Advanced Readers Copy – Then & Now

Book bloggers who interact with authors and hang around Netgalley will know what an ARC is. For the rest of the world who´s always asked themselves what the abbreviation means… I´m here to help!

You´re welcome.

 

arc banner

 

And now you´re thinking: “WOW! Those book bloggers get free books from publishers / authors directly? That´s awesome!”

You´re right. It is AWESOME.

Us book blog folks can´t really complain when it comes to receiving books before they hit the bookshelves.

But receiving ARCs comes with a price. It´s not just about getting free, yet to be published, books.

 

Granted. The price we pay isn´t necessarily high. But it´s tiresome and even taxing over time. But sometimes reading those ARCs can be rewarding.

I think it´s fair to add that there is a difference between traditional published and self published ARCs. And then there´s Netgalley, which is a whole different level of giving out unpublished free copies to readers.

Traditional published advanced copies are usually reserved for journalists, celebrities, major blogs. Of course, any every-day-book-blogger can receive a traditional published ARC, as well. It just involves a little more work and luck.

Self published ARCs are much easier to get our hands on. We either wait for an open opportunity to add ourselves to a list or an author may ask us directly if we´re interested in reading an ARC.

Or, we hop over to Netgalley and include ourselves to a list there and then hope for the best.

Either way – ARCs come with a set of rules. These rules may vary but they core of rules is always the same.

  1. Do not forward the book to a third party
  2. Must leave a review ( either before or after or directly on publication date )
  3. Include publisher / authors name
  4. Meet the deadline
  5. Don´t publish a review with less than a 3 star rating. ( not a mandatory rule, but it still pops up once in a while )

 

So, basically you get to read for free if you promise not to let anyone else read the unpublished book and if you include the publisher / author in your review by thanking them for letting you read the free copy then everyone´s happy.

 

Many book bloggers will mention that the book they´ve read was an ARC in their reviews. Sometimes it´s even asked of us book bloggers to add a small recognition line in our reviews. That might look something like this:

 

I received an Avanced Readers Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review”

 

A simple line, right? That can always be easily worked into a review before it´s published. That line might raise some questions to normal reader who´s only looking for his/her next read, though.

 

No matter how a book blogger receives an ARC the rules stay the same.

 

Don´t do shit you promised not to do! Do shit you promised you´d do!

 

 

The price we pay is truly small compared to what we´d normally spend after the ARC hits the bookshelves.

Are Advanced Readers Copies worth it?

I´d say yes and no. Yes, because it´s a fabulous way to get our hands on new books and ARCs are kind to our wallets.

No, because book bloggers tend to agree to read more ARCs than they´re able to fit into their schedule

.
Let´s do simple math that displays what I´m talking about:

2 ARCs a week = 8 ARCs a month = better have a calendar or else you´re screwed.

 

 

And then there´s that issue when you want to DNF the ARC. You have to contact the publisher or author and give details as to why you can´t continue to read.

Meeting a deadline is also sometimes exhausting.

Life is often not nice to us book bloggers. Sometimes we have to hop back to reality and can´t meet a deadline. You have to contact the publisher or author and explain why.

 

So, are ARCs truly worth it?

Sort of. Kind of. Depends on what type of person / book blogger you are.

 

ARCs Then & Now

Nowadays, 98% of all ARCs come in e-book format. Why? Because it´s much easier and quicker. There´s no hassle with printed ARCs and no shipping issues. ARCs flow from one device to another within seconds or a few hours. ARCs these days look like this:

 

arc 2
Taken from my unloved Kindle

 

Or, dare I share this little gem from Netgalley:

 

arc 3
Another shot from my unloved Kindle

 

A few years back, though, there were still publishers and authors who made a point of giving out printed advanced copies to readers.

 

arc
ARC taken from my personal bookshelf.

 

Weird, right? Hardly imaginable in the day of modern technology yet they existed. Printed ARCs were a thing and I miss them dearly.

 

 

These days, authors love to give out e-book arcs because they´re efficient. Low cost and no wasted effort.

And many authors have misunderstood the meaning of an ARC. The roots of ARCs.

What was once an uncorrected proof read turned into a nearly finished – finished project ready to hit sales.

