When I first started blogging, I was kind of desperate for ARCs and review requests (and the free review copies that usually come with them). It wasn’t so much that I was blogging for the sole purpose of trying to read books for free, but for the idea that tons of other bloggers had all these ARCs and review requests they were getting. I wanted to be like those bloggers – popular enough in the literary blogosphere that people want to ask me to read their book(s). However, it wasn’t long until I realized that was totally the wrong mentality to have while blogging.
Where would one get to read an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC)? How would one receive one? Those are two of the most popular questions new book bloggers want answers to. There are a ton of different answers to those questions, but I’m going to tell you right here and right now that those two questions don’t matter. Well, at least not as much as you think they do. The better question is why do you want one? Is it because you can’t wait for the book to come out? Or is it because you want to show it off to your friends and say you get a read a book before it get published? Or is it because you just want an ARC? If it’s the last two, you can forget it. The way to get ARCs is to display a genuine passion for what you are blogging about – books. And also, you should be aware that often times ARCs aren’t as great as they seem. Some are contain errors (because seriously, ARCs are basically like a draft of the final copy). Some are very different from the final product. Getting an ARC is not exactly what I would call a blogging milestone. Perhaps one such milestone would be when a major publisher asks you to read an ARC for them. THAT would be a milestone. Not the other way around.
Another funny story from when I first started blogging… Before I was kind of obsessed with the review requests I got. In the beginning I would almost take any that I got. Even if I didn’t think the synopsis was very interesting. Even if I didn’t really like the genre of the novel. BIG MISTAKE! Soon enough I was so accepting review requests left and right and of course I got bogged down with them. I no longer had time to read the books I actually wanted to read. No, instead I was trying to read all these books that most of my normal friends have never heard of (and probably will never hear of). Oh, and did I mention the pressure of reading all of them and REVIEWING all of them under a deadline. Yeah, not fun. Trust me, be picky when choosing review requests. They are not always a good thing.
Why you shouldn’t be obsessed with getting ARCs and review copies
Both ARCs and review requests are centered around reviews. You’re supposed to write a review for each ARC and review copy you receive. The problem is reviews are on their way out of the “popular” club. More and more people are becoming more and more interested in original content in the place of reviews. So getting ARCs and review requests might not even help the popularity of your blog. All they do is make you feel a bit better about yourself, which I guess is positive? The point is don’t be so focused on getting ARCs and review requests. Focus instead on creating good content for your blog. That is the best way to gain more readers (I think).
What do you think?
Are ARCs and review requests as important as people think?