Fairytale News | Early reviews.


'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

There are two sides when it comes to review copies. It’s a privilege to read books early, but it can also be stressful to read them all in time. There are also all the books in our TBR piles. It’s very important for me to have a good balance. I’m a mood reader, so I need to be able to read whatever I want. The reason I don't get burned out on review copies is because I’ve found a system that works for me, so I thought I should share it with you.



I use a spread sheet in Excel where I can see when X book is published. This is something I started after seeing the amazing method from Debby from Snuggly oranges. Before, I only used Goodreads as reference, but it's harder to work with. I try to read my ARC's as soon as possible, because that leaves me with more time for my own books. An important trick is to find out how many ARC's you can handle. If you feel comfortable with, let's say, 3 ARC's every month, try to stick with that! Nothing is worse than stressing out over reading.

Sometimes I like to read a book that will be published months later, just because I feel like it. You can see that May is busy for me, so instead of reading only releasing books from April, I switch it up with May releases. (I use red to mark the books I'm currently reading) 

I like to post my reviews somewhere in the release month, preferred 1 – 2 weeks before the publication date. I have a feeling that not many reviews are posted at that time and it's always annoying for me when I see 10 review for the same book popping up in my feed on the same day, so I like to avoid that with my own review. It's also the reason I sometimes post a review after the publication date, but I try to have 1 week as maximum.

Lately I’ve noticed a trend where bloggers post their reviews – in my eyes – far too early. I’m talking about reviews for books that aren’t published for 4 months or even more. It makes me wonder why? By the time the book comes out, no one remembers your review. We get these review copies to create attention for this book, but do you accomplish that by posting it so soon? Is it effective enough? I can't wait to hear your thoughts if you post them so early. Is it because there is no place in your schedule?

What are your thoughts? Do you have a good balance between TBR pile & ARC pile books? And what is your time frame for posting early reviews?

83 comments

  1. I follow a similar process to yours, limiting the ARCs I request and posting the reviews 1-2 weeks before the publication date. What I really like, though, is your strategy to read them ASAP. I sometimes hold off a read them too late, which contributes to me feeling overwhelmed. I think you've inspired me to start tackling these a little earlier!

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    1. That is great! I hope it works for you too :)

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  2. I don't like to accept too many arcs. At this point and time I have three. I got them close to their release date so I haven't had time to read them before their release date, but will get to them soon. I try to keep a balance between library books, my own books, and review copies.

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    1. Nice, Rachael, I sometimes still need to stop myself from requesting books, haha.

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  3. I also keep a spreadsheet of all my books!! I love, LOVE spreadsheets lol. My balance between tbr and arcs fluctuates. Sometimes I am on a roll and I will read 4 or 5 arcs in a row but then other times I'll read one and then a tbr... it really depends on what I'm feeling. I try to give myself enough leeway though that if I decided I don't want to read a particular review book at the time, I still have a few weeks before my review posts so I can delay it. I also dislike super early reviews. I don't read them if they are super far in advance because I will forget about the book by the time it is released. I post within the 2 weeks before and after a release as a general rule!

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    1. Spreadsheets are the best, I love making lists. It makes me feel much calmer. Like you, it also really depends on how I feel, but I think I've found a good way.

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  4. I think for me even though I'm super organised and everything with my blogging and ARCs I'm trying to get through the ones that are out in that month, read in that month. But like you if I'm not in the mood for it I will get really stressed over it and everything. I have a GR 'next to read' which really helps, as well as a folder on my Kindle and a shelf with all the ones I'm reading next or are coming out soon. I find that helps. I know I have a huge TBR but I want to enjoy it without getting stressed. I quite like read-alongs as well on some books. Great post, Mel!

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    1. A 'next read' shelf is also a very good idea!

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  5. I'm guilty of getting burnt out on ARCs, so my new system is to only request one ARC at a time. If I get approved, I read it when I feel like it, and ideally, post my review within a week or two of publication (either before or after). If I don't get approved, than I can browse the catalogue and try for something different.

    I'm not sure what my system will be if I start getting approved for physical ARCs! Haha

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    1. How good of you! I always go crazy when I see books I'm interested in..

