Friday, January 15, 2016

How in The World Do You Resist Requesting ARCs?

Do you want to cut back on requesting? Do you want to focus more on your backlist books? I've been slowing my requesting by a LOT these past few months because I feel like focusing more on the mountain of books that I've bought but haven't read yet. It's been pretty successful, so I am going to share what has been helping me!

Note: This post is based mostly on Netgalley and Edelweiss requesting (and autoapprovals).
Who My Advice Is For
I don't like to give blanket advice because I know situations vary and it's not applicable for everyone, so here are the people I'm gearing this post towards:
  • Bloggers that really want to either stop/pull back on/take a break from requesting and reviewing ARCs for whatever reason. It could be stress or time or whatever else.
  • Bloggers that want to experiment and see how well they could resist books--you know, just for the fun of it.
    • This is the main reason I started actively resisting. I really wanted to see how I would do! I was curious about my own behavior.
  • Bloggers who think they may cut back on requesting in the near future and are curious about tips.
Who I DON'T recommend my advice for:

  • Bloggers that oftentimes say they should be resisting more, but are mostly joking about it. If you are doing well with ARCs and don't feel a big need to cut back, then I recommend you just keep doing what you're doing.
  • Bloggers that just started requesting. I personally feel mostly positively about ARCs and I highly recommend getting into them for awhile and seeing how the process is like. It can help you with organization, time management, emails, stress management, and quite a few other things. It can also teach you a lot about yourself. (Just don't blog for the sake of reviewing them, okay? You'll get so much more out of the whole blogging experience if ARCs aren't the reason you're blogging.)
How I Resist Harper Titles
A bunch of bloggers have an autoapproval for HarperCollin's YA books on Edelweiss. There's a lot of joking among us about how hard it is to resist the books and how many books we get from there. This is where I started experimenting with requesting! I wanted to see if a new approach would work and the Harper books seemed like the perfect place to start since they're so tempting. These steps are mostly for anyone with an autoapproval, but who knows? You can probably adapt them to fit requesting in general.

Step 1: Look, but don't download (unless you intend to read it soon)

Along with looking, I've found it really helpful to list the titles I'm at least a little interested in as if I had actually downloaded them. This helps a lot if you keep a spreadsheet for your review TBR, but you can just keep a list on paper or in a digital notepad (whatever works for you). I usually wait months to read books I download off EW anyway, so I figured that I don't need to be in a rush to download them. (Plus, what if I change my mind later? I've done that. MANY times.)

Step 2: Go back a couple months later to pick up a few of my most wanted titles

I'm adding this because my first attempt at this process wasn't 100% successful, which I think is a good thing because it can feel good to splurge.

Step 3: At the start of a new month, look at the books releasing that month to see if there's any you need to read

Most Harper titles stay available until they release, so you can download them pretty close to the publication date. I started this step this month and ended up picking a title that I wouldn't have downloaded when it was first uploaded over one that immediately jumped out at me five months ago.

Wait, What About Requesting?
I don't have steps, but I do have some tips! 

Challenge yourself to add a smaller number of ARCs to your review TBR than the number of books you read (or DNF) that month.

If monthly goals work for you often, I definitely recommend making this your goal. I can tell you that I feel accomplished whenever I can say that I reached this goal in my monthly recaps.

Think of what the rest of your TBR looks like.

This is what I've been doing often lately and it's been really successful. I have a giant TBR and there's sooooooooooo many books I want to read soon. And I can't get to them all this year. When I see a great looking book on Netgalley or Edelweiss, I stop and think. Do I need to read that book sooner than the other ones that I currently have?

Don't look at your stats.

I will not request books with outdated stats, even if they don't change that much. I need my numbers to be as accurate as possible when my request is being considered, or else I feel dishonest. So, I decided to hold off on looking at my stats for awhile (follower counts/pageviews/etc.) and now my current numbers are not exact (though I don't believe they've changed much). My need to have as accurate stats as possible in my profile outweighs my need to request books, and it's stopped me from hitting that request button on Edelweiss and Netgalley for almost two months now.

Note: this may only work if you're reluctant to request with stats that aren't exact, but also if you feel like your numbers don't change very much. (If you feel that your numbers have changed a lot since you last checked them, then I recommend updating your profile to reflect that.)

Remind yourself that the book will release.

You'll have to wait longer to read it, but you will be able to read it.

Think of why you want to read an ARC of the book.

This could be as simple as the fact that you are just too excited for the book to wait. But you can also think of how you can help promote the book by getting the ARC and by reading it early. Are you on a blog tour? Do you want to feature the author? Do you want to help spread the word about the book?

Here's the question I've been asking myself: do I want to make sure I post my review sooner rather than later so that I can help promote the book close to its release date? This question applies more to books that are getting less early reviews (and are less hyped) than the books everyone wants to read.
What Do You Think?
Do you have any advice for resisting review copies that I didn't mention? Are any of these tips things you've tried?

If you have any questions, just let me know!☺

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