almost five years of blogging no one has ever requested that of me and I'm not sure I've ever heard of that until J mentioned it to me a few weeks ago.

      If you're concerned about email hacks - you should delete any emails that might have attachments or ask the author/pub to send the file directly to your eReader. It doesn't have to be sent strictly from Edelweiss or NetGalley. And I'm surprised that policies haven't changed on this if bloggers' emails are getting hacked just to steal eBooks.

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    3. I am curious as to why you say you are concerned about people selling ARCs when you sell them yourself. I have proof so you can deny it if you want but it is a fact.

      Also I know the Authors never asked you to stamp their ARCs because I have been emailed privately and offered things to cover them up.

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    4. Actually you didn't answer my question. Did you mark any of the books you received from Rockstar Book Tours - because you weren't in contact with any of the authors/publishers.

      While I don't believe I've worked with you on any of the tours I've run, I know Jaime has, and having that answer I'm sure would be appreciated by here.

      Although, I'm not sure that matters anymore. Since I left my comment I was pointed to a posting of yours that expressly contradicts what you've said here on this blog. I'm always one to keep an open mind and believe that people are generally honest but the evidence is clear that you are in fact selling ARCs, which is not just a policy we here at RBT have, it's unlawful.

      I've been told about and been pointed to tweets and posts and comments and a video you've made since we issued this policy update yesterday and while none of it was aimed at you, it appears you've taken it quite personally, which now makes sense. You're in spin-control mode.

      Had you not commented here or drawn so much attention to yourself, I wouldn't even have been aware that this was a practice of yours. I'm sorry that I took the time to respond to your comment, as I now know I was not dealing with someone above board. And given the photographic evidence of your selling of ARCs we will definitely be removing you from our host list and taking you off the host page - which you had expressly requested being added to.

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  4. Seriously people, be happy that your able to read a pre-release book! There are so many of us bloggers that sign up to tours but rarely get a chance to participate and such actions wreck it for the rest of us that are humble enough to appreciate this privilege. Being part of a book blogging community you would think that people would be more understanding not to mention more respectful towards books. It's quite sad that you had to post something like this :(

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    1. (It's Rachel.) It is very sad. When Jaime brought both these issues to my attention it really saddened me. ARCs are privileges and those that use them to make money or to boost their own sites are clearly not in it to help out the authors. The point of our tours is to help the authors promote their books - books that we love. It's not to help bloggers do illegal things. If their site gets more visitors because of the tours it's a win. But the ARCs they receive aren't meant for their marketing. :(

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    1. (It's Rachel again.) I'm not sure what you mean about author and blogger bashing. I don't know what's been happening this past few months as I've been largely out of the loop, but there were some severe author/blogger clashes for the past several years.

      Blogging has gone hand-in-hand with drama since way back when. This is not a new phenomenon. Whether it's personal attacks between bloggers, between authors and bloggers, or plagiarism or book haul envy or other such thing, there has always been drama in the book blogosphere.

      And I don't think that this post, which is meant to put our hosts on notice about the ARCs they receive, was meant to stir up any drama. It was meant to alert them to the fact that if we find they have sold their ARCs or used them in a means not intended, we wouldn't keep them on our host list. I don't think that's being dramatic.

      It is sad, though, that bloggers have to police other bloggers. You're saying eBay and others should have some kind of take down notice but thieves will be thieves no matter. What should happen is those people who post those books for sale and those pics SHOULDN'T EFFING DO IT!

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  6. Thank you for this post! And I've got to say, the blogger above that was stamping her books... I don't buy it. Not one other blogger out of the thousands we know has ever made mention of this "sting". Ever. ARC's are for you and swapping. Period. It irks me when I see them for sale at big stores like Powell's. Selling at all, in my opinion shouldn't be allowed. I also don't buy the hacked emails. This just sounds to me like an attempt at covering your ass. Of course I could be totally wrong, but that's the vibe I got from her comments.
    Anyhoo, this post was sad to see but very necessary. Like Rachel, I've been out of the loop a bit and I'm always amazed at what underhanded and unprofessional stunts some bloggers will sink to. For what? It certainly won't get you ahead in the blogger game. Most of us operate on honesty and integrity. To me, without those two things, you have nothing to offer. Stay straight. Stay true. Be a GOOD example and good things will come to YOU. ❤

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    1. Hey Bella (It's Rachel) - I'm so glad that Jaime posted this, too. It opened my eyes to what was going on, that I hadn't been aware of before. Yeah, the "sting" operation situation sounds a bit fishy because if it was legit - which I realize now it's highly unlikely - the pubs would have involved a larger pool of bloggers.

      Once an ARC leaves my hand I can't control what happens to it. I always hope that other bloggers and readers love it so much that they want to keep it for themselves, but it's no longer my responsibility. And now I just try and give them away post release date - though I did give one to a friend who has nothing to do with blogging. She I trust to simply dispose of it when she's done with it.

      I'm now even more suspect about the "hacked" emails as she's been caught in a lie about selling of ARCs and she's going to way too many lengths to defend herself on the web/social media/YouTube when this post wasn't even about her specifically.

      Even if she is one of those who was marking ARCs she could have emailed privately and said she had done in the past, hadn't been aware it was an issue (because it's not illegal to mark ARCs) and wouldn't do it again and then asked if she could still be a host. It wasn't a policy before so she wasn't in violation if she had done this in the past.

