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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Popular Romance Authors I Don´t Read Anymore

What once was is no longer…

 

Do you have an author you´re devoted to? That one special writer who touches your emotions with their words? I have one. Actually, I have a few go-to authors. Unfortunately, I also have a list of writers who I don´t reach out for anymore.

A huge shout out goes to Jess @Fiction No Chaser for inspiring me with her post Am I Growing Out Of YA? 

May it be due to the simple fact that I´ve grown out of an author´s style or because an author´s style has changed… I don´t consider myself a dedicated fan anymore.

But before I continue I´d like to leave a little informative note.

KR Product

 

Here is a list of popular authors who I don´t read anymore.

 


 

Colleen Hoover

 

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Hands down, I was THE fan. I gave the word dedication a new definition when it came to CoHo´s books. Since then the author has celebrated great success with her emotionally-charged books. I was able to follow the author as a faithful fan until 2018 when `All Your Perfects` ( check out my review here ) was published.

The Problem:  I think it´s safe to say that the author´s books and I  aren´t meant for each other anymore. For me, things started going downhill after I read `Confess `. I tried pushing myself to read every new release ( because- dedicated fan here and all ) but I wasn´t able to see the same beauty others saw. With every book, I became more disappointed. I started weighing my options: Should I read another CoHo book? Should I give another one a try? That´s when I pulled the breaks. I went from superfan to try to be a super fan then ended up being a supportive fan. Now I´ve called it quits and just admire the author´s older works.  It´s time for me to move on.

 

 

 

Tarryn Fischer

 

TF banner

Tarryn Fisher is known for pushing emotional limits with her books and I´ve adored the author for exactly that. The author´s a master of her craft.  `The Opportunist` was what captivated me back in 2013. A raw story that kind of haunted me for days. My last Tarryn Fisher read was `Atheists Who Kneel And Pray `.

The Problem:  I developed a dislike towards the writing style. Every book published between the books I´ve mentioned was more a miss than a hit for me. I felt a strong attitude in the writing I didn´t enjoy. The rawness was taken to new dimensions. I wouldn´t necessarily say I´ve grown out of Tarryn Fisher´s books but I´ve definitely moved on and don´t feel an urge to drop everything to read the latest release anymore.

 

 

 

J. Sterling

 

j sterling bannerJ. Sterling used to be an author I occasionally checked in on. I´ve read the majority of the author´s books. I remember having received an ARC of one of her books ( can´t recall for which book, though. It´s been sooo long ). I was an on and off reader for a few years until my interest in the author´s books stopped.

The Problem:  My tastes changed. J. Sterling is a wonderful author and her stories are lovely but for me, they aren´t exactly what I´m looking for anymore. Although- I will say that I haven´t written the author completely off. If someone recommends a J. Sterling novel to me and it sounds interesting, I will check it out.

 

 

 

Christina Lauren

 

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Ooooh, I was a fan of Christina Lauren. I´m actually still a fan even if I don´t reach out to the author´s books anymore. My first Christina Lauren book was `Beautiful Bastard`. Gosh, I remember when I first saw the cover and thought it was the next best thing since Mark Wahlberg in the Calvin Klein ad. The writing was refreshing and sharp. Exactly what I was looking for at the time.

The Problem: Too many books were released within a short period of time. Now, I´m normally not one to complain about these things because I´m usually the person who´ll bitch about not being able to read the next release right away. But with Christina Lauren´s books, I just wasn´t able to keep up- Not with reading other books from other authors in between. Before I knew it I had lost focus on the whole beautiful series and then ended up hissing my white flag.

 

 

 

Jodi Ellen Malpas

 

JEM bannerJodi Ellen Malpas was an author who could do me no wrong. Whatever that woman wrote- I inhaled it. First J.E.M. read: ` This Man  `. I´ve abused the `This Man Trilogy` and the `One Night` books to a point where the pages started giving away. If there ever was a go-to author then J. E. M. was it for me.

The Problem: My inner fangirl aged ( sounds so much better than admitting that I´ve aged ) I still love the books I have but I can´t muster up enough excitement for the authors’ other works.

 


 

Such big names in a little ol´ post. I´d like to add that I have nothing against any of the authors mentioned in this post. Remember- This is about their products, not about the people behind those products. All the mentioned authors are probably wonderful human beings with hearts of gold.

 


On a kind note: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher aren´t exclusively romance writers. Since they´ve written romance novels I´ve read I have included their names. Also: I did NOT read all the books in the featured images, only the majority and some I haven´t displayed.


 

Let´s chat: Who are your go-to authors? Do you have authors you don´t reach out for anymore? Feel free to drop some names in the comments below. ❤

 


 

Thank you for reading this post. I fully appreciate it.

I wish you all a wonderful day,

Many hugs,

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I Spied With My Bookish Eye: Large Fonts

I know what you´re thinking. `She´s spending more time at the bookstore than anywhere else.` Meh. I wish. The truth is: I spend enough time to check out what grabs my attention in a positive or negative way, take a pic or 10 pics then leave again.

So, my bookstore visits are pretty sober and uneventful. Unless I end up buying a book. That´s always celebrated in the store, on my way out of the store, and when I come home.

Two of the many books that made me stop were these two gems with oversized fonts.

 

What I found

Large fonts aren´t uncommon for books. You´ll see this style a lot with thrillers and non-fiction books. When the title dominates the image then it´s a clear sign that you should read the title instead of admiring whatever´s in the background. That´s not to say there isn´t any great image to look at with large fonts. This just means you´ll focus more on a subtle or cryptic hint of what the story is about.

With my findings, I can say that it was the fonts and the colors that caught my attention.

