One of the Quick & Dirty Surveys asked:
Does your bookstore have a system in place for dealing with advance reader copies after the book is released?
Responses were dead even.
50% said YES.
50% said NO, but you wanted to hear what systems other bookstores have in place.
Many who said YES have organizations in place that accept donations: VA hospitals, churches that cater to homeless communities, Jail Library Project, or the local chapter of Books for Prisoners. Some ARCS are donated to local libraries and schools for their fundraising sales. And some are distributed to Little Free Libraries around the community.
A few bookstores let customers browse through them, and then suggest that a donation be made to a local charity if they decide to take any.
And others offer ARCs as an incentive to purchase or drive traffic:
“We wrap them in brown paper, and offer them as grab bag prizes when a customer purchases a book off of a certain featured display each month.”
“We hold in back for about 3 months then put out on a cart and customers can have one free with a $50 purchase. We also use books on cart for donation requests.”
“We put them on a ‘free’ table outside our front door on days when our foot traffic is low. It works like a magnet and shortly after we put the table outside we see a dramatic increase of people inside! Works like a charm!”