wonder wednesday

Wonder Wednesday: The blogging community

Hello lovely readers! I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday! Today I was wondering how you participate in the blogging community particularly the book blogging community. Do you participate in reading challenges, do you do lots of blog hopping, or are you someone who prefers to just read a blog or two in your spare time? Do you participate in the community in a way I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to hear your responses!

wonder wednesday

Wonder Wednesday: Where do you get your books?

Hello lovely readers and happy Wednesday! Today, I’ve been wondering where everyone finds new books that they want to read. Do you find all of your book while browsing the shelves of Barnes&Noble, searching for highly rated books of Amazon, through friend recommendations only, or something different?

I can’t wait to here all the places that you find new and great books.

Advice

Beginning Book Bloggers- ARC 101

Hello lovely readers, I hope the day is treating you well! Today I want to talk about ARCs. ARC stands for advance readers copies. This is probably one of the best perks outside of the book community itself to book blogging. It is where you get free copies of a book with the understanding that on some platform you will leave a review. As a lover of books this is amazing! However, it’s also really easy to overwhelm yourself if you’re not careful. In this post I’m going to discuss general ARCs stuff and also some precautions about what I call the ARC trap.

Where can you get ARCs?

NetGalley– my favorite site. Full of professional publishers

Edelweiss+ – also full of professional publishers. Haven’t personally used.

BookSends ARC – sends you an e-mail with ARCs you can choose. Very small selection. The deadline to read is usually very short compared to other sites.

Reading Deals – the first place I ever got an ARC. They’re very clear on book review expectations and etiquette which was nice, but their selection isn’t very good.

I’m sure there are even more than this, but these are the ones I’ve either heard of or used myself. You can also always personally ask the publishing company or author for an ARC though with no following and limited experience you probably won’t have much luck.

How do I get approved for ARCs?

This is the golden question. For smaller companies that handout ARCs like BookSends and Reading Deals anything you request you can usually receive no problem. Fairly straight forward. I’m not really familiar with Edelweiss+ so honestly I can’t really speak for that website, but I’ve heard a lot of people use it so I wanted to include it. NetGalley is where I get all my best ARCs from. It’s a great site! Now, NetGalley is hub for a variety of publishers that receive your requests and then either approve or deny them. If you look at the publisher’s preferences you will see that almost every publisher has the right to approve or deny your request basically just because they want to. However, there are some things you can do to really improve your chances. 1. You need a platform. I’ve been approved when all I had were Amazon and Goodreads accounts, but it’s not the best. A platform such as a blog really tells the publishers that you have a following and that you’re taking this seriously. You don’t even need a large following so don’t worry about having tons of followers! 2. You need to keep an eye on your feedback ratio. Your feedback ratio is the number of books you’ve given reviews for compared to the number of ARCs you’ve received. Some high profile bloggers may be able to get away with low ratios, but starting out I’ve found a low feedback ratio tends to be why I get denied a book.

Beware the ARC Trap

What is the ARC trap you ask? It’s when you requested lots of ARCs, think you didn’t get approved for any of them, and so request more only to later get approved for all of them and then you have six or more ARCs and limited time to read everything. Plus, your feedback ratio is now horrible. Now, if you’re thinking that’s oddly specific then you’d be correct. This has happened to me multiple times and I don’t want it to happen to you. It puts you under a lot of pressure that you don’t necessarily need or want to be under. Publishers are very busy and probably receive hundreds if not thousands of requests for books every day. It can take a publisher anywhere from a couple days to a month to see your ARC request. I didn’t realize this at first at it put me under a lot of pressure to quickly read a lot of books that I didn’t necessarily have time to read. I would encourage you if you’re just starting out as a reviewer to only request one or two books at a time. Most publishers are kind enough to e-mail you that they have denied your request for their ARC so you should usually know if the publisher has seen your request or not.

ARC Etiquette

So, I would say there’s definitely some ARC etiquette I would personally recommend that bloggers/reviewers follow. If you are getting a free ARC it’s important to remember that the author and publisher are giving you a gift. They worked very hard on it and probably put in a lot of love. What does that mean for you? You need to actually take the time to read the book. Don’t skim it, don’t give up on it even if you don’t like it. Read it. Now, there of course can be an occasional exception. I have DNF-ed one ARC, but that should be a rare occurrence. Once you’ve finished it, give a thought out review. It is 100% okay to give an ARC a bad review. Honesty is the best policy my friends and if you’re not being honest then you’re not helping anyone. But, if you’re going to give a single star to a book then there needs to be a reason just like if you gave it five stars. This is part of why you were given the ARC in the first place. Honor that responsibility.

