Monday, June 23, 2014

How Do You Pick Your ARCs


I seem to be in a writing mood lately, well kind of. But, there is something that's been bothering me for awhile, and it involves ARCs! Otherwise known as Advanced Reader/Review Copies, and more specifically the ones you request from NetGalley or Edelweiss.

So here's the thing. I've been on a ton of book blogs. I've seen the STS's and Book hauls. And all those e-ARC's on the list! I recently read a post about organizing ARC reviews and accidentally requesting too many of them (Rinn @ Rinn Reads). The blogger had more than 70 ARCs that needed to be read and reviewed (as seen on the spreadsheet). 

Okay. So I understand how one can procrastinate on reading and leave it all to the last minute (lol), so that's not my question. But just all those books! 

How do you decide which books from NetGalley or Edelweiss or anywhere is worth your time and effort to review? Is is based on how much you like the cover? Or do you just request anything that's been recently added? A specific genre? 

I'm very picky with requesting books, and I get more and more discouraged every time I don't enjoy the e-ARC. And with that being said, I only have one e-ARC that needs to be reviewed! Just one! Do you see my problem here??? I want more! I want to know all your secrets! Because I know there are good e-ARCs out there, I'm just not looking in the right places I guess.

Any good tips or tricks? How do you decide what ARCs to request? Let me know below!  

34 comments:

  1. I take a look at the blurb first. If it's contemporary, I'll probably pass. But if it's paranormal, dystopian, fantasy, post-apocalyptic, scifi, I read it again and see if it's something I'll like. If it is, I request. If not, I go to the Goodreads page and see if there are any ratings and pre-reviews submitted yet. If it has generally positive ratings, I go ahead and request it. If not, I pass :P Hope my tips help!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Ah that sounds like a good tip. I rarely go on Goodreads to check the rating for it, which is probably why I'm not happy with the books I requested. Thanks Faye! :D

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  2. Ohh, yes this is a hard one. I don't request a lot on NetGalley/Edelweiss because I only read on my iPod and it's a dang small screen. Very frustrating. I'd rather request physical ARCs or go to the library. (I'm too poor to buy books, hehe.) SO. I usually pick my requests based on what other blogger's are highly anticipated (I know! I'm peer-pressured!) or if I know the author or if I like the genre. I don't take a lot of risks. I don't like giving back sad reviews. Although I recently asked for Some Boys by Patty Blount...which is a book I'd normally not go anywhere near, but for some reason I did...aaand, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. (Seriously. It's good.) Can I be shallow and also admit, cover love? Um...yes. Sometimes I request based off the cover. >_<
    (Incidentally, I only have 2 e-arcs to be reviewed. I cannot even comprehend having 70. Oh. my. god.)

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    1. HAHA COVER LOVE! Don't worry I do that too sometimes! Hmm, I guess I need to look at what bloggers anticipate, because I seem to miss that. Usually when I see a great ARC a blogger reviewed, I'll try to go find it on Edelweiss or NetGalley, but most of the time it's ALREADY GONE or I don't get approved. But I will try harder! Thanks Cait! ^.^

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  3. I don't participate in ARCs at all. In fact, I just totally revamped my reading system and I've done away with a TBR list (I've gone all Matrix like over here, lol). But I can't imagine having 70 books that I feel obligated to read and write reviews on (like the other blogger has). That would totally take the fun out of reading for me.

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    1. I KNOW I JUST SAW YOUR POST! I wish you the very best of luck with that. I don't think I would ever be able to delete my Goodreads account!

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  4. I can also be very picky with ARCs, and the blurb normally does it for me. If I find it interesting, I will definitely request it. I tend to read different genres so my ARC requests can be random but I don't request as much sa 1-click! I also try and make note of when the book will get published, I tend to not request books that will be published really soon unless I really want it, mainly because I'm able to loosely plan my reading/reviewing schedule if the ARCs are far apart. I mean, I still want to read off books on my TBR too. Awesome discussion Val! I hope you'll get great tips from our experiences :)

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    1. Yeah I usually just go along with the blurb, but also the cover plays a part too. I tend to stay away from the contemporaries, but I think I should just go for it. I haven't read a contemporary in such a long time.

