Too Many ARCs Too Little Time

Posted May 18, 2017 by Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog in Discussions / 83 Comments

As book bloggers, we have the privilege of having access to advanced review copies of many books that are coming out. Whether you choose to request them at all is up to you. Also, you could request physical ARCs or like me prefer to use Netgalley and Edelweiss to request eARCs. When I first started I was scared to request too many. I wanted to be ahead with my reading on them and have reviews ready for publish date. Well that ship has sailed and I have fallen into the too many ARC trap and here are some thoughts on my experience with that.

First I acknowledge that too many ARCs is all my fault. I know this. I know all it takes is for me not to hit the request button. Not to sign up for the blog tours. Not to say yes to the publishers who have reached out. But guys, it’s so hard. I really want to read all the books. A lot of the books appeal to me so I click or say yes. Which brings me to my next point.

Bad timing on all the approvals. When I am going click happy on the request button I assume I am going to be declined a good amount of the time. And mostly I am right. But then there are those times all those old requested books, you know the ones you requested MONTHS ago, that you have given up on so you requested more books for that time period already, that get approved. On top of those other books you requested because you thought those weren’t going to be approved. It causes a pile up of massive proportions.

Unrequest button. Does anyone else wish this was a thing?? I mean sometimes I get click happy and then like a week or a month later I realize I could do without that book and it is still in the pending mode. I wish we could click unrequest and know that you don’t have to worry about being approved for something maybe we changed our mind on it. Get on that Netgalley and Edelweiss.

Prioritizing the approved books. So once I have all my approved books I add them to my spreadsheet by publish month, which is color coded thank you. Then I try and figure out what to read first. A lot of times that is just what I am most excited for. Sometimes it is something different. Other reasons I will pick up a book sooner than others is if I am on a blog tour, if it is a book that expires ( these are mostly from the Penguin First to Read program) or if it is a book that a publisher has reached out about and I accepted. But what about all the other books?? It is so hard to figure out what to read. That is made even harder by my next point.

Hear bad things about books I haven’t gotten too. Because I am so woefully behind on my reviews books I have the pleasure and ultimately burden of reading a lot of reviews for books I have but haven’t gotten to yet. Sometimes there is pretty much a consensus among the bloggers I follow that a book isn’t that great. Maybe not bad but not good. And there it is sitting on my Kindle and now I have no interest in picking it up. I know I should make up my own mind but it makes me shove it way down on the get to list.

Need to request less and focus on backlist. All of this leads me to what I should be doing. I should stop requesting for a while. I should focus on the ARCs I have as well as all the backlist books I own. My shelves and Kindle are so filled up with great books I never get to. I need to change that. But it is so hard guys!!!

Do you have a never ending pile of ARCs or do you stay away altogether? Can you resist the request button??If so tell me your secrets!!

Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

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83 responses to “Too Many ARCs Too Little Time

  1. Nia

    I’m so guilty of this but I’m starting to get things under control again after my latest NetGalley binge – my newfound technique:

    Refuse author review requests unless you REALLY want the book. Most of the time they haven’t handpicked you to be a match for their book anyway! (I recently had a review request for a young kids book…. I don’t have children).

    I’m trying not to get too fixated – this is supposed to be fun, not a job!

  2. My book blog is pretty new and I recieved my first ARC yesterday 🙂 I prefer to read hard copy, so that is what I want even for ARC’S. I have got two requests which the authors have sent email to me and I said no to one of them. It really depends on the book, I can’t read whatever. I need to feel that the book can maybe be something that I will enjoy 🙂

  3. All of these! Especially when you request something thinking I will never get approved for this and then BAM its on your shelf. Also I wish there was a way to delete those books that are still pending after months or ever years, I have a couple which I requested almost two years ago and they are still pending. Obviously I won’t get them but knowing they are there makes my OCD go crazy!
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  4. Sam

    The timing of approvals has left me with dumps of almost 30 DRCs at a time. I’ll go into EW or NG and request a few. My blog is small, so I don’t get every one I request. After a while of no approvals or rejections, I request more. This cycle repeats until I have a whole lotta ARCs at one time. I have been keeping up by resisting the urge to request any upcoming publications. I have only been requesting those in Oct and beyond at this point. I prioritize by publication date, but sometimes push one up the list if I am really dying to read it. I do prioritize reading one back list each week, and my audiobooks are always backlist (1 -2 per week). It’s a struggle when you want to read them all.
    Sam recently posted…Review: Aftermath – Clara KensieMy Profile

    • I am the same. I am a small blog and don’t get everyone either. I also have stopped requesting until the later months. Audiobooks are the best way for me to fit in backlist as well. I have started upgrading some of my kindle owned books with audio to fit them in!

