Books for Thought is where I post a discussion topic related to books, reading, writing, or something pertaining to one of the three. I hope you’ll join in, and discuss today’s topic of
unsolicited review copies
An unsolicited review copy is a book that you receive from a publisher as a surprise. You haven’t requested to review it, but they send you the book in hopes that a) it will pique your interest, b) you will read it, c) you will like it, and d) that you will review it.
Unsolicited review copies are awesome. They’re a surprise, and there’s a certain
smug humble feeling you get when you realise the publisher likes your positive (or negative – they can be good, too) reviews enough to send you a book in the hope that you’ll do a-d as mentioned above.
Now, I have discovered some pretty amazing books through unsolicited review copies being sent to me, for example: The Rest of Us Just Live Here and Something Like Normal. Both of which just arrived on my doorstep. Both of which I adored. There have been others, as well, but those were just the first two that popped into my head.
So receiving unsolicited review copies can be an awfully great thing.
But then sometimes there’s a book that arrives on your doorstep, and you … just aren’t really interested in it at all. You don’t really want to read it, and by proxy you don’t want to review it, either.
And that’s where the guilty feeling comes in.
Because, like I said before, unsolicited review copies make you feel awesome. But when the book’s not something you think you’ll enjoy, it’s probably better not to read it and negatively review it (publicity wise), but there’s still this heavy weight of guilt that accompanies receiving a book and knowing that you’re not going to read it and then review it. At least there is for me.
And so I have a pile of unsolicited review copies that I am not so keen on. But I also have a pile of unsolicited review copies I fully intend to get to. Because they look like good books, and I genuinely want to read them.
So of course, my general feelings towards unsolicited review copies is positive. They are books, and they are sometimes books I fall in love with. But I still haven’t found a way to shake the feeling of guilt every time I receive one that I know is never going to be read or reviewed. I feel sad for the book, and bad for the publisher. *hides*
What about you? How do you feel about unsolicited review copies? Do you read them all? If you skip some do you feel the guilt?