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  5. Sometimes I'm not as picky as I should be and I've ended up with a few that I have had to force myself to read but mainly if it sounds interesting and like something i would like, then after checking goodreads real fast, I usually go ahead and request it. But whenever I get up to ten or more e-arcs I make myself stop looking at recently added ones until I've read at least half of what I have. Also obviously if it's something I've had my eye on and was planning to buy when it came out I'll request it.
    Honestly I'm fairly new to the whole earcs thing!=)

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    1. YES I hate having to force myself to read the ones I don't like. But I feel like those are the only ones I get approved for, wah.

      I remember during the school year I was going to wait until summer to sign up with Netgalley, BUT NOPE that didn't happen. I ended up signing up much earlier. I'm still new to the whole thing though, I think I have around 77% feedback ratio, but I've only read 8 books.

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  6. This is not a problem for me as I limit myself to two Net Galley requests per month. So the books has to be something that I'd give my first born to read. Ultimately, you just have to know what you want exactly. There really is no science to it, in my opinion.

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    1. Wow two per month! Haha your first born. Yeah I have a hard time knowing what I want. Some books just don't meet my expectations sadly. And plus I get denied from time to time, so I have to request more than usual.

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  7. Hmm... I get a few books via NetGalley, but when I do request, I usually go with Tor books because I love them, and they apparently love me. I've requested from indie or small publishers and they reject me... which is both sad and disturbing, because I review a lot of smallish publishers' books on my blog. And I usually can't find very many on NetGalley that would fit my blog criteria or sound promising, so I don't over-request. Great discussion post!
    ~Litha Nelle

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    1. The Tor books? Is that a publishing company? I will assume so. And yeah I sometimes get denied from small publishers as well, which is weird. But we'll just keep trying, right?

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  8. Haha, thank you for linking! Although I should be ashamed, right? :P

    I used to just request EVERYTHING when I started blogging. Which is obvious from my ridiculous ARC list. But now I'm way more fussy, if I've heard about the book and decided I want to read it I'll request, or if it's something I've not seen before but looks good I'll do a bit of research first.

    I'm really ashamed of my ARC list, to be honest. It's not good. All I can say is that when I started out I was caught up in the excitement of NG - but now I'm much more controlled and I'm actively trying to review things in good time.

    Also, I'll only be able to use my Kindle soon so I'll just HAVE to read them ;)

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    1. NO DON'T BE ASHAMED. Sorry you just made me start thinking about ARCs and just the number that you had!!! But I see how you got all those ARCs now hahaha. And yay NetGalley! It's so much more easier to navigate than Edelweiss, but I'm starting to get the hang of both.

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  9. I'd definitely fall into the category of accidentally requesting too many ARCs -- even those I wasn't that interested in. I really need to work on my self-control! So I'm promising myself now that I'll only request/download ARCs that I am REALLY interested in, instead of just downloading everything that's available at the moment. It's ruining my reading life, honestly, because I can't even read the leisure books I DO want to read (which is why 90% of my bookshelf is filled with unread books). I have to stick with my ARCs because I asked for them and I should review them.

    But how do I choose which ARCs to request? Hm, it mostly depends on how interested I am in them and how much people have enjoyed them so far. And I have to admit that most of the time, covers play a huge role as well. >.< I'm horrible, I know! But that's why I don't usually request from indie authors or lesser-known publishers. Their covers are not that nice, heh.

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    1. Yeah the covers do play such a huge part in my decisions as well. I definitely think I'm going to be waiting awhile before requesting anything, just because the summer is my only chance to go to the library.

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  10. I'm not going to lie, first of all I judge it by its cover. If it has a great cover and title, I will read the synopsis. If it sounds like my kind of thing, or just simply sounds like it MIGHT be, I will request it.

    I don't have as many e-ARCs to review as Rinn, but I'm still embarrassed by my list of 30 or so. I keep trying to whittle it down, but at the same time I don't want to force myself to read something I'm not interested in in that moment.

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    1. Wow still so many ARCs. I've only gotten approved for two on Edelweiss because I just started an account on there. And then NetGalley I haven't heard back from awhile. I think I've requested around 5 so far but haven't been approved for anything yet.

      But yeah same here. I don't want to force myself to read anything either. But I feel like I'm only getting approved for books that are just "okay". like augh. Maybe it's just me?

