Sep 30, 2012

Shiny Notes with gifs included

So Lili's first session went GREAT!! And I gotta say that watching from the sidelines was kinda like watching some horrible crazy action scene in a movie while I'm sitting off to the side, munching on popcorn while thinking, 'HAH! Sucks to be her!' And for a fairly small session book-wise, wow, did the emails come in!
As of right now, we have ARCycled 167 books in 3 months exactly with 23 reviews (and hopefully lots more to come!) that would not have existed otherwise! YAY! And with 154 shiny blog followers and 195 Twitter followers, we are shiny shiny shiny!! *thumbs up*

Now, as much as I hate saying this, we are going to have a teeny, weeny rule addition. This doesn't apply to 97% of people, but for that wee 3%, yeah, YOU. We're applying the 'black jack, no trade back' rule. Because as soon as you request a book, we go to The List and delete it. And if you come back all 'HAHA! JK!!!' then we have to go back and add it... and going back and re-adding is kinda like trying to cross a raging river. Or crossing this scenario without getting wounded...

Like, haha, yeah, good luck with that!

Why is this hard? Ever had a moment where a title escapes you? Or an author? Yeah, that but with 939047209527 emails coming in and OMG THE PRESSURE! The release date, notes and blog it's from? Forget about it.
Here's the thing, being denied a book and requesting again - totally legit and okay.
Trying to switch out? Not as okay.
Does poop happen and you confuse books - sure! To err is human. All I'm asking is that you try to be sure of what you're requesting before you send the email. And I know, it's hard because time is totally of the essence in this game.
And then as the brilliant Christina from The Book Hookup pointed out, if we allow one trade out, then EVERYONE will trade out and we ARCycling folks will descend into utter madness. No, really.

Along this line, I must restate the ONE EMAIL rule. I know that when you mess up, you panic and are like 'OMG. THEY MUST NOT SEE MY EMAIL, SO I MUST SEND ANOTHER'. I can tell you ladies, gents, this is not the case. The ARCycling inbox is POURED over. Both during the session and for hours afterwards. We see it ALL. Do some emails get missed at times? Sure. Again, to err is human. But especially during the session, it is highly unlikely. And I can certainly say that sending one email is a lot more efficient for both you and me than sending two. Two (or more) gets confusing, so stick with (at the very least) one email chain. Email chains are why Gmail is king, guys. Seriously. I love Gmail for that. Otherwise - BURIED ALIVE.

And now to end on a lighter note, I will be back on the sessions solely for the next few weeks as Lili convinces herself she didn't make the biggest mistake ever by deciding to help me! So starting Monday, I will be back on the email, Twitter, etc.
However, Tuesday I will be nearly incommunicado. For Tuesday, October 2nd, is PERCY JACKSON DAY. I've been waiting for this book date for a year and my only book boyfriend and I will be busy. But other than my ridiculous Percy Jackson love, yes. All me, guys.

Peace, yo!

Sep 25, 2012

Announcement from Lili!

Hey, everyone! It's actually exciting to be addressing you by myself for the first time. So, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm Lili! (I hope you guys like me, haha!)

I love what we've been able to do here at ARCycling and because of that, I want to tell you about a few things happening behind the scenes...

For those of you who don't know, Jennifer is going to be moving to Los Angeles in January! Woo, get away from the snow for all of us, girl! With her move, we initially thought that we'd have to shut down ARCycling for a few weeks, but then I volunteered to be the brave soul to temporarily take over her work. I cover the spreadsheets every day and primarily work with Two Week Time Out's, but lately Jennifer has showed me the way things work to prepare me for January.

So, once a month until it's time for me to temporarily take over everything while she gets settled in and moves, I will be taking over ARCycling. That means that I will be the one on the ARCycling e-mail, and I'll be the one on the ARCycling twitter. We're essentially doing this so that I can learn the ropes while Jennifer watches over me to make sure I get the hang of things, that way any mistakes can be pointed out and reversed so I don't epically fail in January.

We're going to try to warn you ahead of time when you'll be dealing with me instead of Jennifer. So, this upcoming session on September 30th is going to be my first session doing what Jennifer normally does. For the remainder of the week, any e-mals sent to ARCycling will be answered by me. I will not take over the twitter until the legitimate day of September 30th.

