Why I Don´t Accept ARCs Anymore

ARCs – Advanced Readers Copies…

 

… are probably the second or third most popular reason why book bloggers become book bloggers – Because of the “free” books.

Aside from the fact that we get to read a book… What a privilege it is to be that person to read a book before it hits the market! Or to be that person who was asked by a publisher/author to read a book after it´s been published?

I remember my very first ARC. I can recall how excited I was to be able to read something before it was properly published. I even have the little note the author included.

 

My very first ARC

 

It was a special moment I´ll never forget. Fast forward a few years and I can say I´m not so hot on receiving ARCs anymore.

 

A little note before we continue…

KR2


 

 

Why I don´t

 

 

reason 1

Communication is key for those who want to communicate. I learned this the hard way. If you receive an ARC but have questions you can always contact the publisher/author, right? Yes, of course. Send emails. Hound them down on social media. There´s no guarantee they´ll reply, though. They´re busy people, you know? But God forbid you don´t read & review within two days after having received an ARC. Only THEN will a publisher/author contact you… To ask where the review is.

This wasn´t always the case. I´ve worked with wonderful publishers/authors before but every once in awhile I´d be in a situation like the one I mentioned above and that sucked. My life is too short to deal with this idiotic back and forth.

 

 

 

reason 2

Unlike other people, I don´t have that special luck when picking my next reads. I gravitate more towards books that aren´t my cup of tea. It´s not that I´m looking for awful reads. I always pick books I think I´ll like. At some point, I wondered if that´s my calling – To be THAT person who´s supposed to read books that aren´t satisfying. But then I realized I´m just picky. So, unlucky and picky.

When you´re as doomed as I am you really don´t feel the need to continue as were. For me- Something had to stop. Advanced Readers Copies had to go. Now I´m free to only complain about the books I buy.

 

 

 

reason 3

Back in the day, Advanced Readers Copies came in different formats. Paperback, PDF, e-book… I belong to the bunch who received ARC paperbacks, then PDFs…  until e-books took over. I get it. E-books are much more efficient for publishers/authors as well as they are for book bloggers.  I don´t really reach for my Kindle much ( if at all ), so…

ARCs in paperback format are still handed out these days but not as much as before. You´re more likely to receive an e-book copy. Without wanting to come across as ungrateful: I´d rather hold a paperback in my hands. I haven´t warmed up to e-books yet ( and probably never will ).

 

 

 

reason 3.5

That dreadful TBR pile? There´s a special pile for ARCs, too. One hardly any book blogger talks about. Just go hop on over to NetGalley and request a few book titles. The problem with this is: You get blindsided by all the wonderful new titles and request more than you can read. You have to be careful or else you´ll fall into the Netgalley ARC collecting trap.

This has happened to me a few times back in the day and I´m sure it´s still happening to other book bloggers. Luckily- This isn´t a problem for me anymore. No ARCs = No additional unread books. YAY.

 

 

 

reason 4

ARCs come with a policy. When you accept an ARC you´re basically committing to read and then give feedback. Bah. I´m at a stage in life where I´d like to read and review how/when/if I want to. ARCs don´t give me that freedom. I can´t be bothered with giving that kind of commitment anymore.

 

 

 

reason 5

This ARC thing is an exchange, right? And after the exchange, the deed is almost done. Almost. There´s still that social media shout-out ( another exchange ). Of course, this is completely optional but it´s kind of puzzling when a book blogger has invested so much time and effort with the ARC ( reading and giving feedback via chat/review or whatever ) then goes to share on social media and realizes that´s it. Imagine Grandma having 25 grandchildren. Every grandchild calls and leaves a message on the answering machine, including you. Granny calls them all back except you. She doesn´t call back but you keep hearing from your cousins that Granny called and invited everyone over again. This is how it feels when publishers or self-published authors don´t react to the final step on social media.

I mean- No one´s asking for a pajama party, you know? I would understand someone´s reluctance to reply or react if that were the case. To avoid this type of heartache I don´t read ARCs anymore. Not reading ARCs means you don´t have to mention or tag someone for possibly nothing.

 

 

 

reason 6

I have a busy life. I´m not saying I´m the only person who´s super busy but I can say that many book bloggers don´t have the kind of stress I have. ARCs come with demands that don´t fit into my busy schedule anymore. With time I realized that book blogging isn´t only about authors- It´s about book bloggers, too. Author´s think they have a busy schedule? Try talking to a book blogger about life and blogging.

