Novel Thoughts: I’m Picky About the Advance Copies I Choose

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on January 14, 2015 | 27 Comments



When I first started blogging, I had NO idea what an ARC was. (Ah, to be blissfully ignorant again.) After a few months, once I found out and got established, I discovered NetGalley. Then Edelweiss. SEDUCTRESSES. I (like most of you probably did) went on a massive downloading spree. FREE BOOKS! FREE UNRELEASED BOOKS!

Alas, they were not “free.” They came with guilt, and pressure, and…*cringes* obligations. Eeeeeek. For a while there, I was drowning in them. And guess what? Once you’re obligated to read something, it’s no longer appealing or enjoyable. Also, if you get them waaay early, by the time you get around to reading it you don’t even want to read it anymore. Then it sits there, and sits there, and you realize, Oh, shit. This book has been on my Kindle for two years now…

Yeah, oops.

Now, I’m very careful about which ARCs I download or request. Even after cutting down to only books I’m DYING to read, I still have 20ish books on my “for review” shelf. Unfortunately, half of those are books that are older that I no longer feel like reading.

I honestly don’t request all that many physical ARCs. They’re not as exciting as they used to be. Downloading an eARC is just faster and more convenient! But, before I download anything, I ask myself:

  • Do I want this book? Do I really want this book?
  • How badly do I want this book?
  • Will I still want this book in a month?
  • Will I have time to read this book before its release date?
  • Would it kill me to just wait until its release date?

Most of the time, I find that I don’t want it all that badly, and no, it won’t kill me to wait another month before it comes out. It’s just not worth it!

Jessi (Geo)

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27 responses to “Novel Thoughts: I’m Picky About the Advance Copies I Choose

  1. thebookdate

    You have some great questions there and very pertinent. I don’t formally ask myself those questions, but I think I sort of follow them and I only choose a certain amount so that I can spread them out and read other books as well. Generally they are always (ARCs) ones I’d read anyway.

  2. Great post! I just started blogging in November. When I first found out about NetGalley and Edelwess, I requested so many books! I am trying to slow down because like you said, there is so much pressure that comes with them!

  3. I’m the same way. Over the last year or so, I’ve gotten really picky about which ARCs I pick. I feel so guilty if I don’t get to them – and what if I don’t like it?! It’s a rare, rare occasion that I request a book that doesn’t immediately grab my interest.

    Of course, I just started a book that I received for an ARC a few weeks ago and I’m only 4% into and I’m so bored. Oops.

  4. I think this is agreat system. I went through the same problem when I first joined Netgalley and I feel like I’m still paying for those books. I shall apply your system, because I really need to narrow down my ARC requesting.

  5. I’m also really picky about any books I request. As a librarian, I am almost always (I’d say about 95%) approved for any eARCS. And when I first started requesting, I also requested a lot. But for at least the last year, I’ve been very picky, and I’ve loved it.

    If this is an ARC I’m interested in, I just ask myself one question “Will I read this before the release date?” Because if the answer is “I’m not sure” or just plain no, then I don’t request or download it. Because once it’s released I can just get it from the library, or perhap buy it. I’ve never regret when I decided not to request or download an eARC, but even now, sometimes I regret requesting an ARC and then feel pressured to read it. And it is really nice that for most of the time I read completely what I want and I don’t feel pressured.

  6. I try and limit myself to no more than 5-6 per publish month. But of course I request my 6, and that one that I’ve been coveting for months finally becomes available to request! So I’m trying not to request too many too far in advance so that I still have “room” for the titles which I am super excited about. This means I find myself asking the questions you listed whenever I see an interesting title listed. It is far too easy to get carried away and become overwhelmed.

  7. I’ve severely cut back on eARCs in the last several months. I found that I wasn’t getting to them on time, and I was reading more books that were already released. I did go crazy in 2013 and earlier, and I’m still wading through those! I do not want a repeat of that craziness ever again! :P

  8. Great points! I am trying really hard to not fall to the seductresses of NetGalley and Edelweiss this year. I think I could read for a few months on what I already have! Not good. I just get so excited about new books-I need to try to ask your questions of myself.

  9. YES! I am trying to be better now. Like most everyone else, I went crazy and am now paying for it with the guilt, regret, and pressure. I hate not reviewing things in a timely manner and that’s where my guilt really sets in because there are a lot of books I REALLY wanted, but never got to and now feel like crap because I am letting down that publisher and author. Not to mention, when I get saddled with all these review books and a non-review book comes out, I don’t get to read it because of too many others. Sigh. Lesson learned, that’s for sure. Great post Jessi!

