June 17, 2015

On ARCs and Not Being Good Enough

I've written this post because I assume y'all want me to always be honest with you. If I'm wrong, let me know.
I've been blogging for four years now. My little blog is four years old. Some days, it feels like I started blogging AGES ago. Other days, it feels like it's only been a year. I've been a book blogger since May 2013. In that time, I've joined NetGalley and Edelweiss, received ARCs from my local indie, and requested a few ARCs from publishers (mostly in vain).

I've always struggled with ARC envy. I've never been one of those people who threatened other bloggers or said anything particularly mean. I'll usually comment on their haul pics with "Lucky you! Enjoy!" or "I'm jealous! Happy reading!" so they understand my jealousy isn't angry jealousy. It's more wistful, like I wish I were them and I hope they'll appreciate what they have. But whenever someone gets an ARC I was dying to get, this little voice in my head starts talking.
"Will you be getting that ARC too?" it wonders.
"They live on the East Coast; mail from publishers usually takes an extra day to get to the Midwest," I remind the voice.
"But it's been three days since _____ got their ARC, and you always get your book mail a day after them!" it retorts.
"Let's face it, you aren't good enough for that publisher," it whispers. "Or for most of the publishers. *insert publisher* never approves your Edelweiss requests. And *insert publisher* never approves your NetGalley requests. Sure publisher A and publisher B sent you stuff to review. But they haven't lately."

ARCs are a marketing tool, I know. I don't want them just because they're cool or because I don't seem good enough if I don't get them. As a blogger, I want them so I can share my thoughts. And I know, eventually, I can just buy the book or check it out from the library. But ARCs mean I get to read the book sooner! And as a ravenous reader, I always want to read a book that minute.

I'm coming to terms with the fact that my stats may never be good enough for certain publishers. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'll never be one of the widely-recognized bloggers in the community (which is probably a good thing; the pressure would get to me). I'm slowly accepting that libraries are going to continue to be my best friends. I'm accepting that, especially with this upcoming move, I'm really only going to have e-galleys to review because, let's face it, emailing publishers makes me nervous and half of them never respond or send me anything anyway.
I already know that several bloggers who aren't "famous" follow me on Twitter and are usually up for chatting about books. I know I can continue to meet authors and thank them for writing books that have made my life better. I know (most) authors appreciate any review they get, even if it's written weeks after a book has released. I know I will always love books. I know I will always have friends I can recommend books to. I know that, if I work hard, I may someday be working in publishing or be an author. And I know that, even though I sometimes don't feel like it, I'm good enough for the one person who matters.


  1. Here here! I used to have the goal of growing to mega blogger size and want all the arcs but I realized I just didn't have the time and energy to keep pushing so hard and I just want to read what I enjoy instead and that's okay! <3

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Anya! One of your posts, The Seven Stages of ARCs, is one of my favorites when it comes to this topic.

  2. It can be rough to find out your reach/influence isn't good enough for some publishers. But the way I see it, just keep trying! The worst they can do is not send anything and you can get it from the library later anyway. I didn't start requesting from publishers until well into my 2nd year of blogging because I was so intimidated by it all. Most of the bigger blogs that get all the ARCs are group run, anyway, and you're doing a fantastic job by yourself!

  3. I completely get this! I have one particular large publisher that does send me stuff, but when it goes a while without anything I wonder 'What have I done?? Were my last reviews not good enough??'. And still, I want other publishers.

    Basically, we'll never be happy ;) Haha!

  4. I'm so with you about this! I haven't even hit a year of blogging and I'm still trying to find my place in this giant community. I haven't even tried to email publishers about it because I feel.... unworthy? I guess it's like I feel like my blog isn't polished enough and that I need to plan more. I don't really like networking (which is probably not good because that's how a blog grows) but I still want to get the ARCs. Totally bad thinking on my part because you need to be social to grow and then get ARCs. Wistful thinking, but I hope I'll get there one day. And like you said, if worst come to worst, there's still the library!
    ~ Kelly


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