 

 

reason 7

ARC reviews have lost their touch.  7 out of 10 reviews I read start with ” I received an ARC in exchange for…” That´s when I let out a sigh and move on. This is not me disrespecting the reviewer. I would never do that. This is just me feeling tired of having to see this line. Who the hell cares if someone was gifted an ARC in exchange for an opinion? I don´t. As it does NOT add any value to the review I think this doesn´t need to be mentioned at all. I know some publishers and authors ask to be mentioned in reviews… but this doesn’t benefit a reader in any way. Unless we´re all writing our reviews for publishers and authors… But we´re not. We can thank whoever gifted us an ARC privately. I heard emails are still a thing.

 

 

reason 8

The cheaper option. Avid readers have an itch that needs to be dealt with. Books are expensive. ARCs are truly a cheap option when someone is living on a low budget. No one should ever be judged for reading ARCs because they can´t afford to buy books ( no one should be judged PERIOD for not wanting to pay high book prices ). Me? I don´t mind paying for books. I don´t have money growing on trees ( yet, still working on that one ) but I´d rather pay for a book if the price is within reason. I think this can be blamed on a few things:

 

  • I´m not in a hurry. If I see a book I REALLY want I´ll buy it. If I see a book I´m not so sure about, I´ll give myself a few days to think about it. Nothing is running away. This isn´t a book reading race. Does it really matter if I read a book now or later? Nope. Before I commit to ARCs I´d rather wait a few weeks.

 

  • When an author gifts me a copy I´m only supporting them via review. I chose not to go that route because I find reviews only help to a certain degree. I go directly for a book purchase. I´ve been offered ARCs post-publication date but often declined because it was obvious those offers came from authors who thought they needed reviews to generate sales. Those authors weren´t entirely wrong. Although I declined their offers I always said I would rather buy their book. Which I ended up doing. That way, I supported the author AND was able to read & review freely. I know many can´t afford this option but it´s suited me. It still suits me.

 

  • I don´t read THAT much anymore. I used to be able to read 2-3 books in a week. Now I´m lucky if I can find time to read 1 book in 2 weeks. Years ago I wouldn´t have been able to afford to buy that many books. Now? 2-3 books a month isn´t a problem. So, this is, for me, the better option.

 


 

 

Even after all my reasons for not wanting to include ARCs in my life anymore, I can still see the appeal. I mean- who doesn´t want to feel that special something when receiving an ARC? Who doesn´t want to belong to a selected few who´re able to give feedback before everyone else? Edelweiss and NetGalley offer a huge selection of ARCs pre and post-publication date.  But because of all the above, I´d rather pass.

 

On a friendly note: I don´t judge anyone who loves to read ARCs. Advanced Readers Copies are a wonderful thing that make any publisher/author and book blogger happy. With good reason, too. I also don´t judge readers who rely on ARCs because they´re low on extra cash. Whatever works for others is perfectly fine. If it floats your boat then that´s the way it is and should be.

 


 

What about you? Do you read ARCs? How many do you accept per month? What are your experiences with Advanced Readers Copies? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 

Thank you so much for reading this post. I fully appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed.

Much bookish love,

Morgana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Suck At Picking My Next Book To Read

“I´m pretty good at picking books. I usually end up liking all the books I pick.”

This comes from people who´re actually good at picking their reads. They´re not lying.  They pride themselves on the fact that they have no trouble at all.

Well, this is me when even thinking about picking my next book.

 

 

And this is often my reaction after having read 70% of the books I chose to read.

 

 

You´ve guessed correctly- I suck at picking my next reads.

Unlike other people, I don´t have that special luck when picking my next reads. I gravitate more towards books that aren´t my cup of tea. At some point, I wondered if that´s my calling – To be THAT person who´s supposed to read books that aren´t satisfying.

Maybe a higher power saw me as a child and thought “She´s the one.”  * insert Robbie Williams song She´s the One *

Or perhaps karma has found a way to get back at me for having shaved my cats’ tail back in 1993 ( I had to in order to keep my cat apart from my brothers’ cat. It was just the tip. I swear, Mosby was okay with it ). It´s also possible I just don´t have the book picking talent.

Not too long ago I started thinking: What if this picking the next book has nothing to do with talent? What if all this isn´t my fault? But if I´m not the problem then who or what could be held accountable for my sleazy choices? ( don´t answer that )

Now, I bet you´re thinking that no one can possibly pick crappy reads all the time. I can already hear you telling me to read excerpts, the synopsis, or reviews.

