Which... sucks. Of course it sucks.
However, neither of those are the real reasons *I'm* annoyed by this process.
What bothers me is that the people who went to BEA and grabbed ARCs so that they could go home and list them all on ebay took them from people who genuinely wanted to read the books and promote them. I can think of many, MANY amazing people that I would LOVE to give an ARC to, but I just don't have copies available. Shoot, even I--as THE AUTHOR--only get to keep one. ONE! And I'm still getting maximum use out of that "one" by sharing it with certain friends and having them read, sign, and return it to me. The rest of my copies are all being used for marketing purposes.
So to see ARCs--precious, needed ARCs--being listed on ebay as "NEW--NEVER BEEN READ" and sold to the highest bidder is just... well, it's icky. Really really icky.
And of course I've reported each auction I've seen--not that it's seemed to matter. I've seen three sell now, and I'm sure they won't be the last (and one--strangely enough--cost the winner almost double the cost of a pre-order by the time you add in shipping).
BUT, as with so many things in this world, there's not much I can do to stop it.
So it's up to me. I can stress and shout at the wind about it. Or I can tell myself that in a backwards way it's surreally strange that my book is cool enough to not only end up on ebay in ARC form--but to have people interested in it enough to buy it. Here's hoping that will eventually be reflected in REAL book sales. And here's hoping even more that whatever slightly misguided souls have purchased those ARCs are buying them for readers--preferably KIDS--who will fall in love with my story.
At the end of the day, I guess THAT'S all that matters.
But... I still think selling ARCs is icky...