eBay: Poltergeist

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….)

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About Kat Richardson

Writer, editor, eccentric pain in the tail, bestselling author of the Greywalker novels.
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5 Responses to eBay: Poltergeist

  1. Nathan says:

    Well, either way they’ll be entertaining, though i think the character you’ve created has more than a lifetime’s worth of exciting-adventure potential (and even if Harper finds herself out of story, i’d be quite interested in reading more about Cameron and his struggles/rise in the world of vampires [i have somewhat of an obsession with our life-feeding fictional pals])

    i can see where the mixed emotions concerning this E-bay situation arise; on the one hand, someone clearly sees your work as a money-maker and that is something that- if i was publishing and found myself in that situation- is somewhat flattering. on the other hand, that’s sort of a misuse of the material.

    anyway, when the book is out and i finally get some much needed green in hand i will most certainly snatch up a copy of the upcoming sequal.

    Thanks again for all of your help and best of luck with any future projects.

  2. K.B. Wagers says:

    Just based on principle I’d say you probably want to contact your publisher and let them know about it because when you get right down to it they’re taking profits from both you and the pub.

    Those books aren’t for sale for a reason.

  3. Kat, an ARC just ended up on E-Bay the other day for CHANGELING. Couldn’t get it down before it sold and my friend, who was trying to snag it for me, was outbid. Go figure, somebody paid $36 for a copy of it. This really pisses me off in some ways–for one, after dealing with being pirated on the internet, I’m very leery about just who bought the ARC and what they’re going to do with it. For another, it clearly says NOT FOR SALE on the front.

    It *is* flattering in a way, to see somebody would want to pay so much for an advance copy, but the whole thing is fraught with some scary possibilities.

    At least let your publisher know. I did, and was very pleased to see how serious of an issue they consider this.

    Yasmine

  4. I’m just going to post my reply as a regular post, it’s really long….

  5. BriteDay says:

    Hmmm, yes. It is a problem. We are online Booksellers and have been since 1998. We use to gather and save ARC, which we cannot list on Amazon (our main outlet), for listing on eBays. Now, with greater awareness, we pass over them when buying as unsalable, just like promotional videos or CD. Maybe there should be some kind of Destory this when done message or something to the Reviewer as what typically happens is that they are donated and show up on thrift store shelves. Sometimes a Reviewer will clear out a whole bunch at one time and you will see dozens of these ARC!!

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