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The Seven Stages of ARCs

The Seven Stages of ARCs

ARC – Advanced Reader (Review) Copy, i.e. that thing that most book bloggers stumble upon soon after they start and quickly become obsessed and addicted. I went through it, you went through it, we’re all going through the seven stages of ARCs!

Note: this post is very much not serious, though it might be painfully close to home at times >.> *hides TBR pile*.

Stage 1: Confusion

What is this beautiful new world?

Stage 1: Confusion

Symptoms: You hear about other bloggers discussing which ARCs they are going to request, which ones they got in the mail, which ones they are reading but the book isn’t even out yet! You quickly research the heck out of this crazy acronym and move on to…

Stage 2: Desire

Want want want

7 Stages of ARCs: Desire

Symptoms: You now know about the possibility of getting books early and for free so that you can read them! (and review, but whatevs, right?) You obsessively go through Goodreads and catalogue all the upcoming books that you desparately hope you might be able to get an ARC of. You stalk other bloggers lists and mailbox posts to see what they got and your wish list continues to grow!

Stage 3: (Possibly Misplaced) Determination

Work hard, will get

7 Stages of ARCs: Determination

Symptoms: Once you’ve got up the gumption, you start requesting books! You work hard to get your stats up so that you might maybe someday get approved for some ARC that you remember requesting that one time. Sure, you are only mildly interested in some of these books, but you probably won’t get accepted anyway, so what is the harm?? You just want an ARC, any ARC!

Stage 4: Elation

I got one!

7 Stages of ARCs: Elation

Symptoms: Finally! All your emailing and post-writing and list-stalking has paid off and you got an ARC! Perhaps it is an eARC, perhaps it is a physical (note: you might regress to this stage upon receiving a physical ARC after receiving eARCs for a while, be warned). In any case, you finally made it!

Stage 5: Envy

Why didn’t I get that one?

7 Stages of ARCs: Envy

Symptoms: Despite getting your own ARCs from time to time, there will always be books that for some reason you are declined for that others get and you just can’t figure out why! Your stats are equal, maybe even better. Your blog is a perfect fit for that ARC! Many bloggers report problems moving through this stage, just remember to breathe and fantasize about buying the pretty hardcover the second it hits shelves!

Stage 6: Panic

Omg, too many!

7 Stages of ARCs: Panic

Symptoms: All those requests you sent out on a whim are being accepted! There is no way you can read all these books before they are published, or even in the next year! IT’S MADNESS! If you quit your job and order in groceries from now until next year, you might just be able to read all these books, it’s a great plan! (Note: not actually a great plan.)

Stage 7: Tranquility

Eff it, I read what I want

7 Stages of ARCs: Tranquility

Symptoms: It is rumored that the final stage of ARCs is tranquility, though few bloggers report ever achieving such a stage. It is possible that you will regress after achieving Tranquility, but have heart! Eventually, there will be so many books that you simply accept that you can’t read them all and that is all right. Hopefully, it will sink in that you can always read that sought-after ARC once it is published, so you don’t need to be jealous. You don’t need to request every single book that could possibly be good; you can just request the ones that you are incredibly excited for. This, my fellow bloggers, is what it is all about ;-).

While you should always seek a professional for working through the seven stages of ARCs, what stage do you think you might be at?

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. This was such a fantastic fun post! I received my first ever ARC a couple of months ago and was completely elated about it. Since then I’ve been thinking about signing up for Netgallery but it seems kinda scary. If I get on with it I can so see me going through these seven stages!

    Also, the gifs were brilliant.

    Loving your blog (Especially the super cute purple dragons!) so I am officially following. :)

    • Thank you so much! The thing to remember with NetGalley is that a lot of books on there aren’t the high quality that you’re used to buying in the store, so be picky with what you request and you’ll be fine ;-)

  2. Panic, definitely panic :D with occasional forays back into envy. I’m trying to find my way to tranquility but I keep losing the yellow brick road. Still, there are worse problems to have and I never lack for reading material.
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…Bea Reviews The Execution by Dick WolfMy Profile

