For those of you who regularly read my blog (thank you much) you have probably noticed that at the bottom of a post or five I include the disclaimer *An ARC has been provided for an honest review*. Now if you have a book review blog of your own, or you have surpassed the intelligence of a 10 year old, you can probably guess what an ARC is. Basically, an author provides me with an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of their book in the hopes that I will post a review of it on my lovely little blog here. AKA, marketing in the modern world. Honestly, when I was first contacted by an author who wanted to give me a free copy of their book to review, my first thought was: what the hell kind of a scam is this! I really thought that the minute I downloaded the book a virus would corrupt my entire computer. So I researched the author, looked up what the heck “ARC” stood for, and held my breath as I hit the download button. Paranoid much? Alas, no technological tomfoolery ensued, and my time as an ARC reviewer began! I really have no idea if it’s politically correct to classify yourself as an ARC reviewer, but what the hell, I’m just going with the flow.
I’ll admit I was so unbelievably excited when that first author contacted me to review their book. Ever since then, I’ve noticed that every time an author sends me an e-mail requesting a review, two thoughts immediately go through my head, 1) holy crap, another author has somehow stumbled across my blog and wants to give me a free book!! 2) shit, now I have homework!! It seems like every time I finish an ARC, I get two more in my inbox. Rest assured all you authors out there, if you have sent me a copy of your work it is now safely stored on my Kindle, and now that the holidays are coming up I should have plenty of free time from work to do nothing but sit and read. Well, and eat a ridiculous amount of food that nobody should consume in one sitting. What else are the holidays for?
One of my favorite things about reviewing books that authors give me is that it sort of forces me to branch out as far as what I read. I always tend to default to the contemporary romance genre, with a focus on friends or co-workers falling in love. But I’ve read ARCs that feature paranormal characters, leads suffering from loss and depression, action-packed chase scenes in the Middle East, and even some with a bit of BDSM erotic qualities. Each one of these is definitely out of my comfort zone, and yet I’ve enjoyed a large number of them. Whenever I tell someone I know that an author wants me to review their book, one of my favorite questions they undoubtedly will ask at some point is, “What happens if you don’t like it?”. Well, ladies and gents, if you ask for an honest review, that’s what you’re gonna get. I must say, I have a lot of respect for all of you authors out there brave enough to provide me with your works. If you have done your necessary research, and read through a few of my reviews you’ll know that I can either praise your book from cover to cover, or I can rip it apart like a sarcasm sundae, covered in dry humor frosting, and top it all off with some inappropriate curse words. However, I do have a little message for all you authors out there: if I happen to dislike certain aspects of your book, or the whole thing entirely, just remember that you are far more talented than I. Sure, I can critique your novel in a short 800 word post, but you have written an entire book! That is something that I have not accomplished, and you can hold it over my head for all time. I hereby give you permission to do so. Enjoy.
I must say I’ve been having a lot of fun reviewing all these ARCs, and I hope to continue getting more in the future. If you’re an author who has written a novel which contains romance in some form, and would like me to feature a review of it on my blog, feel free to e-mail me at romance4thebeach at gmail dot com. A mobi or epub version would be best for my Kindle, which I feel I should really give a name at this point due to my overwhelming feelings of love for the device. What do you think of Kiki the Kindle? Koko? In case you’re wondering, I do this a lot. I can’t help it, I find giving names to inanimate objects amusing. The weirder the better.