January 1st, 2015 is a day that I will always associate with a sort of freedom. You see, I had decided that I wanted to try going without accepting any form of review request. That meant no NetGalley, no Edelweiss, no blog tours, and no physical ARCs from an author or publisher source. There were a few times that I really was tempted to let myself slide and accept just one but I held firm. After all, if I really wanted to read it, I could pick up a copy from my library or buy my own copy.
Blogging has been so much less stressful without the addition of self-induced pressure to read each request by date X. I think once I let go of the notion that an ARC (physical or egalley) meant something more than what it is, they lost their appeal. I completely understand the excitement surrounding ARCs. As book bloggers we are passionate about reading and talking about books. It follows that if we’re able to read a book before it’s even available to the general public we feel a little bit like rock stars. Plus, you know, free books!
And that was the epiphany that led to my decision to no longer accept ARCs or finished copies in exchange for a review. I picked up a ton of ARCs from ALA mid-winter but I don’t have that one on one relationship that makes me place pressure on myself. There is no one to submit a review to. I’ll still read them because otherwise there wasn’t a point of shipping them all back to me. I also rediscovered the love of my local library and I can get all the free books I want there!
When I publish a review on release day, how many of my readers have had a chance to read it? What’s the likelihood that a reader will come back to an old post three weeks later to talk about a book they just finished?
If you love ARCs and they make your blogging life worth it, then by all means, get down with your bad self and keep on reading those ARCs! You’re providing the rest of us with a reference point for those hot new releases. ARCs and review requests just weren’t doing it for me anymore. My blog should make me happy and I wasn’t. Once I stopped feeling obligated to read ALL the ARCs and started giving my TBR some TLC, I found that I had been neglecting some really awesome books!