Weekly check-in

Sunday, May 22, 2016 Permalink

It’s that time of the week already and I’m going to spend little time dilly-dallying in my intro today as I’m posing a question (below) for fellow book bloggers – and don’t want this weekly reading and reviewing post to become TOO long. Well… plus I’m tired and lazy.

What I read

In a fairly good reading week I raced through four five books!

I started with The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons, then mixed it up with Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, whichΒ (I must admit) was a little underwhelming.

I’d heard some great things about Jane Harper’s The Dry, so launched into that. The praise is warranted and I’ll share more on that in the next week or so.

the dry by jane harper

And finally, People Who Knew MeΒ by Kim Hooper, which I’ll be reviewing in coming days.

And even more finally (!)… after drafting this post (Saturday) I ‘accidentally’ read Long Time Lost by Chris Ewan… a thriller about a witness protection-type company.

What I wrote

There were the usual book reviews:

The Other Side of the Season by Jenn J McLeod – which I enjoyed but made me grumpy. Jenn commented on FB and Twitter on my displeasure about the ‘turn’ her book took. It was a risk she said. And I think she enjoyed my reaction. #bookthrowing
The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons – the third in the series featuring DC Max Wolfe and one which draws on historical elements.
You Sent me a Letter by Lucy Dawson – a book I could have adored, but enjoyed instead.
Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agnes Martin-Lugand – a book I didn’t love and just reviewed in Goodreads.

happy people read and drink coffee

And a few other exciting posts about my life and stuff:

Ten years from now – pondering my life in ten years time thanks to an off-hand comment by a neighbour.
I joined a gym – about the fact I joined a gym. Ummm, duhhhh. πŸ™‚

And then there was a guest post over at The Daily Recovery about my seachange: Daring or decidedly daft?

What I did A question about ARCs

Instead of blithering about my week I have a question for fellow book bloggers. It’s one we’ve been discussing in an Aussie Book Blogging FB forum.

What do you do when you receive ARCs or copies of books weeks and weeks or months in advance of their publication?

‘Most’ publishers don’t want reviews published more than two weeks (or less!) before publication date.

So once upon a time I read the book whenever I wanted and reviewed it in NetGalley (which – as you know – is kind of a closed forum) and scheduled it on my blog for a date close to publication date.

But what if it’s a hard copy? If we do nothing with the review until the book’s about to be published, what’s the point in giving us an advance copy?

I had a very early copy of a book last year and noted others had published their thoughts in Goodreads soΒ did the same, but another book blogger made a comment on my review noting the book wasn’t released for some time. And I felt rather chastened!

So now even if I get books months in advance, I leave them until just before the publication date to read and review. But it means I have books sit (awaiting my attention and feeling unloved) for aaaaages.

So – my question for fellow book bloggers or reviewers – what do you do with early versions of books? Read early? Review early? Publish early? Schedule in advance? Share with publisher? Any feedback / your thoughts greatly appreciated!

What I plan to read

Given my big reading week last week I’ll need to rein it in this week as I have a few reviews to write! I also want to start pitching reviews to some other sources as I had another published in a statewide regional newspaper insert this past weekend.

book review

I’m in the midst of a post for tomorrow though about whodunnits and (literally) how I sometimes find it easy to work it out. It also touches a little on trends in suspense / thrillers/ mystery novels.

And that’s it for my weekly reading and reviewing. What are your plans for the week?

Linking up with Kimberly for the Sunday Post; Leanne for Livin’ Life Linky; and Kathryn for ‘It’s Monday!

68 Comments
  • Stormi D Johnson
    May 22, 2016

    You had a great reading week! A couple of those you read sound really good. I normally hold off on ARC’s that are way in advance and read them closer to the release date or read them and schedule a review on my blog that is close to release date. Some times I might put up a short review on Goodreads but not a full one until it’s closer to release date. Though I admit I am usually behind so this doesn’t happen to me often…lol.

    Happy reading,
    Stormi

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Thanks for your thoughts Stormi! I used to put a ‘holding’ comment in Goodreads – like ‘review to come’. I think part of my struggle is also the fact so many books have different publication dates in different countries!

