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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mug Monday & What I´ve Been Up To

Literally me every Monday

 

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to Friday´s unbeloved sister, Monday.

It´s been a minute since I sat down and did a Mug Monday feature. But I have a good reason for having neglected my favorite blog feature.

 

I´ve been mingling with the book crowd. 

 

As in- actually ditching my laptop and leaving the house to meet up with some bookish people.

I know. I know. Unthinkable, considering how much I love to stay in my PJs all day and do nothing but read. Oh, by the way- Mug feature ahead!

 

20191007_0121527832835052612627158.jpg

 

Granted, not the most original mug to feature, but it´s still one, even if you can hardly see it.

So, yes. I´ve been busy with book socializing.

Somewhere around the end of September, I teamed up with my book bestie Brina@Brina and the Books to visit the RARE ´19 London book event. Then had the pleasure of being spontaneously invited to a book blogger meet up in Frankfurt shortly after the London event. And last but not least ( as I´m hoping this socializing train will continue to roll ) I went to an author reading.

I´ve noticed my need to nap has been greater than ever before. Damn, I forgot how much fun, yet exhausting socializing is.

With that being said- I´ve collected enough info on all accounts and am now able to present my observations and the things I´ve learned, plus to share the experience I had from the author reading. Let´s just say I have many many things to share with y´all.

As for being a tad blog absent: Thanks to the pre-scheduled posts I´ve worked on weeks ago I don´t feel the least bit guilty about having been offline for a few days/weeks. So, YAY for that.

 

 

I guess that´s it for this week´s Mug Monday. Be sure to stick around to find out how my bookish socializing went. All I´m going to say is: Be prepared. It´s been an enlightening ride.

As always, Don´t forget to share the book love because Lord knows there´s too little of that making its rounds. ❤

Enjoy your Monday, dear bookish Padawans.

Take care,

Feel hugged,

 

Morgana

 

 

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.

Banner name

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,

Banner name

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Many Books Fit In A Small Hardshell Suitcase?

Remember all my little reminder posts about me going to the RARE´19 London book signing? Well, I thought it was time to organize a suitcase. To my utter shame, I don´t own a medium or small suitcase. When I travel, it´s usually with a duffle bag, backpack or a larger sports bag ( I apparently like to carry shit ).

As I was complaining to my bestie about having to buy a suitcase for my 24 hour London trip ( that´s right. I´m flying in Saturday morning and flying back out Sunday morning ) she mentioned I could use hers.

 

Me and me

 

The signing isn´t due for another few weeks. I didn´t need to get the suitcase right away. But I kind of did. I´m at an author signing event with 150 authors. There´s a high possibility I´m coming home with books. So, I need to plan things out.

 

How many books am I able to fit into a small hard-shell suitcase?

 

First, let´s look at the suitcase I´ll be traveling with. The idea is to fly in with a nearly empty suitcase and fly back with hopefully something that doesn´t weigh more than 20-ish kilos.  The object at hand:

 

20190821_0212157052463751060336103.jpg

 

 

The size looks fairly decent, right? And it´s pink. It´ll be easy to spot at the luggage belt.  It was time to start my experiment. Sloppy Book Tetris:

 

OPTION #1

 

 

10 semi-large books ( and a hoodie ). 400-500+ page books with a few 280-page books thrown in.  To say I was surprised would be an understatement. Hell, I thought I wouldn´t be able to fit any inside. Not bad. Not bad, at all. ( excuse my purse in the background )

 

OPTION #2 

 

 

15  230+ page novels ( and a hoodie ) fit in the small hard-shell suitcase  ( excuse the remote control in the right pic ).

 

And the best part? I still have a little room for 1-3 books with either option! I think I got this book luggage down.

So, to answer the question in the title- 10 large paperbacks and 15 thinner novels ( give or take a few ) fit in a small-sized hard-shell suitcase. That, and a hoodie AND a small vanity bag I stole from my daughter ( because I don´t have one of those, either ).

In case anyone has questions about packing a suitcase for a book signing… Just ask me. I feel like a damn pro now.

That´s it for today, my dear book-loving people. I hope this was somewhat helpful and less boring. We´ll talk about this again when it´s due day and I´m in full panic mode.

 

Feel hugged and loved,

Banner name