Getting Into The ARC Swing & Questions

Since the whole ARC book thing is still so new to me, I’m still learning what to expect. I kind of thought I’d understood it with the first 3. One was an already released book (by a couple of days when I got it). One was a couple of days ahead of release and another was a little over a month out from its release date.

The one I just started reading isn’t due out until October. I started reading expecting a similar experience to the first 3 books. Uh… nope. This one is actually still pretty raw, at least with regards to formatting. I’m talking RAW.

It was bad enough that I struggled
get through that f irst couple of
ters. I’m talking it was nearly impossible to f igureout what went
where. Where a
graph ended and where one began. Where one speaker started and another one stopped.

See that lovely mess above? Yeah, that is what I’m talking about. Every word that started with an F had a space after the F making it stand out from the rest of the word. Some words were split and on different lines. There were lines with only a single word. Basically, it was extremely difficult to read. I had to constantly stop and reread lines because it wasn’t flowing easily and my mind kept wanting to stop at those obvious breaks.

I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t want to not finish it. I loved the premise or I wouldn’t have requested it in the first place. That and not finishing a book can really ding you on requests (at least that’s what I’ve seen). But I also wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep it up for the entire book in the state it was in. I went and looked to see what others had written about their feedback and I didn’t see a single comment about formatting, so I didn’t know if this was just a thing that ARC readers have to be able to see past or what. It was never an issue with the other books I read.

I did manage to plow through and it looks like the following chapters are 1000% better. There are still a few things that are bugging me, but they are things I’m not entirely sure are a stylistic thing or an editing/formatting thing. Since this is something that can potentially change, how does that impact a review? This is something that has been kind of wiggling around in the back of my mind since I figured out a bit more about ARCs.

If what I’m seeing in this book is common for an ARC that is that far out, how can a reader provide an honest review if they are forced to overlook problems that could potentially still exist in the published copy? Like I said, I didn’t not have a problem with the first 3 books I read, but this one has been a struggle and I’m only about 20% in.

Author: TJ Fox

I am a slightly sane artist, amateur photographer, book addict, wife, mom and raging introvert. I have more hobbies than I can count, so it is beyond shocking that I manage to find time to do any of them, let alone most of them and still have time to do anything else. Of all the talents I claim, writing wasn’t one of them until my muse dropped the idea for a book on my head.

9 thoughts on “Getting Into The ARC Swing & Questions”

  1. I have had books like that. And then ones where all of a sudden about 1/3 of the way through the author’s name and page # start appearing randomly throughout the text as if page formatting has become skewed. The latest book has the first character of the text of the chapter just below the recipe (which had weird characters instead of bullets) then started the paragraph with the rest of the word. I think that might have been a dropped first letter gone wrong.
    I have become extremely forgiving for ARC formatting. Not so much for bad writing. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The author name and page # thing popped up all throughout this one as well (or the book title, even that wasn’t consistent). And, it was not just the first couple of chapters. It seemed to be going better and then all the sudden it was back to the mess formatting, then it would bounce back to being cleaner. It was all over the place.

      I went and looked at the reviews that had already been posted and only 1 person out of dozens even mentioned any issues and it was one of the minor ones.

      How do you get your brain past all that mess to get to the actual story? I don’t do so hot when I’m constantly yanked out of a story for whatever reason and this absolutely did that. It is one of my peeves in reading, having something yank me out of a story (doesn’t matter the reason).

      I did finish this, but now I’m stuck on what the hell I’m supposed to write about it. How much of my opinion was colored by my frustration with the formatting and how much was just the book? Even trying to force myself past the formatting issues, I am left with a not great impression. So, not only do I have my first mess on formatting of an ARC, I also have my first dilemma of what to do when you really didn’t like a book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry I didn’t see your reply earlier.
        Well, for me it depends on how I didn’t like the book. Was it a 1 or 2 star not liking? Or was the writing okay but the story sucked? If the writing is good, I always give 1 or 2 stars for that because we know how hard it is to write a book. (I know some reviewers disagree with that philosophy.) I can give a book I didn’t like 3 stars if I know that it’s because of something connected with me. Something I couldn’t get over. Obviously, if I didn’t like the book, I don’t go any higher than 3…and the 3 can be begrudging. 🙂 Does that help at all?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It does a bit, and thank you so much for the advice and feedback. I tend to struggle with liking a book if I can’t connect with it in some way. If I keep getting yanked out because of problems unrelated to writing, that makes it really hard to form that connection. I did end up writing a review for that book (which I wasn’t a fan of), but it was really hard for me to separate out what was me not connecting and what was writing. I think I pulled it off, but it sure wasn’t easy.


    1. So far, it looks like only the first couple of chapters. Even then, only 1 was as bad as my example. The others 1 or two, were better, but not great. If I continue to have issues, I may just take your advise. Thank you!


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