Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: ARC No Different!

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: ARC No Different!
Date Posted: 2/14/2008 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
Back To Top

I sent one person an ARC book that I didn't even know was an ARC because it looked EXACTLY like the regular version, but when the lady got it she complained about it not having the illustrations inside. It's a NOVEL, it's not supposed to have illustrations! I even sent it to her first class so she'd get it faster, but now she wants her credit back! I already can't afford to lose any credits and am out the $2.50 shipping, what can I do?

Last Edited on: 2/26/08 8:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/14/2008 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
Back To Top

Just because it didn't have illustrations doesn't mean it was an ARC. They're usually labeled as such on the back of the book. (Saying "Not for sale" or "Advanced Reader Copy").

Is it possible that there are different book versions for this ISBN? Does it say "illustrated" or something in the title? Was your copy a book club version of the book? How did you acquire it originally?

Last Edited on: 2/14/08 2:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/14/2008 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
Back To Top

No, it has no indication on the book of it being illustrated, and I flipped through it, it looks like a regular pb novel!

Date Posted: 2/14/2008 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
Back To Top

Well.... the thing is an ARC is unpostable.  That being said are you sure it wasn't an ARC, by that I mean you mention it is a brand new book, where did you get it from?  If it was purchased at a retail store (ie: Wal-mart, Books-A-Million, Borders, etc...) then I doubt it is an ARC.  ARC's usually will say not for resale, along with uncorrected proof, or advanced reader copy somewhere on the book. Just not having illustrations isn't really a vaild way to determine it is an ARC, could be just an alternate version.  I've seen at least 3 different versions of Dan Brown's DaVInci Code and one indeed did have illustrations, but that didn't mean the other versions weren't valid.

So determine first if it was an ARC, or just an alternate version.  If it was an ARC, by rights it shouldn't have been posted, but maybe offered as a freebie with an order off your shelf of something like that and yes you owe her a credit back. 

Date Posted: 2/14/2008 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
Back To Top

If it was not an ARC and all of the required points matched (ISBN, title, author and type) then you send the correct book and if she wanted a specific edition of the book, she should have said so in her RCs and you do not need to return the credit.

If it was an ARC, it was not postable for a credit, no matter how close to the real version it was or how nice of shape it was in, and you'd need to refund the credit.

Date Posted: 2/14/2008 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
Back To Top

I would ask her to take a photo of the words uncorrected Proof OR the Advance Readers Copy. Because they have to be somewhere on the book for it to be considered as such.  AND if the book is missing pictures that the published copy would normally have their is usually the space left for it and the words "Insert picture here" or the name of the picture.

Hope that helps

Date Posted: 2/14/2008 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,365
Back To Top

Not all members have digital cameras...

Date Posted: 2/14/2008 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I think ARC's are pretty obvious that they are ARC's. My guess is your book had the same ISBN but a different cover.  Or maybe she ordered the wrong one.  I saw some ARCs at a thrift store and they said clearly on them Advaced Readers Copy. They were a different size than most paperbacks and they had plainish green covers. Now I'm sure not ARCs are like this but I think they make it obvious what they are. 

I would look up the book and see if there are different versions of it out there. Maybe she ordered the wrong one from you and didn't realize it and now thinks you sent her the wrong book. 

Did you post the book with the ISBN and everything matched?  (cover picture doesn't have to match).  You don't have to give her a credit back if it wasn't an ARC and you sent the book she ordered.  You can explain to R&R that you sent the right book and it was not an ARC. 


Date Posted: 2/14/2008 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
Back To Top

Yes, everything matched but the cover was slightly different.

Date Posted: 2/14/2008 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
Back To Top

I have to jump in here...not ALL ARCs are really well marked.  I have almost made this mistake myself.  The words Advance Reader Copy were blended into the design on the book and I didn't noticed until I went to mail it!  (I did notice, canceled, PM'd the requestor and ended up sending it to her for free). 

Kris, did you read the book first?  The reason I ask is because I have seen ARCs that had spots for illustrations, but they were blank.  This might be what the member is talking about.   Also, ARCs can share ISBN with their "regular" counterpart.  The member must have a reason for saying it's an ARC and the bottom line if it is one, is that they are not postable and you would need to give back the credit. 

Date Posted: 2/14/2008 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
Back To Top

I too have seen some ARCs that weren't obvious on first glance.  The words were really small and in an unnoticeable spot on the cover.