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  6. Nice spreadsheet, Mel! :) I've been requesting way too many books and not reading them in time until recently. Now I'm implementing a new system - don't request a new book until you read the previous request and schedule a review, otherwise I end up reading only ARCs and not reading anything else I buy for myself. I've got a fantastic library on my kindle and I haven't been able to read books on it for absolute ages which pisses me off. So from April onwards I'm working with a new system. As to posting reviews too early, I don't see the point when you can pre-schedule them on release date or after. I think people do it when they have nothing else to post (maybe?).

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    1. Sounds like a good system! :) Oh yes, that might be a reason indeed.

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  7. Hmm...this is a really great system you have Mel! It makes everything look so organized! And I agree...what's the need for posting reviews so early? As you said so eloquently, "By the time the book comes out, no one remembers your review. We get these review copies to create attention for this book, but do you accomplish that by posting it so soon? Is it effective enough?"

    I think people do this because they just want to get the review out of the way, and they don't want to forget about it. I think maybe this could be fixed by advocating more people about the importance of scheduling posts?

    Anyway, this is a really interesting topic. Definitely interested in reading some of the comments! Thanks for sharing Mel! <3

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    1. I sometimes have posts waiting to be published that I've written months before, haha.

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  8. I totally agree that balance is key. You're right, there is really nothing worse than stressing out over reading. It's supposed to be fun, after all! I've definitely worked on how I schedule things over the last year or so, and now, I find I can read review copies without worrying about dates, and also find time for non-review books. It's bliss. :) I also agree with you about early reviews, in that they don't draw attention to the book at the right time. 1-2 weeks before or after sounds perfect to me, but of course, that's just personal opinion. It doesn't frustrate me if people choose to do otherwise, as I think it's up to them unless they've been told otherwise (by author or publisher etc.). Also, I'll just choose not to read a review if I think it's too early to. It's a good discussion point, though. Great post, Mel! :)

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    1. Yes, blogging = fun, not work! It doesn't really bother me, but I've noticed that I tend to completely forget about those early reviews. I notice them more when the book is almost published.

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  9. This is such a clever idea! *envies your organisation kills*

    I think it's key to keep a steady balance between ARCs and TBRs… but it's still something I'm – admittedly – awful at. I'm one of those people who juggles time and books so badly I end up reading 10 at the same time and, consequently, having to write and post all those reviews at the same time too. *Cries*

    But I'm feeling fairly optimistic about trying out this method. If it works for you then fingers crossed it works for me too!

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    1. It's not that hard! :) Haha, I read a lot of books at the same time too. Having a notebook and making notes is an easy way! You don't have to write all the reviews at the same time, because you can look at your notes a couple of days later :)

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  10. Wow, I seriously need to get myself organized with one of those amazing spreadsheets! That is really cool, Mel! :D

    I try not to post reviews the exact week of publication, for the reason you mentioned---the blogsphere just gets flooded with everyone reviewing the same book. I do post early reviews sometimes, but I try not to get farther than a month or so early. I also review for a magazine so sometimes I'll have a book that I have to read for the magazine deadline (which is usually about a month and half before the book comes out) and will post a blog-version of the review early. I am SO not a post scheduler, as hard as I try to be, I just haven't gotten the hang of it yet. What I try to do for those early reviews is post a tweet around the pub-date that links back to my review, so it gets double exposure! You are right, though---if we're talking about books being reviewed 4 or 5 months early, I don't see the point in that, but I don't mind reading an ARC review a few months early---there's no harm in a little early buzz, just not TOO early!

    Great discussion, Mel!

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    1. How cool that you review for a magazine! I'm not a scheduler either, haha. I don't like keeping a schedule, even when I like being organized.

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  11. Wow, this post was very helpful to me! Being a new book blogger, I had no method to my madness. But putting all the books that need to be read on a spreadsheet like that is very smart! I might have to try it. And I never thought about posting reviews way too early before the publication date. Opened my eyes a little. Great post :D

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  12. Oh wow, so many ARCs! I like to post my reviews of the book on the publication date - definitely not months ahead, so for me since I want to post two book reviews a week on my blog, I have taken to reading my ARCs pretty close to the publication date even when I get them early. So that's my way to force myself to post closer to the pub date. I agree with you that it seems more helpful to the author or publisher to talk about the book closer to when the book is going to be released.

