So, a quick recap on what´s been going on since my last Mug Monday post:
I´m glad we got that over with and can move onto more important topics- Like my mess with Netgalley.
Yes, I´ve fallen victim to the oversized ebook catalogue and I have no one else but myself to blame.
You see, as lovely as Netgalley is in a reader´s moment of helplessness it´s also a curse.
While sofa bound I became bored with Netflix and ended up with the brilliant idea to check Netgalley out and see if they had anything worth my time.
Mind you- This approach is just like going grocery shopping with an empty stomach. Never a wise idea.
As you may know, some Netgalley offers can be requested then approved / declined or can be read immediately. The titles I chose had to be requested, meaning I had to wait for approval from the publishers. Usually, I´m denied 3/4 of all the books I request ( for whatever reason ) and that often leaves me with no Netgalley reads. This is why I hit up at least 5 reads at once, in hopes some publishing house will have pity with me.
Not this time. Funnily enough, the book Gods thought it would be great to approve all of my requested reads. All 5.
And to top this whole fiasco off- The publishers contacted me after a week wanting to know where the feedback was.
This whole thing is my fault. I know that and fully accept my idiocy. This just shows that Netgalley is an unpredicable bitch who´s waiting for the right opportunity to screw a reader over. At least that´s my current feeling on the topic.
Alas…. `Tis time to get back into the reading cave….
But before I go I´ll leave you with this little Mug Monday special I created.
Now, if you´ll excuse me… My very much unloved Kindle is calling my name.
QOTD: How do you handle Netgalley? Do you get pressured by publishers for feedback? Do authors contact you inbetween? Let´s chat. ❤
Book bloggers who interact with authors and hang around Netgalley will know what an ARC is. For the rest of the world who´s always asked themselves what the abbreviation means… I´m here to help!
And now you´re thinking: “WOW! Those book bloggers get free books from publishers / authors directly? That´s awesome!”
You´re right. It is AWESOME.
Us book blog folks can´t really complain when it comes to receiving books before they hit the bookshelves.
But receiving ARCs comes with a price. It´s not just about getting free, yet to be published, books.
Granted. The price we pay isn´t necessarily high. But it´s tiresome and even taxing over time. But sometimes reading those ARCs can be rewarding.
I think it´s fair to add that there is a difference between traditional published and self-published ARCs. And then there´s Netgalley, which is a whole different level of giving out unpublished free copies to readers.
Traditional published advanced copies are usually reserved for journalists, celebrities, major blogs. Of course, any every-day-book-blogger can receive a traditional published ARC, as well. It just involves a little more work and luck.
Self-published ARCs are much easier to get our hands-on. We either wait for an open opportunity to add ourselves to a list or an author may ask us directly if we´re interested in reading an ARC.
Or, we hop over to Netgalley and include ourselves to a list there and then hope for the best.
Either way – ARCs come with a set of rules. These rules may vary but the core of rules is always the same.
Do not forward the book to a third party
Must leave a review ( either before or after or directly on publication date )
Include publisher/authors name
Meet the deadline
Don´t publish a review with less than a 3-star rating. ( not a mandatory rule, but it still pops up once in a while )
So, basically you get to read for free if you promise not to let anyone else read the unpublished book and if you include the publisher/author in your review by thanking them for letting you read the free copy then everyone´s happy.
Many book bloggers will mention that the book they´ve read was an ARC in their reviews. Sometimes it´s even asked of us book bloggers to add a small recognition line in our reviews. That might look something like this:
“I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review”
A simple line, right? That can always be easily worked into a review before it´s published. That line might raise some questions to a normal reader who´s only looking for his/her next read, though.
No matter how a book blogger receives an ARC the rules stay the same.
Don´t do shit you promised not to do! Do the shit you promised you´d do!
The price we pay is truly small compared to what we´d normally spend after the ARC hits the bookshelves.
Are Advanced Readers Copies worth it?
I´d say yes and no. Yes, because it´s a fabulous way to get our hands on new books and ARCs are kind to our wallets.
No, because book bloggers tend to agree to read more ARCs than they´re able to fit into their schedule
Let´s do simple math that displays what I´m talking about:
2 ARCs a week = 8 ARCs a month = better have a calendar or else you´re screwed.
And then there´s that issue when you want to DNF the ARC. You have to contact the publisher or author and give details as to why you can´t continue to read.
Meeting a deadline is also sometimes exhausting.
Life is often not nice to us book bloggers. Sometimes we have to hop back to reality and can´t meet a deadline. You have to contact the publisher or author and explain why.
So, are ARCs truly worth it?
Sort of. Kind of. It depends on what type of person/book blogger you are.