I do inform myself before picking my next read. I probably inform myself more than others ever would. This is why I´ve come to some conclusions: Either…

 

  1. Authors don´t write good books anymore ( such a bold statement )
  2. It has something to do with the genre  ( doubtful )
  3. I´m the problem  ( * sigh * )

 

I don´t ask for much when it comes to romances or other genres. All I ask for is a well-balanced story. I welcome nearly all tropes and will put up with clichés. Trigger topics aren´t a problem. As long as there´s a good start with a normal paced story with great character development and a smooth ending. I don´t care if I get a standalone, a duet, a trilogy or whatever… as long as things are well balanced. Even first, second and third-person narrative isn´t an issue.

So, what´s the problem? Why am I having such a hard time finding books I enjoy when I´m clearly standing here with open arms?

 

 

Here´s what I think:

I´m a realistic person and also very vocal when it comes to sharing my feelings. I get technical a lot and spend my time analyzing stuff. Things that tend to put a damper on my reading mojo.

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How on earth does one close a fist? Isn´t a fist a closed hand? This is something I can cling to forever. WHY does a fist need to be closed when it´s already closed, you know? By the way- The book I spotted that in ended up being awesome.

 

So, yeah. I´m the unlucky book picking schmuck who approaches new book releases like a cat would a bath.

 

 

 


 

Is there anyone else with this problem? How good are you at picking your next read? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 


 

Thank you for spending the time to read my post. I hope you enjoyed.

 

XO´s

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Another Book Blogger Quit Book Blogging

 

The other week,  my ex-co-book blog-bestie contacted me on Messenger with this:

20190908_2340257757278694610478072.jpg

 

” The fun times.”  she texted after sending me a poorly self-made banner we once used for our Facebook page. The fun times, indeed.

For those who don´t know- This isn´t my first Book Blog. I used to share one with 2 of my book besties years ago. Different interests were the reasons for us going our separate ways. To this day we´re still close as we were back during our glorious active book blogging years.

 

After her text, I called her ( to my shame – without considering the 9 hour time difference ). Because you don´t just send a random picture for no good reason, right? It´s been years since we´ve book blogged together and we don´t often talk about our first online baby. We did this time, though.

We talked about the fun times.

 

“We winged the crap out of everything,” she said.

 

How true. We didn´t have the slightest clue what we were doing but we made the most of it. We had a great laugh, as you´d have when going down memory lane. Then the laughter died down. We entered the phase of awkward silence. Then THE question was asked.

“So, how´s the blog doing?” Bah. How to answer that without killing the mood?

“It´s different,” I answered truthfully. “Things aren´t the way they used to be.”

It surprised me when she agreed. It surprised me, even more, when she announced she was quitting her book blog. When I asked her why she simply said:

 

“The community has become too vicious for my taste.” 

 

A sad statement coming from someone who´s so full of book blogging goodness. This woman is more than capable of running a successful blog. She has it down when it comes to mingling with the book crowd. Out of all three of us, she was everyone´s darling. Authors adored her. Our followers loved her. For her to call it quits is heartbreaking. But, I understood. After she unleashed the tsunami of other reasons upon me I couldn´t blame her for wanting to quit.

 

“Reviews seem to be worthless,” she said.  Sometimes they feel that way, yes.

“I´m doubting my posts.”   Oh, I can sing a song about that.

“I´m making my husband read my posts, to see if he thinks they´re offensive before I upload them. “    Uhm, okay. I´m not that at that stage yet.

“Book bloggers aren´t what they used to be.”  * nod *

“The hate is unreasonable.”  * choke, cough * Unreasonable is a nice word.

 

All this boiled down to one thing: Things have changed. It has yet to be revealed whether this is actually the case or if we´ve simply overstayed our welcome in the book community. The bottom line is- A book blogger is quitting for alarming reasons.

 

I´ll admit- Just like my book bestie, I doubt my posts. I don´t doubt my ability to create content. I doubt the way my posts will be perceived. But I´m not at that stage where I won´t want to upload my posts, yet. Who knows,… If I have to create more graphic notes I might decide to hang my blog on the nail.  My bestie never doubted her content. Not once did she say anything about not being sure about blog posts. She´s not the type. But then again, neither am I, and here I am… doubting things. This is understandable.

 

As for reviews feeling like a waste of time: I see her point. Reviews are pretty much the same as they´ve always been, though. It´s the lack of response to the reviews that´s changed. And this makes reviews seem worthless. Personally, I´m not too worried about feedback for reviews because a review will always be read at some point. Somewhere down the line someone will need an opinion and will stumble upon yours.