  10. I totally agree, Jessi! These days I only request an eARC if I’m going to read the book NOW. (Or as soon as I finish my current read.) If I only see myself reading it weeks/months down the road, then I won’t request it.

  11. kentuckygal50

    I haven’t gotten to that point where I’m tired of it all…yet. Some days I don’t feel like reading (for very long or at all) and I just kind of let those wash over me. I am way behind on ARCs. Seductresses? I’m still in the , “Hey, gals, LET’S PARTY!” stage. :p

  12. I actually like the pressure that comes with ARCs, assuming it’s for a book that I really want to read. When I purchase a book, it’s far more likely to sit on my shelf unread, because I’m such a hound for new books. “I own that one, it’ll still be there for me later, BUT LOOK AT ALL THESE NEW ONES OVER HERE.” If I didn’t have a deadline for my books, I’d probably just turn into a collector who never reads anything. (I’d also be broke.) NetGalley and the library, with their handy looming deadlines, are very useful for me in ways that go beyond my budget.

  13. I need to get pickier. I request them wanting to read them, but I don’t take my schedule into my thoughts as I do so, so I end up with a ton of books that I don’t have time to read. When I do have time, I tend to get selfish and choose something I wanted to read worse instead of something from my Netgalley queue. I don’t even have an Edelweiss account. I couldn’t deal with both sites.

    • LoL You’re not alone. EW hates me too. I don’t know if they really like anyone except for maybe an elite few. I’ve gotten turned down at every turn except once… and it turned out I didn’t even like the book. It was misleading in the synopsis and nothing like what I was expecting. So, I’m pretty sure when the review goes live (I got the book 5 months before release), they will never approve me again.

  14. That’s a good way to look at it. I’ve never gotten as bad as you did with requesting books. Before Edelweiss was the thing, I used Simon & Schuster, and I think I had at most 10 books waiting to be reviewed at a time. I just made sure to pencil them in my notebook (before I got a calendar system down) and I was pretty good with reviewing on time. I’ve since cut back even more because it can feel like an obligation and sometimes sucks the fun out. However, if I don’t get the book for review, I’m very unlikely to read it on my own. I have books sitting on my physical and virtual shelves that I was really excited to get, but then they just sit there and I end up forgetting I have them. Sadly, if I don’t get a book for review, I’m more than likely not going to read it.
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

  15. Great points here! I had to step away from netgalley altogether because of the pressure and guilt when I wouldn’t get to a book right away. I must admit, it’s more expensive, but I’d rather review a book I buy or rent from the library.

  16. I’ve become even pickier since I started working full time. There’s nothing worse than getting a book you don’t want to read that much. Then it’ll negatively impact your read/review ratio on Netgalley. I’m totally with you. I’d rather only get ARCs for books I love. Sometimes I’ll take a shot in the dark but I’m doing that less and less now.

  17. So very very very true <3

    When I started blogging, I accepted reading requests from a bunch of indie authors because I was like "oh my gosh, people want me to read their book!" Also, not going to lie, I think I was taken advantage of a few times but whatever, newbie mistakes.

    Now, I still request physical ARCs but it gets so frustrating when I don't like the book. Like, now what? I can't throw it out and not many places want them. It's irritating so I definitely know what you mean by eARCs.

    ARCs aren't the shiny thing they used to be and I think at one point, every blogger kind of realizes that.

  18. I posted about this recently too. I’ve decided to be VERY choosy with ARCs. I don’t even let myself casually browse the sites anymore. If I know a book I’m DYING for has been added, I’ll go on and request it. I may look for other authors I like while I’m there, but I refuse to request something based on the description. I’ll never be motivated to read it.

  19. I wish I was, but I’ve been falling into the trap of that shiny ‘download’ button on Edelweiss far too many times. This is the year I’m truly cutting back and so far, I’ve been good at it. Let’s hope I can keep it up!

  20. The shiny temptation of Netgalley and Edelweiss still gets me sometimes, but I’ve been pretty good at only requesting books I truly plan to read. The only time I stray, really, is when a really pretty cover seduces me and I then it’s like “must have. pretty cover.” (I totally went caveman there, but yeah pretty accurate, I’m not gonna lie.)

  21. This is a great post, and very similar to my own thoughts on the matter — see, again, look how similar we are!!! I’m definitely all about less review books in 2015, mainly because I’d like to actually read the books that are on my shelves, rather than stressing about trying to finish an ARC on time. Great post!

  22. Gah e-Arcs are the worst! I just get tempted by them so easily but I always prioritise my hard review copies which means that e-Arcs never get touched unless I really really want to read it. Oh how I wish I didn’t know what an ARC was. Those days were awesome.

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