Yesterday I found a listing for a Poltergeist ARC (bound galley) on eBay. It appears to be the real thing as the photos and description are identical to mine. Technically, they aren’t supposed to be sold, though collectibles are often things that were meant as ephemera to be given away to attract customers and thrown away afterward. ARCs are supposed to allow reviewers and booksellers to read a book before distribution so they can do what they do–review books in a timely fashion or make buying decisions. Collectors sometimes want these things, since they are limited in number and not available to the general public, or just because they are yet another version or they really like the author and want something “special”.
I guess the thing that makes me frown is that the ARC came to the shop for free and an official copy of the actual book will go for about $14, but the asking price is twice that–three times if want to avoid the bid and just buy it. No one seems interested in it at that price–which surprises me not at all–so what will the seller do if no one buys? Throw it out? Not order the actual book? (That would hurt) Give it away? Try again?
I’m not sure how I feel about this. Happy? (someone thinks there might be a market for my ephemera.) Annoyed? (it was free, it should stay free.) Curious? (will someone buy it?) Hungry? (breakfast was kind of small… maybe I should just go get a snack….)