self restraintI’ve been wanting to write this post for a while but I never found the time and well, now I have some. I was mainly inspired when I posted this snapshot on twitter:


finally finished reading all of my eARCs on Netgalley and I was so damn proud of myself. I then received a lot of tweets saying ‘HOW’ and ‘WHAT’ and ‘TEACH ME YOUR WAYS’

Well, ask and you shall receive!

I’ve been blogging for about 11 months (blogoversary things are being planned though!) and I haven’t gone crazy with all my requesting. Be warned, this is a personal post and probably won’t help you as much as I think it probably should. It’s just me ranting so, be prepared.

I think one part of this is seeing other bloggers. I joined the book blogging community late in the game and I saw that many bloggers were having issues keeping up with books. I didn’t want to end up not reading all the books I had to, I wanted to be responsible and so, I didn’t end up requesting a lot. I also had my own personal books that I bought and I have an awesome local library, I didn’t feel the need to request things. Also, I just wanted to share my love for books, even if they weren’t the newest.

As I started using Twitter, I noticed that a lot of bloggers get physical ARCs and I will admit, that I wanted to request some too. Books that are coming out in a couple months could be IN MY HANDS! But the problem was a) I didn’t know how to start a request. Don’t get me wrong, I read all the posts and saw all the sample emails but I never felt like actually putting my effort into it. b) I was hesitant about my stats. Before joining Octavia here, I had a very very small-scale blog. It was definitely not big enough to merit receiving some physical ARCs, in my opinion.

(Before I continue, I should mention that I was always scared of being rejected. I wanted to read *that* book but what if publishers wouldn’t accept my request because my blog wasn’t big enough?! I just want to share the book love but in my opinion, I thought my passion was preventing me from doing so).

In February, I signed up for a blog tour (I managed to get a guest post spot!) and all the participants got an invitation to read the book on NetGalley. And thus, wanting to read this book, I forced myself to create a NetGalley account. I saw that once I made my account, I got pre-approved for a couple titles which made me pleased. Maybe my stats weren’t that bad? So, I began requesting some books. BUT, I did not request everything I wanted. For you see, I was still weary about being irresponsible with all my review copies.

I am still iffy about requesting anything but I feel more confident about it. I’ve accepted that my fear of rejection is totally illogical. The worst that can happen is they say ‘no’. It’s not like I’ll be shunned from the community forever or anything drastic. While I may not get to read the book before it comes out, if I really want to read it, I’ll pre-order it or just buy it when it comes out. (In related news: I sent my first physical ARC request last week! I’m going to be requesting to be added to blogger newsletters soon & I’m feeling more confident about everything).

But right now, you are probably thinking: That’s a nice story and all but WHAT IS THE POINT?! WHAT DOES THIS TEACH US?! Well, I also learned a couple things while writing this post. So without further ado, here are some of my tips and guidelines that I ask myself. You don’t have to use this but I thought you guys would be interested in it.Here are a couple questions that you should ask yourself before requesting:

  • How many other ARCs do I have to read?
  • Do I have any other ARCs to read that come out on the same day? 
  • Do I really want to read this ASAP? (Can’t I wait a little bit?)
  • When does this book come out? (Do I have enough time to read/review it before it comes out?)

If you’re like me and you are constantly worried about your stats, just remember that the worst that can happen is that the publishers say is ‘no’. Rejection sucks (I’ve been there) and it’s not fun but at least you can still share the book love when the book comes out or you can read other books, no opinion or book is too small!

shelly signature

13 thoughts on “On Self-Restraint and Blogging”

  1. Great post Shelly!
    My only problem would be with eARCs because since I’m in Spain it’s very unlikely I’m gonna be sent any physical ARCs unless I win them via a giveaway! But that said… I’ve gone a bit nuts in the past about requesting books on NetGalley, and I’m still trying to get through my backlog and keeping everything on schedule to at the very least finally reach the 80% ratio that is recommended there! At least I’m consistently above 70% and now I’m very very picky with what I request there!
    Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: ARC Review of A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatraman!!My Profile

  2. I’m not sure if it’s acceptable for me to rave and gush about this post but we all know I don’t care about what’s acceptable. 😉 That said, Shelly I don’t know how I lucked up and got such an amazing, responsible and all around good person to be my co-blogger but I’ll break out a flaming sword and fight to the death to keep you honey.