 

I had to laugh when the bestie said she´s been forcing her husband to read her posts. Even if the reason itself is sad, it´s such a comical moment picturing her husband´s face. I´ve never asked my husband to check my posts but I can understand why the bestie asked hers. She´s afraid of discriminating a bookish group/an author/anyone. It´s easy to step on people´s feet in 2019. All it takes is a misunderstanding. We´ve trained ourselves to care too much of what people think that it´s influencing our personalities and messing with our minds. We have to remind ourselves that it´s not our fault if someone doesn´t agree with us. 

Pissing someone off ( even for the stupidest reason ) can cause a hurtful online backlash. We don´t want to start a war over our opinions, thoughts, or ideas.

 

“I`m tired of having to defend my posts.”

 

As for the unreasonable hate… * sigh * Yeah, I´ve seen content being attacked for no good reason. Hell, I´ve seen these attacks become personal. Never would I´ve thought the bestie would be subjected to this behavior and crumble underneath it.

 

“At first I didn´t react. Ain´t gonna waste my time with people who don´t understand what they read. But when the hate added up I wasn´t able to sit here and let it happen. Who the fuck are these people and why do they have internet access?”

 

Oh, ain´t that the truth. I had an easy answer to her question- People who´re living in a state of constant frustration. I imagine these people being those cringe-worthy folks you see on Youtube in one of those public freak out compilations * shudders *.  Angry, yelling, at a loss for reasonable words, lacking the ability to be civilized over stupid shit.

 

I cannot begin to tell you how gutted I feel that a wonderful person felt the need to quit her passion because of a few special members of the book community.. Because of the unnecessary building negative feedback, my ex-co-blogger bestie deleted her book blog.

 

“The community has become too vicious for my taste.” 

 

In what universe is this okay? If anyone feels the need to quit then it should be because of not being able to invest enough time or other things.

I´m more than pissed that people claim to be passionate readers but can´t seem to read and understand a blog post.

 

Our phone call lasted an hour. The bestie felt liberated and I was ready to open up a bottle of wine.

Here´s a sad fact: I´ve seen quite a few fellow book blogger friends quit in the last few months because of the same reasons.

 


So, there ya have it. Another book blogger resigned. How sad to see someone leave.

 


 

I´m pretty sure this post will have some people´s panties in knots so I´m not going ask questions on what all your thoughts are. I´ve already been accused of being the reason why book bloggers are quitting. “It´s because of people like you…” Not into another round of that. This post wasn´t about me. It´s about a close friend of mine ( who happens to be my ex-co-blog bestie ) quitting her book blog because of the actions from fellow book bloggers. If you´d like to add something useful in the comments below then I´d be more than happy to get back with you.


 

Thank you for reading this slightly depressing blog post.

XO´s

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The Ultimate Spam Box Treasure Comment

It´s not easy to leave me speechless. I usually always have something to say when it comes to internet oddities or stupid crap. But this (!!!) takes the cake. This spam comment I received had the power to render me speechless. Like- I don´t even have it in me to come up with something to say, let alone think of a smart-ass come back.

I received a religious spam comment. A long-ass, record-breaking comment. Jesus Christ on a popsicle. I´ve never received anything like this before. This calls for a drink.

Are you ready for the ultimate spam box treasure comment? Apologies for not cropping the screenshots beforehand. You now know I play Two Dots in my spare time, that I have an unanswered Twitter notification and one unseen Youtube video. Yes, my alarm is always set. But hey- At least my phone is charged. That´s something that should be celebrated with… more wine.

PS- I don´t expect you to read everything ( or any of the below ). Just look at the length of this baby. Hot damn…


#1 And So It Begins

Jesus Spam 1

#2 There´s More

Jesus Spam 2

#3 You Might As Well Get Comfortable

Jesus Spam 3

#4 * HOLDING BREATH *

Jesus Spam 4

#5 Fun Fact – I Can Roll My Tongue

Jesus Spam 5

#6 What? We´re Already Done?

Jesus Spam 6


Incredible, right? I´m flashed. And that was one single comment.

My deepest apologies for the single spam comment feature. I figured the size would count for 6 usual spam comments.


Thank you for reading / not having read all the above.

I hope you have a wonderful bookish day.

Sending out lots of book love and virtual chocolates.

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My Kindle and I

Once upon a time… no.

There once was a book… no.

