Let's Talk ARCs

I'd like to put this out to those of you who review a lot of ARCs.

I've got two major publishers now who are sending me ARCs regularly, plus I belong to a couple of lottery type deals for ARCs and then there is the occasional one I get asked if I'd like. So, I'm very pleased that I'll be reviewing new books here quite regularly now. But I am wondering how others deal with balancing the reading of ARCs vs. private reading.

How do you stay on top of the 'required' reading so that you don't get overwhelmed? Do you drop everything and read ARCs as soon as they arrive? Read them in the order they come? or let them pile up and read whichever you feel like at the time? So far I haven't had enough at one time to have had to consider these questions before but I'm expecting a steady flow starting now.

I'd love to hear how others stay on top of it, keep it fun and still manage to read 'old' books, too.


  1. I'm struggling with this right now as well. I have several that I'm behind on, but I will read all that I have. I try to read them before they come out but sometimes just don't quite make it. Other times I read the one that looks the most interesting. It's a struggle, but I know if I want to keep receiving them, I need to keep up with the reading as best as I can. I am going to start asking for fewer titles until I can get caught up.

    Nicola, if you're expecting to keep up with reading arcs and doing early reviews, I'd love to have you be a reviewer for Novels Now. Let me know if you're interested!


  2. I try to keep my ARC reading / reviewing down to one a week. Unless a book is tied to a specific date I review them in the order they arrive in my mail box.

    Happy reading.

  3. Lately, I've been getting baraged with ARC's. If you find a way to balance out your reading, please let me know!! It's not easy to do!

  4. I try to alternate between ARCs and personal readings... but it sometimes doesn't work out like I want it to. I don't read them all as soon as they come in - I've got a pile of ARCs sitting around that I haven't had a chance to get to yet, and a bunch of them that I won't get around to reading, but I pick up whatever one strikes my fancy when it's time for me to read one.

  5. I would not be a good role model here. Seriously. I read what I feel like reading. Meaning, I don't necessarily look at the order they arrive in. Right now I've got stacks of books that are 2008 releases, and stacks of books that are not 2008 releases. The 2008 ones gets a bit higher priority. But of those, it's really just whatever strikes me at the moment. I don't have them lined up in order of their publication date or in order of how they arrived.

  6. I find this difficult as well. One of the things I do is make sure that my understanding of the publisher's expectations is - if they are expecting a review by a certain date then I schedule it in with the due dates on my library books so it is almost like I have to read it before that date. Most of the time that works, but every now and again it doesn't.

  7. 3m - Thanks for sharing! I think one of the hardest things is going to be making sure I don't ask for too many.

    I'll get in touch in with you about Novels Now. Thanks!

    pussreboots - Sounds like you are organized. One a week seems doable, that would give me time to read one or two other books as well.

    stephanie - It's an endless struggle trying to balance out my reading, first it was between library books and books I actually own. Now the arcs.

    court - Alternating ... I like that idea. I've been trying to alternate library books vs my own books. But I could start alternating between arcs and non arcs. This may just work as my plan of action! Thanks!

    becky - I'm afraid if I had stacks of arcs I'd be overwhelmed. But you manage to read an astounding number books, and you seem to read just as many 'old' books as 'new' that I'd say your 'whatever' method is working wonderfully!

    Thanks everyone, this has really given me some insight.

  8. I've been thinking about this a lot, too, since lately it seems I'm reading so many ARC's that I don't have time to read the books I actually want to read. At the same time, I love ARC's because they help me read things I otherwise wouldn't.

    So, basically, I alternate the ARC's with my personal reading. I've made it clear on my blog that I review ARC's only when and if I have the time. If I HAVE to read a book by a deadline, I try to get it out of the way first, so that I can quickly move on to my "real" reading.

  9. Thanks for this susan. It really sounds like alternating is going to be the way to go. I'm so excited about all the review copies but I don't want to be pining for my other books.

  10. I'm another one struggling with this too! There are so many good sounding books coming out that it is so hard to say no thanks to some on offer. I do only pick ones I know I really want to read, mostly historical fiction because thats my favorite. The problem are there are a lot of them right now.

    I am try to alternate between ARCs and my TBR and challenges. When I do get books I put them in order of when they will be released and at least try to read and poost about by that date. I recently received a few books that were already released thouigh, so that wont work for them.

    When you get it all figured out, let me be the first to know! LOL!

  11. teddy, I receive some that are already published too. I don't think I'm going to be too strict on getting them reviewed before they are published unless I'm given a deadline. (and usually I'm not). I'm just going to try and keep it within a reasonable time frame.

  12. I just read the ones I feel like reading, and don't read the others. My blog is purely for my own pleasure, because I like to talk about books, and I like to read what I want. If the ARCs stop coming, I'm fine with that - I work in a library and have way too many books checked out as it is! If I didn't have such a great library system, I might feel differently, though. :-)

  13. Hi - I followed your link here from Library Thing and have been reading through your reviews.

    As far as ARCs are concerned, when I read them depends on where I got them. If I get them from LibraryThing or a program which expects a review ASAP then I put them at the top of the pile. If I requested them after seeing them in a catalog and plan to do an interview/giveway post, then they go to the top of the pile as well. If the publisher sent them, then I will try to get to them in a timely matter but I do read those which appeal to me most first. If I picked them up at a book fair, then I read them when and if I feel like it. I still have several stacks that are waiting to be read in this last category.


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