Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Do you overextend yourself with too many reviews because you can’t pass up a book in hopes you will get them all done or do you carefully plan and be sure you can fulfill the deadlines for all the promised reviews?
I’m assuming this question is about promising reviews in exchange for a copy of a book–promising myself I’ll write a review is a whole different situation! So I’m looking at it from the book/review exchange promise perspective…
I am a planner in all aspects of life, so I was never one to get overextended on promised reviews. Lately, this is even more true…I haven’t actually accepted a book for review in a very long time. I have kind of a lot going on right now (and I know I’m due for a goal update!) and I need my fun things to actually be fun and relaxing, not another obligation. (I might feel differently by December, but right now I’m strongly feeling the ‘maybe a year of super low pressure reading challenges’ vibe for 2019. We’ll see.)
Another reason I’ve pulled back on accepting review copies is that I didn’t always have much luck with them. In fact, I had several experiences where I could tell by page two that a book wasn’t really for me, just on a writing-style level, but felt obligated to finish reading. Because…someone sent me a book for free in exchange for a review, and reviewing that I read two pages and stopped didn’t really feel like holding up my end of the bargain! Those books didn’t turn out to be terrible and I tried to give balanced reviews, but would I have kept reading if I didn’t feel I had to? Nope, I don’t think so.
When I eventually get back to accepting review copies of books (because I do intend to eventually, when life settles down), I’ll probably request to see the first few pages before committing to reading and reviewing. That seems like it would be better for everyone!
Fellow book bloggers, are you accepting books for review? Do you feel on top of it, or do things pile up sometimes?
3 thoughts on “Blog Hop: Promising Reviews”
Well, I don’t accept books for review as such, I ask for any I’m interested in from Net-galley, although I also consider ARCs for books from writing friends.
I did find myself with a lot of books to get through before Jan/Feb deadlines this year, but I more or less made them all. I think I actually published the review of one before I’d finished it, but I’d read enough of it to make it a fair review. After all, you don’t reveal the end in a review anyway.
Someone suggested that the default position ought to be DNF; the writing had to make you want to read on. I tend to use that approach on bookclub books these days (which also have deadlines). It saves a lot of time when reading something you don’t want to read – there are too many books I DO want to read to waste what time I have!
Jemima, blogging from A to Z in April on my writing inspirations
A while back I switched my policy from accepting books for review to accepting books for review consideration. The distinction was important to me–I don’t want to promise reviews, and I don’t want to commit to a timeline in most cases (blog tours being the exception, but I’m picky about which ones I sign up for). It made a big difference to me; I had gotten to the point where blogging felt like work, and I felt like even my hobbies had deadlines and stress. Ever since I made the switch, reading and blogging has been more relaxing, and I read books because I want to read them, not out of a sense of obligation. I’ve been pulling back even on the “review consideration” copies over the past few months though, because I have a ton of books on my shelves that I haven’t gotten to yet, and I think I should read more of them. I think a lot of us long-time book bloggers have an evolving relationship toward ARCs… when you’re in your first couple years of blogging, ARCs are a sign that you’ve made it, and are really exciting to get. But the longer you blog, the more they become a double-edged sword, and make you forget why you loved reading and blogging in the first place.
That is a great point, Grace. There’s a lot of burn-out around at present!