Recently, I was at BEA signing books and giving away promotional copies of the books. Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) often come labelled with the big words “Not Intended for Resale” on them.
The books we gave away at BEA were not labeled thusly. However, the spirit of the ARC, I think, remained.
They’re showing up on e-bay. That’s cool. Just… Um… No, that’s not cool. These were promotional copies given by authors who don’t make lots of money in the hopes of increasing our readership.
Turning around and selling that on e-Bay is uncool. They really should be donated to charity auctions, given to friends and relatives, and/or hoarded in carbonite for generations. The e-Bay is just not cool. Nor is selling the books to a used book store.
However, I don’t want to stop people from doing this. I did gum up their gears a little bit, as one auctioneer noted. When asked for a date, I gave him the wrong date (8/31/08). I did that all weekend long. At first I did it, because I was signing lots of books and made a mistake. Then, I kept doing it, because it would make it easier to spot the weasel copies on the secondary market.
If you want one, great, but please don’t get in a bidding war over it. And remember, everyone with 8/31/08 in your signed books: I’m watching and thinking bad thoughts in the direction of those I see for sale with this date in the cover.