Review Copies - The Beginning and Now

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Every reader dreams of a never ending pile of books generously gifted by family, friends, neighbours, co-passengers in trains and drug addicts on the nook of the corner building no one visits! Yes, we are that obsessed.

Cover: Review Copies - The Beginning and Now

But most of us take the easy way out (or so it seems initially). We start a book review blog. While most of the readers assume that they would receive carton full of books from publishers begging to review them, it hardly ever happens. Even the more established book bloggers don’t have a constant flow of ‘Great Books’ coming their way.

When I started the blog I was quite excited to have authors contact me offering their books to review. I still am pleased when they do (every blogger can do with some ego boost!). But, was I even close to where I wanted to be? Absolutely not!

When you begin your blog, most of the books you get are by independent authors. Some may be good, but many of them are worth feeding fire. You may hit jackpot sometimes, but most of the times you are only disappointed. Once you accept the book, you feel obliged to read and review. Not to forget, a string of bad reviews on your blog discourages other authors from sending you a copy, since they are convinced that you are a sadist.

It did happen to me quite a lot in the beginning. Even the blog hits suffered. The only visitors were the author themselves.

It takes a lot of time to get out of the rut and concentrate on a book that you may want to read, even though it does not come from the author or the publisher. Even though you have to sacrifice a cup of coffee with your friends to buy that one book that you wanted for yourself. But does it pay towards the end? Of course it does! You read what you like. You review what you enjoyed. You feel accomplished. The blog hits get better when you attract genuine readers who are interested in book talks. It is not just visited by the author who wrote it.

I do not get box full of books to review (I never did). But my reading quality has improved. I have a collection of books that I would actually want to reread and pass on to my kids and their kids. I am proud of the reader I have grown into. I still accept book from authors/indie authors/publishers. But the quality of books that I receive and review has significantly improved. And my bookshelf tells me its for the better.

What is your take on review copies? Let us know!

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com