    You are so organized though, I usually just use a pocket calendar and scribble book pub dates on there when I can. :) I have to try using a spreadsheet!

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    1. What can I say.. Sometimes I can stop myself or I think that 'I won't get accepted anyway' and then they all do :p

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  13. I love your spreadsheet! I'm uber-organized, so I go crazy over stuff like that haha. Personally I've been trying to request fewer and fewer ARCs lately. They just overwhelm me and I'd rather read my own books on my own schedule. But if I ever start reading more ARCs, I would definitely use a system like yours. It looks like it keeps you really on top of things!

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    1. I hope I do, haha. Sometimes I mess up a little, but I always try to keep in mind that it's not worth to get stressed over :)

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  14. Love this post. <3 Thank you for sharing about how you do it Mel :) I don't have a list like this.. but I do know about all the eARCs I have to read, hih. But the thing is, I peek at all of them. And most of the time I don't want to read them at all :( Always makes me so sad. So it happens often that I do not read the ecopy :\ Sigh. But anyway. About reviews. I would never be able to not write my review right after finishing a book.. and then I always post it right after. I don't have a schedule or anything for reviews :) And I love it that way. If I were going to wait months before publishing my review, the publisher would have to ask me to wait. Otherwise I publish it right after I read/write it, hih :)
    <3

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    1. Haha, you are a self spoiler :p Yes, that's what I think too. Most publishers don't want you to publish them so early..

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  15. When it comes to e-ARCs, I arrange them on my nook in a way that makes it a little easier to keep track of the release dates. haha, it's nothing super fancy: the ones closest to the top mean their release dates are the soonest or will be expiring soon.

    With physical ARCs I keep them lined up next to my desk in the order of their release dates. However, sometimes I'm just not in the mood to read an April release and I'll jump ahead.

    When it comes to the actual reviews I prefer scheduling them as close to the release date as possible. Usually the reviews will go live ON that day, but sometimes two books have the same pub date and I'll wind up scheduling one a few days early/later. No biggie.

    I've certainly seen some wildly early reviews pop up and I really see no point in it. It doesn't generate any buzz - by the time the book finally comes out, that person's review is long forgotten. All of the publishers I've ever worked with have specifically asked for the review to go live NO EARLIER THAN a month from the pub date! I just don't understand why people do it. If you're that on top of your ARCs that you're reading books five months in advance, bravo! But why not schedule the reviews to go live closer to the release date?

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    1. Good that you mention it. Completely forgot to mention that I have a 'review' shelf on my e-reader. Might tackle that somewhere next time :P

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  16. Love this idea Mel! But its probably took so much time, which I barely have these days! I agree with the posting of reviews 1-2 weeks prior before the release date. Great ideas Mel, I love this post a lot!

    Happy Reading Mel
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

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    1. Not even that much! You could always include less information, like skipping the genre :)

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  17. Maybe I should do one like this. But I really hate scheduling because I don't like being dictated on what to read. I read what I want when I want. And with that, I am one those reviewers who reviews book way I ahead of time. But I promote my reviews on the week it is due to be released (via my hot of the press meme) and if I'm up for the task, I also tweet the link of my reviews. It's something that works for me.

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    1. I really dislike scheduling too, that's why I hardly do it :p

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  18. I'm a mood reader as well, so systems never work for me. The only thing I do is list down the ARCs that'll be published within the month so I know which ones to give priority to. Other than that, I just read whatever I feel like at the time.

    As for posting reviews early, I don't really mind. If I see an early review that's raving about a certain book, I add it to my wishlist or "want now" shelves and check it regularly and see if anything's been published. =)

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    1. Me too, mood reading is something I always keep in mind. I don't want to read books I don't feel like and end up hating them because of it.

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  19. I used to feel like I had a better balance than I do now. I pretty well feel like I'm drowning at times. I can't complain though because I still always want more books. I don't know why this is. I have piles around me but I need more. I think it's an addiction. I tend to be a mood reader that tries to stick to a reading plan. Then I end up slumping :-( I love how organized you are! It's insane, I am a pretty type A, organized person UNTIL it comes to my blog. No clue why I completely fail to organize blog stuff and reading.

