The problem is, I don't think that works for my blog. First of all, I don't have any kind of established relationship with publishers -- I'm a small-timer and I'm totally cool with that. I've never emailed anyone to request a title, so there has never been a written commitment to post by a certain date. The ARCs I'm lucky enough to receive are mostly from giveaways and contests -- mainly GoodReads or Shelf Awareness ads. Most of the time (especially with that last one), I never quite know if I've been chosen to receive a title until it's on my doorstep. Sometimes that leads to an unexpected glut of books all coming out around the same time, even though I've only ever been chosen for a small percentage of these contests. I've had my share of book-blogger fails, mainly in the form of ARCs collecting dust long past when they should have been read and reviewed. I've tried to forgive myself my past (inexperienced) transgressions, even though I still feel guilty about them. I have committed to a more conscious effort to I give newly received ARCs greater priority (and to not enter so many contests!), but that still doesn't mean I am going to write pre-release reviews.
I want to help get the word out about great new books, but for my blog, pre-release reviews just don't seem to work. Even when I do review an ARC well before it's publication date, I prefer to post on the release day itself, at the very earliest. There is often so much pre-release buzz, I think sometimes bloggers forget the majority of people (myself included most of the time) need to actually wait until the publication date to get their hands on a new book. I'm not naming names, but take for example this tweet I just spotted by a book blogger:
"If you haven't already picked up ___ by ___ you're missing something in your life"It was referring to a book on my wishlist by an author I've read before, so I immediately thought I got my dates mixed up and missed the publication date. The tone of the tweet also made it sound like it had been out for a fair bit of time. Except it hasn't. The release date is not even here yet, but this makes it sound like it's already on the shelves. PET PEEVE. I'm not quite sure how that is doing the book any favors. Granted the release date is only a few days away, but still.
I am of the belief that if I'm going to pique someone's interest in a book, they should be able to get hold of it, if they so choose. Don't get me wrong, it's totally OK for other bloggers to write pre-release reviews, as long as the date issue is clear. I understand the desire (and the need) to get buzz going about new books beforehand and I know they are valuable contributions to the book community. I just hope that for a small timer like me, it's OK to sometimes not do things exactly the same way as everyone else.
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So fellow book bloggers, I'm curious -- how do you handle ARCs and when do you post reviews of brand new books?