Okay, this is going to be a bit of a different post for me because usually I'm all about the book reviews and the weekly features but I thought I'd step outside of my comfort zone slightly and open up discussions on topics I find interesting.
My first topic for open discussion is titled 'How I Do Manage Review Copies?' Now I need to admit straight up that I don't have a concrete way of managing review copies, frankly I'm currently behind in my opinion. I have 6 books on NetGalley that have been sitting on my virtual shelf for ages and I have 4 physical copies of books to get through. Now a lot of you are probably sitting there like 'Pfft Daniel that's nothing, wait until you have 30 review copies sitting on your shelf' but for me, 10 review copies is quite a lot, especially when you think that publishers are going out of their way to choose your blog out of many for review.
I always feel kind of guilty when it comes to review copies because I feel that I have to get to the book before it's release date, but as most of you will know that just not always possible. So here are some tips that I've come up with about how I think review copies should be managed - hopefully I can apply some of these to myself!
1 - THINK BEFORE YOU ACT
Before requesting books for review it might be a good idea to take a minute to think about how many you currently have. If you have 1 or 2 books for review, then feel free to request another - those books won't take too long to read, but if like me you already have 10+ on your shelves, should you be really dedicating yourself to another book when so many others are already waiting for you to read them? Food for thought.
2 - TIMESCALE
This kind of links to the first one in regards to thinking before you request a review copy but have you got the time spare to read these? By accepting books for review you are agreeing to review that book within a timescale (some publishers will make these clear to you, but others won't delegate on a time frame as long as you don't leave it for years and years) so you need to think, can you afford to fit another book in? Will it clash with another? Remember to include your social/work life as well. For a lot of book bloggers this is just a hobby they do on the sidelines, even if you are aiming to work in the publishing industry!
3 - PACE YOURSELF
This one is kind of self explanatory but when you gather up books for review, you're not always going to be sure if you like them. The books on your shelf you kind of have a good indication that you're going to enjoy them because otherwise, why did you buy them? Just because you have 10+ review books to read it doesn't necessarily mean you should sit down and read them all at once. Pace yourself. Read 1 or 2 a month, maybe even 3 if you can fit it in but don't forget about your own TBR. If your review books aren't exciting you and are putting you in a reading slump then choose a book on your shelf you're actually excited to read. Reading is all about the pleasure, you don't want to turn yourself of reading by getting stressed over review books.
4 - STRESSHEADS
This piece is more advice on what not to become. As I mentioned earlier, I can often find myself feeling quite guilty over the fact that I haven't read and reviewed a book yet and I've had that book siting there for months. Don't stress about it! There is this wonderful thing called life that everyone has, and sometimes it gets in the way of things you have to do. Publishers understand this, and unless they've set a date for when the book needs to be out, then you needn't' fret. Try to get the review out as close to the date as you can. If they have stressed the date you need to have it up by and if life gets in the way then email them - they are people too, and I'm sure they will understand and not bite your head off about it. If you explain your issue and say you'll have the review up as soon as you can then I'm sure that will be fine. There's no point getting yourself stressed over a book.
5 - STAY POSITIVE
This kind of links to everything I've been saying and is pretty much just relevant to life in general but stay positive. If book reviewing is getting you down or life is getting in the way, then take a break and do something else for a while - something that you enjoy. For example; I've been playing Xbox games solidly for the past 24 hours instead of participating in a readathon, purely because I just wasn't feeling it.
So there we go! 5 tips for how to manage review copies. I know they're probably extremely obvious and might not be helpful to some, but hey I tried! If you have any top tips for me or anyone else, feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts. I'd love to hear them!