Let´s do a quick listing of things that made ARCs different from the past and now.

ARCs Back Then

  • Uncorrected proof reads
  • No final cover image
  • Story wasn´t final
  • Paperback format came as a naked product

 

Readers gave feedback on the proof read and THEN the whole book was combed through again before it would be published, 3 – 6 months later with a cover image.

ARCS NOW

  • handed out in exchange for an honest review
  • often final product
  • often comes with a finished cover image

 

In short: readers receive a copy for review purposes and then the book gets published within 1-3 months ( or less ).
So, the idea of an ARC has changed over the years. And then there´s the time issue. We live in a fast living world. If authors / publishers don´t get said book out yesterday then the genre might go out of style tomorrow.

There´s hardly any time to send out a paperback ARC across oceans to the opposite side of the world when the same thing can be sent via technology within a blink of an eye.

Makes sense, right?

It still doesn´t change the fact that I don´t like ARCs, no matter what form they come in.

They´re added work. The story has to sound freaking special before I accept an advanced copy.

Do you like to read Advanced Readers Copies? How often do you accept ARCs?

Let me hear your thoughts! I´m dying to discuss this topic with you.

 

Hope you all have a lovely day!

Much Love,

Morgana ❤ ❤

 

 

 

 

Book Review: A Court Of Frost And Starlight – Sarah J. Maas

synopsis 2

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

 

My Thoughts 2

 

I wasn´t a huge fan of the first 3 books. What was there to be a fan of? Stealing major parts from other successful stories and adding them to an already good story isn´t going to win any plus points from me. ( review- ACOTAR, ACOMAFACOWAR )

So, why did I read `A Court Of Frost And Starlight`( A Court Of Thorns And Roses # 3.1) by Sarah J. MaasA Court Of rost And Starlight?

Because I have hope. That´s all.

I don´t know why but I feel like the autor is just holding back. I could be wrong, though. Let´s hope I´m not wrong. Let´s keep our fingers crossed that the author will write a book that doesn´t have Rhys and Feyre ( MCs from books 1 – 3 ) in it.

I´m not going to beat around the bush with this one.

A Court of Frost and Starlight wasn´t fully a waste of time but it wasn´t a mandatory read, either. It was a book for devoted fans of the series.
When a blogger buddy ( it was Sabrina  @5171 Miles Book Blog )sent me a Whatsapp with the cover I felt my blood pressure rise. ANOTHER ONE? Good Lord above. Aren´t Rhys and Feyre ever going to call it a day? I thought the whole story was done after book #3 – It sure felt like everything was over.

Apparently not. So, as the good blogger I am…. I didn´t bother buying the paperback and went straight for the kindle version and began reading.

The truth? The ugly truth?
This book is about exchanging presents. Nothing more. It´s less about how the characters dealt with their lives after the great war ( although that was mentioned… if only a little ) and more about what each character was going to gift the other in great detail.

A shame, really, because the author had SO many options she could have chosen from for this book to make this an exciting read.

If it weren´t for the Nesta and Cassian scenes I would have eaten my carpet out of pure frustration.
Nesta and Cassian have a really gripping story going on and their spotlight is far over-due.  Unfortunately, Nesta and Cassian´s story is an over shadowed side story at the moment.

The author created SO MANY characters… she could have easily given a few more some major spotlight. But she didn´t. And now I´m not satisfied at all.

 

Would I recommend this book? No. Because 1) it cannot be read as a standalone. One has to read the other 3 bricks to understand this read. 2) It´s basically for the hardcore ACOTAR ninjas. If you are not a fully devoted ACOTAR fan nor a fan of having to start at book 1 to understand book 3.1 then I simply cannot recommend this read.

Would I re – read this book? No.

 

The Cover – 4 stars ( My favorite cover from the whole series so far. )

The Story – 2 stars  ( Not really what I would call a story when you get to read about Faeries going shopping for gifts. Nesta and Cassian saved the day )

The Characters – 2 stars ( My feelings haven´t changed for the characters so far.  All I´m now asking for is to be able to read more about Nesta and Cassian because those are the only 2 characters with substance. I wouldn´t mind seeing a bit more from Tamlin, if I´m honest. His character has so much potential.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Feeling disappointed.

