Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How I Feel About Review Copies

I guess I should say now that the title isn't exactly accurate. If you were wondering, I love review copies. I created my Netgalley account alongside my blog, filling in information and learning as I went. I looked carefully at each publishers approval preferences and sighed at the realization that six followers, after all, was not a 'significant following.'

But I don't know any reader who doesn't like the idea of getting free books - the chance of getting the ones they've been waiting for all year - early.

I've planned to talk about something that's probably quite a bit more disagreeable: Readers requesting review copies, and how they read and review them.

Even before I began blogging, I would see people complain because they had so many review copies to read through. I would see them skip over books - often ones that were unpopular anyway - or read them months after their release.

The problem is, authors and publishers give away review copies in return for reviews. If they give them away early, chances are they want the review published a bit early. They want their books talked about.

I try very hard not to look at review copies as free books, because they're not. Once you start thinking that way, it's easy to brush them aside for books you would rather read. But the fact is, your review is your payment. You reading and talking about the book is payment for that free book you received.

It is not the author or publisher's fault if you requested too many review copies that month. It is not their fault if you requested a book you weren't particularly interested in or no longer have the interest to read.

Things happen, and sometimes you just absolutely don't have time for a book - so you read it late. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, when it doesn't happen all of the time. I also realize that sometimes those with a larger audience get swamped with review copies they never even requested - and that's a different thing, too.

But I don't understand requesting more and more books, while feeling overwhelmed or simply skipping over previous requests. I feel like it goes against everything review copies are made for.

I feel like most bloggers are here to talk about books, and to promote them - and I think we should stick to that. We should think about the books we request, because I know we've all been to that place where we wonder why we ever wanted to read that book. But while we're there, we should also pick that book up and give it a chance.

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