Why I Stopped Reviewing ARCs

ARC = Advanced Reading/Review Copy

Hi there and welcome to my first discussion post of 2022!

Today I’m talking about why I cut way back on reviewing ARCs in 2021. I only reviewed 3 ARCs in 2021, which was down from 10-20 over the few years preceding.

They say being a writer is like assigning yourself homework. So is being a content producer, even if it’s not professionally.

My content is posts for this blog, and primarily it’s book reviews. Book reviews are the whole reason I started blogging, so when I don’t produce up to date content people are interested in about upcoming or recent books, I felt like I was letting someone down. I you know, I’m a people pleaser. I constantly want to avoid letting people down. The pressure of providing new content is never-ending, and the best content on a book blog is reviews for books no one’s read yet, right?

I have over 600 books that I have already purchased, some from more than a decade ago, that I haven’t read yet. Every time I see an ARC of a book I wanted to read, I’d request it. It was shiny and new and ignited the part of my magpie brain that wanted shiny and new objects. And since I’m a book dragon, the thing my brain wanted most was books.

But that means the books I already owned kept getting shunted aside in favour of the shiny new ARCs.

I’m excited to read the books I own, otherwise I wouldn’t have them. But my stupid magpie brain kept going, “We need ALL the ARCS!”

And the fact that I get to read a book before it’s published, and I don’t have to pay for it? All I have to do is review it, which I would do anyway, even if it wasn’t an ARC… it make sense financially for me to request ARCs.

But it’s wasn’t good for my mental health, juggling deadlines and the pressure to read books that I was excited about from the blurb, but when I open it up the writing style doesn’t gel, or the characters annoy the ever loving crap out of me, or it’s just plain boring.

Reading is supposed to be my relaxing hobby, not a job.

I cut back on ARCs because I didn’t want my hobby to make me feel guilty anymore.

Have you also cut back on requesting ARCs or providing content for your blog? Let me know your struggle in the comments below! If you’re not a reviewer, let me know how you choose what to read! And if you’re not a reader, leave a comment saying hi!

Nemo
Nemo

About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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2 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Reviewing ARCs

  1. Christine

    I never really got into ARCs, but I did have a NetGalley account. I finally quit requesting ARCs because I realized that the thing that killed my desire to read a book was the feeling of obligation that came along with an ARC.

    1. Nemo

      Exactly! It’s that feeling of obligation that I want to eliminate because it comes with guilt for not doing something you feel like you committed to. It’s never going to go away because I’m a people pleaser.

      EVEN THOUGH people say you’re under no obligation to write a review, the expectation is there if you asked for an ARC.

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