(Anyone who knows me will know I wasn't talking about on top of my dusty shelves for goodness sake!)
So, in November of 2013, I discovered NetGalley and I can honestly say my (reading) life changed-the jury is still out on whether my actual life has improved or just collapsed by the wayside.
For the uninitiated, NetGalley is a service that provides readers with advance copies of books, and publishers a way of getting their author's work out into the market with relatively low overheads. All copies are digital, with a large proportion archived just before publication date, and are available either as .pdf downloads or can be sent straight to kindle. Each request is looked at individually (I pity the interns when big names are listed) which is why it's handy to either have an active blog, or to be working either with books or anywhere you can spread the word about a release. Just signing up for free shiz isn't going to cut it I'm afraid.
Unfortunately, I will admit, this has made it very hard to get my approval rating (your request vs feedback given score) anywhere near the preferred 80%. At the time of writing I'm languishing around the 55% mark even though I've given feedback on 95 titles in 5 months. That's about 6 binbags worth I reckon. I need to get above that mystical 80% mark as that's when the 'big boys' of publishing start approving your requests. I'm talking Penguin, Random House among others. Not to decry other publishing houses (especially Scribner, the first ones to 'auto-approve me...mwah...no seriously MWAH!) but once you stop getting the 'denial' emails from those guys, the book world is your oyster.
To make my reading and reviewing life slightly more organised, and to give me a kick up the bum, I've signed up to the Clean Sweep ARC Challenge run by Angela @ Angela's Anxious Life and Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. The aim is to get as many of those ARCs read as possible, while joining others of a similar mindset, with the added incentive of comps and a chat meet-up to spur each other on.
Part of the challenge was to post and give yourself a target, so I'm aiming for 12 minimum, an average of 3 a week. The hardest part will be not requesting any more during the month of May. It's not a requirement of the challenge, rather my own personal goal, which if I manage it, will not only get me closer to the mythical 80% but also leave me like this:
With any luck, it should also lead to increased blog followers which are also handy.
You know, you could always click that groups follow button there ------------------------->
Up a bit. Under the Goodreads widget.
That's the kiddy.