Hello, lovely veterans of the book reviewer community!
(At least, I hope this post reaches the book reviewer community, because I desperately need some advice.)
In the past year that I’ve started this blog, it’s definitely grown. And I’m so excited about that! I really enjoy writing book reviews, despite the reality that usually, they aren’t that coherent, as they become a hodgepodge of emotions spewed on out the page as I try to accurately formulate ways to properly comprehend and deal with the latest *spoiler alert* from whatever novel I just finished put me through–and it usually destroys my emotions in the process. But it’s been a joy to start participating more in the community and post more regularly on this blog, through both features and reviews. It’s a balance, sometimes, trying to keep up with my main blog and this one (plus my collaborative short story one!) but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I would, however, love to steal some advice from some of the more experienced book bloggers out there (or anyone who has an opinion/tips over this topic). My query, is this:
How do you balance ARCs and your “regular reading”?
I’m really lucky to be working with both Titan and Orbit books, receiving ARCs from some of my favorite authors (and most anticipated reads, *coughBloodyRoseandIhavenochillaboutitcough*), plus discovering new books I otherwise might not have read (which, this being a reality I get to live is just so terribly exciting and I love it). It’s something I truly enjoy and still can’t believe I actually have this opportunity, since my blog is so small and my reviews more on the quirky side. I would like to continue doing so (and potentially reach out to other publishers I admire, as well, like Angry Robot, Del Rey or Tor).
Despite just starting to work with both of them these past couple of months, I’m already behind on the ARCs I requested. Perhaps I was simply overzealous and requested too many at once? I also don’t read as much as I know a lot of other people do (I usually try to read a couple hours a day during the work week, so on a really good week when life doesn’t get in the way, I finish two books, but I’ve been averaging one book a week lately). So, one ARC a week, which means I haven’t read a book that hasn’t been an ARC in a while. Well, actually, that’s a tad bit of a lie, I’m doing that right now, but I also feel guilty, as I still haven’t read all of the ARCs I got from May and yet I just got my first batch for July. But I also have a lot of books I want to read this year and other authors I want to support, yet I also want to get reviews of ARCs out in a timely manner, especially since the publishers are so kind to send them to me in the first place. My ideal goal is to get the review out the same day as publication, to help with the hype (and I even made events on my calendar for when my ARCs are coming out, so I have goal dates to hit) yet I find myself still struggling to balance them.
Since I can’t read as much as I like, I’m trying to figure out if there are any tips and tricks on how to stay on top of ARCs, while also reading other books for fun? Is there a certain timeline that ARCs should be read by, an industry standard, so to speak, that I’m not aware of? Is it rude to deny a request to send an ARC from a publisher? Any advice would be super, super appreciated, as this is stressing me out a little more than I think it’s meant to and though I love writing book reviews, I don’t want my favorite hobby to turn into something that feels too much like work, you know?