eBay has been notified; the sellers have been scolded (thanks to the folks who did that), but eBay still does nothing to keep this from occurring. The logical question is, "WHY?" The answer is simple: money is made here. There is not only a seller (and a company willing to allow a listing despite its illegality), there are buyers. So, let me be perfectly clear.
IT IS ILLEGAL TO PURCHASE ARCs. Let me say that again so that everyone understands: BUYING AN ARC IS ILLEGAL. If there is not a market, perhaps some of this illegal activity will cease. Supply and demand and all that.
Some folks talked about being collectors and wanting to have the ARC. I get that. Find a way to obtain an ARC legally, please. I donate ARCs to schools and pass them on to colleagues and friends. My pals know to speak up when they see me post about a book in ARC format. They raise their hands, and I am happy to mail them one of my friends when I can. I am taking a couple of dozen ARCs and even more F&Gs (picture books in prepublication are called this for "folded and gathered") to the Literacy Palooza this coming week. We are using these for some activities about books and reading over the course of the two days. The ones we do not use, we will leave with the participants who are free to use them with students. But we will also tell them that they may not see ARCs.
A final word (for now) about ARCs. Many people ask why I receive them. Here are some answers to that question.
1. I review for Booklist, VOYA, SIGNAL, and some other publications. Often, I am sent ARCs for this as the reviews take a while to get into print. This way the books are still relatively new.
2. I do some projects for publishers who will send me ARCs for the project. I just completed a series of 12 book mark book talks on forthcoming books from HarperCollins. So, I read 12 books well in advance of publication.
3. I present workshops across Texas and across the country and at conferences and I. TALK. ABOUT. BOOKS. I am what is known as a Big Mouth (or a Loud Mouth). When I talk about a book, some folks might actually order it. It is publicity, and publishers appreciate word getting out past the few who receive the ARC.
I know I am lucky. I truly appreciate receiving these ARCs. To show my appreciation, I tweet about them, blog about them, put them on Facebook, include them in presentations. At the ILA conference in St. Louis, I stood at a table and encouraged folks to pick up some ARCs they were examining. I did booktalks (totally unsolicited) to help teachers make the decision to take the ARC (and, I hope, read them). I read the ARCs. I talk about them. I pass them along. It took me some years to get to this point. I have been doing this for a quarter of a century. I think I am starting to get good at it.
I will continue to receive books and ARCs and pass them along, FREE. I urge all of you to do the same.