  • Jo
    May 22, 2016

    Plans for the week? Back to work – for now…Oh, and I’m still doing the structural re-write for the next novel & cleaning out my wardrobe. Yes, the 2 are related.

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Procrasti-cleaning! I’m much better at procrasti-napping!

      I hope your holiday’s left you refreshed and able to make some decisions!

  • maxtheunicorn
    May 22, 2016

    Well done on joining a gym! Go you! I love how much you read. Guess what? I’m actually reading a book right now! I tend to read celebrity Bio & Autobiographies and I’m loving Wildflower by Drew Barrymore. I don’t see anything wrong with reviewing a book really early if that’s when you’ve been sent it? I’m not a book blogger though! πŸ™‚

    Di from Max The Unicorn

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Sometimes publishers ask for you to hold off until around publication date so they can have a heap of publicity all at once – so that’s understandable I guess.

      I’ve heard good things about DB’s Wildflower!

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    May 22, 2016

    That’s really interesting about ARC’s
    Yay re gym. YAY!!! You’re ahead of me …

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Thanks Leanne and sadly I need it waaaaay more than you as well. x

  • Greg
    May 22, 2016

    I always think it’s fun when authors interact with or comment on reviews. πŸ™‚ I mean, except for the drama stuff- should probably qualify that lol. And I like that you change it up and blog about personal stuff too- I tend not to but it’s nice to share once in a while. As for your question- I don’t really do ARC’s so I can’t really say but I imagine I would read (because temptation!!) and just schedule the review close to pub time. Is it OK to do the review early on Netgalley though? That I don’t know…

    Congrats on your newspaper review, looks like you’re having success branching out to outlets. That’s cool!

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Thanks Greg and I also like the engagement with authors on social media. I’m by no means a ‘known’ Aussie book blogger but a lot of Australian authors are great at sharing tweets and responding to stuff. I still remember this author Charlotte Wood loving that I called her book (The Natural Way of things) a ‘mindf*ck’. I try to tag authors in my social media updates – unless it’s a really negative review of course! πŸ™‚

  • Jess
    May 22, 2016

    Yay for another publication! How exciting!

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    May 22, 2016

    Congrats on another publication!

    This week… the same old same old. Hoping to do it minus the cold I think I might be getting. Hitting the soup and oranges hard today.

    Have a great week ahead!

    SSG xxx

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Oh, I hope the cold stays away – annoying to get it so early in the cold / flu season. Here in Qld it’s still about 28C during the day! Ridiculous!

  • Bec
    May 22, 2016

    Re the ARC question, I eventually found something on NetGalley saying reviews can be posted anytime (to NetGalley) and just to advise publisher on the date you intend to publish on your blog.

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Yes, I used to do that… but I get stuff from NetGalley so rarely now (although I did have a big request week the week before last so have 4 books sitting on my shelf!).

      And thanks for checking that out! x

  • Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
    May 22, 2016

    It sounds like you had a great week, Deb, five books is amazing, even if it made me a little sad that the one about happy people being coffee-drinking readers didn’t really hit the mark for you.
    If I want to read a review book that comes out in seven months, I’ll do that! And I’ll write one sentence about it on Goodreads with my star-rating, and then I will schedule my full review for a couple of weeks before the release date. I know that some publishers actually don’t mind if you publish your review long in advance, while others want it to be just before – but I really don’t have time to keep track of that, so to be on the safe side, I just try to not post too long in advance.
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading!!

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Thanks Lexxie. The Happy People reading and drinking coffee book was a translation, so I wondered if something happened enroute from French (I assume) to English! The male lead was really unlikeable. Quite violent really!

  • Kathryn
    May 22, 2016

    Awesome work getting some reviews published in public newspaper. Go you. Five books that is really great reading for the week.
    For review books – the ebooks I often get in advance and I prefer that, I just schedule them in on my google calendar when I am going to read them and when they publish. For actual books they don’t often come too early, but the same I just schedule them on my calendar and take my eyes off them! I know publishers don’t like reviews up early, however a book I am reading at present I requested because of another bloggers review which came out about four months on Goodreads and her blog – so didn’t hurt did it.

