Monday, July 16, 2012

Be Careful What You Ask For

When I was a newbie blogger one thing that really impressed me was reading reviews for books yet to be released. After asking a few blogger friends I learned about the fabulous service NetGalley offers.

NetGalley offers professional readers Advance Reading Copies (ARC) for review.

Oh wow! A place you can requests ARC's, and if approved receive them for free! Here we go. Step one, create account. Step two, browse and request books. Step three, read and post your raving review about the most recent, pre-released books.

Steps one and two were no problem. Step three is where I hit the snag. For the first year my blog was poorly designed (I did it myself and I'm not the most visually creative) and had around thirty followers. Coincidentally, I was denied all of my requests. Fine, whatever.  

Time went on, I got some experience under my belt,  a professional blog design and a few hundred readers found their way to my little piece of the cyber world. I was posting regularly and decided to give NetGalley another shot. I requested all the books that interested me.

I hit the lottery. I got approved for all my requests. Yippee! The next thing I knew I had six books for review. For many book bloggers that is a small number, but for me that was plenty. I still had my own ever growing "to be read" pile, a job and my own book to write. 

Book one started out okay. It was not nearly as good as I hoped but I soldiered on. When I hit page fifty I could not force myself to read one more page. But I felt I owed the publisher a review, after all they graciously gave me the copy for free. The bad thing was I did not like the book. I was left with two options. 

Option one: Finish the book and review it. Sounds easy enough. But life is short and I did not want to waste my time reading a book I did not like.

Option two: Stick in on the shelf and move on. I went with option two.  Then I posted on NetGalley and in place of my review I told the publisher I would not be reviewing their book, because I could not even finish it and did not want to write a complete review based on fifty pages. Moving on...

I tried reading two more books and did not like them. By the time I started book four, the story was awesome but so poorly formatted it was hard to follow. At that time I decided I would no longer request ARC's from NetGalley because I was not following through with anything I committed myself to. It also zapped some of the fun out of reading. In a way I felt like it turned reading into a job. I started my blog for entertainment. Not more work. NetGalley is a wonderful service and many bloggers love and appreciate it. Unfortunately it is not for me.

Some times I get a little jealous when I see reviews for certain upcoming releases. I just remind myself that I already tried that route. Plus waiting for certain books is exciting. I always have something to look forward to.  


  1. Bad formatting on netgalleys always annoy me!! I've never stopped reading because of it, though. I have stopped because I didn't like the book and couldn't finish it, though!

  2. I like to read a book that I know has a decent buzz about it. I admire you, Kriston, for giving it a go. I know it wouldn't work for me either. Thanks again for your candid remarks!

  3. For the most part I did the same thing. I started my blog, got signed up on Net Galley, requested books, then got so many review requests that I am swamped. It's a great program but I find I can't get the books because of being continuously behind in everything related to my book blog.


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