Before I get into the nitty gritty, please enjoy this picture of me using the female as my pillow. She’s such a good human slave, doing what I want, when I want, and how I want. See? She was doing a good job. How do you know? I’m smiling!
Now that you have been brought into line with the cuteness of my sleeping self, I am barring the female from working to discuss a surprisingly complicated and controversial subject: ARCs. Advanced Reader Copies. AKA, free books exchanged for review.
The female doesn’t do them. This upsets people.
If you want free books from the female, ask your library to stock them. If your library doesn’t stock them, ask why they don’t have access to either Overdrive, Baker & Tayler, Bibliotheca, or Hoopla. Ingram also distributes to libraries, so they can purchase print editions, which are available a few weeks following the digital edition on average.
The books are available at most libraries, but if you want access to them, you need to ask. Bring a list of my titles you want to read and give them to your librarian. Have friends or family in the area? Have them bring a list of my titles, too. The more people that request the books, the better the chances that your library will stock them. If people check them out, the library may just order my books at release because they know their patrons want to read them.
The female loves libraries.
The female does not love being a library. She also doesn’t love when people steal tens of thousands of dollars from her because they’re unwilling to use the library. (That’s how much she’s had stolen from her on Playing with Fire alone. And no, most of these readers never do end up buying a book, so please take the excuse of ‘it gets more readers for you, doesn’t it?’ and return it to the pits of hell where it belongs. They’ll just steal the next books, too.)
Since starting her career, she has heard every sob story in the book, but the answer is going to be the same: please make use of your local library! They often do digital delivery now, so you don’t actually have to go to the library unless you don’t have an account or library card, in which case you may need to if their system doesn’t offer digital account creation.
The only people who receive ARCs are volunteers who are looking for proofing errors before publication, and therefor aren’t even receiving the ARC for free as they’re paying for it in their time and effort to report mistakes, or the female’s paid staff.
There are currently no opening for beta proofreaders, who receive the manuscript shortly before its release to help locate any additional errors that slipped through the paid staff.
Every now and then, she selects a few new bodies from The Fantasy Worlds of RJ Blain readers’ group to join the beta crew, but this is few and far between, and the invited people are usually those who have done things like politely and accurately reported an error. (You would not believe the number of people who claim they are grammar nazis and file incorrect reports. The female loves picking up her copy of Chicago Manual of Style, flipping to the appropriate page, and laughing at those who proclaim they are some deity’s gift to grammar… and get it wrong.)
It’s pretty common.
The female often gets it wrong. She uses regionalisms that break the rules, she uses slang, which also breaks the rules, and she plays with words to see what will happen. As such, mistakes happen. Some of the mistakes are intentional. Some aren’t.
Also, as a part of making her books more accessible, the female is working hard at getting all of her print books into large print. They’re more expensive, but they’re a fuckton easier to read. We’d be sorry they’re more expensive, but we’re really not.
She’s still on the fence over whether or not she’ll do the original trim size. As she figures it out, she’ll let you know.
We like supporting people with poor vision, and if you have a problem with the trim size adjustment because it looks wrong on your shelf, we ask you to consider those with disabilities.
Your local library might love a set of the books if you’re unhappy with them. Please ask. Libraries will accept donations of books they want if they think their patrons will use them. Just make sure you ask first, as every library has different policies.
What? Were you expecting us to grovel of that issue? We won’t. We are making this change to help people with vision AND arthritis problems. That trumps matching books on shelves. Sorry, but we’re not sorry for that choice.
Size matters, and the smaller books are much easier to hold in the hand, so it helps people with arthritis, too. Hell, the female doesn’t have arthritis, and they’re easier for her to hold and read, too.
We care about our readers, and we’d rather have mismatched books on a shelf than continue to exclude this readers.
Now, with that out of the way… onto some happier things!
Humor for the Holidays: a Bernadette Franklin Collection is now available!
It costs $9.99, which saves you almost $7 on the set. So, it’s a good deal for you.
If you’re in a low-income situation, the female will be attempting to get a bookbub deal for this set sometime in September or October. But if you think your friends would love this variant of the female’s writing, this is a great way to get them hooked–and feed me treats. And pay for the female’s dental bills. You know, that sort of stuff.
Also, we would like to take a moment to remind people that thieves suck, pirate sites are usually trying to rob you of your credit card information or infect you with a virus, and nothing–and we really do mean nothing–comes for free.
If you can’t afford the female’s books, please visit your library. Otherwise, you’re stealing food out of my mouth, and I don’t like that. It makes me hope you pick up all sorts of nasty viruses from pirate sites, and that you have your hard-earned money stolen from your bank account, because that’s what you’re doing to us.
What? Did you actually expect us to shower you with confetti and say it was okay to steal?
Pirating books is theft, and it will always be theft.
Use your local libraries. That is what they are there for.
The Department of Grumpy Kitties and Grumpier Females.