  5. I have gotten a lot better with picking ARCs over the last few years, but yeah there some days when I’m just click-happy and click everything lol. June is shaping up to be that kind of month for me. I don’t blame anyone else though! And omg I hate those late approvals. They either should approve within the week, or or requests should get auto-deleted. It’s super frustrating.
    Good luck with all the arcs!!
    Nick recently posted…I Think I Had A Mini Heart-Attack: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary WeberMy Profile

  6. I am the same way with the request button on Netgalley! I just assume I will be declined but then I am approved!!! I have a big TBR pile now because I just cannot say no and I want to read all of the books. It is a good thing that I am not working anymore and I read fast! Great post Grace.
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  7. Yes to all of this. I am right there with you! I get so excited about new books and request them, but most of the time I can’t get to them immediately, if at all. Because I’m such a moody reader, by the time I’m approved (if I’m approved), I’ve moved on, and I’m not in the mood to read it anymore! It’s a vicious cycle. On top of seeing other not so great reviews – I will put them off too when that happens.

    I can totally relate to all of this!! And yet, I still can’t seem to stop myself from clicking the button. LOL.
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    • Oh I have a good amount sitting because I have no interest them anymore. I really did when I requested them though!! The not great reviews has like three sitting on my kindle right now that I have no desire to other with. But then I am screwed on my ratio. The struggle is real!!!

  8. OMG, yes to every single one of these! I get way too click happy on NetGalley. I just recently had a case of the “requested a bunch of books months ago and was just approved”, now I have SOOO many books to read for June. I’ve been trying to get them read in advance but I’m not sure if they are all going to happen. I really should put myself on a requesting freeze but them I see more books that I really want. lol. I’m pretty sure I will never catch up.
    Julie recently posted…Review: Hell & High Water by Charlie CochetMy Profile

  9. I rarely have ARCs – sometimes I wish I did, because I’d get to read new releases first, but mostly I’m ok with it because then I have more control over my reading schedule, I don’t feel like I HAVE to read anything. I’m not on Netgalley or Edelweiss, but I can see how an “unrequest” button would be a good idea! Sometimes things look good at first blush, but then after time you realize it might not be something you’re really into – like when I delete things from my TBR!
    Angela recently posted…“Waiting on” Wednesday: Standard DeviationMy Profile

  10. I think we’ve all fallen into the never ending ARC hole. I did this just recently. I requested a few books on Netgalley didn’t get approved, so requested a few more…then I got approved for the ALL at the same time. I was so annoyed ! Plus all these books were coming out during exam month so that was so much fun!! I’m being a lot more careful with my ARC’s now, I think I only have 4 to read at the minute!
    kirsty recently posted…Top 5 Wednesday || Summer ReadsMy Profile

  11. I’m glad I tend to stay on top of it. I request, but I haven’t gone crazy with it in a long time. I schedule my books on a calendar as soon as I get them, and I pretty much read them in order and stick to that schedule.

    With that said, one thing that gets me is hearing the bad reviews about a book. I have the same problem, once I see the bad reviews, or the dropping goodreads rating, I find that I lose interest in reading a book I’ve requested. It’s not a great thing to admit, but it’s the truth. Reviews are both great, and not so great…. hey, I think I just got an idea for a blog post! 😉
    Wendy recently posted…Baby Chick’s Pick | Five Favorite Supernatural EpisodesMy Profile

  12. This is the year that I took a big step back from ARCs. Sure, I still read and request them but I’m much more picky this year because I have suffered from overload and everything else mentioned in this post. I told myself at the end of last year that I had to do better, be more selective and for the most part, I’m sticking to that but it’s gonna be pretty slippery since there are so many books that I want to read now…but no. I have to stay strong.

    I so wish there was an un-request button. I want that about as much as I want half stars on Goodreads. Ha!