No!: The Power Of Disagreement In A World That Wants To Get Along by author Charlan Nemeth and What She Found In The Woods by Josephine Angelini. Both are very bold in color. Both have large fonts with quite a bit of wording filling out the blank spots.

I was tempted to buy these but ended up placing them back on the shelves I plucked them out from. Because I wanted to be sure about these reads. I can´t just go buy everything I like, right? Book purchase takes time.

What She Found In The Woods happens to be a YA thriller. The taglines were sort of a giveaway for the genre. The reason why I picked this one out is that it looks appealing. The yellow, white and matted teal is a great color combo. Mix cold colors with warm colors and you´ve got yourself an eye-catcher. Also, I think the title is interesting. Who doesn´t want to know what someone else found in the woods, right? To this day I´m hoping some people will find common sense in the woods but that´s another bedtime story for a different night.

As for the other book… No!: The Power of Disagreement in a World That Wants To Get Along is a psychology book that focuses on how vital disagreement is.

Personally, this book spoke the loudest to me. Cover color and title are what pulled me in. The synopsis sealed the deal. As a firm believer in healthy disagreements, I would like to know the psychology behind its necessity. Something´s telling me this would not only be helpful for future businesses but also book bloggers. I could be wrong though. I guess we won´t find out unless we read it, huh?

With that being said, let´s get back to the design.

 

Are these book covers timeless or trendy?  90% timeless – 10% trendy. Large fonts and colors are timeless. It´s a color combination or depth of a certain color that´s often trendy. Think back to the early 90´s and try to remember the bright and bold colors paired with neons. Separately- Awesome colors. Color combo – Not timeless.

 

Do I think these covers will generate sales? Without a doubt, they will. They´re eye-catchy. They were able to stop me.


 

 

Let´s talk:  What do you think about these covers? Are they a YAY or NAY for you? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. 


 

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed.

XO´s

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Surviving `The Protector`The Movie

No. This isn´t a review for The Protector, the Turkish Netflix drama series. ( Although I wouldn´t mind giving a review for the hubba hubba-drool worthy Hakan ( played by actor & model Cagatay Ulusoy )

Sorry, people. This is for the book-to-movie-adaptation romance The Protector. 

 

It´s been a minute ( 2016 ) since I first and last read The Protector by author Jodi Ellen Malpas.

For those who aren´t familiar with the author- Jodi Ellen Malpas writes steamy contemporary romances that have the perfect Alpha males who´d cross all lines to be with and protect their significant others. We´re talking romantic drama at its finest.

I will add that many romance readers have a love/hate relationship with JEM´s books. It´s because they´re filled with clichés that are overdramatized. Personally, I enjoy the author´s writing, her storytelling and, yes, even the passionate nutcases she creates.

The Protector is a standalone and also my least favorite Jodi Ellen Malpas book. I just think it´s her weakest work. If I remember correctly, I rated the book with 3 stars.

The protector
The Protector – The Book

 

 

When it was announced that The Protector would be made into a movie I almost choked on my drink. From all the intense stories the author has published… That´s the one they picked? Excuse MOI?!

After my initial shock, I decided, despite my feelings towards the book, that I would give the movie a go. Why the hell not, right?

 

Well, it happened. They really turned this novel into a movie.

I didn´t bother asking my husband if he wanted to watch with me because… Weeeell, we´re going separate movie ways for the time being ( he said the Overboard remake was better than the original. An unacceptable statement ).

Back to the movie:

I watched The Protector alone and had to call my mom afterward ( separate movie ways, remember? ).

 

The Protector Movie
Movie 

 

 

The first thing I noticed was the soap opera vibes. The corny and unconvincing first moves from the Jake Sharp ( male lead ) and Camille Logan ( female lead ) had me thinking I switched on the wrong movie.  Did the book start out the same way as the movie? I mean- Three years is long but not long enough for me to forget the whole story. There weren´t any soap opera vibes from the book.

Then I noticed the terrible acting. Oh. My. God. I´m shooketh by the acting. What in God´s name was that all about? The forceful way the lines were spoken, the way the characters interacted with each other… I wanted to switch the channel due to the awkward 2-second pauses between lines.

Look, I can do a lot but I also have my limits. I was close to mine after 20 minutes into the movie. Still, I had this nagging feeling that things would improve. Every first start is a little bumpy, right? I knew there was more to come from having read the book. I´m always open to surprises.

106 minutes later…

Not even the bottle of wine I held in a death grip was able to help me overcome the cheesiest movie in the history of cheesy movies. What the flipping foo foo was that all about?

The movie was unbalanced. The story managed to slip into the background thanks to the forced emotional intensity. How many intense stares does a viewer need to see in order to figure out a couple has sexual tension going on between them?

AND WHO CARRIES SOMEONE OUT OF A CLUB WHEN THE PERSON IS MORE THAN CAPABLE OF WALKING OUT THEMSELVES?!?! Such a random act of… romance? Kindness? Horniness?

 

 

I guess you can say I didn´t like this Passionflix production. Like – At all. From all the book-to-movie-adaptations this was by far the worst I´ve seen. And right now I´m glad none of the other Jodie Ellen Malpas books were chosen to be turned into a movie. God knows what would have come out from that.

I will say this: If you haven´t seen the movie then I advise you to read the book first. Even if `The Protector` is my least favorite Jodi Ellen Malpas book it´s still way better than the movie. By a looong shot.  That is- If you´re into romances. *  wink  *

 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on the book-to-movie-adaptation for `The Protector`. I hope you enjoyed.

 

Until the next movie…

Many hugs and virtual chocolate,

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