An ARC, in case you're wondering, is an Advance Reading Copy. When publishers are about to issue a book which they intend to make into a really big seller, they often put out a special pre-publication version, in paperback. This is usually labelled as an ARC and carries a Not For Sale tag on it somewhere. It's distributed to booksellers, newspaper reviewers, and even the occasional blogger.
And now, guess what. British publishers are getting really pissed off because some wicked people are actually selling these things on ebay, or dropping them into their corner shop which sells secondhand paperbacks. And It's Not Good Enough. Honest and decent chaps would not do such a thing. The on-sellers are robbing hard-working publishers of a proper sale. And all like that. Galleycat has the full story.
Well, yawn, the publishers seem to me to be missing the point. As usual. The whole point of issuing ARCs is to get the book known. I've very rarely had any myself, but I'm reading one at the moment. And when I've finished it, what then? Is it best for the book to sit on my shelf for five years, after which I dump it? As it happens, I couldn't be bothered to sell it, either on ebay or to my local shop. But I might very well give it to the local charity shop or the church jumble sale. And isn't that better? One more person might get to hear about the author, might talk about it, might buy a proper copy for a friend, and so forth.
Talk about fuzzy thinking.