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    1. I think we all now this addiction! I'm not really much of an organizer though, but I love making lists :D

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  20. I use google calendar to keep track of review books. I mark in red when i have to read a book before a certain day and so i can easily scroll through my schedule and see for when I have to read which book. I am also a mood reader and lately I've accepting a bit too many rveiew copies which I have to read before a certain date and while they are all books I want to read, I still feel a bit too busy. I am still trying to figure out how many ARC's I can read in a month as I am reading less this year than I did last year.

    I usually post my reviews on my blog as soon as I read them. I think early reviews, like months in advance, are a way to generate interest as well. people still can add that book to their to-read list or pre-order it. I sometimes post reviews early, beause usually I just post them when I've read them and don't really check the release date. Unless I have to post the rveiew on a certain day, then I post it on that day.

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    1. Okay, thanks for sharing that side of the story Lola! It does make sense :)

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  21. I agree, I don't think ARC reviews should be posted more than a month early! I usually stick to 1-2 weeks in advance as well. I love your system, though...very organized! I just use a Word doc and write the title and release date, in order of release date so I can keep track of what books I need to read that are releasing soon.

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    1. Seems like you pretty much do the same in Words :)!

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  22. I've wanted to create some sort of spreadsheet for review books, but I just haven't gotten around to it. It looks like it works really well for you, though! I sort of wish i were able to post reviews that far in advance (not that I would) since I'm months behind in my review pile!

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  23. I've started tracking my reading, but I hadn't thought to track ARC releases like that! Though I really limit the number of ARCs I request, so I only end up with maybe one or two ARCs a month, because like you, I don't want to end up reading ARCs and nothing but; I have plenty of books in my backlist that are sure to be as good as or better than upcoming releases. Sometimes I think bloggers get so wrapped up in reading books early that a lot of older gems are missed!

    That said, I usually never manage to get ARC reviews out prior to their release date, although I usually post them with a month of publication. My reading pace means I can only post two reviews a week, but I try to keep ahead of myself, so when publishers take a long time to respond to my ARC request I'm already booked up in my schedule by then!

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    1. Agreed! I think it's important to realize that blogging isn't only about reading new published or upcoming books. The 'oldies' are just as good :)

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  24. I hate the early reviews! I think in a way its like rubbing someone's nose in it. I know they likely don't intend it that way. But would it really hurt them to schedule the review out to closer to publication which is usually what the publishers want anyway.

    I also keep a spreadsheet. I tend to read most ARCs the same month they publish.

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  25. Great tips! I also use excel to organize my arcs and it helps a lot. That's crazy how some bloggers post arc reviews 4 months earlier. I've seen that a few times on Goodreads and I'm like...uhhh can't you wait? lol. Plus, I don't really read arc reviews until the publication date is super close because I'm scared of getting spoiled, plus, if the review is a positive one, then I would hate to wait on an awesome book to come out.

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  26. After having my 2 month break and catching up on all my review books, now I'm way ahead! I have reviews planned for the next few months, but that means for any upcoming releases I most likely have to wait a long time before my review goes up. Maybe I'll have a quiet couple of months, or maybe I'll just be ahead for ages! I'm certainly not this organised, though- surprising for me, since I love, LOVE to organise!

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  27. OMG Mel your system looks exactly like mine! I use an excel spreadsheet as well. Although lately I've gone completely off it and am just looking at my bookshelf and reading what I feel like, otherwise I'd never get to my ARC copies. Great discussion post! I think it's great cos you can keep a track of what's coming up and the dates they are due.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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  28. Wow your system looks very organised! Right now, I use a Google Calendar that I share with my co-bloggers and it works nicely to see when we are planing to post something but making a sheet on Excel seems pretty smart to organise when to read books! I might adopt that one day!


    Great post, Mel! <33

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    1. That sounds like a good way for co-blogging! You could always use Google docs to make an excel spreadsheet for everyone (if I'm correct)

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  29. Ooh, this way of organizing looks so tidy! I don't have that many ARCs as you do (Since me and eReader aren't exactly best friend) but I would like to try this to keep an eye on book release schedule to keep my blog up to date! I often missed out the release dat eby a month or so because I forget, and by the time I remember, everyone had already switched their love and raved about another book already.

    Thanks for sharing, Mel! Great post!

