Hiya everyone, so lately I've been feeling that I need to try something different with my blog. I feel like all I do is share my thoughts on the books I review, Top Ten Tuesday posts and newly my blog tour posts which I thoroughly enjoy.
I do have a project in the pipeline with my friend Sarah which I will announce soon enough, it's something for you all to join in and I can't wait to share it with you!
Starting from today I want to start discussing books in a less formal way, I would love for you all to get involved and share your opinion on what I have to say- even if you disagree! I would hate for my readers to feel they can't be honest or have an opinion on my blog, I want this to be a space where we can all talk freely to one another and become good friends seeing as we have common interests!
So as my first discussion post I want to talk about ARCs and what you think of them. To those of you who maybe unsure of what an ARC is, they are a copy of a book the publisher sends to you in exchange for an honest review and to drive hype around the book before it's published.
You get to read a book before anyone else!
For me this is the best thing about receiving an ARC, the feeling you get of holding a book that only selected people have been chosen to receive is a wonderful feeling. It's a kind of "oh my gosh I get to read this before it's out in the shops!"- that's insane right?
You get a free book!
Again, what an amazing feeling, to receive a book in the post/on an e-reader and I didn't have to pay for it! I'm saving my money and if I don't like the book it doesn't feel like a waste of money but if it's brilliant then I'm going to be even more over the moon!
The opportunity to interview the author, conduct an interview/q&a for a blog tour!
I've only recently been taking part in blog tour's and I have a couple coming up later on this month. At first I was quite nervous in taking part but now that I've done a couple I feel better for doing them, I've only done review posts on them and had a guest post from the author. As my confidence grows I think I'll be ready to interview an author and host a q&a!
They help to build yourself a reputation and give your blog recognition!
We all want to do well with regards to sharing our thoughts on books with our blog posts, so when we post an ARC review of a book it draws in an audience who are thinking of buying the book. This may encourage or discourage them depending on your review. If a reader likes the way you review they may decide to trust your opinion and therefore you're gaining yourself a reputation of your own!
Publishers and authors may start to approach you themselves to review their books!
When I see an email pop-up in my inbox about taking part in a blog tour or a review request, I definitely get excited. It gives me a great feeling that these people are wanting me to read their books because they like the look of my blog and they think my reviews are good to read. Not always the case of course, they may just need to make up numbers. I don't like to think this way, I believe that they've obviously checked out my blog and they trust that I will enjoy the book they're going to send me.
I feel privileged that they've taken the time to contact me.
Posting your ARC review on social media can attract the attention of the author themselves to your blog!
This may not be a pro to some, but for me although it's only happened a few times. There's no greater feeling of an author checking out your review you've shared on Twitter for example and thanking you. I'm going to name drop here (cheeky!), but a few months ago I read The Drowning of Arthur Braxton by Caroline Smailes and after I posted the review on Twitter she followed back, retweeted and thanked me for the review. I definitely didn't expect that at all, for her to take the time and thank me or any of that at all. It was a lovely surprise and I feel very lucky indeed!
Linking onto this, after you've reviewed a few ARCs from the same publisher they're inclined to follow you on social media as a contact for future books they want you to review. Again, another great opportunity to keep contact with them, especially for me as someday I would love to work in publishing!
You can pre-order new books from the library- so why ask for an ARC?
I LOVE a library, so why neglect our libraries? We can pre-order new books and receive them once they're released and get the book completely finished. Win, win yes? If we're overdue from returning the book we only have to pay a small fee, perfect! I'm definitely guilty of returning books late, oopsie.
ARCs may be incomplete or parts of the book could change slightly!
This comes a bit daunting to me, I would hate for part of the book I enjoyed to not be in the finished copy. They're not likely to change anything major to the book but when you like a certain bit in a book it would be a shame for it to be scrapped for the finished copy.
Some are unedited so they might still have grammar and spelling mistakes!
For me this doesn't bother me so much, but I know for others this can be irritating and off-putting when trying to read. If anything I love going through a book and pinpointing grammar/spelling mistakes haha.
If there's no hype already around the book, would you be motivated to read the book?
I'm unsure on this one, I do like someone else's opinion on a book beforehand but when I read a synopsis and I'm confident I will like the book I am more than motivated to read the book straight away. At the end of the day, if I've requested a book then I obviously thought it sounded worthy of a request and something I will enjoy. Only a couple of ARCs I've requested have been not what I expected, but we can't like everything!
When I see a negative review of an ARC already, it does put me off a bit but it doesn't stop me from picking up the book I like to develop my own opinion.
Pressure from the publisher to read the book for review, may affect how much you enjoy the book because you feel rushed!
Personally, so far I haven't experienced any pressure from the publisher to read a book quickly. If I did feel that pressure I would like to think I would contact the publisher and tell them I'm not going to read the book in time. Honesty is the best policy and if you know you're not going to read it in time for review or a blog tour then tell them. The publisher may even send you a copy anyway for you to review when you have the time, they're more likely to do that if you tell them. Generally the only time I've had a time limit to review a book is for the blog tours, I do make sure I feel I have enough time to read the book before agreeing to the blog tour. At the end of the day the publisher wants someone who is reliable.
Independent authors who are trying to build a reputation, but you haven't enjoyed their book. Do you write an honest review or lie because you'll feel bad if you don't?
I haven't been contacted by many independent authors and I'm actually going to be taking part on a blog tour for an independent authors book in August, and I think if I felt that even though I thought I would like the book first of all if I ended up not liking it I would let the author know in advance. I think they would appreciate your honesty and even give some feedback on what would improve the book, this isn't being mean it's being constructive and will give them an idea of what they can do to improve!
So there we have it everyone, here are some of my thoughts. I'm quite balanced as to my views on ARCs, I love them and I'm slightly concerned about them too. I think that's okay though. I'm not put off requesting them, if anything they've opened so many doors for me as a blogger and someone who would someday love a job in publishing.
If you have views you want to share with me then join in with this discussion, I would love to hear your opinions on ARCs. Maybe you have different opinions and it will give myself something to think about too.