Have you heard of NetGalley? Are you wondering how it works or what feedback reviewers have regarding this site?
Here is a blurb from their website:
If you’re a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, get a FREE NetGalley account to read and review titles before they are published.
These are ebook ARCs – advanced review copies. You will need to read them on your computer or ereader. I primarily use my Kindle and the Kindle app on my iPad.
I’ve been a member of this website since November 2011. I post reviews on this blog, Amazon US, and Goodreads. I’ve had various dedicated book blogs during that time and reviews were posted there as well.
Over the last year and a half (almost)
I’ve been approved to read 45 titles.
Wow. Not bad for a casual blogger.
Here are my thoughts regarding NetGalley (I am by no means an expert or professional reader. This info may apply more to the casual book blogger.)
- It’s free!!
- There are oodles of ebooks to pick from. All genres are represented. New titles are loaded nearly everyday.
– Setting up your account with NetGalley is very easy.
– Their website is easy to use. You can see what requests are pending, the publication date, get links to the author’s website or promotional material, see which titles were declined, etc.
– When you are approved to read a title you will receive an email. So there is no need to log in daily to check on the status.
– I found sending the eARC file to my Kindle very easy.
– NetGalley has an extensive, up-to-date help area on their website. If you have trouble, you can go to their FAQ section.
I’m not going to call these Cons since there really are no awful aspects to this program.
- If you have a new and very casual book blog, you may be declined often.
– Sometimes you never hear back from a publisher, but this is very rare.
– At times approvals or declines are slow in coming. I’ve waited weeks to hear back from a pub. Again, no big deal.
- Some publishers only want librarians, professional magazines, book sellers, or association members reading their titles. So no matter how much you want a particular book, you may never get accepted.
– I think when the site first started, having a Goodreads account was good enough to be considered. Now I feel certain publishers want established book blogs that have a proven track record of reviewing.
– Waiting can lead to over-requesting. If you think “Oh, this is a long shot.” and then request six titles…. you could end up with a LARGE to-be-read stack.
– At the time of this post there isn’t a preview or sample feature. I’d love to read the first chapter of a title to decide if I like the author’s style. I’d like this since I feel bad sending a DNF.
– It’s so easy you may end up with a huge to-be-read pile and this will turn your reading hobby into a chore.
How to get approved for NetGalley titles (These are my thoughts. Visitors are encouraged to add their tips to the comment section of this post.)
- First, read NetGalley’s “Before You Request” section. Lots of helpful info there.
- Have an established book blog that has been around for at least three to six months.
- Post insightful, fair, thorough book reviews on various sites – your book blog, Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Library Thing, Shelfari, etc. I post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I also write my book reviews immediately after reading so the feedback is fresh in my mind. Publishers like reviews posted near the publication date. I do it within a week of the pub date and not too far in advance.
- Make sure your book blog is posting reviews and not just filler posts such as – cover reveals, on my shelf, etc. Publishers want their titles read and reviewed. Assume your book blog will be scanned for content by these publishers – it very well may be!
- If you just joined the site and are approved for a couple titles, read and review them before requesting more. Your profile contains stats – how many titles you were approved for and how many reviews you’ve submitted. If you have lots of titles in your approved pile, but have only sent one review… a publisher may think twice. I have no proof of this, but it only make sense. Having a good percentage will only help.
- Follow the publisher’s “rules” if you are sent a title to read. Many times the pub will ask for specific things in their acceptance email. Examples: include a link to the blog post of the review, not posting your review too soon, send an email to the marketing person with your review. Again, following their wishes will only lead to you being approved for more titles.
Rough Example of my NetGalley Profile:
* Profile Updated 4/14/13 (I’ve added this blurb to the top of my profile and update my stats before requesting additional titles.)
Thank you for considering me as a reviewer for your title. I post all of my reviews on Amazon US and Goodreads. I frequently post Goodreads status updates and tweet about a title while reading.
Blog Name (link)
Established – (year/month)
Average daily hits -
Blog Followers via email, Google Friend Connect, Linky Follow, etc. -
Goodreads or Shelfari profile (link) _____ number of titles reviewed
Example review (link)
Amazon or B&N profile (link) _____ number of titles reviewed
Twitter profile (link) _____ number of followers
Be sure to mention any professional association memberships such as ALA or ABA.
Name and email address
Check your profile for spelling errors.
~ * ~
Are you interested in seeing some of my NetGalley reviews? Here are a few. I thought I would give you a variety of star ratings so you can see how I handled it. These links will bring you to Amazon US:
What Binds US (Five Stars – loved it)
Night Swimmers (Three Stars – just ok)
Under His Influence (Two Stars – yuck)
~ * ~
So those are my thoughts regarding NetGalley.
Since November 2011 I have been sent about 45 ARCs. My rate of acceptance is about 60%. About 10% of those ended up being DNFs. I’ve discovered some wonderful books and even spoke with a few authors via Goodreads, email, and Twitter. I’ve learned which publishers will always turn me down and don’t even try those anymore. I have two favorite publishers that I request from repeatedly. Their style of authors, editing, and genres match my taste – so we are a good fit for each other. I also found that my rate of approvals have gone way up since becoming an Amazon Top Reviewer. I mention that in my NetGalley profile. ha ha.
If you are thinking about joining NetGalley, I’d say go for it.