I have a love/hate relationship with ARCs, or advance reader copies. While I am always honestly honored to be approved to read any ARC, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with deadlines and feeling the urgent need to review a book, whether I liked it or not.
Throughout my relatively short relationship with NetGalley and other sites that make ARCs available to readers, I have learned not to request anything and everything, just because I could.
When I virtually raced myself to just get approval from publishers, I found that I wasn’t enjoying the books I was getting, as I wasn’t being selective. Honestly, in my early days of book blogging, I didn’t think I deserved to have the opportunity to request only what I truly wanted to read. I felt that I needed to be established.
I have since, thankfully, given up on my belief that I’m not deserving of reading awesome sounding books before their publishing dates.
The first hyped book I was approved for was Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen and I was absolutely floored. I think that approval is what changed my thinking as far as being good enough to read quality ARCs. I was recently invited by the publisher to read Chokshi’s sequel, A Crown of Wishes, which also helped reverse my silly feelings.
To put a positive spin on my not being selective with ARCs early on, I was introduced to a few great authors I intend to follow. On the other hand, I did end up being approved for some books, which will go unmentioned, that I either absolutely hated or decided not to read at all.
I really didn’t like feeling pressure to review books I disliked, as I’m not fond of, or particularly good at, writing negative reviews. I seriously don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, whether it be the author’s or another reader’s! I realize this is slightly odd, as I am mostly anonymous on the Internet, but, hey, I’m sensitive.
Anyhow, I’ve figured out how to work NetGalley; Edelweiss confuses me to death! P.S. If anyone reading this has tips regarding the use of Edelweiss, please leave me advice! 😀 Back to NetGalley – I was also once too focused on keeping my approval rating really high, which sometimes deterred me from requesting books. I have since gotten over this as well.
I think that since I figured out that when archive dates arrive for ARCs the books are simply no longer available to download, as opposed to automatically expiring on my devices, I’ve been able to relax. As long as I download galleys before archival, I have access to them, which seems so obvious to me now.
I have also dealt with ARC envy, as I believe many bookish bloggers experience at some point. I’ve decided to just focus on myself, to be happy for other bloggers who receive amazing physical ARCs, and to aspire to be among those readers one day!
I have not yet ventured into the world of emailing publishers directly in order to request books. Perhaps that is how people obtain physical ARCs for the most part? Regardless, in order for publishers to send me actual books to peruse, I do think my blog needs to grow. All that business seems pretty serious in my eyes!
Nowadays, I certainly have more of a love, as opposed to hate, relationship with ARCs. I have had to go through bookish growing pains and basically teach myself how to navigate the world of book blogging.
While it has taken me a couple of years to reach this point of caring, I am proud of myself for just how far I’ve come regarding the ARC. As I read over this post, I am nostalgic – it is now evident to me that I’m no longer a rookie, even though I still have a lot to learn before I turn pro.
In closing, here’s an enormous shout out to all of the bookish bloggers and/or readers – I mean to both encourage newbies and give kudos to those who are established with solid reader bases! Rookies, you will make it after all; pros, you are true inspirations! 😀