  3. Yeah, I can relate to this right now bigtime. I over-requested physical ARCs and e-galleys and now they are all sitting there gathering dust because I cannot catch up, so I am really working on the tranquility stage. I bounce back and forth between that and jealousy because there are still some contacts with publishers I can’t make. *coughs* Penguin *cough* and I have given up, but when I see other bloggers that have been blogging less time as me get those coveted ARCs it turns me a bit green. But I know that I am harming myself by thinking that way, so I am really trying to work on knocking it off. It’s BAD for my health.
    Kara Malinczak recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Bucket ListMy Profile

    • Omg I know! I’m overwhelmed with books from certain pubs but still struggling to get in with other pubs, which just makes me feel pulled in two directions at once, sigh. Given how high my pulse seems to get when ARC jealousy strikes, I agree, I need to stay calm haha

  4. Oh Anya, this post is pure gold and the TRUTH. I tend to always regress when I hit that fabled #7 but I keep it in mind and try to regain that feel of calm. I tend to suffer from book jealousy and ALWAYS have to remind myself that yes, the book will be on sale and I’ll be able to own it! Love this post so much.

  5. Haha, Stage 7 definitely exists. That’s where I’m now. And I think I kinda skipped 3 as well as 5-6, I love me some ARCs but I don’t have to have them all. At the beginning, I requested a few books (on Netgalley) that maybe I shouldn’t but I learned my lesson pretty fast (pretty covers don’t equal awesome stories). Nowadays, I request like one ARC a month sometimes even less.
    Great post! And superb GIF usage!! Those cats!!! *dies* :D
    Cayce recently posted…[Top Ten Tuesday] Blogging Goals & Bookish DreamsMy Profile

  6. Great post. I think we have all been through these various stages at some point. I think peace is achieved when you are able to exist in multiple levels at the same time. And that comes with realizing that this is supposed to be fun and that no one person can review everything.

  7. Before anything else… Tom Hiddleston <3 *flails*

    I hope I'm at 7! I rarely get jealous of those who receive ARCs because I figure 1) I'm too little to 'deserve' a limited number of a galleys and 2) I prefer to buy books in hardbound if I really want them. :D When I first got approved in Netgalley, I did go request at least 7 in one day… Since then, I realized that was crazy, I couldn't possibly read them all, so now I just tone it down to…a secret number. Hehe. Okay, three. or four.
    Goldie @ My Book Musings recently posted…Review: Fool Me Twice [Rules for the Reckless, book 2]My Profile

    • Right?? I knew I had to include that one ;-)

      Haha, good for you! I think I have a tendency to obsess about too many things which tends to bite me in the butt!

  8. I am at stage 2 (new blogger)and I feel just like the cat in the picture! Thank you for the great post.

  9. This post is so accurate I couldn’t stop laughing! I’ve had people leave in my review comments, “How’d you get this book? They didn’t give it to me.” usually followed by a frowny face or two. I’d like to say I reached step 7, but I’m anything but tranquil. I don’t request ARCs anymore because there’s no time to read them. My review requests are through the roof! I dream of a day when I can read what I want, when I want. On the plus side, I’ve discovered lots of great authors and novels I never would’ve read otherwise.

    Yeah, I’m definitely stuck in 6. You think Loki wants to review some books??
    Kimber Leigh Wheaton recently posted…New Release Spotlight: To Catch a Creeper by Ellie CampbellMy Profile

  10. LMAO. That’s hilarious and you seriously got the 7 stages down perfectly.

  11. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads says:

    lmao, this is so true!! I’m at stage 7. I don’t request ARCs anymore because I’m reading whatever I want! Of course, I’m not reviewing at the moment either.. but maybe eventually I will be again.

  12. This post had me laughing, it’s hilarious and the gifs are so spot on! The seven steps are so accurate. So, so accurate. ;)

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

  13. I love this – what a great post! And the GIFS! LOL! Oh, and I’m definitely at Panic most of the time, though sometimes I find myself at Tranquility. The problem is, I get sort-of caught up and then I over-request again. You’d think I’d learn from experience, but no — the shiny covers are too much for me!
    Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…Sunday Post – 3/23/14My Profile

  14. Awesome post! It’s one of the best that I’ve seen. Written in a funny way, but at the same time so right. I think I went from stage 2 to 7 in record time. I guess that the fact that I didn’t really like the latest eARCs that I’ve requested, even though I liked the premises, helped a lot.
    Hellen recently posted…Cadena de Libros (1)My Profile

    • Thanks!!!!!!

