When I first discovered sites like NetGalley, I was overjoyed. The chance to get ARCs from publishers without having to do the nerve-wracking thing of approaching them and asking and risking being ignored or turned down because my blog didn’t get enough hits. The chance to pick and choose from a selection of books that I knew very well I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on otherwise, especially since because when I first discovered NetGalley, I was unemployed and nearly all my spare money went on things like groceries and debt. I had a chance! I could make my blog awesome with all these books.
So I went, erm, a little nuts. If it looked like the sort of thing that even vaguely involved something I might enjoy, I requested it. Never mind that I found myself requesting paranormal romance novels from publishers who deal more on the romance side of thing when I tend to prefer my romance as a side plot, I had free books, baby! I had the chance! And I was pretty indiscriminate in my choices.
And now, I’m paying for it. Oh man, am I ever paying for it!
What came of that is not so much the chance to read a ton of awesome books (though that option is still there and is still pretty darn cool), but a huge backlog of books that I’d have to spend probably a solid month of reading in order to get through. Assuming I was in the mood for half of what I read simply because I’d requested it. I simply don’t have that time. Some of those books have expiration dates, too, which I’d ignored because I thought, “Oh, I’m sure I can get to reading this on time, ooh, look at that book!”
Not only that, but now I’m actually getting turned down when I request new books via NetGalley. And I’m pretty sure it’s not because I’m requesting a book from a genre the publisher sees I don’t read much of. I’m pretty sure it’s because I have an insane backlog that’s probably 10 times the legnth of the books I’ve actually read and reviewed through the site. Yeah, I’m not exactly proud of myself for that. So now I’m back where I started, getting turned down for different reasons, because I didn’t curb myself and show restraint when I had the chance.
I’m on ARC overload. Too many books, too little time. And there are more books coming in all the time that I want my chance at. NetGalley just partnered with Angry Robot, and I’m afraid to put in any requests for their stuff in case they see my backlog and I sour my relationship with them from the start.
I guess this is a prime example of, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”
I’m making a greater effort to get through a few of those books on my backlog now. I’ve got one which is almost done, and which I should be able to review very shortly. I started another today. There’s one which I also bought a hard copy of, which will make reading it at work easier (since I’m no longer alowed to bring in my Kindle there), and I can add the review to NetGalley even if I didn’t read the e-book version. I’m hoping that by the end of April I can have pruned that backlog by at least 5 books, and decline a few of them that I requested that I know I shouldn’t have requested in the first place.
How about any of you? Experienced an overload of ARCs yet? If you haven’t, let me say that I don’t recomment it. It pays to be a little more discriminating than I was. At least I learnt that lesson before it was too late!