The ARC of the Matter

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! 😀

Love, Maggie

14 COMMENTS

  1. Stephanie Lincecum | 2nd Apr 17

    This is good information. I so *want* to have a blog dedicated to book reviews, but there just isn’t time in my current season. I do one every so often via Blogging for Books… I agree about Edelweiss being confusing! I’ll be following via A-Z. Good luck!

    • Maggie | 4th Apr 17

      Thanks so much for popping in, Stephanie! I need to get back into Blogging for Books – I have a cookbook from them I got like a year ago that I still need to review! LOL! 😀

  2. Mithila Menezes @fabulus1710 | 2nd Apr 17

    I’m new into book review blogging (it isn’t my niche, though). Before I started writing reviews, I thought that people only write reviews of books that they owned / read. And then I read about ARCs, and authors approaching book reviewers, and a lot more about the world of book reviewing. I started watching BookTube videos, and following Bookstagrammers, and I’ve figured that we bibliophiles have pretty much created a space of our own in the internet! I learnt a lot more about ARCs and NetGalley (No kidding, I was checking out the website yesterday), thanks to your post! Will hunt around for some book reviews to read now!
    Mithila Menezes @fabulus1710 recently posted…Unique Alpha, Unforeseen Omega #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    • Maggie | 4th Apr 17

      Yay! I hope you found some good stuff to request on NetGalley! I love stalking that site and have to force myself not to over-request! Yes, the book blogging community is so much bigger than I ever imagined – it’s awesome! Twitter is a fun spot to connect and I love Bookstagram, even though I’m awful about taking pictures! I need to check out BookTube – I haven’t ventured into that neck of the woods yet! Thanks so much for visiting! 😀

  3. Ridhii | 1st Apr 17

    Interesting write up on Arc especially for a newbee like myself!

    • Maggie | 4th Apr 17

      Thanks so much Ridhii! I remember when I first started blogging I had to Google what ARC meant! LOL! Good luck with your new blogging ventures! 😀

  4. Marquessa | 1st Apr 17

    Interesting post! I learned some new things about ARCs!

    Marquessa @simplymarquessa from
    Simply Marquessa

    • Maggie | 4th Apr 17

      Thanks so much for stopping in! I’m glad you learned a bit; as a sort of newbie to ARCs myself, I’m glad I could teach something! 😀

  5. Ishieta@Isheeria's | 1st Apr 17

    Welcome to AtoZ! What an interesting post – I am so glad someone has written it out for what it truly is! I was overwhelmed too, and have since cut back – I am on priority now completing those I have, before taking on any more. Alas, I am not yet in the league where the publisher would contact me! (Do u know how to make that happen? :))

    • Maggie | 4th Apr 17

      Hi there! Thanks so much for the welcome! 😀 I’m learning to prioritize my ARC reading as well; right now I have maybe seven or eight to read on NetGalley! As far as publishers contacting bloggers, I’m still scared to try! I’ve seen where people email publishers directly to request books. I just got invited to read A Crown of Wishes because I was lucky enough to get approval for my request for The Star-Touched Queen, so that’s my only experience. My goal is definitely to one day get publishers to reach out to me! 😀

  6. Sampada | 1st Apr 17

    Interesting challenges in book review arena 🙂 Good luck dealing with saying No !

    • Maggie | 4th Apr 17

      Thanks so much for visiting! Thanks also for the luck – I need it! 😀

  7. Sreesha | 1st Apr 17

    I can *so* relate to this post! At first I used to accept all the book review requests that used to come my way, cos I still hadn’t figured out how to say no (stupid reason, I know). A lot of what I was reading wasn’t doing me any good. Besides there were books on my shelf that I really wanted to read and wasn’t getting a chance to. This went on for over a year and I had had my share of good, bad and ugly ARCs. I stopped accepting review requests, put up a note on my blog stating the same. My account on Netgalley’s still active though. They have some good books, and the good thing is, you get to pick and choose what you’re interested in, so there’s no question of *you* having to say no.
    Sreesha recently posted…Arriving Somewhere, But Not Here | #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    • Maggie | 4th Apr 17

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Sreesha! 😀 I totally used to feel like I had to accept every request as well – I thought I had to to get ahead in the blogging world and didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by turning them down. Like you, I read some awful ARCs that were complete wastes of time as I longed to read something I was really into. NetGalley does have some great stuff at times! I need to put a statement on my blog too about review requests!

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