Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry: Are We Guinea Pigs?

Wow! It's been forever since I have done one of these! I have really missed them and am glad to be back doing it. This week the topic of choice was "Are We Guinea pigs?" Really, it's a great topic because being book bloggers, we are the first people to read a book a lot of the time. There isn't much to go off of besides reviews from other bloggers who might have gotten to the ARC before you did. 

There is the good and bad that go along with it. I will start with the good. So you get that awesome ARC of a book that you are totally dying to read right? You are super excited, you read it, and it totally rocks your world. Now, you get to write a review fangirling over all the awesomeness within it's pages. You chat with your friends, hype up the book, tweet at the author... yep you are stoked and want to let everyone know!! It's fabulous. You also have this great giddy feeling inside that you have gotten to read this fantastic book that has yet to grace the shelves of bookstores everywhere. It's an awesome feeling to know that your review could potentially mean sales of this book that you can't wait for the world to discover. 

Before I move on, don't forget to check out the other Book Girls blogs!!

Then there's the not so good. You have been waiting for a book forever. Get super thrilled when you get a chance to be one of the first ones to read it... and then it is totally not for you. You feel like you need to keep reading it because you were lucky enough to get to read it ahead of time, but also it's just not great for you and you don't want to force yourself through something you don't like. Then it comes time to review if you do get through it. (Which often times, I do not.) Now you are reviewing a book that you didn't enjoy. Yes, I know that publicity is publicity even if it's negative, but I can't help but think that maybe I am not "selling" a book if people read my reviews and think, "Oh, I really don't think this would be for me now that I've read your review." Do I feel bad? Yes, but I have to be honest as well. And what I don't like about a book might be something someone else loves. 

So, in other words, in a way we are guinea pigs, but also not. We all do this because we love it. There will be the good and the bad with everything you do. I have to say, if we are guinea pigs, I am totally okay with it. I love being a guinea pig and will take any bad that comes along with it. The good is so worth it. I am very appreciative of the publishers and authors that are willing to, or want me to read a book and give my opinion on it. I will always be honest with my reviews, but I think no matter what, we are promoting books. Love it or not, it's still on our blogs or other sites and people will see that and take it as they like. I think it's an absolutely rewarding experience when someone says that they bought a book because of my review. Guinea pigs unite!!!


  1. I just had the bad happen to me. It's really hard when you have loved an authors previous books and may even have a social media relationship with them. And you have to tell people that the book didn't work for you. Every time this happens, I always try and make sure I'm clear that it didn't work for me - that may not be the case for others. I'm always worried that some authors won't take it well. I've had both kinds of experience there. Some authors have been totally fine with it and it hasn't affected our relationship at all and I had one that said is was fine but her actions toward me say otherwise. So not only are guinea pigs but reviews often put us at odds with the very people we admire the most - authors. Great post.

  2. There are many of you that I use as a lab rat when it comes to books. There is a handful of books that I still feel torn about reading (Splintered), but, overall, I am really thankful that most of my blogging friends read the big names to help me with my wish list.

  3. I never thought of it in those terms, but the guinea pig description is very accurate. I really agree with what Val said. Anytime you read an ARC, you are signing up to be a guinea pig. And like you pointed out, there are definite negatives and positives to that.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. Great post! I agree. And at times I feel bad writing those reviews. I want to promote every books because I love them but I know I have to be honest.


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