    Neysa @ Papier Revue

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  30. I organize in almost the exact same way! I keep my spreadsheet on Google Drive, though, so I can access it when I'm not on my computer and can know what's out next no matter where I am, since most of my review copies are digital and on my tablet already. But clearly, you are much better at keeping up with them. I'm very much a mood reader, so I definitely find myself skipping around a lot, but I also have the problem of not being in the mood for something for months at a time, which means I won't force myself to read a certain book, but I also won't review it in a timely manner, either. I'm really trying to get better, though! :) I have put myself on a schedule of (at least) 3 review books to 1 TBR book, so I can keep mostly up to date with my review books without getting too overwhelmed.

    I agree about people posting reviews wayyy too early. Yes, it does help create buzz, but so could just tweeting about it and talking to others, without the review. I will never post a review more than a month ahead of publication, simply because publishers don't like it--and I agree!--since a reader can't go out and get that book easily, and they'll likely forget about it before the publication date.

    Awesome post Mel! :D

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    1. Definitely clever! But I don't like doing blogging stuff on my mobile phone, so that's why I stick with Excel. I don't really have moods for months, but I can see how that can mess up your schedule!

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  31. I'm personally not big on review copies unless I absolutely positively NEED to read that book NOW, which is rare and almost never happens. There are so many other unread books on my shelves and books I get from the library that have my attention more, so I don't worry about requesting review copies. I also hear people talk all the time about how stressed they are because their ARCs keep piling up, and I don't want that. I realize you can control this by not applying for too many ARCs, but I know once I start I might not be able to stop.

    I definitely agree with people posting way too early though! One thing I DO think is really cool though is a feature Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner does -- she kind of spotlights a book a few months before it's out (I *believe* it's called Save the Date?), but it isn't really a review. Just basic thoughts and feelings and why you should wait for the book, and then her review comes out closer to the release date. It's kind of like saying hey, watch for this book! And then a few months later reminding readers about it. Really love that. :P

    Awesome post!

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    1. True.. It's an addiction. 'No, I don't need this ARC.' *request* 'NOOO' haha. It just happens sometimes :') Oh yes, that is also a fun way to highlight a book without reviewing it.

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  32. Mel, your system is so well organized. I think it is a great recommendation to decide on a number of ARCs you can handle a month and stick to it. It definitely keeps reading/blogging fun and less stressful. I am super impressed and jealous of your reading system. I am so swamped with life at the moment that my reading schedules are all out of whack!

    Great post :)

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

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    1. I hope your life gets a little less busy soon! But hey, blogging isn't always about schedules :D it's also about having fun.

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  33. I'm such a geek when it comes to lists and organization like this spreadsheet that I couldn't stop staring <3 I agree, I think people are starting to post TOO early. Of course, sometimes I feel like I'm rushing to post on time so there might be that mixed in. But still, I think everyone needs to remember what it's for. Love this!

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  34. I made a sheet like that too at the beginning of the year. Especially because I fell so far behind on reviewing ARCs last year. Now I'm always on track and I'm able to post reviews when the book comes out. (I usually post them about a week before the book comes out = people have time to preorder it but they also won't forget about it again until it comes out)
    I also added a column that automatically tells me how many days left until the release date and mark them as 'read' and 'reviewd' to get a number of how many are left = if I can request new ones. I love the way yours looks too! So detailed! (I'm a sucker for spreadsheets, I make them for everything^^)

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    1. Cool! I'm not that handy with Excel, so I have no idea how I could do that, haha.

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  35. In my Monday post this week I touched upon how I don't accept review books because I like the freedom of being able to move on to whatever suits me next as opposed to reading something simply because the release date is coming up. I used to blog under another title than I do now where I was primarily a book blogger and so accepting review books and such - alongside personal circumstance, part of the reason I stopped blogging on that particular site is because reading became a stressful chore for me, not an enjoyable past time. It seems like you have managed to find a good balance between review and personal books - something I could not get a handle on. I'm sure many are grateful for you sharing this method of staying organised!

    Also, it frustrates me when I read a review and I get really excited about the book only to check online and it isn't released for a good few months - seriously, why?!