I also just want to take this moment to beg you guys not to kill me if I'm slow! haha I haven't done this before, so I don't know how it'll turn out despite the fact that I am totally up to the challenge. There's several spreadsheets because Jennifer's nutty like that (but we still love her), lots of fielding e-mails, and several lists to keep updated all at once. Naturally, I'll become an expert overtime like Jennifer, but it will take a few tries, hence the taking over once a month.

If you have any questions you can tweet me @LiliReflects or @ARCycling and know that I'll be the face behind the e-mail until this upcoming session is completed. Thank you!

Sep 23, 2012

So, some things.

First of all, I want each and everyone one of you to know the GUILT I have when I have to explain to someone that they are in Two Week Time Out. I feel your pain. I know your pain.
Okay, not really cause I myself have never been on Two Week Time Out, but I understand the PAIN of wanting books when you cannot have books. So to talk about this seriously painful subject, I'm going to use a series of gifs to lighten the mood and make you feel like you're in Kindergarten again. Are you shocked at this? Why? What do you expect from a blog with stick figures in the banner?!

So, I imagine that Two Week Time Out feels a lot like this.

And we are that boy and you are that girl that does not look happy at what's happening to her.

Instead, you guys should be like this.

And strutting your way to Two Week Time Out with pride.


*Or book, possibly if you got one one week and then didn't the next. If this because you didn't get a request, I am sorry for that. This is the gamble of this game.

Personally, if you're on TWTO, I wouldn't even look at the list when it goes up cause you're all...

But if you're into self-inflicted torture, then by all means.

Now, on to other things!
So, coming in January, I have a big change. I am moving! To California!
Which could be...

What, you thought the gifs were stopping? Clearly you've never browsed gifs on Photobucket. It's addictive...


I figure this because I'm moving out there with no job and one friend/ roommate. Anywho, you're sitting there thinking, 'okay, does this have to do with books?' Well, not a lot, but it will pretty much disrupt my life for a few weeks. And worst comes to worst and I go back to working the drudgery that is a retail bookstore and starving so I can pay that thing called rent that I hear is kind of expensive out there.

But, I hope it will be like this.

Okay, this is supposed to be 'party', but come on, could YOU pass up the opportunity to post a picture of Neil Patrick Harris dancing with Elmo?! I didn't think so.

However, I am planning for this, which is why Lili has been training to do the complicated task that I do every week and will be periodically running the show she won't feel like this so much when the time comes.

Yeah, it feels like that.


^ Me to you...

Don't worry! I will still be here and around during the sessions and will TRY to be at the sessions come the new year until my life gets settled. Depending on what life throws me, the ARCycling day might have to change and if that has to, I will let you all know! Promise!

And on that note, I leave with this.

Sep 8, 2012

Es muy muy importante, chicos...

Good evening, friends.

As you know, ARCycling has really taken off in the past few weeks. With the program expanding, we realized that we have to change a few things because the we're not really achieving the goal right now. So, what we want to do is clarify things... again. This is a program is like a bicycle, all the parts need to work in order for it to move. We provide the initial energy, the bicycle wheels turn (that's you, getting books and reviewing them) and we move. But right now we're stuck, lagging a bit behind because not everyone is doing their part and we're continuously encountering bumps and potholes along the road that are throwing off our momentum. The purpose of this post is to get rid of those bumps that are acting as obstacles hindering the benefits of this program and to make our ride a smoother experience.

1. Requirements to get ARCs
Really, the only requirement to receive ARC(s) from this program is to be a blogger, teacher, or librarian. We didn’t know that we’d have to clarify that you have to be a BOOK blogger. The entire point of this program is to review titles and double the press and promotion per ARC. As I’ve said before, this is a small gift back to the publishers who have lavished on us so generously. We also do not accept blogs that are memes, cover reveals and giveaways only. We are basically a blog for review blogs and if you don’t actually review books, then why do you need ARCs in the first place?

2. Posting Reviews
Obviously, we want you to post reviews. And when you post the reviews, we can’t stress how much we want you to tweet the links to @LiliReflects or @ARCycling. We want to show the expansion of this program and share your reviews with the world! If we see that you are not reviewing books, then that defeats the purpose of this program. Those ARCs could go to homes that would better appreciate them and we’ll begin to keep an eye out on you. We do not expect teachers and librarians to post reviews. You shape young minds for pathetic pay. You are absolved of that duty.

