Babble from a Book Nerd: A Letter to Authors and Publishers


To the authors and publishers that I have received books from,

            I am a failure. There are different variations of the word failure, but the specific definition that I will be using is stated as "nonperformance of something due, required, or expected." You see, a while ago I received a tidal wave of requests for me to review books. At the time I was thrilled. I had lots of time on my hands, and I was going through books like crazy. But then things changed.

            You see, I have been the victim of several bad reading slumps since I first started blogging (what, three years ago?). And every time that I fell into one, my rhythm for reviewing books went completely out the window. And it's so hard to be good about something again once you've been bad for a while. It's like starting to eat healthy again after only eating french fries, cake, candy, and chips for two months. It's hard to get back into the rhythm, but I'm not trying to use this as an excuse.

            Life got really busy. With school work becoming more difficult, my heath declining again; I lost most of that free time that I talked about earlier. And, knowing me, I kept accepting books. I'm in no way a perfectionist, but I do have trouble saying no to people. Soon, this lead to a build up of books that I needed to review, but didn't have the time, energy, or motivation to even find a book to start with. Again, I will say that this is not an excuse. Because in reality, I feel a lot of guilt over this.

            I try to stick to my promises, and by accepting books from you, I made a promise to read and write a review for said books. Well, here we are, and it has probably been six or more months since you last heard from me about my review. You might think that I just did everything to get free books, or that I'm a lazy or bad reviewer, and while the second one may be true, I can assure you that the first one is not. Because life happens, and life really got into the way of my reading.

            So now we come to the question, what do we do now? Well, I have seen reviewers do three different things. The first is email authors and publishers, apologize, and then not review the books. The second is to read and review the books, even though they are getting everything in late. And the third is to just forget about them. To say, you know what, life got crazy. I really don't want to leave the books not reviewed. Because if I did that I know that I would feel really guilty about it.

            I know that I have a lot of books to review, and I know that it's going to be really hard, but I want to do it. I NEED to do it. So, I guess that I wrote this to say that I was sorry. I'll try to do better in the future.

Your failure of a reviewer,
Anna

Comments

  1. Awe I wouldn't feel too bad. I mean sure when we take a book for review we intend to review it, but life happens too, and it's not like we're signing an iron clad contract and getting paid for services. It's a hobby. So I say don't beat yourself up too much Anna!!!

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  2. I respect your determination to try and get the reviews out there - but as you say, Life happens and this is a hobby, as Greg has already mentioned. Whatever you do, don't feel guilty, or it will just poison your reading and reviewing pleasure as guilt is toxic.

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    1. You're right, this is a hobby. But I still want to try and get reviews out there. I'm just not going to stress about it too much. :)

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  3. even though your tone is sad and I wished you didn't feel this way your post is awesome and made me smile. It sounds so much like my about and my review policy! where I call myself a professional DNRer. :) I had to stop accepting reviews too because I was feeling guilty. I know many other bookworms and book bloggers feel this way so you are not alone Anna! and it's so nice of you to post this honest letter :)

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    1. Thank you! Uggg, I always feel bad when I don't get books reviewed, especially when they are from indie authors. I'm glad that you liked my letter so much. :)

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  4. Aww I'm sorry you feel like a failure! But believe me, this does happen to a lot of us bloggers so please don't feel too bad. *sends comforting cake* I think it's important to learn to say no though, and it's something I had to work on for a loooong time. I just hate turning people away?! But we have to take care of ourselves and not take on too much! So I hope you figure out what to do with these review books and that you feel better about it all soon!

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    1. Awwww, thanks, Cait! *stuffs face with the comfort cake*

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  5. I’m a little behind in my reviews, too. But I’ve been horribly busy with Cybils.

    https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2017/12/snow-day.html

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  6. I know how you feel! I am totaly the same... It's just that I requested a lot of those ARCs when I wasn't even a blogger yet and didn't know how it all worked :D I think I will be taking the slow route and reviewing them all, although I know it will take me a while. But it's my own fault! So I shouldn't be able to get the easy way out :)

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    1. That's how I feel too. I may not get them all reviewed until 2023, but I'll get them done! lol

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  7. Oh my god, it's scary how relatable this is. I swear it's because of this, I feel like authors and publishers hate me now XD. I'm also falling behind often with my blog (not just ARC) because of my school as well, so one of my new year resolutions is for me to manage my time between my blog and schoolwork better.

    And do not think yourself as a failure as a reviewer! If you're a failure, what's me :'(

    Anne @ The Reading Life

    http://anneclarence.wixsite.com/thereadinglife/single-post/2017/12/31/Book-Review-The-Murder-of-Roger-Ackroyd-by-Agatha-Christie

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    1. OMG same. XD Sometimes I'm shocked that people still want me to review books for them.

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  8. I went nuts requesting books in the beginning...not the beginning of my blogging, of course, since back then I didn't have a clue about ARCs or anything like them.

    After plowing my way through the overwhelming stacks, I took a new approach: carefully arrange my requests around release dates; make a calendar and keep it close by; and remember the feeling of failure, of being overwhelmed, to guide us in the future.

    Meanwhile, that's a great letter!

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    1. Oh, that sounds nice. I'm still in the "plowing my way through the overwhelming stacks" phase, and it's painful.

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  9. Hi Anna, I definitely understand the guilt in saying no. This is something I'm still trying to learn until now. There's nothing wrong with taking a step back. This letter is a great way of letting them know where you are in your life so they can adjust their expectations. I wish you all the best dear!

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    1. Yes, I'm slowly making my way through the ARCs now. Maybe once I get to the end I'll be able to request some new ones to try. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  10. Oh no no no, you're most definitely NOT a failure. Life happens and you're only guilty of being kind hearted and wanting to help promote authors and books, sometimes it's hard to say no. I was once the same and found myself in a very similar situation, it feels pretty overwhelming doesn't it. If you're still keen on reviewing the books, why not get back into reading and posting small paragraph mini reviews? You can pop a few of the same genre in the one post so it isn't so time consuming.

    But please don't pressure yourself to feel obligated to read and review all of them. Some you might not enjoy so rather than waste the time pushing through, perhaps a simple email to the author to let them know it wasn't for you might be an idea. It's a precarious position but make sure you're still taking care of yourself and don't be afraid to give those not so great reads the boot! <3

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I have started doing mini-reviews again, and it made me realize how time consuming writing reviews actually is!

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  11. Aww, I wouldn't classify yourself as a failure! Sometimes we as readers get busy with our other responsibilities in life and reading has to take a back seat from time to time. I think as long as you eventually go forward and read the books (while giving the publishers and authors a heads up!), they will be very understanding. It can't hurt! :-) -Jessica @ The Book Bratz

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