2 stars

Purchase Link

Amazon.comA Court Of rost And Starlight

 

Stop Interrupting The Reader

Being interrupted while reading – There´s nothing more aggravating.

I actually hate when someone interrupts me in my moment of peace, solitude, escape.

Not only do I read because I like to read, I also read because reading takes me away from the one thing I want to get away from: Stress or life in general.

The feeling of diving into a new world and being able to envision a life I wish existed is something magical. When I´m into a story I´m truly invested. When someone comes and does the unthinkable…. I, then, also want to do the unthinkable.

But I don´t. All I do is throw nasty glares or annoyed faces or raise an eyebrow. Nothing helps, though. Some people can´t take a hint. Or, they don´t want to.

throughout the years I´ve come up with different strategies on how to avoid being ripped away from my reading session. I´ve done the ” Not now.” and I´ve even held up my index finger to silence the person interrupting. I´ve even gone into hiding… but they always find me.

interrupt pic

This is why I´ve now been forced to create a list of people who annoy the BLEEP out of me. My new list is called People Who Need To Go Away.

And high on my People Who Need To Go Away list is my beloved Mother In – law.

I love to read outside, on the patio. It´s a place where I´m surrounded by bushes, plants and food I haven´t managed to kill with my non-existent green thumb. My little piece of heaven, if you will. The only problem with my heaven is… I can´t hide. You see, we live next door to my husbands parents. We have separate properties. Our gardens are separated by a flimsy wooden fence. And I swear on all that´s pink and fluffy… every time I´m outside reading a book my mother in – law feels the need to come over. But she doesn´t just come over. She actually sits, then sighs and asks for something to drink and wants to talk knowing perfectly well that I was reading. I mean –  I wouldn´t dream of interrupting someone if their nose was stuffed between pages.

I get it. She´s bored. Being retired can´t be all that flashy but for the love of God…. She´s an avid reader too. WHY do that to me? Why think it´s a good idea to bug me while I´m reading an important scene?

interrupt pic 3

I assure you all that I do not have a “I need attention” sign flashing over my head, nor do I have a sign hanging around my neck that states the same.

 

” I know you´re reading but I have to tell you something.”

 

Another candidate on my People Who Need To Go Away list is my husband. The man I vowed to love and cherish for the rest of our lives together.

If he keeps interrupting me then I see a dark future ahead of us.

interrupt pic 2

I love him. I truly do. But he has this thing about him that annoys the fickle out of me.
Some time during the day I´ll get a text or a call from him asking if we have plans for the evening. When we don´t have any plans I usually tell him that I had planned on catching up on some reading, to which he answers with “Cool. I´ll catch up on Call Of Duty.”
Fair enough, right? When the kids are in bed I´ll be busy reading and he´ll be busy gaming. But that´s not how it works.

I´ll prep my reading bed on the sofa and get comfy and he´ll…. while his game uploads he´ll turn to me and start talking, even though I´ve already started to read.

“You won´t guess what happened today.” He´ll say.

I haven´t mastered multi – tasking yet so I can´t really listen to him and read at the same time. So I stop reading and listen. Hours later ( including multiple interruptions ) he´ll ask, “Am I interrupting you?”

No. I love it when I can´t finished a 10 page chapter in 2 hours. All´s perfect. Keep the questions rolling. It´s not like the book I´m TRYING to read means anything to me.

 

Next is my own mother. Bless her. I really love to her bits ( Mom, if you´re reading this please don´t call me at 7 a.m and ask what has gotten into me ) but my mom doesn´t care about interrupting me while I´m reading. As an avid reader herself, and a full-blown Goddess at multi – tasking. She´ll see a book in my hand and the look on my face and she´ll even listen to me whine. “Mom, hurry up, this book is good.”

She´ll give me the stinker look and say,

“At your age I…..”

I will leave that uncommented.

 

 

Then there´s the phone issue.

