Unlike the title might suggest, this is not an actual textbook guide. I have been blogging for over a year now and reading and reviewing ARCs for almost the entirety of it. I cannot call myself an expert but I can share my process with you and maybe you will find it helpful, you are also welcome to leave some of your own tips in the comment section below!
Lovely Kathy from Books&Munches gave me this idea, sharing the process of reading and reviewing ARCs. Thank you, Kathy!
Here are my answers for some of the most pertinent questions:
When do I read ARCs?
As you all know sometimes you might receive an ARC of a book that is coming out in a few days, weeks or sometimes even months. I know a lot of people try to read them closer to the release dates, but I get anxious when things start to pile up, so no matter when the ARC is due I try to get it read ASAP after receiving it.
I found out that is what works best for me and for my “control freakness”, keeping the pile of unread books to the minimum and not falling too far below that magical 80% on NetGalley.
When do I review and post?
Even more than a pile of unread books, I hate a pile of unwritten reviews. Nothing can be worse and I forbid myself from starting new books before the review is written and stored away! Basically I write my reviews either immediately after or within a week of finishing the book.
When it comes to posting my reviews there are two situations to consider:
- If I get my ARC from NetGalley, I post the short version of my review on their platform immediately after it’s written and edited;
- If I get my ARCs sent to me either by post or by e-mail from Publishers or Authors, I usually notify them by e-mail on the day the review is up on my blog and provide a direct link.
The reviews go up on my blog, on Amazon and on GoodReads on the day of book’s publication or within that week, if their publication day clashes with some other posts I have already pre-scheduled for that particular day.
What do I do when a couple of books are released on the same day?
Personally, I don’t like posting more than once per day. I don’t mind breaking my schedule a little bit and post everyday when it’s needed, but always maximum one post per day.
So what do I do where are multiple books coming out on the same day?
This happens more often than you can imagine. In May, for example, 3 books I reviewed were published on the first Tuesday of the month!
Instead of posting everything at once, I try to spread these reviews throughout the week and hopefully insert some different posts here and there to mix it up.
What do I do with ARC’s DNF or low rating?
This can be a sensitive matter, but let’s talk about it anyway!
There were many many ARCs I rated 3 and lower. There were many ARCs I absolutely hated. So how do I deal with them?
I, as many other people, don’t like to be negative on my blog, but I always give my honest opinion no matter what. These are some of the rules I set up for myself:
- stay behind your opinion, even if it’s not a positive one;
- provide constructive criticism;
- always have in mind that everyone’s opinion is different, and a book you detested might be loved by someone else. Respect that!
- there is no point for trash talk, this is your blog and only you know what you want people to find here;
- don’t be rude!
However, sometimes we might dislike a book to a point of not wanting to talk about it at all. That also happened to me a couple of times. Or when we DNF a book for all bad reasons. What to do then?!
In these cases, I usually post a small feedback on NetGalley with the reasons why I did not finish reading the book or send the same feedback to Publishers or Authors and excuse myself from publishing a full review on my blog.
Afterall, my first and most important priority is to make sure that I am truee to, and proud of everything that goes up on my blog.
These were all the more common situations I could think of. Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments down below! How do you deal with all of these as a blogger, reviewer or reader?