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Friday, 19 February 2021

Net Galley: What You Need To Know

Net Galley: What You Need To Know

Net Galley

What You Need To Know About This Book Blogger Program

 

I've been a member of Net Galley since 2016 and have had the chance to read many amazing books over the years thanks to this book blogger program. It's definitely my go-to book blogger program.


An international site


Net Galley is completely free to use and open to book bloggers from around the globe. That fact that Net Galley is open to international bloggers is one of the things I love most about it. So often international bloggers are cut out of the picture. Whilst I'm British, I live in Italy and that means that even a lot of UK programs aren't open to me anymore. So bonus points to Net Galley for giving equal opportunity to book bloggers (even if some publishers on site do limit copies based on country). 


Benefits for all


Publishers and authors use Net Galley to get feedback about their books and increase the number of reviews posted to social media sites, blogs, etc… in order to help create a buzz about the book. They get reviews and visibility, we get free books. It's a win-win. 


For book bloggers Net Galley is a gold mine of books waiting at just the click of a button. The fact that it's so easy to get a copy can make it hard to say no though and lead to an ever growing and overwhelming to be read (TBR) list. 


The dangers of getting click happy


If your on site TBR list is too long you probably won't get approved when requesting more copies. Net Galley guidelines say to try to keep feedback above the 80% mark. That's not too hard to do... if you don't go click crazy grabbing multiple books all at once (yes, I am guilty of doing this on more than one occasion 🤦).


Getting approved


The "Read Now" section means you can instantly download a copy of the book. For ARCs you'll need to request a copy in most cases, especially when it's from a big name publisher or a well known author or "Wish for it". Not always will you get approved for a copy which, when it's a book you've been dying to read, can be a real let down. When you do get approved though... well that's an amazing high 🥳


Audiobooks


Not long ago they introduced an audiobook feature on site too. Whilst the audiobook can only be listen to via the Net Galley app which isn't the best, they have started adding more audiobooks to their selection recently. I listened to Dear Girl by Aiji Mayrock and would definitely consider listening to more audiobooks via Net Galley. 


In a nut shell


Overall I highly recommend Net Galley. They offer a wide variety of titles and genres, and the site is really easy to use. 


I don't want you to just take my word for it though and so I asked some of my book blogger friends what they thought of the platform.



You might also like: The Ultimate Guide for Book Bloggers



What Book Bloggers Think About Net Galley


L.M.Durand (@LMDurandpage) from https://lmdurand.com seems to feel much the same way as I do about it.

"When you start book blogging, getting your hands on arcs isn't always easy. The reality is that publishers and authors will want to see an established blog. When I started blogging, I followed a piece of sound advice: start reviewing books you’ve recently read or read the books on your shelves that have been begging to be read. Start with posting a few blog posts/book reviews on your website, connect with other readers, see how they do it and what works for you.

If you want to request ARCs, NetGalley is a wonderful way to get started (but you need a blog). NetGalley is very user-friendly and intuitive but please make sure to have a solid bio to show that you are serious about book blogging. I first started reviewing "Read Now" books to show the publishers that I would review the requested books. After a while, I started to request books/arcs. I was declined for many of them (don’t take it personally-it’s normal) but made a point to review within two weeks the ones I was approved for. My stats went up and so did my approval rate. Publishers even started reaching out to me based on the reviews I’d left.

So, I will say one thing: don’t ask for more than you can chew on.

It’s so easy to fall into this trap. It’ll hurt you more in the end. Always think: if all of them are approved, can I read them all this month? If the answer is no, stop there. Request only a few at a time. Read them. Review them. Blog about them. Then, rinse and repeat AKA request more."

 

Samantha Cook (@SMC_Scookie) from https://scookiereviews.blogspot.com/ (also check out her Booktube channel at 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZay8i0uiW3ppXYkGWI4nPA) had this to say:

"NetGalley contains a vast number of books from a range of publishers. I can always find something I want to read, which is why I've never tried any of the other book review programs.

Some of its best features are the instant read section, the fact it has a publishing group for independent authors, and the new addition of audiobooks which I hope they expand on soon! Sometimes publishers will not only accept requests, they'll preapproved you to read all of their titles, too.

When requesting, you have a chance to give simple feedback on your first impressions such as the cover and blurb. Member reviews are posted up too so you can check to see if it's your cup of tea without venturing onto GoodReads. You can also earn badges for things like keeping your review ratio high or having a number of reviews featured by publishers. All in all, there's a good community feel to NetGalley between reviewer and publisher.

One of the things I'd love them to improve is the archive date of the book. Once accepted, the review deadline is left open ended. I personally find this means there's pressure to read as quickly as possible so that your review ratio isn't penalized by the feedback window closing unexpectedly. In the past, I've had a book archive days after I was accepted to read it - super frustrating, although I'm led to believe this is a rare case. Usually there's plenty of time to read the book, and when in doubt, I try to send feedback before the publication date.