    :-)
    Bits & Bobs

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    1. You should definitely stick with what feels good for you. Blogging isn't about review copies after all, it's just about sharing love for books! :)

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  36. I don't read basically any arcs because they stress me out. I rarely request one (like 1-2 per 3-4 months if that), but I do love reading some arc reviews. Like.. when I'm indecisive about whether or not to read/pre-order a book etc or want another opinion to see if it matches another review I've read, but if it's a book that I want to read bad, but don't want any kind of spoilers or know anything about it? Not a fan of those, but then again, I don't have to read that one. Anyhow, time frame, yeah? I post mine like.. 2 weeks early or sometimes even after the release date or on the release day etc. Somewhere near the release date. I don't like ones that (even on GR) say that the person already read the book and has a review up, as you said, 4 months ahead. What? Why? I won't remember anything about one's opinion unless it's like one of my blogging besties which is something they don't do. (Thank goodness for that.) Great discussion, Mel!

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    1. I think it's okay to highlight the book on GR, sometimes I put a tiny review on there to spark interest, but I think you should wait.. most of my friends don't post them so early either, so I'm happy with that too :)

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  37. I am slowly trying to catch up with all the review copies and I'm quite envious (and impressed) about your organization and spreadsheet usage! Wow, you've inspired me, I'd love to implement something like this for myself!! It is a privilege to get access to ARCs but like you, I'm a HUGE mood reader and sometimes I just can't go by what I should read because I need to read what I want to read.

    As far as a time frame for posting early reviews - I agree, I find some people post far too early for my liking personally. If the book comes out in December, I don't like seeing reviews for it now. For me, I post arc reviews a week or two before and it works for me. That's when I like reading them too :-) Wonderful post Mel, as usual ^^ xox

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    1. Yeay, I'm glad I could inspire you Micheline! :)

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  38. I love your spreadsheet and am tempted to do the same, but, I really like keeping a list on Evernote because I can access it on my phone as well as on my computers. My list has the same info as yours, although I don't include genre, though now I think I should!

    I totally agree with putting up reviews 4 months in advance - I think it's better to wait until closer to release day, especially if you loved the book, you'll help make it well known!

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    1. I've used Evernote too in the past. I've switched from several methods, but this works the best so far. Genre is easy when you are a mood reader like me. I can pick a book also based on what I want.

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  39. The spreadsheet is a good idea of controlling the ARC streams, you're so well-organized, Mel. :)
    I like it better when bloggers put their review a week or two weeks prior to published date, or anywhere after. A month before is quite okay, too, but not two or four months in advance. It will only confuse the readers and, yeah, they'll probably forget about the review once the book comes out. :)

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    1. A month is okay too. I think most publishers have that as limit for posting early too.

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  40. I like to post my review for an ARC in the month preceding its release. I *think* this is what publishers prefer too. But since I don't typically have a lot of posts scheduled ahead, I wait until around that time to read the book. I'll only read an ARC really early if I know it won't interrupt my post schedule. As for ARCs vs TBR I don't have enough ARCs that I HAVE to read (aka from EW and not ALA or BEA) so it's no problem for me if I want to read form my TBR instead.

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  41. I don't really review ARCs anymore because I just majorly fail at reading books when I know I have to. Like you, I'm a mood reader. I can start reading a book I don't want to read, but it's just not happening. I won't return to it or I'll read it slower than ever. And then I feel bad for not reviewing them in time. haha but that's just me. I'm all over the place when it comes to reading. I can't schedule it, but I wish I could. I love your spreadsheet though, and it looks like a neat method! I also prefer seeing reviews for ARCs right before their publication and not too far in advance or I'll forget about them. Great post!

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    1. At least you know that about yourself! :D It's great when you realize what works or doesn't works for you.

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  42. "There are two sides when it comes to review copies. It’s a privilege to read books early, but it can also be stressful to read them all in time. There are also all the books in our TBR piles. It’s very important for me to have a good balance. I’m a mood reader, so I need to be able to read whatever I want." -- DING DING DING. This is how I feel exactly. Except I don't feel like I have a balance or I'm just dissatisfied with how slow I read compared to everyone else or something. Dunno. Or bad buying habits. Ahhhgrghh. I like your excel sheet though! That's how I organize my ARC reviews too.

    "I try to read my ARC's as soon as possible, because that leaves me with more time for my own books." -- This. This exactly. I just did that for April but then I sort of wonder if shoving all the ARCs as quickly as possible makes me crankier about them... I think it's exactly what you said -- determining how many ARCs to go with. Some part of me just wants to stop reviewing them altogether but that's not going to happen :O.

