Wednesday, September 27, 2006

They Really Do Grow On Trees

Given that the Great ARC Debate pops up online every few months, I thought some of you might get a kick out of this story.

When I was in Reno for RWA last year, my business card made it's way to a rep from Warner Books, who in turn put my name on their ARC distribution list for the Warner Forever imprint. This was great. Shiny ARCs sent to me every month! Then I went and changed jobs.

So I e-mail Warner about changing my address and never hear a word from them. Next I try calling and get someone on the line who has no idea what I'm talking about.

"Yes, my name is Wendy Blah-Blah and I'm a librarian with the Blah-Blah library system. I'm on the ARC distribution list for Warner Forever and need to change my shipping address."

Now, that seems pretty clear doesn't it? Well apparently not to the lackey on the other end of the phone. After getting transferred three times, I finally get stuck in Voice Mail Hell where I leave a message. The person does call me back eventually, and changes my address. Problem solved right?

Wrong. I'm now getting ARCs sent both to the old and new work addresses. So no more monkeying around. This time I go straight to the top! Every ARC comes with a PR letter from the editor - and lookie right here, her e-mail address is on the bottom of the letterhead. So I e-mail her. Explain to her that I really only need one set of ARCs, please send them to this address. She e-mails me back within an hour (bless her heart), tells me she'll take care of it - and voila! Problem solved. Not only that, she must have added my name to another list, because since then I've received an ARC of Pink Jinx by Sandra Hill (which is under the Warner Vision imprint - whatever that is) and On Tall Pine Lake by Dorothy Garlock showed up today (which is just published under plain old Warner Books).

And to think it only took 6 months for me to get my address changed over. In Warner's defense, they changed ownership fairly recently, so I like to think they were just confused. However the lesson here is twofold: One - always go to the top when you need a problem solved. And two - if you're an author, before you go bit--, er complaining, about readers selling your ARCs on eBay, maybe you should look at your publisher's ARC distribution practices. Hell, if I were a dishonest person, I would have kept that second batch of ARCs and opened up my own online book selling business. Which I didn't, which means I don't pay off my student loans any earlier. Drat.


Nicole said...

I was briefly on the ARC list, but I think I'm off now. :-(

Colleen Gleason said...

Always go to the top. Good mantra.

Did you get one of my ARCs from Penguin? I'm not sure who they send to...

Wendy said...

Stupid Blogger - it ate my comment!

Colleen: The few ARCs that are shipped directly to me, are done so at my work address. So I'm wearing my "librarian hat" as opposed to my "reviewer hat." That said, I think we might get some Penguin ARCs here at work. I'll have to be on the lookout!

Zeek said...

So are you going to sell the extra ARCs on Ebay? :D

Zeek said...

I was kidding btw ...

Wendy said...

Tee Hee, I know you were.

My ARCs are typically:
1) traded to friends
2) left in the office breakroom
3) pitched in the trash

No selling :D

Zeek said...

Good answer Wendy! hee