Thoughts on NetGalley

As a relatively new blogger, I have joined several sites that provide electronic and physical review copies of books to bloggers. One of the biggest of these organizations is NetGalley. I feel like this is the perfect site for beginning bloggers like me for several reasons.
The Pros
1. It is very easy to use and navigate. I had no trouble requesting and accessing books.
2. It introduces new bloggers to publishing companies and vice versa. For those like me who are too new and/or shy to directly contact the publisher, NetGalley acts as the messenger. All you have to do is fill out your profile and click a button to request books.
3. Free books, especially when not yet available to the public, are AWESOME! Getting ARCs honestly does boost my self-esteem and encourages me to pursue success further.
4. Publicity works both ways. Bloggers who are able to review a highly-anticipated book will most likely gain viewership, and the book will get more attention.

Cons
1. The uncertainty of being approved. I think part of the reason some people, including me, go crazy while requesting books is because a) we don’t know if we will get approved and b) publishers can take as much time as they want to approve books. It’s just so disorganized.
2. Cover inconsistency. I don’t think most people have this issue, but when I send books to my kindle, most of them have no cover. A few of them don’t even list the name of the book or the author. I also just generally like looking at the cover of the book I’m reading.
3. There is no way to un-request a book. There have been several times where I request a book by accident and then I get accepted to review. My ratio is absolutely awful. I think I have 22 books and 1 feedback so far, which brings me to the next segment of this post.

My Personal Review-a-Thon!

I will be spending the next two months reviewing as many NetGalley, Blogging for Books, and LibraryThing books as possible in order to clear my name. I encourage you all to do so as well. I hope to feel the satisfaction of cleansing myself of all reviewing obligation. Since i have 40-something review books in total, I will try to write shorter reviews with several books per post so I don’t spam you guys with random books. Wish me luck!

Can you relate to any of these points? I’d love to hear some of your experiences with these programs! Help me keep strong and remind me to hold back on book requesting!

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20 Replies to “Thoughts on NetGalley”

  1. OMG My ratio is Terrible too because when I first got Netgalley I went a little crazy. I think my ratio is like 107 approved and 67 feedback. I think I want to start a read-a-thon for netgalley getting as many as I can finished in a week!

  2. Oh yes, I can definitely relate! My ratio is pretty bad at the moment, but I’m working on getting it up to snuff!

    I had my books for this month lined up, but then received a couple more approvals. I made some readjustments and should be set to catch up throughout July and August. I lucked out in the titles I was approved for, and most of them were titles or authors I would be reading regardless of NetGalley, so not too much unwanted fat is on my list at the moment.

    I ran into two titles that didn’t have an option to send to my kindle, and when I tried to download and e-mail the file to kindle myself they wouldn’t load. I think the files had reached an expiration point, despite having been recently listed, or there was some other kind of error. I did send the publishers a note telling them I’m unable to review because of this.

    I should, finally!, be posting my official NetGalley review either today or tomorrow though.

    I definitely feel your pain on needing to hold back on the requests! Be strong!

    1. Thanks for the comment! I’ve had some great luck as well on the site. I got approved for two more books that I’ve been wanting to read, which is nice, but so stressful! I’m looking forward to reading your review.

      1. No problem!

        I also wanted to mention, if you don’t do it already, pay attention to the release date and archive date. It may not make much difference, but when lining up the titles I’ll be reading I try to get to them in advance of the publication. Thankfully there’s a few that don’t come out until Sept/Oct!

  3. I am so glad that you posted this! I am new to the blogging and book reviewing scene and have spent the last few months reviewing books that I currently own. I would to start getting my site out to more people and, well, who doesn’t enjoy ARCs!

  4. I agree with all your points. I’ve just joined Netgalley, and so far I’ve only requested one book, and I got approved for it was a definite boost in self-esteem. I’m nervous to take on too many books at the same time though for this exact problem. Good look with your reviews!

  5. I love NetGalley and I’m much better now about only requesting books I want to read, and more importantly have time to read. Remember you can give feedback on a book even if you don’t read it – it will keep your ratio up and so long as you give a good reason why you didn’t read and review it it seems publishers don’t mind, so long as you don’t do it too often, of course. And once you’ve been on it a while, you’ll get a feel for which publishers will approve your requests and which won’t – in fact some of the publishers will auto-approve you and then it all becomes much easier.

      1. It varies from publisher to publisher and not all of them seem to do it. I find the really small publishers are really keen and will auto-approve once you’ve done a couple of reviews. The big publishers it seems to take longer and be more random, but one tip is to tweet a copy of the review to the publisher as well as leaving feedback on NetGalley. At least if it’s a glowing review that is – if I’m slating a book, I don’t tweet it at all, though I still send feedback. Now I’m auto-approved by a couple of the biggies like Random House and Cambridge University Press I find I’m not constantly waiting to see will I/won’t I get approved.

  6. You are not alone in having a terrible feedback ratio πŸ˜‰ I’ve been on NG for several years and mine is dismal. I’m always promising myself I’ll do better and then something else enticing shows up…

    One small tip—set up a calendar for yourself (I use the Yahoo calendar) showing archive, publication and, if applicable, expiration dates. That way, you’ll be able to keep things organized and Yahoo will send you email reminders.

  7. Thanks for posting this! Being a new blogger also, when I discovered Netgalley I went so crazy requesting. I need to do the same thing and just focus on reading the titles I’ve been approved for already instead of picking up random books on my shelves!

  8. I’m really glad to finally come-across someone who goes through the same!
    Even I get a lot of books with no cover, and it really affects my reading (God knows why!)

    My ratio is also horrible and I’ve been planning to do the same from last couple of days.
    I’m gonna try and read atleast 2 books from NetGalley (as I’m already reviewing books for 2 blogs) every month.
    Keep posting about your progress as it will inspire others like me!
    Have a great day πŸ™‚

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