Once you send your feedback, beware. I once accidentally sent my feedback to the wrong book, and NetGalley promptly explained I could edit the review but not undo it. Eek. I had to finish the correct book quickly in order to fix the review log and then bury my head in shame. Similarly, if you request a book, there's no way to rescind it, so if your finger slips, you better hope you get rejected.

So basically, don't mess up, resist over-requesting, and enjoy the large number of books on offer. It’s a win-win system."

 

Rejitha (@bookbugworld) from https://bookbugworld.com/ is another international book blogger (from India) that shares my views about Net Galley being an international site... even if, at times, somewhat limited to us international bloggers.

"As an international reader, NetGalley has been my go to for looking up new releases. I know that a lot of the popular books are restricted to us international readers but I never felt that stopping me from enjoying the website.

The whole Feedback ratio and badges have kept my interest for so long. Besides, the first time I got a response from an author was for a NetGalley e-Arc review. Overall, I have found my niche and met some amazing authors through the platform. But most importantly, I have read some amazing books which I would never have known about from any other platforms.

The most hyped books are the ones we see often across various bookish platforms. So this one, gives me a chance to create my own style and variety. And as a blogger, I believe in finding and introducing new and rare books to the readers rather than regurgitating what everyone else is reading. Don't get me wrong, I love popular and hyped books and have bought quite a few. But NetGalley introduces me to some rare gems that might not have been in my radar otherwise. That, is my biggest takeaway from the platform."


Robin (@RobinLovesRead) from https://www.robinlovesreading.com is also an avid user of the site. 

"At the very end of March in 2018, I discovered NetGalley. This is a website that offers ARCs (advanced reader copies) to reviewers, bloggers, librarians and more. Until late last year they provided only digital galleys for their users. A few months back they started providing some of their review titles as audiobooks. Readers request galleys and then wait to be approved. Other users often get what is referred to as “auto approvals” by various publishers. This provides readers free reign to automatically download any books from those particular publishers with having to wait for the approval process.

Approvals depend on a variety of factors, and this includes proving a history for consistent reviews the site also has a suggested feedback ratio of 80%. Librarians have it the easiest on this site, and bloggers general pretty good as well. It is also suggested that reviewers cross post their reviews across other social media platforms, like Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

I guess the only con to NetGalley is that some users have stated that they would like to see quicker approvals, or requests that are never approved removed from their queue. The pending status can be annoying to some.

For readers who get approved, the formats available are EPub, Mobi and the new NetGalley Shelf App. However, most readers prefer to read digital copies on devices such as the Kindle or a Kindle App. For audiobooks approved on NetGalley, the only method available is the NetGalley Shelf app."


You might also like: SEO for Book Bloggers: How to Improve SEO for Book Reviews

 

Net Galley: What You Need To Know

Are you a member of Net Galley? What do you consider the pro's and con's of using the site? Got some tips for other book bloggers using this program? 


Looking for inspiration for what to post about to your book blog? Look no further! 101 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers


14 comments:
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  1. I really enjoyed this post. NetGalley was especially helpful in my blogs early days but with the addition of audiobooks I find that I can use it again.

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    1. They seem to be adding more audiobooks to their selection, and more variety too.

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  2. I gots a problem with serious book greed. My ratio is dismal! It is so poor I'm ashamed to say what it is ;o

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    1. My current feedback ratio is 83% which is about my average. It's so hard not to grab all the books at once though. The struggle is real!

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  3. I am with DJ on this.. dismal is the name of my NG ratio at this time.. Your feedback ratio is super cool!!

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    1. It really is hard not grabbing too many copies all at once. I'm thinking about doing a Net Galley Tbr readathon to try and get through at least some of the books on my to read shelf. I keep promising myself I won't add more books until I clear the ones I already have...but...😔

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  4. Wonderful post Jo. I fell into the request too many trap when I first started on Netgalley. I think we have all done it at some stage. Publishers are very accommodating though as I reviewed some books two years after publication. I’m all caught up now and much more cautious with requesting. For new bloggers I would like to say don’t give up. I was rejected for title after title when I first started but eventually the approvals started coming in.

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    1. Yes! Definitely keep at it. Don't give up. Once you get a good ratio and review enough books it does get easier to be approved.

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  5. You already know I’m a NetGalley fan! Thanks for sharing. This will be useful for the NetGalley newbies out there.

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    1. Yeah I know you love it 😉 Hopefully newbie book bloggers will find this helpful when starting out on Net Galley and avoid falling into the trap of over requesting.

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  6. Net Galley is a great asset for both publishers and bloggers. I like the site, but can see the dangers of people getting click happy. Especially when you think that you are not going to be approved for something as you haven't heard anything since requesting, so you request more and then 4/5 weeks after you requested it you are approved. In the mean time you have added another few books.

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    Replies
    1. Wait time before being approved can be dangerous. It's definitely something Net Galley could improve on.

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  7. Great post! I really learned a lot from you and the other bloggers!

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