I´m not a fan of phones. Not when they decide to function while I´m reading. That damn thing is on fire when I pick up a book. It hasn´t necessarily helped that I´ve gotten rid of all  bookish social media apps and email notifications. No. I´ve come to learn that Whatsapp is my biggest enemy. The second I pick up a book I get a Whatsapp text. I give up after the tenth beep and fifth phone call.

Why not turn my phone off? I would if people wouldn´t start calling the landline because I don´t react to their messages or calls on my smart phone. Either way – I´m doomed.

A few honorable mentions go out to:

  • The mailman
  • The Lady who sells home-grown potatoes once a week
  • Jehovah´s Witnesses

These people can´t smell that they´ve interrupted my reading session so I can´t really complain about them. They just get me at a bad time while others tend to interrupt me on purpose.

 

There are 3 people who I CANNOT add to my special list.

Both my girls and my bestie, Mirjam.

My girls are like me- They love reading and spend a good amount of time hidden somewhere in the house and start groaning when someone ( mainly their dad ) interrupts them.

Mirjam is anal when it comes to reading so there´s a silent understanding on her part.

The rest? Everyone else is just vicious and cruel and they all have no problems what – so – ever interrupting me while I´m reading.

I´m not always blessed with endless hours to read. Sometimes life gets in my way and I have no other choice than to put any kind of reading on hold. But when I do have time?

Ha! When I have time.

The only time I have completely to myself, without ANY interruptions is at the ass crack of dawn when everyone around me is peacefully snoring and dreaming of ways to interrupt me while I´m reading.

reader

 

It´s not that I´m ungrateful. I do love having friends over and I enjoy spending time with my mother and I still love my husband… It´s just that they all have this sense that it´s okay to interrupt the reading lady when she´s not paying attention to the outside world.

I assure you, it´s not okay. It´s actually rude. I don´t squat down on the grass next to my mother in – law who´s reading outside next to her mosquito infested pond. I don´t even interrupt my husband when he´s checking his fb updates. Why? Because I know how annoying it is when you´re busy and someone wants to ask you a really insignificant question.

It feels like the world around me doesn´t read and therefore cannot understand what it means to be interrupted.

 

My only wish is for some peace while reading.

 

Do you get interrupted while reading? What do you do when people can´t take a hint?

 

Hope you all have a lovely day.

Much love,

Morgana, the desperate book blogger ❤

 

 

Mug Monday & Book Blog Goals

Mug

GreenGate: Latte cup, star, warm grey

Book Topic

Book blogger goals.

 

I remember I didn´t have any goals when I started to blog… 8 years ago.

It´s extremely hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I´ve been book blogging for so long. Do you guys know what this really means? That I´ve been staring at my computer screen for close to a decade.

 

 

I´m not going to start handing out advice on how to blog because if we´re all honest here… book blogging is something unique. It´s personal. Everyone has different ideas on how to book blog.

Besides, I suck at giving any type of advice. Shall I ever share my wisdom with you then do yourselves a favor and ignore it. There´s a huge possibility that my advice might get someone into trouble. And I´m not ready to have fingers pointed at me nor am I up for having people in my garden ready to attack me with pitchforks.

 

 

I might not have had book blogging goals from the get – go but I did develop some goals after a few weeks.

 

Keep in mind: In 2010, there wasn´t as many book blogs as there are today. Back then, it was easier not to feel the pressure some book bloggers are feeling these days. Social media was much more fun to handle and Goodreads wasn´t a vicious playground. And not many authors had annoying PAs who dealt with everything. It was easier to get in touch with authors, self published AND traditional published, alike.

There were a few huge book blogs I followed and I even picked one of those blogs to be a “role model” for me ( which turned out to be a bad idea. Lol ).

 

Back to the goals…

 

I didn´t have many goals back in the beginning of my book blog career. There were less than a handful of things I wanted to achieve as a book blogger.

To help you understand the next part a little better I´m going to give you a little book blog background info from myself.

 

Morgana´s Book Blog Résumé

  • 2010 – 2015,  blogged @ the Divas Book Blog with my 2 besties
  • 2015 – 2016, left Divas Book Blog,  guest reviewed for other Book Blogs
  • 2016 –          , Solo Book Blogger under new name and new blog

 

Of course, there´s more to that résumé but that´s for another time. We´re concentrating on goals today. So, what exactly were my goals?