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Yes that’s true. I sometimes get sucked into posting early because I see a stack of other reviews already on Goodreads etc. The different publication dates throw me as well. Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes was a bit like that recently. Everywhere I looked I saw a different publication date. Plus I received it electronically from an international publisher and locally – both with different publication dates. So I’d published my review by the time my print copy arrived.

  • laurelrainsnow
    May 22, 2016

    I list my review ARCs in my little diary, with release dates next to them…and try not to read them until two to three weeks before release, so I can then write up and post my review everywhere (except Amazon, of course; that comes on release day or later).

    I could read them and write the review and hold off posting it until a week before, but I am too impatient. So far, nobody has scolded me…Lol.

    Good post!

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      It sounds sensible Laurel and what I’ve kinda been doing lately – just holding off on reading. It’s one of the reasons I use NetGalley less now. I get a lot of print copies from Aussie publishers anyway, but so many on NG are out WAAAAAY in advance. I swear I saw something for 2017 the other day!

  • Kristen Burns
    May 22, 2016

    Congrats on getting another review published!

    I don’t get physical ARCs, but I can tell you that I would do the exact same thing I do for ecopies, which is read the book whenever I want and then just schedule the review post for a time close to the publication. And I wouldn’t send anything to the publishers until the review is posted, and then I’d send the link, just as I do for ecopies. On Netgalley I sometimes submit early and let them know the date it’ll be posted, but that’s only because I don’t like having a low feedback ratio lol.

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Oh I’m the same about the feedback ratio on NetGalley Kristen. Mine stays in the mid 90% or higher usually….

  • Maree
    May 22, 2016

    Wow that’s productive! Well done πŸ™‚ Have a great week.

  • Trish @ Between My Lines
    May 22, 2016

    Love that you accidentally read a book! I read an arc when I’m in the mood for the book and if it’s early, I just schedule the post for my blog and GR. If it’s also a Netgalley book, I give the feedback there the same time I draft the scheduled post.

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      That seems to be the way most people go Trish.

      And yes…. I’d been babysitting a friend’s little boy and he left early evening and I hopped into the bath to read a little before settling in to watch some TV etc and a couple of hours later I’d nearly finished the book and decided to just keep going!

  • Trish @ Between My Lines
    May 22, 2016

    PS well done on being published again!

  • Emma
    May 22, 2016

    Congrats on getting published! So exciting. I don’t get many review copies so don’t have a system for when I review but one that isn’t published until September/ October I have already read and written my review but won’t post. I never thought of doing a short post on good reads in advance but I might.

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      I used to just put a holding statement on Goodreads – ‘review to come’ or similar. I used to read a lot of books way in advance but now I have so many arriving I’m barely keeping my head above water. (Well, I’m not actually, so….)

  • Maureen Beatrice
    May 22, 2016

    Wow.. Sounds like you had a great reading week Deborah!
    To answer your question. I like to read the book early so I can write a review and have it ready to go weeks before the date. I always feel kind of stressed when I only have a view weeks before my review has to be done. But I schedule my review on the publication date, or in that week.
    Super awesome that you got published again. πŸ˜‰
    Happy reading!

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    May 22, 2016

    Good on you for the published reviews! Very impressive. A great week, Deb. Far better than mine.

    • Debbish
      May 22, 2016

      Oh dear…. πŸ™

      (PS. For a change I mostly wrote about the good bits…)

  • Beyond Opinions
    May 22, 2016

    I don’t get a lot of physical books for review, but I guess I would read them and then do a schedule post.

  • Angelized1st
    May 22, 2016

    If I have a book I can’t wait to read, then I read and review it, but schedule the post.

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      I’m actually thinking of doing that with the latest by Clare Mackintosh – a UK author whose book I recently received via NetGalley. I LOVED her first…

  • Anna @Adventures with a Book Nerd
    May 22, 2016

    If I read an ARC that isn’t coming out for a while and I really want to read it, I read it, write a review for it, and then post them on all of the usual sites on the same day. Sometimes I’ll wait until closer to the release date, but it’s a risk for me because I will usually forget about it! I went through my Kindle the other day and was really surprised to find how many ARCs that I completely forgot about (and that were WAY past their review dates)! So, now I’m trying to catch up on those, but it’ll take me a while. Hope you have a great week!

