The simplest way for me to organize my books is by their release dates. Being a mood reader makes it difficult to stick to a TBR which, in turn, makes my review copies pile up. In the beginning I had a very messy system that ended up with me having more 40 backlogged review copies. Not at all greatest moment, I tell you. I was horrified and scrambling to raise my NetGalley percentage.

I knew I couldn’t get to these reviews, so – with great embarrassment – I had to decline many of the copies I received. This isn’t something I would recommend to anyone because it is actually disrespectful and is an inconvenience to publishers who have a set number of review copies to hand out. This hurts any future chances you may have with the publishing company.

After that, I decided it would work in my best interests – and the publishers – to set up a system to help me keep my review copies in check.

April 2018 Text Divider

Once I receive a review copy, I mark down the release dates using Google Calendar. The books and their release dates are color coded to keep them separated from upcoming blog posts. Now, before requesting, ALWAYS make sure this is a book you want. My tip is not to request it immediately but to give yourself some time, like a week or so, to consider your decision. 

I try to request no more than four copies a month (but that also depends on how quickly you read). With this rule, I’m able to narrow down my choices of books to request instead of going after 10 books and suddenly having my approvals flooded! But this is also the point that makes me anxious because I begin thinking things like what if I don’t get approved for book A that by the time I request book B, it’s too late. However, I learn to ignore this because if I really want the book, I could just buy it! This way I won’t be wasting the publisher’s resources and I can take as much time as I want to enjoy the read.

I read the books a month or two before their release, if I can. This is the toughest part for me due to my mood reading tendencies, as noted earlier. Once the reading is done, I don’t always review the book right away but I do make a bullet point list of my thoughts. It helps to have notes or highlights while reading but that’s a preference. Then I draft the book review, take some simple pictures if needed, then pick a schedule – preferably a week after the release.

Reviewing books shouldn’t have to feel like a responsibility but a hobby. Book bloggers believe that reading the latest books or the most popular will bring a lot of traffic to their blog, however, this is not the case at all! Truth be told, book reviews are necessary for you to run a book blog. You don’t have to review the latest and most popular to gain a following. In fact, if you notice, book reviews are not my most popular posts and I wouldn’t be writing them had it not been for my enjoyment for analyzing books.

Book Blogger Hop (Final)

This week’s discussion is a part of the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The week’s questions was How do you organize your books for review? Does it work for you or have you had to change it?

April 2018 Text Divider

How do you organize your books for review? Does it work for you or have you had to change it? Do you have any review copies that you couldn’t review?

Let’s be friends!

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20 thoughts on “[Cam’s Bookish Tales] HOW I ORGANIZE & MANAGE MY REVIEW COPIES

  1. Sheree Strange says:

    That sounds like a really great system!! It’s funny, I’m highly organised in basically every area of my life (a hangover from a previous life as a personal assistant), *except* for my books and reading list. I’ve got books piled all over the house, and only the vaguest idea of what I’m reading next and what I’m planning. The calendar and chronological ordering are really good ideas! Keep up the good work 😉


  2. thebackwardsbookshelf says:

    Thanks for linking those discussion questions! I may have to join in on this, those are some pretty interesting topics!


  3. Cahleen @ The Alt Story says:

    This is really helpful! It never occurred to me to put the book’s release date on my calendar, but why not? It would stop me from having to check NetGalley constantly to remind myself of the dates, thus preventing further temptation to request more books than I can read. I’ve only dabbled with ARCs a little, and I’m finding knowing I *have* to read something instantly makes me not want to read it, plus I’m a giant mood reader, too. My goal now is to finish up the few ARCs I have over the summer, then I think I can only handle one a month.

    Why is NetGalley so addicting? It’s like a sickness!


  4. Cindy says:

    4 sounds like a good amount. Sometimes I feel like going crazy and requesting anything that sounds interesting (oops haha), but I only request titles I really want and so I only request one to two titles a month.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Inked By Books says:

    I’m also such a mood reader so I definitely need to try to stick to a schedule as well! I might steal yours 😋 I would probably make it physical in some way. Like put them in the order I need to read them in, or use post it notes 😂


  6. Charvi says:

    I completely agree with you! I started out being denied for many review opportunities and blog tours so I just kept on requesting but this April it all came back. I got accepted for EVERYTHING and this is disastrous. I had to change my review to an excerpt for a blog tour and am still scrambling to manage the rest of my reads.

    Thank you for the planning tips! Will keep them in mind 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marie says:

    This is such an interesting post, thank you for sharing! I find that not requesting too many books at the same time, and always keeping track of what I have left to read, really helps me in not freaking out haha. I also try and read review copies a couple weeks before release date, as well and make notes once I’m done, in case I don’t review it right away -which happens 99% of the time haha. Lovely post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. emmareadstoomuch says:

    this post may have just saved my life.

    i never sort anything when it comes to review copies (i’m the worst) and then i’ll see finished versions in bookstores or whatever and be like oh god. i am a failure. i am the worst person on earth.

    long story short i need to get organized. love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense says:

    I find review copies to be really stressful because like you, I am also a mood reader. I’m also the kind of person that gets stressed at the prospect of not reading and reviewing something on time. As a result, I try to limit the amount of review copies I have at once. I love being able to read books before their release dates, but as far as keeping the stress level down, it’s not always a good idea for me to do so. Last year I went about six months without requesting a book on NetGalley and I really liked the freedom to read what I wanted whenever I wanted. I think if you can find the right balance and a great way to not feel overwhelmed (like organization, which you’ve done here), review copies can be more fun than stressful.


  10. Victoria says:

    Love this post! I also have such a hard time reviewing books because I’m such a mood reader! I already use some of these tips, and I’m definitely going to try to be better about organizing and sticking to a tbr.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. thebookishlibra says:

    I completely relate to this post. I’m a mood reader too and sometimes really have to make myself read those review copies even if I’m really in the mood for something else. I have a spreadsheet where I log them in as I receive them – I make note of the date I received it and the publication date so that I don’t forget how long I’ve had it. I also have a color coding system on my sheet where I keep track of review books I’m currently reading, books that I need to read ASAP, books that I’ve read but still need to review, and then finally books that I’ve reviewed but just need to actually post the reviews for.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. northernplunder says:

    this is very good advice! and i agree with a lot of what you’ve said,
    i definitely recommend the whole “making a bullet point review” first as it helps to when youre ready to come and write the full review for aNY book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    I totally should have written something for this prompt Cam! I too only get 4 ARCs a month and keep track of the month they are due. I’m not able to read them ahead but I do make sure to publish my review before they release. It’s sometimes easy to request thinking you aren’t getting all of them but waiting to see before you request more is a good practice! ❤️ Sorry to get to this so late. 😉 Still glad I read it!

    Liked by 1 person

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