      Oh no, that would do it! Have hope though, but that does give you a good cautionary tale for not requesting too many books you aren’t sure of since getting stuck with a bunch you don’t like is horrible

  15. I am definitely at stage 5 and stage 6, I’m so behind on ARC’s but I also get jealous, but it gives me hope that I’m not too far away from being calm. I’ve also started onto stage 7 because after about a month, I do a clear out of the books I’ve requested that I’m not going to read. I know this affects my stats and ratio, but in the end, there’s no point having books there I’m not going to read. I’m definitely in those sections and stages, this is great! :D
    Amanda Gray recently posted…In Bed With Badger #3My Profile

    • Oo nice strategy! I have such a problem with letting review books go. I’m reading most books a week after pub date these days since I got behind in March, but I still really want to read them all because I am excited about them, there are just so many!

  16. This list is perfect! I think I’m between 6 and 7, sometimes I get overwhelmed, and others I don’t let it bother me and read what I want. I think the panic mostly hits when I get new books lol.

    • I’m right there with you. I’m trying really hard to keep the happy pony feeling going, but then I look at the stack that I need to read for April and gulp D: *clings to Loki*

  17. I LOVE THIS POST! Personally I’m probably between Elation and Envy. I just received my first physical ARC about a week ago. So I’m super excited about that, but I’m also a bit envious of other ARCs my fellow book bloggers are getting. Thanks for the laugh! :)
    Amy M. recently posted…Friday Weekend Round UpMy Profile

    • Yey! Congrats :D Just try not to request too many books you aren’t super geeked about and you’ll be able to avoid Panic ;-)

  18. This post is hilarious!! I don’t even request ARCs anymore. But I totally get what you are saying here. By the way.. I received NOS4A2, thanks so much!
    Angie recently posted…Project Disney- The Lion KingMy Profile

  19. This post… is like you reached right into my head and pulled this out, because that is is a mirror regarding my relationship with ARCs!!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Blog Tour: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer–Guest Post and ReviewMy Profile

  20. The cat picture for Stage 3 reminds me of my cat Mimmy. :3

    Also… I’m totally at Stage 6. And have been for about 2 years. :p

  21. Can I have a little of all 7 stages at once? ;) I don’t know. I guess I went through an initial rush, just trying to get some stats on Netgalley and Edelweiss. Now, I’ve been limiting my requests/downloads to stuff I really want. There are so many good books already out there that I need to read!

    Great post and awesome GIF’s!
    Kel recently posted…Cress by Marissa Meyer (3 stars)My Profile

    • Of course! Though I’m not sure why you’d want them all ;-). I’m really glad that you’ve been able to limit your requests already since I think it’ll relieve stress in the long run ;-).

  22. haha this is awesome! I think I’m at tranquility, and I limit what I do around arcs. It also helps that I took a break from blogging for a year, because I realized that it wasn’t fun anymore, and part of that was pressure around advanced reviews!
    Lizzy recently posted…After Spending Hours on Pintrest…My Profile

    • Thanks :D Congrats! I can see how that would help. I keep going back and forth on whether I want to keep requesting and reviewing ARCs but at this point, I still love the rush, haha.

  23. I am at tranquility! I have gone 20 days without requesting an ARC and I am beginning not to miss it. Originally it was going to be a March thing but I think now it might be an April thing too.

    I am not counting audiobooks since a)I don’t get them until after they come out and b)for some reason there is a lot less pressure surrounding those.
    Felicia the Geeky Blogger recently posted…Romance At Random: Turned by Virna DePaul Blog TourMy Profile

    • Woot *hands a badge* I have not been that good, but I have severely cut down on my obsessive checking and requesting >.>

  24. I can bounce between the last 4 stages all in the same day and have a love/ hate relationship with ARC’s. I fear I’m beyond professional help now.
    GREAT post!
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…Bookish Chat : How you Keep Track of Plotlines in Series?My Profile

  25. I accelerated through all the stages really quickly, and I’m pretty sure I’m at Tranquility now xD I never requested physical ARCs, after learning from other bloggers that they just bog down your shelves and I already have a small enough shelf anyway. But I did go crazy on NetGalley, and it’s taken me months to clean everything up! Most of all, I had to read those books that were part of the “I probably won’t get approved, but it sounds vaguely interesting, so I’ll request it anyway” trap – I got sick of it pretty quickly! So now I just request ones that I MUST read, and it’s been going pretty well since then!