    ~Anna

    P.S. Did anyone make an offer for your apartment?

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      No offers Anna. Alas. I’m a bit worried I’ll get through the entire 3mths of my contract with this Real Estate Agent and not have had an offer. I’ll have to decide what to do then – leave it on the market, or take it off for a while. *sigh*

      I don’t seem to request or get a lot of ARCs nowadays cos it’s just too hard to deal with, but I’m with you in terms of forgetting stuff – I need to write the review asap lest I forget EVERYTHING! I might schedule it or save it – depends on when it’s being published…

  • Shandy
    May 23, 2016

    Looks like you had a great reading week. As to your ARC question, I write the review schedule it out until about a week or so before the release and let the publisher know when it will post with a copy of the review. I usually have to play catch up on the weekends anyway so I just post in the usual places once it posts.

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      Oh yes Shandy there’s that element as well isn’t there – posting reviews to Goodreads and Amazon etc. I actually got behind recently and had 2mths of reviews which I hadn’t summarised in Goodreads and Amazon Aus and Amazon US. It’s very time-consuming. I was also posting in The Reading Room until recently but just dropped those…

  • fuonlyknew
    May 23, 2016

    So glad you enjoyed The Dry! It’s on my summer reading list! And you can’t ever go wrong with a book by nora:)

    My Sunday Post

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      True. I selected it for the newspaper as I know she’s popular!

  • Lillian @ Mom With a Reading Problem
    May 23, 2016

    5 in one week…that’s a good week in my book πŸ˜€
    To answer your question about ARCs, I’ve made a habit to wait and read the book about a month before publication for the reasons you stated. However I feel like for those that receive Hardcopies months in advance (unless the publisher tells you otherwise) I say go ahead and post. It’s early promotion for the authors. I think it’s really dependent on the blogger and their habits. πŸ˜€

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      It’s hard with the hard copies isn’t it? I know they’ve already had beta readers read and provide feedback so it’s not that… I guess they’re wanting early buzz, but as you said, they don’t get that unless people start talking about it months in advance of its release date!

  • litreasurechest
    May 23, 2016

    I’m going to start stalking, *cough* visiting, your site because I’m loving this books you’re reading. My wishlist is getting bigger because of you, grrr!

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      Ha! Hi there and stalk away! I’m usually very much of a thriller / suspense / crime / mystery fiction kinda gal. Although I read a lot more general fiction than I admit to! πŸ˜‰

  • Dani Chapman
    May 23, 2016

    I usually try to publish my reviews around the day the book comes out. I publish it on my blog first then I put them on Goodreads.
    Happy Reading! Dani @ Paulette’s Papers

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      Thanks Dani. You sound organised, well done! πŸ˜‰

  • Char
    May 23, 2016

    I’m not a book blogger but any book I have lying around unread for too long tends to stay lying around unread. I think that’s one of Newton’s laws of motion. I’ve decided it’s because any book lying around for a long time must be boring. Stupid I know, but that’s how I roll.

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      I actually kinda think the same Char. I still have a stack of unread books from Feb – May. Ones that weren’t grabbing my attention enough to open them and start reading (even though I might then have been enthralled!), so they’re just wallowing now. I keep saying I’ll get back to them, but the basic laws of science or maths or whatever seems to indicate I get more books each week than I read. So…. #alas

  • Kristin @ Addicted to HEA
    May 23, 2016

    OMG!!! You’re published!!! You need to get YOU out there!!! Congratulations!! I’m smiling so big b/c that’s an awesome direction for you!!

    On the physical ARCs, do you get those little sheets from the publisher with the book sometimes? I always go by those. If you don’t, I use the general rule of 2 weeks before release date or 2 weeks after as “around date of pulication”. I know for a fact that Kim at Caffeinated (b/c I asked her) puts her review in NetGalley as soon as she can but waits until it publishes on her blog for it to go Goodreads.

