This was one of those weeks. I think it was partially so icky because of the extreme high from the read-a-thon (did you see how excited I was at 6:00 am??) that my mood had no where to go but down. Top it off with a busy week at work and my husband being sick with whoknowswhat. I took a half day on Friday so that I could come home and unwind for a bit, but when I got home I found that my dog had been sick all over the house. My half day turned into a trip to the vet day. Certainly not my idea of unwinding.
I had another little source of disappointment this week that has sparked two questions--one about ARCs and another about what works well on your (my) blog. I'll save the later part, what works well, for next week's Salon so that this post doesn't start to get really unruly--especially as I'm sure I'll be doing my fair share of rambling.
ARCs, Author Interviews, Guest Posts
Let me preface this conversation by first saying that I am NOT trying to hurt anyone's feelings or saying that seeking out/accepting ARCs is a bad thing. I'm not singling anyone out and I hope I don't offend anyone with this conversation. As for me, my email is not being beaten down with offers of ARCs. I've tried not to dwell on the fact that I don't receive a million offers, and I really am ok with that. I'm ok with saying no to a book that doesn't interest me. I stopped seeking out ARCs last December when I realized that my intake was getting a little over the top, although I only took in about 16 books last year from authors, publishers, and publicists. I still have a handful of those books sitting on my shelf to be read, which is why I deleted my email subscription to Shelf Awareness. There are just so many other books on my shelf that I want to read as well (I'll talk about this more next week with what works well).
I made my first exception this year when I was approached about participating in a TLC Blog Tour for Tea and Other Ayama Tales. The book sounded like it was right up my alley. And it was! I was excited and worked really hard on my review. I wanted to do a good job for the author and for the ladies at TLC, and I have to admit that I was disappointed at the relative lack of interest. This got me to thinking about ARCs and author interviews and guest posts. The connection? Lately I don't pay as much attention to these types of posts and I'm wondering how alone I am in my lack of interest.
How do you feel about posts about ARCs, author interviews, and guest posts?
Do you read them all? Are there getting to be too many or would you like to see more? If X amount of people are reading the same book and interviewing the same author, do you read all of those posts? Do you find guest posts interesting? Are you leery of reviewers who are always giving praise to every book they receive (I think this topic has been well covered this week and we don't really need to go there). Do you enter all the giveaways in hopes that you'll get a shiny new book in the mail? Are you a new blogger trying to figure out how you can get your hands on ARCs as well?
Who are the publishers really trying to reach by sending out their books to bloggers for review? Are they trying to reach US (ie book bloggers) or do they just want a review out there so that if someone else Googles their book several reviews will pop up? For those of you speaking on panels in the next few months, I'd LOVE to know why publishers are reaching out to bloggers and what they hope to accomplish by sending us books. I know that my personal TBR has increased because of it, but certainly we are not the end of the line, right? Certainly these ARCs are not just for OUR benefit? I'd love to hear your take.
Like I said, this is not meant to be a stab at anyone who reads a lot of ARCs. There is certainly an audience for it as you can tell by the number of comments some of these reviews receive. For me, I sometimes miss the blogosphere before the flood of ARCs--I miss seeing reviews for the books I've heard of or the books I have on my shelf, and I'll be honest in saying that I gravitate towards the bloggers who are still reading those types of books. Yes, I know I need to get with the program and accept that the blogosphere is an ever evolving world. And I think it should be. And the attention that bloggers are getting from publishers and authors is really exciting. We are valid and our opinions do matter. But I'm curious about your opinions on ARCs, etc.--any and all.