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  11. I read the blurb first and then do my reasearch; if there already have been reviews how did other people like it? If available I even read an excerpt. It's important to me because sometimes even if I think I'm interested, it turns out differently for me. And I have to admit, but time to time I only request, because a lot of people seem to want it. That must mean something, musn't it?

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    1. I'm started to request books that I've seen around the blogosphere also, but sometimes I think that's way too late (because some reviewers post their reviews near the release date, while I don't? I don't even know when I'm supposed to post my review). But if a lot of people want it, then it should be good.

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  12. I don't request many ARCs. I browse the NetGalley site by genre, and look for titles/covers/descriptions that jump out at me. But when I find one, I don't request it immediately. I'll switch over to Amazon or Goodreads and try to get a little more info. If it's part of a series, that's an automatic no. Like Cassidie, I'll read an excerpt if there's one available, so I can see if I enjoy the writing style before committing to a whole book. I don't go overboard though; I think the most unread ARCs I've ever had at one time is maybe 5... and that felt overwhelming to me!

    The truth is, though, I have so many books I want to read that I could really do away with NetGalley and not miss it. I do keep it around, though, for the rare occasion I can get a book that was on my TBR anyway, and also because I like checking out books from smaller publishers I'd never find at my library.

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    1. Wow I didn't even know there were excerpts. I need to look into this.

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    2. There aren't on NetGalley (I think it would benefit everyone if they'd implement them), but sometimes you can find one on the author's webpage or on Amazon.

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  13. I am much the same as some of the other commenters. I have learned to always read the blurb no matter the cover love, ALWAYS check the publishing and archiving date, and limit Netgalley browsing. I also really love that Netgalley just added the 'Favorites' button for publishers because I try to stick with publishers I know, love, and trust. Right now I have 13 books for review, which is the most I have ever had at one time. But all the publishing dates are spread out through the fall so I don't feel pressure to read like a maniac!

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    1. Wait, there's such thing as a Favorites button? I had absolutely no idea! And I definitely find NetGalley easier to use over Edelweiss. I mean, Edelweiss is cool, but narrowing your search is somewhat tedious. I've just stuck to browsing YA

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  14. Well it mostly comes down to whether I've heard of it or not. Typically, I never request books that I haven't heard of but of course, sometimes I break that rule. I don't spend too much time with requesting ARCs so I don't flip through catalogs or anything like that. Mostly I rely on other blogs to supply me with information about upcoming releases and if I see a book that I recognize that I've already had my eye on on Edelweiss and Netgalley, then I'll request it. When I'm on those websites, it's almost never a spur-of-the-moment decision for me. It's like, I've already seen that book, know what it's about, hey it's here, I'll request it and see my chances!

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    1. Yeah I'm going to start doing this as well. Though I feel like it's too late for me to request a book someone/multiple people already reviewed. But might as well take the chance!

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  15. I know! All of the eARCs out there can be overwhelming. Typically I base if off of the blurb. If it sounds like something I'd enjoy and if the release date is far enough for me to read it, then I'd request it. Great covers and authors I've previously heard about will get me to click to see the blurb, but I never request a book without reading the blurb. Usually, I also only look at stuff that's recently added. I don't look at everything.

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    1. Haha I always read the blurb too! But sometimes it's not enough for me (most of the time hahaha)

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    2. I guess that makes sense. The blurb isn't always accurate. I think I'm used to basing off whether or not to read something from a blurb because I read so many ebooks from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Even the samples that they give are usually only a chapter or two, which isn't much. I really try to stray from reading reviews that are already posted for it though. Simply because I don't want to be affected by someone else's review going into reading an ARC.

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  16. I usually look at the genre and then the synopsis. Generally if it's Contemporary, I avoid it. But first... I look at the publication date. If it's about 2-3+ months or more, I'm happy enough to see the rest of the book before requesting. Well, reading the synopsis, that is. :3

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  17. I see you are reading Earth Girl! I loved that book! As for me, I only accept and request Science Fiction and Fantasy genre books. So thankfully that limits them somewhat. But there are still so many. Right now I stay away from dystopians and am leaning towards traditional fantasy and space opera. I also start to veer away from some publishers for awhile and give them a cool off period if too many of their books in a row have been duds.

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