9 February 2015

Being a reviewer

I've been asked a couple of times what it's like to be a reviewer. We get to read certain books before the release date and we receive books for review - obviosuly. 2 years ago I didn't know about any of this - it was around the time that I discovered booktube. I envied them - a lot - I wanted to receive books for review to. I didn't know how hard that actually is. Being a reviewer is fun but at the same time very stressful.

You probably know about sites like Netgalley and Edelweiss, well I discovered more sites where you can receive free ebooks in exchange for reviews; Bookblogging, blogging for books etc. And when my blog started gaining followers (when I was on the other domain) I began receiving review requests daily and then publishers contacted me.. So now I'm left with a ton of books - both digital and physical - that I have to read and review. I've already read a bunch of them, but I still have a long way to go.

Requesting a sh*tload of books
A problem when you first begin being a reviewer is that you get overwhelmed and request a load of books - which is a very bad idea. Netgalley is probably why, you can just press 'request' and then you find out whether or not you get the book and after a while with denials you start requesting more because you think 'I'll not get approved to all of them anyway' - which is an even worse idea, because once the ball is rolling; it's rolling! Limit yourself to a few instead of 20 like I did.
Another problem, very similar to that, is when you start receiving mails from publishers about which of these 10 books you want to receive - and you start thinking that and that and that and that and end up requesting a bunch of them because you don't know better in the beginning.

Not enough time
Readers always say that there's too many books and not enough time - well that enormous pile of books is just getting bigger when you're a reviewer. I know I didn't stop accumulating a ton of books when I started receiving books for review. I kept on buying and because I also had review books I made them a higher priority than the books I already own - which means that I'm now left with over a 100 unread books - and that's only the physical ones.
The problem is that you don't have the time to read your own books, you have to choose whether you want to read the review books or your own books.

Another problem is that it is quite stressful; I like reading a book a while before it's release date so that I have the time to write a proper review that can be released on the release day or before - but if you have other things to do, it's quite hard finding the time to get those books read and sometimes you just end up reading a bunch of books and writing half-decent reviews.
Also having that big pile of books weighing on your conscience is stressful. One month - arc August -  I tried getting through them all but I ended up receiving more books because of it so it didn't even leave a dent in the pile.

A thing I have a hard time with is choosing between ALL of the books; library books, review books, the books I own etc. Also; should I read newer books or classics? Should I read this or should I read that? I feel like you don't really have the time to devote the time to read classics when you're a reviewer because your focus lies on the books in front of you - which means newer books. Unless a classic is re-published you don't really get to read classics - I know I don't.
Choosing can also be quite stressful, but you feel like you're neglecting some books as well.

It's exclusive
My favorite thing about being a reviewer is probably the feeling you get when you receive a package full of books or an email saying you got approved to a certain e-galley. Being a reviewer feels quite exclusive because you don't have to pay anything, you literally just have to speak your mind and the fact that you can read books before others is also adding to that feeling. But is that feeling worth being stressed? To this day I still can't figure it out.

Don't get me wrong I like being a reviewer but it's not purely a good thing, it has two sides like everything else but if you can somehow find a balance in being a reviewer and being 'yourself' it's great! But if the scale tips more towards reviewer it gets stressful. Netgalley 'bans' are adviced!

No comments:

Post a Comment