    • Oo, that’s an interesting perspective. I have to admit that I’ve always been excited about physical arcs but I also have the space for them at the moment, haha. That’s what I’ve been trying to do as well though, since I’ve gotten to the point where I get approved for way more than I expected to, which is great, but also now overwhelming, haha.

  26. I went through confusion and desire, but never really got far past those. I get lots of eARCs for tours that I join and from random authors who want me to review their books, but I never got to the point of really soliciting ARCs (although I do admit that I feel some elation when I get a physical copy!).

    Guess I’m still in the denial stage. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
    Nicole Hewitt recently posted…Review & $25 Giveaway – True North: Finding Home by Allie Juliette MousseauMy Profile

  27. After two years… I have hit tranquility. I have books and while I may not have grabbed the latest ARCs I no longer care! It’s very freeing. At one point I had up to 20 books on NetGalley to review. Now I have a single one (The Cuckoo’s Calling and it sounds hella cool). I’m more interested in reading the sadly neglected books I’ve been accumulating on my shelves…

    ★ Under The Mountain ★
    Vickie Ramage recently posted…Review of The Finisher by David BaldacciMy Profile

    • I’m really hoping to hit that point by the end of the year! I’m doing a much better job of resisting requesting all the arcs and being okay with just buying books that I want and don’t have for review, haha.

  28. This is seriously the most perfect post I have ever seen. Ever. You NAILED IT. And I cannot stop laughing. Omg.

    *wipes tears from eyes*

    I’m pretty sure I’m in both the PANIC and TRANQUILITY stages. PANIC, because I snagged way too many Spring Harper eARCs when I was auto-approved on EW, and they’ve all caught up to me and I’m so behind and omg there’s no way I’m ever going to be able to read them all. And then I went and read Words of Radiance and that shattered my reading schedule even more. *cries* But also TRANQUILITY, because I’ve reached the stage within PANIC that I’m just like, “Well, I got in over my head, but it’s not the end of the world. I just need to read what makes me happy.” Hoping to achieve true Tranquility once all those eARCs stop yelling at me. Which will be in… oh… May, probably. X__X
    Nikki recently posted…There Were Books Involved turns 1!!My Profile

    • :D Thanks!!!!!!

      I’m dealing with the aftermath of being autoapproved by Harper as well D: I feel exactly the same way though, I have more books than I can possibly read in April so there is just not much that panicking will do for me, haha. But yup, I’m aiming for being caught up and less stressed by June >.>

  29. Holy Shit-storm batgirl – I’m totally in panic mode….but on odd days I have moments of tranquility. I’m trying to get more of those moments and control my arc lusting alter ego. I’ve been doing good though and burning through my TBR review pile lately like a mad woman!

    You crack me up I LOVE this post!
    Pabkins recently posted…Tour: Playlist for Liv Forever by Amy TalkingtonMy Profile

  30. This seriously cracked me up. Hahaha! Great way to start my morning! I’m still somewhere between 3 and 4 myself. ;)
    Emily @ Oh Magic Hour recently posted…Book Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackMy Profile

  31. Ha! I think in some ways I hit Tranquility early, and it is causing me to go back to occasional Envy. Meaning, I was never willing to force a schedule and timeframe, and I honestly think it leads to a few of the bigger titles being denied, and thus leads to minor Envy when it happens.

    Well done Anya, I like this one.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Fantasy Review: ‘Hogfather’ by Terry PratchettMy Profile

    • That’s not such a bad place to be though as long as the Envy doesn’t hit too bad ;-). For the big titles, I just try to keep reminding myself that I can always buy it when it comes out and it really isn’t too long to wait, haha. Thanks!


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