    Great post, Grace. You are not alone.
    Rowena recently posted…Review: Sense8, Season 2My Profile

  13. I’ve gotten myself under control with this (mostly). I rarely request anymore and I’m starting to get to my backlist of ARC’s that I’ve had for YEARS. *shame*

    Most of that came from going to BEA and ALA. I had finally gotten a handle on that but real life emergencies kept me from reading for a few months and I’m just now getting back on track.
    Karen recently posted…review: the truth about happily ever after by karole cozzoMy Profile

  14. OMG! This is me! I’m exactly the same way on all of it. I remember the first book I didn’t have reviewed before pub date. I was so stressed about it. Now if I have less than 100 books I haven’t gotten to before pub date I’m pretty happy. Like you I’m trying to request less though NetGalley can be so tempting. I’m ignoring the existence of Edelweiss and First to Read because I’m in enough trouble with NetGalley. I’m trying to only accept books from publishers or authors if I give them a review date because I tend to stick to those which has helped keep my backlist from growing but hasn’t helped me shrink it at all. It’s pure craziness!
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  15. Yes, this is totally my problem! I have almost completely quit going on NetGalley and Edelweiss just for that reason. I exercised amazing self-control for about a year and eliminated my TBR pile completely. I said no to everyone that contacted me. It just about killed me, but it was so worth it.

    Now, I’m on so many mailing lists that I have unrequested books show up in my mailbox all the time. Then, if I DO request anything or say yes to a publisher, it gets crazy really fast. Sometimes I feel like my TBR pile is going to eat me. I’m currently trying to whittle it down to a manageable size again.

  16. Um YES, why is there not an unrequest button!? That NEEDS to be a thing. I say that all the time when I am groaning about a pending approval (a LOT of times like you said, because I have heard crappy things about it, the worst). And speaking of, the long-term pending ones are my worst enemy too! Because more often than not, if they aren’t approved within a month or so, I kind of forget about them? So then when I look at my review book list, I’m like “oh, I have tons of room!” and then request a book, and then… yep, that last minute approval. Which is yay because approval, but then also WHY do you have to approve or deny the day before publication!? And I feel you with the backlist books. I have SO MANY that I honestly can’t imagine I’ll EVER get to at this point. It’s a real problem.
    Shannon recently posted…Review & Giveaway: Seeker by Veronica RossiMy Profile

    • I saw we get on the twitter and other Netgalley about an unrequest button. Or some actual real term for that lol. Yeah I have had a bunch this year approved on pub date. Like yeah I was not expecting those at this point and it screwed up my whole jam.

      • When I have requested a book from NG, start reading it, and find it doesn’t suit me, I write the publisher through NG (there’s a box for that) and tell them that even though I did ask for the book I decided not to finish or felt I could not give it a good review so would like to be excused from reading it. I’ve done that several times and it has not hurt my ratio. NG says you can do that so I have. I’m not sure if that helps you or not but it has saved me from time to time.

  17. Awesome post, Grace. I’m feeling the same now. As you might know, I’ve just joined Netgalley and was surprised that I got approved most of the books I requested. And I started to join blog tours too. Now, I’m starting to get overwhelmed. Which one I should read first? I’ve regretted some of my requests but they’ve already been sent to my kindles, and am hoping and praying that the one that haven’t been sent would not get approved. It is the same with blog tours. So, at the end of this month and the beginning of next month I have lots of books to review, which I’m still figuring out how to do it in such a short amount of time. HELP!!!
    Geybie’s Book Blog recently posted…Book Review – Claim & Protect (Haven Brotherhood #3) by Rhenna MorganMy Profile

  18. I’m so with you on the derequest (unrequest?) button on NG. And don’t get me started on half stars on GR. I couldn’t believe the blogger who said she only had four titles to read. I front think I’ve ever had so few!

