Reading Advance Review Copies (ARCs) is one of the fun parts of being a book blogger. You get free books and you get to read things before everyone else. It’s also a nice way to discover new writers and support their work.
But I know I’m not the only book blogger who gets bogged down from time to time. Last year I requested way too many ARCs and ended up having to spend most of my time for a few months juggling deadlines. When you get too many, all with similar publication dates, it takes a lot of the pleasure and spontaneity out of reading. But if I request an ARC, it’s important that I honor that commitment, and that means trying to post a review as close to the publication date as possible.
I use NetGalley the most, and Edelweiss sometimes. The trouble is you get turned down for some requests, so it’s hard to know how many to request at one time. And it’s my own fault that I didn’t pay close enough attention to the publication dates of what I was requesting.
Still, this year I meant to be more deliberate. At the beginning of the year I looked up some good “best fiction to be published in 2018” lists, like one from Huffington Post, and one from the Guardian. I read through those lists, marked the ones I thought I’d like, and searched for them on NetGalley. I felt good about being so proactive.
And yet, somehow, I ended up with six books all with publication dates in early to mid-March. I can’t read six books in half a month. And I find I’m spending more time looking at which books are shortest rather than which ones I really want to read.
And then there are the review requests I receive by email. I generally limit myself to accepting one a month. But I don’t even have time for that right now.
The good news? When March is over, I’m out of my NetGalley quicksand – I’ve got one April read and one June read. And yet I still find myself browsing through NetGalley’s listings.
Book bloggers, what’s your approach to receiving ARCs? How many do you like to read, and where do you get them from? And how do you keep from getting overwhelmed?