Monday, March 30, 2009

A Question: Quoting from ARCs

For those of you who review ARCs from time to time, how do you deal with it when you want to quote something from the book?

I have this rather ethical issue with quoting from ARCs because the back usually asks me not, too.

But sometimes I'm just dying to add a few passages in, and I don't have time to go to the bookstore to check the final copy. Or maybe the final copy isn't out when I write the review.

I've seen some of you make a note that things might be different in the final copy....but what if they're radically different? A few books do go through that process.

Anyway, I'm interested in hearing what you think about this issue.






Amy

23 comments:

Marie said...

I never quote from ARCs. Every ARC says "do not quote" because it's an unfinished version, so I try to respect that. On the exceptionally rare occasions when I've felt compelled to quote from an ARC I will go to a bookstore and check what I want to quote against a finished copy of the book and quote from *that*. But if you read my reviews you will hardly ever see a quote from an ARC.

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

I quote and try to remember to add a disclaimer that I was quoting from an ARC, finished copy may be different, your mileage may vary, etc.

I think it's more important in the case of a negative review ... if you're using the quote as an example of poor writing you'd want to check against the finished copy.

Hmm, I know I don't always cite the disclaimer, but it doesn't bother me. I hope I can sleep OK tonight! :)

Deena said...

From personal experience: be careful! Sometimes books do go through a radical editing process, and that's one reason the publishers ask that we check with them first.

I quoted from an arc once, then had the editor take out the questionable part, and had egg on my face. So double-check with whomever sent the book before you quote:-)

Literate Housewife said...

I have only done it once for Foreign Tongue. It's not published until 4/14. I didn't think about the request not to. I sent the link to the publicist who sent me the book and she was happy about the post. Next time I will ask first. Normally I don't quote from books, so I didn't even think about it even though I've read the requests not to.

Rel said...

Yep, I'm with Deena. I always check with my contact at the publisher to ensure it is okay to use any quote from an ARC.

Nari said...

I do tend to quote from an ARC, but no more than a couple of sentences, just to get a gist of the character or storyline. I do note in my review that the book is an ARC though, but I guess I should start adding a disclaimer that not all quotes from the ARC will be in the final version of the book.

Jennie said...

I will check against a finished copy if one is available, but if the book isn't out yet... then I'll just say that this book is an ARC and some I'm not quoting from the final version.

I only quote good stuff from ARCs, so things that I hope they won't change at all in the final version. If I have a problem with writing, I'll wait until I see a final copy.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I have only done it once and made a note that it was an ARC. Usually, I make an effort to not quote because they ask not to. If you really, really half to, I'd contact the publisher and get it approved.

J.C. Montgomery said...

First, I clearly state in the beginning that I am reviewing an ARC. That said, I try not to quote, and if I do, it is to showcase a positive aspect of the book, never a negative one.

Also, in the past, I have contacted the publicist (or author) who sent me the book to be sure that what I have cited is still accurate.

violetcrush said...

I had the same question when I was writing the review of a book. I wanted to quote a few lines from the book and I did go back and forth. In the end I did quote from it. But after reading Dawn's comment, I am going to add a disclamer to it.

I have never faced this problem before, but I guess next time onwards I will contact the publisher or the author to verify.

Lenore said...

This is the main reason most of my posts don't include quotes...because I am always reading ARCs. I have quoted ARCs though on very rare occasions (only good stuff) and have added a disclaimer.

Chris said...

Most ARCs I get say to contact them if I want to quote from the book. I would do that if I really felt I had to put the quote in my review. I haven't quoted from one yet though. I'm a little worried about doing that.

bermudaonion said...

This is a great question, Amy! I try not to quote from ARCs, but I think I have before. From reading the other comments, it looks like I need to be more careful if I do it again.

Beth F said...

I rarely add quotations because ARCs generally ask you not to. But I will very occasionally add a quote with the caveat that the text is from the ARC.

If the text is radically different in the final version, then I have other concerns. I read the ARC and that's the version I'm reviewing. If the text is significantly changed before being printed, then I pretty much read and reviewed a different book.

I often have mixed feelings about reading ARCs because of the editing issues.

Wendy said...

Well, I do include quotes from ARCs...but VERY limited ones and I try to check against the finished version. Sometimes there is a sentence that just highlights my feelings for the book and I want to include it.

wordlily said...

I also just avoid this by not quoting usually. Lately, though, I've just been saving that post until the book comes out, and then using Amazon's search within to verify (and yes, sometimes whole sections missing) rather than going to the bookstore. I've drafted emails to the publisher to ask, I've just never sent them.

Jen - devourer of books said...

As everyone else has said, I generally don't do it (although I don't quote directly from books in my reviews much at all). I have done it only once, for the first lines of "The Lace Reader." When I did it, I made sure to note that it could be changed. I felt fairly confident in that case that it wouldn't change though, since it was basically being re-released by a bigger publisher and I couldn't IMAGINE them changing those first few lines.

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I don't do a whole lot of quotes in my reviews either, just because I do read so many ARCs. I will occasionally use ARC for my Tuesday Teasers, but I try to note its from an ARC and the final copy may be different.

Fyrefly said...

It's rare that I do quotes in reviews, but if I do, I will always put in the ARC disclaimer. I hadn't thought to e-mail the publicist for not-yet-published books, but it's a good idea.

Ali said...

I don't review all that many ARCs, actually. I looked back over my past 2 months of reviews, and only three were ARCs. I did quote one of them, though. Oops! The author didn't seem to mind.

Red lady-Bonnie said...

What a great question! I had to read the comments to see what people think about this. I usually don't add quotes to my reviews but I have wanted to start adding them. I have read the note on most ARC's that have statements to the effect of don't take quotes as this is not a final copy.

Amy said...

Thanks for your input everyone!

Callista said...

I don't review too many ACTUAL ARC's an I don't quote in every review but I wouldn't quote before checking with whoever sent me the book. I WOULDN'T go to the store to check the book though. I'm not sure why you would do that, you can just email the proper people.

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