Transparency is also important. If you were given an ARC it’s important to make sure you let readers know you received it as a free ARC. This has personally never changed how I feel about someone giving a review for a book, but again I think honesty is the best policy and letting readers know is a good trust builder.


Does that answer all your ARC questions? Were there things I didn’t cover? Let me know what you think!

wonder wednesday

Wonder Wednesday: Enjoyable Blogs

Happy Wednesday everyone! This week I’ve been wondering what attracts you to a blog? Is it the layout that appeals to you? Is it the content, and if so, what content do you really enjoy? Do you prefer blogs to have a set update schedule or are you okay with people updating whenever? Like always I’ve been skimming through blogs though not as much as I usually do and I see some blogs with okay content with thousands of followers vs bloggers who have content I really enjoy with only a couple hundred. Is it a time spent blogging? The longer you blog the more followers you inevitably you get? I would love to know your thoughts not only to help my own blog, but so that others can read and improve their own blogs.

Have a lovely day and I look forward to hearing from you!

wonder wednesday

Wonder Wednesday: Judging a book by its cover?

Hello lovely readers! I hope this Wednesday is treating you well! This Wednesday I’ve been wondering about books and their covers. There is a saying that says, “you should never judge a book by its cover”. Its an excellent analogy about how you shouldn’t judge people based on what they look like, but I have a hard time applying this to books. Cover art to me is like the first love letter to a book that you see and if it isn’t well done then I wonder at the time and effort put into the book that is behind it. Maybe that’s fair, maybe it isn’t. What I’d like to know: do you judge a book by its cover? And if you do, what most appeals to you on a book cover? If you don’t then how do you determine which book to buy?

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Book Haul

My February Book Haul

Hello lovely readers! I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying all your books. I continue to have a book problem. Look at all these books. I hope some of these books catch your interest! Each of the titles contains a Goodreads link so if you want more of a summary just click the title.

My Physical Copies

On the Come Up A female rapper dealing with some drama? It may sound trivial, but if you know anything about Angie Thomas then you know there’s something deeper here.

King of Scars Back to the Grishaverse. I’ll admit so far I’ve only read the first book in the original series, but I really enjoyed it. Battling the darkness that comes with immense power? I think that’s really interesting.

The Fever King Noam and Dara are exceptional. If you want a diverse book with deep characters and political messages then this is the perfect book for you.

The Wicker King A teen who think he’s in a fantasy world who may actually just be battling mental illness? I’m so excited to read this!!!!!

Black Leopard, Red Wolf I’m interested in this book. A shifter who uses his skills to track a young boy. There’s been a lot of hype about this book.

The Wolf in the Whale I love Jordanna Max Brodsky’s work and I’m super excited about reading the intertwining of Inuit and viking mythology.

I was Anatasia The Romanov family has always been a really interesting point of history to me. I’m excited to read this new version of Anatasia.

Pachinko I love historical East Asia. I haven’t gotten the opportunity to read much in that genre so I’m excited to read this. This book seems like it’s going to go deeply into the power and consequences of family


My Netgalley eARCs

I’m super excited about all four of these books!

The Bird King a magic map and fantasy, historical fiction? I’m really jazzed about this! I’m half way through and this is a beautiful book. It’s slower paced, but I find it doesn’t bother me at all.

Gods of Jade and Shadow a story about a death god and a girl? Color me intrigued

Spin the Dawn a Mulan-like story? Sold!

Bursts of Fire addiction to Heaven? Three sisters? Interesting


Have you read any of these books? Are any of these books on your TBR?

wonder wednesday

Wonder Wednesday: To leave a bad review or no?

Hello lovely readers! This Wednesday I’ve been wondering about bad reviews. As a lover and reviewer of books there have been books out there that I’ve hated. Sometimes it’s the poor characterization or world building, but other times I just didn’t really enjoy the book even though it was really well written. So, I’ve been wondering. Should book bloggers post their bad reviews? I ask, because though I’ve seen an occasional less than positive review on a book blog on the majority I’ve seen 4+ ratings. This could be, because like me other bloggers only read books that they feel that they’re really interested in. But, I’ve also heard murmurs of bad reviews being bad for your blog. So, I’d like to know what you think? Do you think it’s good/okay to post a bad review for a book on your blog and why?