    " You can see that May is busy for me, so instead of reading only releasing books from April, I switch it up with May releases. (I use red to mark the books I'm currently reading) " -- May IS a busy month for you. Do you get all your ARC reviews done in time, like before release or two weeks after or something or do you post them later? I'm super fascinated now because you've got so so so many books there plus fitting in releases? Are you a super fast reader?

    "I like to post my reviews somewhere in the release month, preferred 1 – 2 weeks before the publication date." -- Ahhh I see. But HOW do you do it? You have nearly 10 books in May! Will you be posting 2-3 reviews a week then?

    "I have a feeling that not many reviews are posted at that time and it's always annoying for me when I see 10 review for the same book popping up in my feed on the same day, so I like to avoid that with my own review." -- Heh. I might be one of them. It's hard when so many of them can have the same release date :O.

    "Lately I’ve noticed a trend where bloggers post their reviews – in my eyes – far too early. I’m talking about reviews for books that aren’t published for 4 months or even more. It makes me wonder why? By the time the book comes out, no one remembers your review. We get these review copies to create attention for this book, but do you accomplish that by posting it so soon? Is it effective enough? I can't wait to hear your thoughts if you post them so early. Is it because there is no place in your schedule?" --- I know a few people who post early. It is to get it out of the way, I think, because there's a lot of books. Also early reviews are really helpful actually. Especially since you mention deciding how many ARCs to request. When requesting ARCs, I'm always hoping that one of my friends has already read the book super early so I can decide whether I want to request it. It's true that maybe around release, that early review isn't the first you think of, but that early review can really inspire later reviews and requests so that more reviews can come in.... Or so I think anyway :D.

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    1. -I'm happy with how this system works out for me. I hope you can find a better balance too Christina! Bad buying habits.. don't talk to me about it, haha. I know the feeling.
      -You could always try it out for a month. No review books/no requesting and see how it works.
      -Well, I do think I'm a faster reader than the average reader, so that does come in handy! Most of the times I do get most of the ARC's done (I only post them later because of the reasons I say later). And when I don't get them done, I just don't stress out over them, haha. So some might be finished 1 week after publication, it doesn't bother me that much :) Like now: I already finished a May book and I have plenty of time left! I already finished some May books which aren't on the list anymore, haha.
      -I think I will! I still have like.. 14 reviews, but those are all for already published books, so in May it will be review books.
      -Okay, that's true yes!

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  43. Ugh, too much ARCs are definitely a struggle! I don't request much at all (not having an eReader REALLY helps) and I already suffer from this problem. ):
    It only makes matters worse when I post the review of the ARCs right before the very week it comes out. It causes so much pressure to read them beforehand and write a full review and just, BLAHHHH.
    Yes, I don't get people who post 4 months in advance. I was guilty of that once, but that time: 1. I didn't know any better and 2. I won the ARC in a giveaway and it wasn't sent from the publisher so it wasn't THAT big of a deal.

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  44. I always post my reviews on Goodreads immediately, mostly because I think it's helpful for other bloggers who might consider requesting the ARC. Then I usually post them on my blog about 2 weeks before release (but never more than 1 month early).

    I don't use a spreadsheet or anything to keep track though. I can usually vaguely remember the publication dates of ARCs I get, since I never have too many at once. I just glance through my Kindle and decide what sounds good to read next. I go completely out of order too. Sometimes I'll read an ARC published 6 months in the future before one published 1 month in the future.

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    1. It's great that it works for you to keep track of things without a schedule or spreadsheet :) I think it's always important to read books you want to.

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  45. There have been a couple of times that I posted quite early reviews, and it was specifically because I was starting to see more and more reviews for it (Cress is a great example) and I didn't want to wait for pub month just to have my review feel completely redundant ya know? Lately, though I've become rather behind on my ARCs so I'm posted a week or two after pub date and only a few are lucky enough to get pub week posts, haha.

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  46. I recently published a review way too early. I did not even realize it was as early as it was. I always worry about when to post my arc reviews. I do not want them to be lumped in with all of the other reviews for the same book on the same day, but I don't want it to be too early either. So I tried to do it one week before everyone else, or one week after everyone else. I really need to use the Excel spreadsheet to organize not only my books, but my other blog posts too.

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