Oh, screw it. Let´s talk about my Kindle.

 

Kindles- The small hand held electronic device for reading books. Since it´s first release in 2007 the book world has never been the same.  Gone are the days of having to carry physical books around. I mean- what a pain in the ass that used to be, right? Pfft. Thank all that´s pink and fluffy we don´t have bricks in our purses anymore.

 

Kindles – A blessing for the book-loving community

 

It´s true- Kindles are a God-given gift. There are so many advantages of having a Kindle ( or any e-book reader ) that it would be insane not to have one. And depending on which generation you have ( there are 7 Kindle generations, so far ) you can either do more than just read or keep it simple!

Yeah, well… I have a Kindle. A Kindle Paperwhite 2 ( 2013 ). I remember being one of those people who refused to join the Kindle hype so I never had one until the ( back then ) new Paperwhite was released. What had me sold was the promise of being able to read in broad daylight and that the screen felt like paper.

I even sold my Asus Nexus 7 tablet because I really REALLY wanted the Kindle Paperwhite. Not that my Nexus was terrible. It wasn´t. I think ( correct me if I´m wrong ) the Nexus 7 was one of the best tablets on the market back in 2013. It was okay but I´m not much of a tablet user so I had no need for it.

 

 

But the Paperwhite? Gurl, those features!

 

So, where were we? Aah, yes. Kindles. Fast forward 6 years – Judging by the number of books I have on my kindle ( 149 e-books ) I can say that I haven´t had much use of it. The damn thing is barely touched!

As it is with everything else in life – There´s a reason for my 149 e-books…

 

I don´t like e-books. I dislike my Kindle Paperwhite even more.

 

Blasphemy! How does one not like being able to carry around a mini library? Think of e-book prices! Think of how easy authors can send ARCs! And what about the 1-click feature?!

Yes yes. But all those advantages are worthless when this happens.

 

Kindle charging
My enemy

 

 

I need to charge my Kindle. While this is a first-world issue it´s still something that bothers me. Having to charge a device in order to read. So, ANOTHER thing I need to hook up with a cable.  * sigh *

This isn´t all, though. What aggravates me the most is when my Kindle notifies me that I don´t have much time left to read.

 

Kindle battery
It´s dying.

 

 

Your battery is running low…  * sigh * This gives me exactly 20 more minutes to read then its lights out for whatever book I´m invested in. This, for me, isn´t life quality.

 

I know this is all my fault. If I were a little more enthusiastic about e-books and/or my Kindle Paperwhite I´d probably treat this whole matter with a little more care. Perhaps thinking about plugging the damn thing in would help? Pfft.

Even if Kindles ( e-book readers ) are great I can´t seem to see the beauty in ´em.

E-books might be a great alternative for physical books but they´re not practical for me. If I want to read I´ll take a book out of my bookshelf or go to my local bookshop. Or, I´ll order one online. I´m a patient woman. I can wait until bookmail arrives. ARCs aren´t an issue for me because I don´t accept them anymore. And the 1-click? That, for me, is a great way to lose a full overview of my finances. 8.99 Euros here, 5.99 Euros there. Before I know it I can´t buy groceries for the next 15 days.

Also, what I´ve come to learn is how fast e-books land on my TBR list. It´s a trap. Because e-book prices are often lower you just pile on, thinking you´ll read that book… eventually. This hardly happens because some of us like to get distracted by shiny objects ( other books ).

And then charging the Kindle. Yes, I´m not a fan. I´ve spent years forcing myself to pick up my Kindle and read one of the many unread treasures only to realize my battery is it a sleazy 18%. I don´t have to charge a physical book.

I think, for me, being able to carry a mini library around is great but not practical. When I´m out and about I don´t read. When I´m on vacation I tend to buy physical books and see those as vacation souvenirs. “I got this book while I was in… ” They´re memories as well as entertainment.

And last but not least- The fab features? * sigh * They´re not so fab. Sure, I can read out in the sun but I can do that with a book, too.

So, yeah. My Kindle and I… We have a rather restricted relationship. It´s there. It collects dust. It pisses me off sometimes. It hates me. I hate it. That´s about it.

The only (!!!) thing I absolutely LOVE about Kindles: They don´t take up any space at all.

 

 

There ya have it. My My Kindle And I story.


 

What about you? Are you pro e-book reader or against e-book readers? Which Kindle generation do you have? Do you have more e-books or more physical books? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to know your thoughts. ❤


 

That´s it for today, folks. Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed.

Many warm bookish hugs,

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