It’s only May, but I already know, based on how the year is going, that I am going to have to change some things in my book-ish world.
Next year, I’m making some necessary but sad changes to my review and beta reading schedule. This year I’ve put a lot on my plate and I think it’s made some things I do for others a little sloppy. Even if they don’t think so, I have been very stretched with each project and may not have given my best.
I’ve worked on so many beta reading projects and read so many books this year (already) that when I had to take a bit of a break to release my new book, I actually felt guilty. I was already behind in my reading schedule because I slid some reads in for friends who were running release events, so taking a good chunk of April off from reviews upped my anxiety.
I want to make sure I am helping people in the community. I know they would want me to enjoy my book release and deal peacefully with the stress of being a publisher and author, but personally, I felt I wasn’t being fair.
The best way for me to deal with those feelings is to plan better. This is how I deal with all of my anxiety and doubt. I face it head on, try to understand it and work out a way to overcome it.
I know that I want to keep beta reading for free and I know I want to read and review Indie books I like so here is the plan.
So that I can give my ALL to each project I read, I have decided to only take 6 projects next year. Although some projects don’t require as much time or effort on my part, others require LOTS of time. That’s okay! and I’m going to plan for that! With 6 projects, I can dedicate two months to each and if I finish early, I can pick up another project or use the free time for my own projects.
This one will be the biggest change. I am going to be SELECTIVE about what books I review next year.
Yes! Shocker! This year I have accepted almost every single book that was offered to me for review. This has brought me some amazing books and some that I DNF. Most of the books that I DNF were from genres that I don’t favor. I am very genre fluid. lol. I like almost every genre, but there are a few that I just can’t finish.
This is no offense to the author. It’s not you, it’s me. lol. It’s even harder to finish a book in a genre I don’t like, when I have a list of other books in the genres I love. This year, I felt so obligated to take any book that seemed remotely interesting that I truly found some that I couldn’t even review because I disliked them so much.
It’s not fair for me to waste an authors time and I don’t have time at all, to be starting a book that I have a good feeling I won’t like. I am not limiting how many books I’ll read each year, but every book I read, I’ll REALLY want to read it. This will also give me a chance to buy some books! lol. I haven’t been terribly comfortable buying books this year because I am feeling I will NEVER get to them… I know, I know, I can still shop but again, I wanna fulfill my obligation to those who I agreed to review.
The other thing is, I am extending my off period for accepting new books. Currently, I only give myself two months in Spring and two months in Winter to not accept books which means “catch up time” is only about three books long on each break. When I have a list of 12 books at the time that submissions close, that doesn’t give me a chance to clean my plate at all.
To make this grand proclamation so early in the year might seem crazy, but I’m telling you, within these last 4 months everything that can happen, did happen in my writing career and I know, I don’t want these issues in the future. Truthfully, I should have made these decisions when I started getting more serious about reviewing. Slow and easy wins the race! So, we reset.