I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said. I'm saying it anyways.
I was on eBay yesterday. And I guess I've always known people sold ARCs on there - people have mentioned it countless times - but I never noticed how many. I never noticed how many highly anticipated ones were on there, either.
I'm not telling you they're on eBay so you'll go out and bid on them. I'm telling you that people go to BEA and ALA and then sell those books they get for free on eBay. (There were several books that have only been available at BEA and ALA to the "general public" of people who receive ARCs.)These people are getting $20 for something they got for free. They're getting $20 that will never benefit the publisher or the author, even though those ARCs cost money to make.
(And we won't even get into the fact that every ARC I've ever owned or seen has said "NOT FOR SALE" or something of that sort somewhere on it.)
I could spend hours ranting or showing you statistics, but people have already done that. Emily White has a post about it here. Shannon Messenger also has a post about it. And of course, there are thousands of others. Plenty of authors that you love have lost out on sales because someone buys an ARC off eBay. (Not to mention the fact that it's just fucking annoying.) This is a great post by Mandy Hubbard about how much an author actually makes. And after doing plenty of researching, I've learned that on average, an author makes somewhere between 50 cents or $2.50 on a hardcover sold. (However, I cannot be 100% that those numbers are exactly right.)
And okay, yes. Authors wouldn't have actually earned anything on that sold ARC. But that ARC has been sold to someone who would have potentially bought it. That ARC could have been received by someone who would have read it, loved it, convinced their friends to buy it when it came out, passed it on to someone else who would have done the same. We have no idea how many sales that may have lost.
(And it's also fucking annoying.)
(Because, hey, "NOT FOR SALE.")