But I agree that there's an open question about whether Kris's book was an ARC in the first place.  Why did the recipient say it was an ARC?  The different cover and lack of illustrations may just mean it was a different version that the recipient expected, which is still fine so long as the ISBN and binding type matched.

Date Posted: 2/14/2008 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
Back To Top

I know I have at least one ARC who's ISBN matches the Hardcover version but mine is definitely paperback.  Seems to me if everything matched except the cover, that might be what the person is complaining about.  Some folks trying to complete a set want them all to match, but reissues often don't even if everything else matches the cover rarely does.  Good examples are JD Robb "in Death Series" and several of Charlaine Harris' mysteries.  The requestor might not realize that cover art does not have to match.

Date Posted: 2/14/2008 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
Back To Top

No I didnt read it, but it didn't have blank pages by flipping thru from what I saw. It may have been an ARC if it was hard to tell, but I know it looked like a regular book to me! I agreed to give her the credit back if she returned the book, but she hasn't yet.

Subject: ARC *IS* Different
Date Posted: 2/14/2008 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
Back To Top

One other potential "clue" in recognizing ARCs (or AREs, Advanced Reader's Editions) are advertising blurbs on the cover or inside geared more to booksellers than readers,  i.e. :

  • "National Advertising Campaign in Really Big Newspaper. "
  • "Author appearances in New York, Los Angeles and Podunk, Kansas"
  • "4 Zillion Copies Initial Run!"
  • "Selling Territory: W x CUK, CW"

<<It's a NOVEL, it's not supposed to have illustrations>>

Plenty of novels have maps, diagrams, geneaological charts and other illustrations that are essential to navigating and understanding the text.  Others have ornamental headpieces (small illustrations at the beginning of a chapter). Illustrations don't mean a novel has become a children's book.

<<ARC No Different; I don't like having to give away a perfectly good, BRAND NEW book>>

By definition, ARC/AREs are made from uncorrected proofs.  They do not reflect the type, design, layout or final edits to be used in the final edition made for sale, and frequently come with errors, typos and sometimes different content that is corrected for the final edition.  This makes the text of the ARC/ARC undependable, and is why they are not postable. 

Nobody likes to return credits or deal with potentially uncomfortable PMs but it happens and we're all human.  Per the Help Center:

"If you send an ARC, the requestor will probably contact you to ask for the credit back.

  • You will need to do this.
  • You are asked to confirm for each book you Post that it is not an ARC.  If you Posted an ARC you broke the rules. "

<<I agreed to give her the credit back if she returned the book>>

If you want her to return the ARC, she needs to be willing to do so and you need to compensate her with postage or extra credits, per PBS policy:

  • "A requestor does NOT have to return the item in a "problem" transaction
    • if the sender wants the item back, he or she should send postage or a credit to pay for its return."

ARC/AREs are somewhat confusing and can be hard to identify.  I'm sorry you're having a frustrating experience, Kris.


Last Edited on: 2/14/08 11:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/15/2008 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
Back To Top

Kris, ask her to specify WHAT EXACTLY on the book indicates to her that it is an ARC? If she can tell you that it says "such and such" that says then fine, you owe her a credit, but if she says it's only because the illustrations are not there, perhaps its just a different publisher than she was expecting, and that's not your fault. If the ISBN, binding, title, author match, and it does NOT say anywhere that it is an advance copy of any sort, then she needs to be more specific when she orders. If she specifically wants the edition with the illustrations, then she needs to order one that is published with them.

Post here if you are not sure that what she says indicates an ARC. Someone will be able to tell you if that is an indication or not. Or send it in to feedback. She doesn't need to send a picture or scan, IMO, but she does need to tell you WHAT makes her say it is an ARC, there has to be something other than no illustrations (if there's no blanks for them, I mean).

Date Posted: 2/15/2008 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I think by "no different" the OP meant that the book looked like a regular book not obviously an ARC.

Date Posted: 2/16/2008 9:07 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
Back To Top

All of the ARC's I have look like "regular books" - some have cover art, some don't.  I couldn't say if every word is the same, unless I had a copy of the published book and sat them side-by-side and compared, and I'm not going to do that!

My point is - it's the sender's responsibility to check their books carefully.  ARC's are not postable.  Neither are novels with even a small amount of underlining.  If you miss it, it's your bad, and you need to refund the credit.  Them's the rules we all live by when we join PBS.

Check your books carefully!  (I do - even if I buy a book at a book sale, I check it over before I post it.  Then I check it again before I mail it.  It only takes 30 seconds to look at the front/back covers carefully and flip through the pages.)