Hey, we're topical around here, yo. I've been keeping up with the discussion, even though I've only been able to start contributing over the last day or so. After being out of town for a couple of weeks, I really was fiending for my blog fix. The break was nice, but I just missed you guys way too much. :)
So, much as I'm worried that my toon will be upstaged by those awesomely adorable knitted Daleks down there, I offer my two cents on the bloggers-inundated-with-review-copies kerfluffle. (And believe you me, I have had my share of unrequested and inappropriate review copies. Chronicle Books, I'm talkin' to you! Thanks for your interest, but YA fiction only please! "My Mommy's Tote"--not so much!) What appalls me most is the waste--in packaging and postage costs, but also in the sense that I'm unlikely to read some of these titles, so the publishers are quite literally wasting their time sending it to me. I'm much happier getting sent a specific request from an author or publisher, or a catalog that I can peruse. But I'm NOT a full-time reviewer. I don't get paid for any of this. I want to be able to give due attention to the books I do write about. I hate having to ignore anyone who was kind enough to send me a review copy simply because I'm swamped with them, but that's what tends to happen when I find myself inundated--it will take me ages to get to the review, which isn't really fair to the person who sent it to me; and it will turn into a chore.
I know the "blogging-as-chore" thing has been on a lot of minds in the kidlitosphere lately, and I'm right there...but cutting down on my blogging time has really helped. I have paying work, and a life, and of course I have my creative work (paid or not...). So at one point I decided that I would focus on trying to put out two blog posts per week; no more. One of those would be Toon Thursday, with or without additional commentary or links. The other would be more of a soapbox or link roundup. Book reviews would trickle in to Readers' Rants as I have time to do them. I'm trying to give the blog--and the kidlitosphere--its own niche in my working life, without feeling like it's an enormous obligation. After all, I do this because I WANT to. I'd like to keep it that way.
Very topical indeed, a.f. The ones that get me are when they send the third book in a series, where I haven't read the first two. I know they can't be expected to keep track of what I've read, but perhaps asking first before sending books like that ... Just a thought.
It sounds like you have a pretty good plan for blog-life-balance, though.
I've contacted 3 pubs this week and already heard back from two - both taking me off the auto mailing lists and asking that I send review copy requests for whatever I want.
One of them was Harper Collins!
I could not believe it. (More on all this at my site tomorrow.)
Libri Eruptus answers: "But they're young adult ferrets! It's a perfect fit!"
We hear ya, Sarah! Sounds like you've figured it out.
And, Colleen, that's great news!
I like that plan. Congrats on finding a balance.
Thanks, guys! We'll see how well it works... Congrats, Colleen, on making progress with publishers!
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