I’ve never been to an RWA Conference but last year, I heard that Laura Kinsale was giving away ARCs of Lessons in French. It turns out, she was giving away a teaser chapter and she graciously contacted me and sent me a digital copy of it while I was deployed. Then, she sent me an ARC of the actual book once it was printed up. The absolute graciousness of Laura ha extended beyond that first contact but it was a squee worthy moment for me downrange and remains one that I smile about now (my husband had no idea why I was so happy when that book came in the mail).

I kept that ARC and every other ARC or books that authors personally sent me that I received while I was downrange. I would never sell them on eBay because I believe that’s a violation of the intent behind the ARC concept plus it would violate any relationship and trust between me and the author who was gracious enough to go out of her way, trudge to the post office, and ship it to me over there. And the books my good friend Lexi Connor stood in line to get for me are on my keeper shelf because she was willing to do that for me and because the authors were completely awesome in letting her get a copy for herself and me.

Now that I’m home from Iraq, I’ve done quite a few give aways on my blog. I enjoy giving away books that I enjoyed or that the author herself has wanted to give away. I like doing just a little bit to pay it forward and help promote authors works that I enjoy. I don’t review because books I feel like my opinion is subjective and something I might not have liked, someone else might have loved. But I enjoy sharing what I truly loved. (I’m really excited about getting to give away an ARC of When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck a week or so after nationals. Ok, shameless plug over).

And there are a whole lot of books I’m hoping to get, either at the literacy signing or at the books signings. These are authors I want to read and books I am dying to get ahold of. I’m not going to be that rude, inconsiderate, selfish person walking through the book signings, cutting in line and saying oh I don’t want the autograph. For authors I want to meet and books I want to read, I’ll wait in line.

Here’s the thing I’m wondering. If I ask the author’s permission to give away the ARC on my blog when I’m done with it, is that acceptable? I mean from an ethical point of view, if the author okays it, then it should be fine, right? Obviously, if an author says no, I wouldn’t dream of doing it.

But what is acceptable handling for books received at RWA? Do you give them away? Is it acceptable to give them away on a blog or website? How about run a raffle for charity and the books at the prize?

I’m just asking in advance because, though I have zero solid plans (as in nothing scheduled but toying with ideas) to do any of these things at the moment because I’m completely overwhelmed by planning for this trip to begin with, when the dust settles in August, I’d like to have a good feel for what I can and should do.

Any suggestions, advice or otherwise?