One of the most exciting things about being a bookblogger, is the ARCs. Some publishers will provide bookreviews with an Advanced Reading Copy before the book comes out, hoping to get the word out and boost the ratings ahead of the release date. Netgalley is one of the sites where you can request digital ARCs from publishers. It’s easy to sign up and very tempting to request every book available.
Don’t request every book
As a newbie to the community, I requested a few books by lesser known authors, hoping that my odds of being approved were better. They were, but now I was stuck with books that I needed to read on a deadline. I finished some on time, others were archived before I could read them. Then I learned only to request books with an archive date at least a month away. That would give me enough time to plan my reading and writing the review.
The pressure and stress went down, but I still had trouble keeping up with the deadlines. I’m an emotional reader and want to read a book that fits my mood. I missed deadlines again. My feedback rating went down, but that’s not what I cared about. It’s like taking a freebie (possibly an opportunity from someone else) for myself, just to have. I’ve never been to a bookcon where they give away ARC for upcoming releases. People line up to get a copy and never read it, while someone else is dying to read it.
That’s when I stopped requesting books. I got an invite to read the sequel to one of the books I had read, and was delighted, but chances are slim that I’ll request another book.
Slowly, more indie authors found me and asked me if I wanted to review their book. I accepted most of them since they lined up with what I like (some don’t read the review policy), others I turned down for multiple reasons, and a lack of time is one of them. I love reading, but being a bookblogger isn’t what’s going to pay the bills. It’s also not the hobby that I spend most of my money on (have you seen my collection of fountain pens?).
Let’s not forget that besides the ebooks I’m offered, I still have a massive stack of physical copies to read. Even now, three years after we moved here, I have boxes filled with unread books I do want to read at some point. I feel no pressure to read the latest release, that’s not who I am as a bookblogger. I’m passionate about sharing books that I love and spreading the words on books by indie authors who don’t have the budget of big publishing houses.
What are your thoughts on Netgalley? Do you have an account there? How do you handle the pressure of deadlines?