Discussions Only We Know
Last week, I discussed the topic of whether or not you intend to read all of the books in your possession. I'd love for you to weigh in on that subject if you're interested. This week, I'd like to look at a variation of that same topic:
Requesting from NetGalley/Edelweiss
Do you intend to read all of the books you've requested and been approved for by NetGalley, Edleweiss, or physical ARC? What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel any obligation to read these books? Or not so much? How do you pick what to request and what not to request (other than the description)? Or do you go by description alone?
I personally feel a responsibility to at least attempt to read and review each and every one of the books I get approved for. That really shouldn't come as a surprise considering my response to last week's topic. I feel like I've made an agreement with the publisher by requesting to read their book. Granted this is not a written in stone agreement, but I do feel like it's important for me to maintain a good relationship with the publishers that I'm requesting books from. One of the best and easiest ways for me to do that is to fulfill my part of the bargain. "You provide me with book. I read said book and provide you with my honest thoughts on said book."
Let me be clear, I'm discussing books we've requested to review, not books that an author or publisher has contacted us about reading/reviewing.
Let's add in the fact that there are a limited number of review copies available. If I'm requesting a book that I have no intention of reading, or I have over 1000 review books in my possession that need to be read, well...that's just not really fair to someone else who might have requested the book and was denied because the publisher ran out of copies supplying me who may or may not get around to reading and reviewing each book.
How do I determine whether to request a book or not? Well, obviously I read the description. I almost always check out the average star rating on Goodreads to see what the early feedback is--if there is any. Sometimes there are no ratings and I can't really use that as a guide. If I even slightly feel "iffy" about the book after reading the description and checking Goodreads, 9 times out of 10, I'll choose not to request it. I take into consideration how many other review books that I have in my possession that need to be read, how far out I'm scheduled on reviews and when the release date is (or the time period that I would need to try to have my review posted by), whether it's an author that I trust, and truthfully, a great cover might sway me to request it if I'm feeling good about everything else--or let's be honest, a crappy cover might sway me toward not requesting it as well.
All in all, I don't think it's wise to request any and every book available that I have an inkling I might want to read. Publishers do look at the number of requests you've been approved for versus the number of reviews you've provided. So, what are your thoughts? Do you think you're entering into a semi-contract with the publisher when you click "request"? Or do you request anything you're slightly interested in? Let me know!