Monday, May 13, 2013

My Conclusion On Reading Galleys...

Near the end of 2012 and in the beginning  of 2013, I started to request several galleys from NetGalley and Edelweiss. There were some pretty good ones in there and I was definitely looking forward to devouring the stories. I managed to read some of them and review them. But then I was in the process of packing for my move and reading just fell to the wayside. Then I moved and a couple of the ARCs I started to read ended up expiring. And the ones that hadn't expired yet only had a couple more days or weeks left on them. When I tried to read them before they expired, I just didn't have enough time, or I couldn't get myself invested in the story enough to finish them on time. So, half the galleys I requested did not get read.

As a book blogger, I take my "job" seriously. If I request a book from a publisher with the intention of reading and reviewing it, I want to follow through. To me, it feels like a responsibility I should fulfill. When I can't, it's disappointing in a couple ways--because I can't finish a book I really wanted to read and because I'm letting someone else down.

At first, I was just upset with myself for the irresponsibility in the matter. Then I got to thinking about it and realized something. I liked the idea of galleys and ARCs but the expectations from it are too much for me to handle. I'm not so great with deadlines. I thought I could handle these since I was so excited about the books I received for review. But even when I really want to read a book, I can still have a little bit of trouble with the deadline.

I think I've talked about this before, how I want to read just for the sake of enjoying reading. I want to pick up a book and read it just because I want to, not because I have to. As much as I want to keep up with all these new releases, I'd rather focus my attention on the ones that I've been meaning to give attention to. I mean, you've seen my list of books I've won and gotten free from authors, not to mention the tons I've purchased since starting this blog. I have a lot of catching up to do. Why should I request more? I need to prioritize and follow through on my promises to myself.

Now that I've shared some of my thoughts, have any of you come to the same conclusion? Or do you enjoy reading and reviewing ARCs within a deadline? I'm curious!

Jessica

10 comments:

  1. Thankfully I've never signed up for any galleys. I think id be at the same place you are if I did. I have agreed to lots of indie review requests only to drop the ball on a lot of them because of various reasons. It's taken me a long time and many DNFs to realise that I wasn't finding reading pleaseable anymore because of the pressure I was putting myself under with all the deadlines. Even the books I do enjoy end up turning into a reading race so I can post my next review. I've decided I don't want to live like that anymore so now I'm only buying books I really want to read and I'm only going to review books I can be bothered to. I think it would help free up a lot of time if I wasn't writing as well but it's a double edged sword.

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    1. Yeah, that's definitely part of it too--discovering that a request isn't what you expected it to be and trying to finish and hoping you don't have to write a bad review. I think the two of us are on the right track by focusing our attention to reading we will enjoy and writing. :)

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  2. I have reviewed a few Galleys. But there were a few I didn't review and I did feel bad about that. I learned that I should've ask for too many. And then I started reading that publishers don't want to you to post the reviews too early. Well Fangirl is on Netgalley right now but doesn't release until September. I will never remember in August what I thought of the book. So I just didn't request it. I am going to just wait till books come out now.

    Angie

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    1. Yep, finding that balance and being picky is a good thing. I posted a couple of my reviews far too early before the release when I first started. I try to write my review not long after I read the book so that it's ready when the review needs to go up. But waiting to post is hard. I want to have consistent content on my blog and you can't if you have galleys that won't be released until months from now, lol. :P

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  3. Yes! Yes! Yes! There was just never enough time for all the things I wanted to read, and when I had actual physical books my hands, or on my shelves, or even the ones waiting on my ereader, those requests that I had to go back and download would just slip my mind. It just didn't work for me.

    p.s. @Angie there's no reason you can't write your review right away and just schedule it to be posted closer to the release (or do it the old-fashioned way and save it in a word document until you want to post it :)

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    1. I hear ya! I would constantly forget which ones were expiring when, and by the time I wrote the deadlines on paper, it was already too late. So frustrating! :P

      On your P.S.: My thoughts exactly! :)

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  4. "As a book blogger, I take my "job" seriously. If I request a book from a publisher with the intention of reading and reviewing it, I want to follow through. To me, it feels like a responsibility I should fulfill. When I can't, it's disappointing in a couple ways--because I can't finish a book I really wanted to read and because I'm letting someone else down." <---THIS. Yes. It's so much pressure, and I hate that feeling of being irresponsible, not doing my 'job', or letting someone down. ARCs are so appealing and it's easy to get really excited and swept up in the whole thing, but honestly I'm beginning to think it's more pressure than it's worth. This whole year I've read maybe 2-3 ME books - books I WANTED to read, that I chose just because I wanted to. The rest have been review books. It's ridiculous and I've let it get out of hand and now I'm eager to just get back to regular reading without the pressure.

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    1. Yes! The pressure is too much sometimes. And you are spot on: I want to get back to reading books for me, like I WANTED to to begin with. Silly me. :P It's my own fault for allowing myself to be tempted so much and caving in. You'll get back on track! :D

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  5. I take my "job" seriously, too, Jess! It does feel like you're promising to review the book/s when you request galleys. *sigh*

    I've said it before: "I'm almost caught up! Yay! I won't over-request again." But then a few months later, I always do. Not this time. I can SEE that light at the end of the tunnel - and I'm done. My goal from here on out (I should be caught up with ARCs by the end of next week) is to not request more than one or two at a time. I can request more ONCE I finish the ones I have. I just, I'm tired of the game, of keeping up, of worrying about my stats, of feeling like I NEED a certain galley. I don't. I really don't. I'll find a way to read those books, and in the meantime? Instead of drowning in pressure, I'll read some of the ones I've bought the last few years!

    Anyway, well said in this post, girl. Life is short, and we shouldn't be making all these promises and fastening ourselves to this ball and chain of review books in a stack that towers over us. *fist bump*


    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

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    1. Yes, exactly! It's hard to keep ourselves in control when there are awesome books that get put up for request. I love your last paragraph, you make the perfect point! :D *fist bump back*

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