 

Note: I might have had goals but I never, not even in my wildest dreams, believed any of the 2 goals would ever be reached. I mean, I´m me. I don´t belong to the luckiest bunch in the world. Yet, I had hope ( even if those hopes were too far out of my reach ).

 

My first goal: Receiving a signed paperback copy from an author. I´m not talking about the signed copies we usually have to pay for these days. I´m talking about the books that have been given freely from the heart with a small personal note. A smaller goal but still not easy to achieve ( unless you go to a book signing event or pay for an author´s signature ).

My second goal: To have my name / blog name / tagline from one of my reviews on a book cover. To be fair, I had no idea how that was going to happen. All I knew was that I wanted one book with something from myself on it. This wasn´t a realistic goal of mine.

 

You know how you sometimes say that you could die a happy man / woman if something you´ve dreamt of ever happened?

That´s what I always said.

“If my name ever gets printed on a book then I´ll retire and die happy.” 

Well, I reached my first goal quicker than I thought I ever would.

 

signed books

 

 

That, in the pic above, means the world to me. My first bookish goal. Through hard work ( many hours networking, book blogging, spreading the word, etc ) I received my personalized signed paperbacks.

I couldn´t have been more happy.

Until this happened….

 

wp sleeve
Pic #1: Dangerous To Know & Love ( romance ). Pic #2: The Devil´s Eyes               ( paranormal romance ).

 

This was a faint – worthy moment for me. My words. On the backside of a paperback book. I truly thought my blogging goals couldn´t be topped.

I was wrong.

 

sleeve cover
The Frost of Springtime ( Historical romance )

 

The best moment of my book blogging career. I made it on a book cover. The front.

I´m not a crier but when that day… when the book arrived… I was bawling my eyes out.

 

 

Now that I´ve long reached my bookish goals… do I have anything else I´d like to achieve as a book blogger?

This may sound ungrateful but, no. I´m happy as I could ever be. As of now, I don´t have any book blogger goals. But who knows what the future might bring, right?

 

This post isn´t about parading my achievements and tooting my own horn. This post is for everyone who has a book blogger goal ( or any goal, for that matter ).

THIS TYPE OF ADVICE YOU CAN TAKE FROM ME.

No matter how big or small, how insignificant or meaningful your goals are… Never forget that you are able to achieve those goals.

 

If your goal is to become a successful blogger – you can do it!

If your goal is to be unique – be unique!

If you want to host a book signing event – no one is stopping you!

With a little love, sweat, energy and time… you can reach your goals.

 

Look at me… If I can get my name on a book cover then you certainly have the power to achieve whatever it is you have your mind set on.

 

Speaking of name… Don´t be confused if you´ve read Julia on the signed books in pic #1. I go by both, Morgana and Julia. ( first and middle name )

 

Dream small. Dream big. No matter what you do, make those dreams come true!

Do you have any blog goals? Have you reached them yet? Share your thoughts and secrets! I would love to discuss your goals with you.

Much love and warm hugs,

Morgana ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Funny Book Dedications

Those words of thanks from an author to someone special…. They´re often found on the dedication page.

You know, the page most people love to skip because they want to immediately get started with the story? Yeah. That page.

Book dedications might not be of major importance to a story, but some dedications are totally worth taking a look at.

Alas!

Here are 10 Funny Book Dedications

 

  1. Oh?

book meme 1

 

 

 

2. I hope I´m not on this author´s shit – list.

book meme 10

 

3. I bet Dad beamed with pride ( and waved back at the book )

hi dad

 

4. Sir Kmart Asshole.

book meme 3

 

 

5. Uuhm…. okay ( hangs head ). 

book meme 5

 

 

6. I´ve always wondered about that.

book meme 6

 

 

7. Dear author, I can relate.

book meme 7

 

 

8. Poor Mr. Marganit.

book meme 8

 

 

9. Best. Line. Ever.

book meme 9

 

 

10. Oops.

book meme 11

 

It´s worth looking at book dedications. You just never know what you´re going to read.

 

That´s it for now…. Stay tuned for more…. ❤ ❤