Monday Morning Check-in: Blogging for Books

Good Monday morning everyone.  I have a confession.  I’m typing this up on Saturday, scandalous I know.  I had some time to fill and a topic to discuss so I decided to schedule this post.

So have you heard?  Blogging for Books is closing.  I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.  I did write a Bookish Thoughts post here, about being done with the program as they never had books I was interested in.  I lied, or rather I couldn’t give up the temptation of being offered a physical book to review that I could keep.  Don’t get me wrong I love the digital arcs but it is nice to have a book I can put on my shelf when I’m done.  Especially if it is one I loved.  For instance, I received my copy of The Martian through Blogging For Books and I’ve read it like three times now.  So I’m sad the program is closing down but not surprised.

I imagine they felt the cost of sending the books was not worth the reviews they were getting.  After all, they are still offering digital arcs through Net Galley and their (crappy) First to Read program.  I totally don’t blame them but I have to say if perhaps you offered books that people were excited about then perhaps the quality of reviews would have been better.  I only participated in the program for three or four years but besides The Martian, I never found anything truly exciting in their offerings.  It always felt like books they were second or third tier titles.  Maybe I just wasn’t a popular enough blogger to be offered better titles though.  I also didn’t care for the hoops they made up jump through.  Proving our influence on social media through a Klout rating.  Maybe another reason the program failed.

I’m still active on Net Galley but have noticed that many of the publishers are not listing their big upcoming release titles for request anymore.  I have been offered widgets through email from a couple of publishers but when I go to search the title I can’t find where people can put in a request.  So perhaps all the publishers are simply becoming more exclusive in who they offer their books to.  Or maybe not.

Others have mentioned to me it is nice to not have an arc to review as then there aren’t 40 different blogs reviewing the same book.  I agree but I still find it fun to score an arc by an author I’m a huge fan of.

I know I’ve not been a blogger for all that long but I feel like the environment is changing.  I can only control this little corner of the internet however and no matter what happens as long as I am reading I will be posting my reviews.  You might have to deal with older titles but that isn’t such an awful thing.  After all, it might be a great way to find some great book that perhaps you missed when it first came out.

So what are your thoughts about Blogging for Books closing?  Will you miss them or have you already written them off ages ago?


Bookish Thoughts: I’m Done…

…with the Blogging for Books review program. Every time I’ve logged on to the site over the past year there is never any books I’m interested in reading.  Because of that, I wasn’t actively posting reviews and I noticed the books offered to me became more and more limited.  That might also have something to do with my Klout score being low due to my reduced social media activity.

Blogging for Books was nice in that they sent you a physical book. But when the selection to choose from is so crappy what is the point?  I’ve never been a fan of how they ran their system, limiting review copies to one book at a time and a wait time before having access to a new title after posting your review of course… (example: I receive my book in two days, read it, yet have to wait their arbitrary amount of time before I can post my review) They would also not offer the same books to every participant.  If your Klout score wasn’t up to their snuff then you only had access to their less popular titles to review.   I understand it is their site and their rules but I’m done jumping through their hoops. I also understand this will probably put me on a blacklist over on Net Galley as well.  That’s okay too.

I’m also drastically reducing my review requests on other sites like Edelweiss and Net Galley.  Edelweiss has never been a lucky place for me to request titles anyway and if it wasn’t for one publisher granting me access to a beloved author through that site I would be giving them up as well.  Net Galley, on the other hand, has been a great way for me to try different authors and score some ARCs in series I follow.  But I have noticed recently that there are fewer titles I’m interested in requesting from that site as well.  I continue to check their new listings every day but rarely do I put in a request anymore.    Of course, there are some months that I find a bunch of titles I’m interested in but that tends to be the exception.

I’ve also noticed that I’m not being offered review copies from Indie authors as often.  Which honestly is fine with me.  I’m going to say 90% of the titles offered to me are nothing even remotely similar to the types of books I read.  Either the authors are offering less, actually reading my review request rules and honoring them, or I’ve fallen out of favor.  Maybe it is a mix of all three.

So have any of you noticed a decline in review copies available or of interest through any of these sites?  Are you scaling back or ramping up your review requests?  Or do you avoid them altogether and just read what you want?

Monday Morning Check-In: I have been reading!

Good morning everyone.  It might not look like it due to the lack of reviews but I have been reading.  I’ve decided to make it policy for the blog that ARC reviews get published on the day of their release.  Makes it easier that way as some publishers don’t care and some want you to hold them until the week before and others not until release day.  So if I actually manage to get a book read on time you all won’t see the review until release day.  Next week I have either two or three reviews lined up to go live so keep your eyes open for them.

Not a lot of reading over the weekend.  Managed to dig up some of my potatoes and list some items on eBay as we have not posted anything new there for some time with major cleaning that took part in the beginning of the month. The house looked so nice I decided to try to keep it that way by taking an hour out of each day this weekend to work on tidying up.  While I’m comfortable with a bit of clutter in the house I’m kind of digging this clean home feeling.  Even managed to straighten up a cupboard and weed some dishes on Sunday!  Looks so much nicer.

Well, I need to continue with laundry and practice my Halloween makeup for next week.  I also hope to finish up a novella I started on Friday.  Have a great week, happy reading!

Monday Morning Check-In: Reading Freedom!

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday morning everyone!  This post is being written up on Saturday because I am really on the ball this week.  Or I had some free time and decided to fill it by being productive instead of wasting time on YouTube.  See I can be responsible.  Anyway, I’m coming off a busy week and my attitude has really taken a hit.  Just too much time around people and I am getting all sensitive.  Sensitive to noise, sensitive to being touched, sensitive to perceived insults or challenges to authority… Basically, I just need some time alone where I don’t have to do anything.  Tuesday is looking pretty good.

Anyway, I actually got more reading done this week than I thought I would.  I DNFed three of my review books as they just were not working for me which means I am ready to declare my reading independence!!! I have NO REVIEW  BOOKS! Not a single one.  No deadlines, no pressure, simple freedom to read whatever catches my fancy.   I’m not sure what to do with myself.  I have so many books that have piled up while I was working on reading books with a deadline that I’m not sure where to start.  I am thinking about taking the rest of the month off from review requests and just reading whatever the hell I want to!  It is so liberating.  Oh sure I am still checking Net Galley and Blogging for Books but nothing is catching my eye.  I’ve decided I’m not going to request a book just to have a review ARC for the blog.  If something I really want to read pops up or there is a title I was already going to read I will put in a request.  So often as bloggers we get obsessed with obtaining those ARCs that we push aside other books we have been wanting to read for them because there is a deadline attached.  How about every once in a while we just read something that interests us and who cares how old it is or that everyone else and their brother has already reviewed the book.  I haven’t.  Why shouldn’t my opinion be added to the mix?

So those are my reading plans for the rest of the month.  Trying to make a dent in the mountain of books on my to-read bookcase or Nook.  I’m thinking it will be a nice change of pace.  How about you?  Fellow bloggers do you ever get ARC fatigue?  Do you ever take a break from requesting books for review?  Or am I the only one….

Happy Reading ~Amy