I’m sure just about every semi-serious bookblogger has at least heard about them: ARCs (or Advanced Review Copies). I would never ever have guessed a few years ago, but the start of my book blog journey also ment I was slowly introduced to the whole world of ARCs. Free review copies in exchange for an honest review… It sounds like every booklover’s dream right? And to be honest, my heart still skips a beat every time I receive a new ARC. BUT. Even though I feel honored to be receiving books for free just because I share my rambles with the blogosphere afterwards, things are starting to get REALLY out of control. (Ok, they have been out of control for a long time haha). Right now, I basically feel like I’m buried under a huge pile of ARCs!
In January, I made a promise to myself to get my pending ARCs more organized and I’ve been trying to get back on track ever since. Here’s how:
Step 1: create a Excel spreadsheet with an ARC schedule.
I guess my Excel skills are pretty basic, but at least it gets the job done. 😉 Pending ARCs are separated by publish date and I start marking them as I read/review them… When I finish a whole month, I get to paint it black. Each ARC has the title, author, source, publish date or date I received it and a read/reviewed option. I’m still hopelessly behind but I’m slowly getting there!
Step 2: Read like a maniac!
Basically, this has been me since January. I’ve been trying to race through my ARCs ever since my promise to get back on track… In fact, out of the 41 books I’ve finished to this date a whopping 64% have been ARCs. I feel bad about neglecting all those other books I’ve been wanting to read, but with a little luck I should be able to squeeze in a few next month. Another bonus: this ARC reading madness means I’m finally back at a 82% Netgalley ratio!!! 😀 😀
Step 3: Join challenges to help your goal
There are probably a lot of similar challenges out there, but this is the one I signed up for: 2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge. It’s a fun challenge where you can set your own goals, and it’s definitely a great way to keep track of all those ARCs you read. I made my own list of ARCs as well since I wanted to include non-NG ARCs as well.
Step 4: Don’t request too many new titles at once
Most Netgalley users will probably be able to relate… It’s been less than a year since I signed up for Netgalley, but it has become my main source for ARCs ever since. Although I still love the surprise mails by both authors and publishers of course, and I’ve discovered another page (Reading Alley) as well. (I tried Edelweiss, but it’s just too complicated to use for now). Netgalley is both user friendly and offers a wide variety of books. Sure, as a non US/UK/Australia user not all of my requests are approved… But there are still more than enough titles available. And that’s the danger right there: there are so many books available, and it is REALLY easy to request a whole pile of books just like that. Which leads to the so-called ARC mountain and a lot of extra stress during the struggle to finish them all on time. The best advice is to try and refrain from requesting too many titles at a time, and only request those you would buy in the first place. But I know for a fact that is easier said than done. 😉
What is your experience with ARCs? And how do you control your ARC mountain?