3. Time Restrictions
This goes hand and hand with number two up there. We didn’t want to do this, but this program has been around for months. We’ve given almost 80 books away and barely have ten reviews to show for all of our hard work. If you get books and you haven’t showed signs of reading it or posting a review within a month or two of receiving it, we can decide to no longer send you ARCs. Once again, they can go to homes where they will be much more appreciated. We’re not trying to make it seem as if we’re forcing these books to the top of your reading piles, but if you requested it and took it instead of allowing someone else to take it, please make use of it to the best of your ability. This is a partnership, we cycle books for you to review. It’s a deal and we all have to keep up our side of the bargain.

4. Active Bloggers
We are looking for active bloggers to request books. We have come across Requesters that haven’t posted for months, some from April. Again, this is just tainting the program’s purpose since the ARCs aren’t used as intended. Any side blogs, new blogs created for programs such as this, or blogs that have a low level of activity will not be accepted.

5. Permanent Suspensions
If we see people continuously disregarding the rules above, we may have to permanently suspend you from the program. We’re hoping that the program will never have to come to this. Please, don’t give us any reason to do this, but know that if you are in violation of any of the above rules (and we know who you are because we keep track of absolutely everything, no really, Jennifer has MANY spreadsheets...) then you will have to stop requesting and post a review, or face a permanent suspension.

We hope you can see why we’re slightly frustrated now. People are taking advantage of this program, thus taking advantage of us, and it’s hurtful and upsetting to think the idea is being abused. We want this to be fair, which is the point of this post. Please understand that. We also have our lovely Donators to think of. These are bloggers who are taking time out of their busy schedules and spending their own money to donate their books to this cause and not reviewing the books they donate is really a slap in the face to them too. And, guys, we wouldn’t be in business anymore without the Donators. Out of 77 ARCycled books, 28 (36%) have come from Jennifer. If nothing else, please have respect for the Donators.

With all of that being said, we want to thank all of the people that haven’t violated any of the rules above. We’re looking forward to a lot of reviews! If you have any questions about whether you’re on any lists, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have a list from the very first session saying who got what book, we are very all-knowing like that. Also, please know that you can post reviews for books you didn’t enjoy. Don’t think we are big and scary like publishers can be perceived as. We are both book bloggers too, we want honest reviews.

- Jennifer and Lili

Sep 7, 2012


Okay, not really changes as much as additions, but if I can throw in an old music reference into anything, I will.

I'd like to start off with the ribbon cutting the new page! An About Us page! Ooh! Aah!
Now, you're probably thinking "'us'? Who's this 'us'?". Short answer: Lili! Better answer: check her out on THE NEW PAGE. It's in the tabs at the top, or it's here:

If you're too lazy to click that, I'll explain here.
Come Sundays, there's actually quite a lot to do. During the session I have to make sure I respond to every email and not giving the same book to two people (a weekly fear, I assure you), then afterwards, I have to record who gets what and where it goes, email both the Donators and the Requesters, clean up my spreadsheets and blah blah blah. Believe me, at the end when working on the last thing, the Two Week Time Out list, I am tired and all the names, blog names and book titles have run together, the last thing anyone should trust me with is counting.
So Lili bravely stepped in to help. She is in charge of the Two Week Time Out, who's going on, who's coming off, etc. She will also be updating the Review Archive page (see below). So YAY! Jennifer has a helper! And she's very glad for that helper!

Secondly, the Review Archive.
This is something that was going to happen eventually, I just chose now to launch it so I don't have to have one dumb looking tab on the second bar. Getting reviews back is super important to me and this program. Why? Well, cause it's the entire point! And I'm going to showcase all my pretty, shiny reviewers for all eternity there. The ten most recent reviews will still be on the right.

Sep 3, 2012

And then there were bookmarks...

Well, the title kinda says it all, but here's a picture!!

Ooh. Aah. Shiny.

So from now on, when you get a book from me (not the 3rd party Donators, unless they have some!) you will have this amusingly wordy bookmark tucked in the title page. I think this is much better than my crappy little Post Its, yes? Yes.

Also, I'll be attending Austin Teen Book Festival on September 29th in Austin, TX. I'll be there as Media/ Press and hanging around the girls of Girls In The Stacks.
I will have bookmarks and will most likely be wearing a little ARCycling pin. So if you see someone with a pin with the famous pigtailed ginger, it's probably me. Anyone here thinking of going?