      But I'm learning that there's way more to this story than a simple self-marketing stamp. She'd mentioned the drama was keeping her from enjoying blogging in her comment. It's what has made me not enjoy blogging too. But her actions - selling ARCs ARE what CREATES the drama and the LYING. So perhaps it's the drama of getting caught doing something wrong she dislikes vs. the drama of having to deal with those who aren't honest.

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  7. All I was trying to do was explain that one ARC. Because I love being a tour host for this site. But its nice to know that all I get in return is badgered. and excused of doing things that Ive NEVER done. Thanks When did reviewing turn into such a blood bath?

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    1. Badgered? You tagged us on twitter multiple times. You commented on our site multiple times. You posted a video calling our post out. How are we badgering you?

      AND we NEVER mentioned you in our post. YOU DID THAT ALL ON YOUR OWN!

      And you were NOT being accused in this post. All you had to do, like the rest of the bloggers who received this, was respond back privately. YOU called this attention to yourself. The lady doth protest way too much.

      We were not asking anyone to shut you down, We haven't posted the "evidence" that was shown to us. We haven't tweeted at you with links and pics and shared them with all our followers.

      We aren't badgering you. But please don't come onto our blog and lie to us. It is disrespectful. Feel free to blog as you see fit. But we don't have take your word when we have posts by you which clearly state that have sold ARCs. And we don't have to include you on our tours.

      And reviewing turned into a bloodbath when bloggers choose to be dishonest and violate the spirit of the blogosphere.

      We were not out for your blood here, which you clearly seem to think. You just don't seem to realize that it was your actions that drew attention to you, not our post and not The Irish Banana's.

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  9. This has all gotten ridiculous. I apologize for even getting involved in this in comments and elsewhere online.

    We were trying to update our policy that applies to all our bloggers. We did NOT call anyone out. Whether there may have been one or two bloggers which prompted this, there were no specifics mentioned here. We simply wanted to ensure that these types of things would not happen with our hosts.

    But one blogger decided to "out" themselves. They came to our blog and left multiple comments (which they now deleted) and then posted a video (which they deleted), tagged us on Twitter multiple times, called us out on FB for not being responsive (because they deleted the video we couldn't) and then bashed us on their FB page when we remove them as a host (with the explanation that whether innocent or guilty we could no longer trust them not that they were innocent or guilty).

    We have EVERY RIGHT to include or not include a blogger on a tour. It is OUR right, it is OUR service. We should NOT have to defend our choices. If we feel uncomfortable with working with someone - and by the way this is a FREE service we offer - we should NOT have to. Whether this person is truly innocent and the overwhelming number of instances they've proclaimed to be innocent of - selling, defacing, eBook piracy? - it is not the issue here. It's that we have MANY, MANY potential hosts for our tours that we could select. And we have the RIGHT to select those we feel we can trust, where there won't be an issue.

    We should not get publicly bashed for opting NOT to choose someone whose behavior is suspect. And obviously, given their tactics here - with the FB, YouTube, and other social media bombing, we were right in electing NOT to have them be a representative of Rockstar Book Tours.

    They've closed comments after editing the initial thread on FB and deleting all our valid comments. They've also proclaimed their innocence by cropping together a few pics which make it appear as if they were innocent and which make us look like the bad guys. (They took out the very specific lingo which said "I have Book Packs for sale! 3- Adult- 6 books - $15 each, 3 Teen-4 books $15. Some contain ARCs and Finished Copies of books not yet published. Via Paypal Friends and Family!") This did NOT indicate the $15 was for shipping they profess. And if this was a simple mistake in communication it was too much of a coincidence given the issue on twitter in the past and the current behavior now.

    They clearly want the last (and only) word and are now attempting to smear our name. Why? Because we don't feel comfortable with having them as one of our hosts for having questionable practices when it comes to ARCs.

    This is why I've taken a back seat to tours, why Jaime has taken the almost exclusive burden on this. Sorry you have to shoulder all of this Jaime!

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    1. Don't apologize. It's not your fault. She's the one that decided to get offended and make a video just to start drama when the world doesn't revolve around her. I'm happy the book community is taking notice of what a shady blogger she is. She's also abused the trading sites and lots of people never got their books.

      And she has no right to bash you guys because like you said, this is your site and you have the right not to include anyone that you feel is suspicious.

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    2. And of course I can't get the reply button to work grrrr. Rachel I love you and when I need you you are there that's the important thing. It doesn't matter if I handle more of the tours or not. Just having someone like you in my corner is the best thing I could have asked for!

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  10. I can't understand why people would do this. I don't get many ARCS from publishers so the ones I do get I love and cherish to pieces, and they sit on their own little shelf. I have a hard time giving them up, and unless I had a double of it (in which case I would use it for a giveaway) you'd have to pry it out of my cold dead hands. :)

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    1. I don't either. And while I don't keep ARCs, I always loved knowing that when I gave them away, it was to someone who would love it and keep it, not sell it for profit. And that's so awesome that you have a shelf dedicated to your ARCs - they are rather unique and definitely special shelf-worthy. :)

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  11. I am so proud of this post! It drives me crazy when I see other bloggers selling their ARCS on Amazon or Facebook...I wish there was some way to catch these people because it is so wrong and unfair on so many levels...Hopefully your post will grab people's attention!!

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