    I think the person that made you feel chastised was a wee bit confused and didn’t know you an advance copy or just ignored that fact – I have no idea what they were thinking!

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      Awww.. thanks for your enthusiasm Kristin and I’m with you! Yay! I did a magazine and freelance writing course last year as I’m keen to move in that direction, but nervous about pitching. I started with this non-paid gig but would ultimately like to earn an income (of some sort) from my writing. (I do get paid for monthly book blog posts I do on the Styling You blog, so that’s great!)

  • Tracy @ Cornerfolds
    May 23, 2016

    Awesome discussion question! I’ve actually been thinking about this too lately. I just received a physical ARC from an author about two weeks ago, but the book isn’t going to be published until July. Usually I save reviews until the week (sometimes the day) before publication date. Before that they really aren’t relevant, in my opinion and it’s kind of a waste of a review. However, this particular author has contacted me TWICE since I received the ARC to ask me when I would be finishing the book and posting my review. Here I wasn’t even planning on reading it until the end of June and I’m being hassled about when I’ll post my review! I honestly don’t know what to do in this case! :/ Good luck and have a great week!

    Here’s my Weekly Recap!

    • Debbish
      May 23, 2016

      Oh yes Tracy I’ve had that as well… hearing from an author about a book I wouldn’t normally review until later. I think once I just tweeted them back saying I enjoyed it – or perhaps I’ve added the number of stars in Goodreads and mentioned the full review to come later. It is difficult… I suspect all we can do is our best.

  • Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog
    May 23, 2016

    Very cool on being published!!! As far as the ARC question – I don’t really get physical ARCs but for the eARCs I just schedule in advance for within a month of pub date. For NG and EW I post the reviews as soon as I have them written though. Hope you have a great week!

    • Debbish
      May 24, 2016

      Thanks Grace… Took a moment then to work out what you meant by EW cos I don’t really use Edelweiss. I joined but it seemed too hard to use! πŸ˜‰

  • Karen B (@KissinBlueKaren)
    May 23, 2016

    Congrats on getting your review published. I had no idea you were so accomplished (really congrats it is awesome!). I usually wait til around publication date to read and review. I have posted a few very early. Those were books that I knew they wanted a review on early (low or no reviews on goodreads). I don’t care what other people think of when I review. If a pub asks me to review in certain time frame, that is all I worry about.
    Great reading week for you! Looking forward to those reviews.

    • Debbish
      May 24, 2016

      Oh thanks Karen – your good wishes are very much appreciated. xx

  • Free-Bird
    May 23, 2016

    Loving your week! My husband and I are working to lose some weight but our gym is 40 minutes away. It is way too far for us to get out there on a normal basis, especially after work.

    As for reviews, I normally read close to the review date. If it’s a book I’m really looking forward to (aren’t they all), then I tend to read and just set up the review but not publish until closer to the date. It’s not always easy to work around.

    Have a great week!

    • Debbish
      May 24, 2016

      I have to admit I started a book last night which isn’t coming out for months. I’d normally leave it but decided to be decadent and leap-frog it to the top of the pile. It’s a NG one so I’ll review it there and schedule it on my blog.

      40mins to the gym is a long trip! I don’t think I’d ever go!

  • Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    May 24, 2016

    What a great reading week! The Dry is going on my TBR list. If I read an ARC early, I will wait until closer to publication date to post my review. Congrats on the published review! Have a great week.

    • Debbish
      May 24, 2016

      Thanks Nise. My review of The Dry is going live in the next week or so (as it’s not out until 31st May!).

  • Wendy Runyon
    May 25, 2016

    I took a peek at what The Dry is about, and I’m intrigued. I look forward to reading your review. Sounds like you had a good reading week! Congratulations on having another review published! That’s so exciting.

    I wish I had better input for you in regards to ARC’s. I’m always behind schedule, but when I can, I schedule ahead of time and post on or around the publication date.

    I hope you are having a great week!

    • Debbish
      May 25, 2016

      It’s ready to go Wendy but I’ll be posting it around publication date in a few days’ time!

I'd love to hear your thoughts