ARCs Then & Now
Nowadays, 98% of all ARCs come in e-book format. Why? Because it´s much easier and quicker. There´s no hassle with printed ARCs and no shipping issues. ARCs flow from one device to another within seconds or a few hours. ARCs these days look like this:
Or, dare I share this little gem from Netgalley:
A few years back, though, there were still publishers and authors who made a point of giving out printed advanced copies to readers.
Weird, right? Hardly imaginable in the day of modern technology yet they existed. Printed ARCs were a thing and I miss them dearly.
These days, authors love to give out e-book arcs because they´re efficient. Low cost and no wasted effort.
And many authors have misunderstood the meaning of an ARC. The roots of ARCs.
What was once an uncorrected proofread turned into a nearly finished – finished project ready to hit sales.
Let´s do a quick listing of things that made ARCs different from the past and now.
ARCs Back Then
No final cover image
The story wasn´t final
Paperback format came as a naked product
Readers gave feedback on the proofread and THEN the whole book was combed through again before it would be published, 3 – 6 months later with a cover image.
handed out in exchange for an honest review
often final product
often comes with a finished cover image
In short: readers receive a copy for review purposes and then the book gets published within 1-3 months ( or less ).
So, the idea of an ARC has changed over the years. And then there´s the time issue. We live in a fast living world. If authors/publishers don´t get said book out yesterday then the genre might go out of style tomorrow.
There´s hardly any time to send out a paperback ARC across oceans to the opposite side of the world when the same thing can be sent via technology within a blink of an eye.
Makes sense, right?
It still doesn´t change the fact that I don´t like ARCs, no matter what form they come in.
They´re added work. The story has to sound freaking special before I accept an advanced copy.
Do you like to read Advanced Readers Copies? How often do you accept ARCs?
Let me hear your thoughts! I´m dying to discuss this topic with you.
While some of you might see only 2 out of the 3 as a true problem.. I consider all 3 points a pain in my spring chicken bum.
Time is always working against me. There´s never enough money at the right moment for the newest release / newly discovered book. And that good for nothing, ever-growing TBR list keeps getting longer by the day / week / month.
The Struggle is real.
It´s like a vicious cycle that never ends.
If I do, by some miracle, have money for books, then I usually don´t have time to read.
The end result: I buy the books I want and they land on the TBR pile. And since I avoid ebooks I literally have a pile of unread paperbacks, neatly stacked somewhere safe, with the false promise that I´ll one day read those books. ( I have more unread ebooks but since I´m avoiding my Kindle… those may never meet my eyes )
It´s the same crap every month.
But it´s time to break the never-ending cycle. It´s time to be the breaker of TBR lists.
I am so done. Fed up. Tired of looking at all the pretty paperbacks and thinking I´ll get to those one day.
The brutal truth is- I bought all those books for a reason. TO READ THEM. At some point in my life, they all sounded awesome. Why I haven´t read them?
Because something always got in my way. New releases, social life, the latest fb gossip, a hot bubble bath session, dinner… There was always something that kept me from diving into the books on my dusty TBR list.
My grande idea: To tackle the TBR list.
Now, hold on a minute.
I know there´s no way I will EVER be able to get rid of the mile long TBR list. I´m doomed for life. All book lovers are. Even the occasional readers who have miniature TBR lists are doomed. There´s no escaping. We´ll all die with a TBR list one day. ( What an awful thought. Bah. )
But wouldn´t it be fab if our lists weren´t a mile long?
Think of all the money we could save if we touched the books we already possess instead of buying new ones or accepting new advanced reader copies!
So, the idea of tackling the TBR list is there. Now on to the next step.
How Does One Tackle The TBR List?
I can´t speak for others but my idea looks like this:
Avoid social media
And while avoiding the internet altogether I´ll do the unthinkable.
Pick a book from my TBR pile and start reading.
Pick another book after I´ve finished the last.
Pick another one until the TBR list looks somewhat presentable.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it is simple in theory but it won´t be an easy task. I can already smell the sweet scent of failure in my near future. That doesn´t mean I can´t try, right? RIGHT?
So, let´s raise our drinks ( Mugs, cups, flutes, bottles ) and make a toast!
HERE`S TO TRIMMING THE EVIL TBR LIST!
How long is your TBR list and have you ever attempted to downsize it? If you have then tell me your secrets! I´m dying to know how you did the unthinkable.
If this post has inspired you to tackle your own TBR list then feel free to join in on the fun! Shared pain is half the pain! Let´s create a miracle together. If not then I´ll be sure to give you updates on how I´m suffering from not buying the awesome new releases. But be warned- I´ll be moaning and nagging a lot while reducing the TBR list.