    Fantastic post and good for you for knowing the difference between genuinely wanting an ARC versus just wanting the shiny. (Maybe one day I’ll see that difference too lol!)
    Octavia recently posted…On Self-Restraint and BloggingMy Profile

  3. I love this! When I first started blogging, i got a lot of ARCs -I didn’t go crazy, but it was definitely more than i could handle, and I have been trying to catch up ever since. So you made the smart choice by not going crazy with the ARCs.

    Also, this has nothing to do with the post, but how and where did you get your reading challenges widget thing. It looks so nice and pristine! 🙂
    Amanda P. recently posted…Interview with Author Martina BooneMy Profile

  4. Thanks so much! 😀

    And the widget comes automatically with the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin. It’s so convenient, I love it! 😀

  5. Congratulations Shelly on sending your first physical ARC request! I honestly am not looking to do so for a long time, partly because I’m worried about getting rejected (even though you’re so right about it being irrational!) but mostly because I don’t want to tie myself up to even more commitments. I’m terrible at reading books I own anyway because I’m such a mood reader and really will not get to one book for ages just because I’m not in the mood for it. Most books that I buy, I have to force myself to read them otherwise I won’t ever. I tend to exercise self-restraint too on NetGalley but I’m just so bad with reading the books that it’s tough for me to catch up on all of them!
    Annie recently posted…14 Covers I’d Frame As Pieces Of ArtMy Profile

  6. I am truly hopeless at reviewing on time. When they first introduced the review ratio I had something like 16%. Then I worked really hard, got it up to 60% – and requested a load more books. Now I’m sat at 50%, and I’m determined to hit that 80%. I’ve made a big list of what I have by publication date.

    And next time I go on Netgalley, I’ll have to ask myself those questions! I think the third one is most important… most books I request are ones I’m interested in, but not DESPERATE to read. So that’s definitely something to take into consideration.
    Rinn recently posted…Feature: Bell & Sword – A Sabriel Read-alongMy Profile

  7. My ratio is really good because I always requested books with the intention of reading them. I feel like a lot of people are behind because when they started out, they just requested tens and tens of books.. I feel like if you do that, you don’t intend to read all of those (at least not anytime soon). You request them because “they sound okay and maybe I’ll give it a go”. But I only request books that I actually really want to read almost immediately.

    The only reason mine is in the 90s instead of 100 is because I have a few that aren’t released until July-ish that I haven’t read yet. 🙂
    Ashley recently posted…Sitting at Starbucks: New Books & Perfect Wedding ShoesMy Profile

  8. great post. I would not worry about the whole rejection thing, although I totally get it. I am way more fearful of rejection in person, but it does hurt to get an email saying, “sorry, we don’t want you to review out book.” its like ouch. haha, but I know it has more to do with my terrible netgalley stats than anything else. I have a mission this year to try to not request so many arcs and only request those I wish to read right away.
    Rose C recently posted…Chat Between Chapters: 5-star reviewsMy Profile

  9. I wouldn’t worry about rejection. (although I fear rejection, too) My netgalley stats are terrible. I have not requested much this year. And I hope to improve my stats so that I can get approved for the books i really want to read.

  10. Well done on you! I lack your willpower. I’m still recovering from getting over excited about netgalley when I was a new blogger. I’m a lot better now. As soon as I request a book, I pencil it into my schedule so I know how things are looking before I request more. This might sound really arrogant, like I just assume I’ll get approved, but that’s not the case. I just like to be cautious and not overbook and I just delete it from the schedule if I don’t get approved.

    My biggest issue now is keeping up with the surprise books a couple of publishers send me every month or two. I don’t know these are coming usually, so I don’t have them in my schedule, which is tight as it is! I have a bunch of those I need to catch up on. I rarely go on Netgalley now and am instead trying to catch up!
    Megan recently posted…Review: Secrets and LiesMy Profile

  11. I’m a bit of an odd duck in the book blogging world, as I don’t do ARCs at all, or do any sort of publisher/author-review exchange. I get all of my books from my local library, and I read quite an eclectic mix of new/old books. While I do feel a bit left out sometimes, when I read reviews about books that aren’t out yet, I’m content with my own little system. I can read and write reviews at my own pace, with no outside pressure.

    I just found your blog and I’m now following through bloglovin 🙂
    Finley Jayne
    Finley Jayne recently posted…Review: A Year of No Sugar & My Rant Against Sugar Fear AbsurdityMy Profile

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