Me vs. Netgalley: The week ahead in REVIEWS

books

I have read a number of rants recently on people who are taking advantage of the system, accepting review requests or requesting books from Netgalley and not fulfilling their duties. All aforementioned authors and bloggers were just plain mad over the nerve of the average blogger when they took on a book and then a post appeared sometime later saying that life had popped up and stopped them from reading or reviewing. I have to admit they most definitely had a point.

In recent weeks our iPad, my laptop and phone all ceased to exist in quick succession. Our internet, as we live in the country (oh there’s a post coming on this one, believe me;)) started to only appear for minutes at a time, generally choosing a vital part of the day to cut me off from the world. My husband, who had been off work for some time with health issues, returned, taking HIS laptop with him then running programs by night so I couldn’t get near it. I lost a bit of my zest reading, blogging and writing-wise, have had kids wake up nightly, and also returned to writing (a good thing!). There is a chance that this period of time has had enough physical interruptions to justify my absence from my blog and indeed from the Netgalley books I took on, but actually I don’t really think so.

If I had a book on Netgalley I’m pretty sure seeing the requests appear for my book would get me very excited as to the buzz that was going to be created for my work, thus telling me that my (or my publisher’s) substantial fee was justified. I am telling you this as an author myself, one who got two thousand free downloads of her book which resulted in just two reviews on Amazon. So in the same breath that I’m telling you that not only am I back writing and motivated again on the creative front (the Wexford Literary festival led by the great Carmel Harrington and including authors such as Hazel Gaynor, Siobhan Davis and Catherine Ryan Howard and a refreshing Frankie Gaffney and Jax Miller and industry experts such as Margaret Madden and Mary McCauley was my tonic -yay!!), the breath that should be telling you I’m slowing down on the blogging front, I’m actually going to tell you instead that I am going to get going on clearing my Netgalley backlog and will review every book I ever requested. Because they’re worth it.

Do you ever struggle with commitments to reviewing?Does the word ‘tbr’ make you shudder? Let me know in the comments!

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14 thoughts on “Me vs. Netgalley: The week ahead in REVIEWS

  1. I know how you feel, I go through stages too! I’m at a stage at the moment where I’ve got a towering pile of books from Netgalley to get through and it’s making me feel a bit weary! Do you always try and get them reviewed by their release date? I used to but recently are working a few months behind! Rubbish 😦 I’ll always review the ones I get on Netgalley though, even if it takes a while!

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    • I actually used to try to post on their release date but then one went, then another, then next thing I know I’ve a stack that are weeks out, it’s terrible. The worst thing was I was still tempted to request so I’m just going to stop looking at them as a list, and go at them one by one and get them out, which isn’t that hard because I wouldn’t have requested them if I didn’t like the look of them or if I hadn’t been a fan of the author!

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      • I’m exactly the same! I bet everyone is really- surely it’s almost impossible to not request more books when they’re authors you love! It does help that they’re all books you’re likely to love as you wouldn’t have requested them otherwise, hence why most of my reviews end up being positive! 🙂

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  2. That’s it, I suppose that’s the problem, put people in a place where their favourite things are in abundance and say ‘off you go, pick some!’ It was never going to be straightforward;)

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  3. The most books I’ve had on my NetGalley shelf at one time was 6 and I wouldn’t want more than that or it would start to stress me out! And to be honest that only happened because I didn’t dream I’d get approved for all the books I requested!

    Once I’ve cleared my shelf of the 4 books which are there at the moment, I don’t think I’ll be requesting anything for a while. I have some writing to do too 🙂

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    • At my worst I was at 14 and then I got a rejection because of my abysmal rating so it copped me on and made me get started into the big clear out! I’ll be out for a little while after too unless a magical creature grants me those few extra hours I’ve been craving;)

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  4. When I first started using netgalley it was so easy to get carried away. I’ve now learnt from this and have invested in a Filofax for my reviews. I check my diary before requesting if I can’t commit to reading a book by the pub date then I don’t request. Just this last week I wanted a book that was still live on netgalley but I knew I couldn’t read in time so I pre-ordered the book on amazon instead. I believe there should be a limit of requests.

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    • That is so controlled of you! The posts I read definitely humbled me and made me blush and have forced me to work through all of them (without getting stressed out!) If you mean a limit on the number of requests allowed to be taken on by the reviewer then yes, there most definitely should be, but then I suppose there’s the thing that some people read faster than others so a number could be difficult?

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      • It’s took me a while to get controlled! I still have 11 tbr in netgalley and I would prefer not to request anymore till some of these are read. I do think a limit of number of requests each week would be a good idea, maybe max 5/7 a week? Not sure how the other sites work as I daren’t go on them lol x

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  5. That’s a noble intention, and I wish you luck. Sometimes I feel the TBR pile is a chore and takes the pleasure out of reading, but that’s because of volume and not because of quality, so no fault but my own. I wish I could get a handle on it, but like yourself, it’s so hard sometimes to read and write at the same time.

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    • It does sometimes (take the pleasure out) and all the while you have to work to remain balanced and impartial on the reviewing front and then you get a gem and all is right with the world again! For a while I had a handle on the reading/writing front- I had designated nights for each, and for blogging, but it had to be short lived because you can’t ignore your mind when it starts spewing ideas at you (and always the ones that conflict with that day’s schedule). It’s funny because all the book review blogs out there talk about slumps and breaks and tumbling tbrs (I’ve started to hate that word because it does remind you of a chore) and the like and you know every bookish person is going through the EXACT same thing and it’ll pass and they’ll get back on a roll again:)

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      • I suppose it’s like any mountain. You have to start it to get to the top… but well done you. You’re a woman with a damn good plan which is even gooder because it’s got contingency!

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