  19. Ugh I SO wish there was an unrequest button. A few times I even got approved AFTER the release date– and I was like yeah—- no. Not that I can’t read stuff after the release date, but I have way less motivation to do so for Netgalley. I’d rather just get it at the library when I feel like reading it.
    Michelle recently posted…Let’s Talk About Book Boyfriends– and why it’s okay to have themMy Profile

  20. Unrequest 😀 oh man. I feel like you’re right, that should totally be a thing 😀

    Actually, I have just made the said spreadsheet. And it’s totally color coded 😀 where else would the fun be?? I also made this little (real-life, paper) checkbox list to mark when I’m done reading the ARCs and it’s been working like crazy this month 😀 (that said, I still have like 60-70 ARCs from last year, but I’m thinking of them on terms of “oh well, that ship has sailed, no point in rushing anymore”)

    But yeah, I have also tried requesting at best once (in one binge-sitting :D) once a month or two months. At least it’s bearable that way, cause if you keep going to NetGalley on a regular basis, well… You’re doomed 😀

    But, you know. I’m still immensely enjoying ARCs. It’s alright if I’m late. I’m glad I am able to get them at all 🙂
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  21. Lola

    Yes this! I recently have been trying to do better and review books around the release day, but then suddenly I get books from some ARC teams, a bunch of books I requested myself and then suddenly that’s a big pile of books to read right now. Like you said I know it’s my own fault, but there are so many books I really want to read and I am excited for all the books I get, but the pressure of all those books can still be difficult to deal with at times.

    When i request a book i usually hope to get accepted within a few weeks, I also have gotten accepted late a few times when I already forgot about the book and other times I keep hoping for weeks to get accepted and basically already slot it into my reading schedule and then I don’t. I just want to know as son as possible if I get accepted or not so I know that. An un-request button would be nice indeed.

    I also find it easier to stay excited for a book when I haven’t read too many reviews at times. Sometimes when I start hearing bad things about a book i haven’t read yet I get less enthusiastic for it. Great post! ARC’s are great, but a burden as well at times.
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #231My Profile

  22. I LOVE this! I can relate 100%. Since I only read 3 or 4 books a month I never seem to get to all the ARCs by their publish date. I used to have everything read 1 or 2 months in advance, but it isn’t possible anymore. Well, I could get them all read if I didn’t request so many! But that’s hard. I want to read all the books. I’m never caught up these days. =/ I need to stop requesting and get to back list books on my shelf and Kindle. Sometimes I think about all the books I want to read RIGHT NOW and get a little depressed. We need more hours in the day!
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  23. Oh, gosh, this is so me. So, so me. I, too, want to read all the books. Every time I get somewhat caught up on ARCs, I overdo things again. I, too, need to request fewer books and read what I own (and what’s in the library.) I’m getting burnt out. Maybe we all need a 12-step program for ARC addicts!

  24. Ah, the arc conundrum. My solution is that I’ve become incredibly picky about what I request. And I do mean picky. It’s actually rare that I request much anymore. When it finally dawned on me that I was ignoring my backlist – all the beautiful books on my shelves that I’d bought and that I *wanted* to read – because I was requesting books just because they sounded somewhat interesting… I immediately stopped. The whole being I want to read what I want to read. And I was spending my time (willingly) reading everything *but* what I really wanted to read. How crazy is that?! So unless a favorite author (and that list is very very small) has an arc available or there is a book I am truly excited to read, I just ignore the arcs and don’t even go looking for them. I read the books that are on my shelves or on my Kindle and it definitely makes me a happier reader. 🙂
    Tanya recently posted…The Sunday Post #56My Profile

  25. I totally agree with you Boo Boo! There should be an unrequest button. I want to get to my backlist books so bad. I admit that while I was in blogging limbo I started just reading whatever I wanted. It was nice, but then I missed talking about the books, so here I am back to getting newer relevant books. Ugh!
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  26. Kristi

    yes, yes, yes! I have fallen into the same trap. I like your spreadsheet idea, I need to start doing something to keep better track of what I’m reading and requesting. And I would add another item to your list – sometimes life gets busy (and in the way of reading!) and even our best laid reading plans go astray. It is hard to catch up! I have a ton of ARCs on my NetGalley that I’m going to try to tackle this summer. Better late than never?
    Kristi recently posted…TTT: Headed to the Beach! (Not really, but one can dream.)My Profile

  27. Ugh, an unrequest button would be grand! I use to get a bit to click happy but I’ve been working hard at really only requesting the ones I want! It’s tough when all the books come out at a similar time. And it’s crappy when you hear bad things about an ARC you haven’t read yet, it really throws me off my game. I’ve got one that I meant to start but haven’t because of bad reviews, sigh.

    Great discussion, Grace!
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