I’ve really been enjoying my series on The Business of ARCs – How I Get My Books. You can read my previous two posts here. The Business of ARCs – How I get my books and The Business of ARCs Part II – How I get my books. I talk a bit about Netgalley in my first post, but I wanted to expand on it because there is so much to get out of the site and I wanted to share it.
So first, what is NetGalley?
NetGalley is a website that helps publishers and authors get their books into many reader’s hands. Many of the books are advanced reader’s copies or ARCs, but you will find some that are published works and the author or publisher is looking for reviews for the book.
If you are a “reader of influence” you can sign-up for free to be a NetGalley member. A “reader of influence” for NetGalley means that you are a librarian, bookseller, educator, reviewer, blogger or in the media. So, if that’s you, then you can go here to sign up!
Authors and publishers can go here to submit a request for the terms and pricing. For authors and publishers, there is a fee for submitting your book to NetGalley. If you are an individual author and looking for pricing, here is the link.
Now that you have signed up, what’s next?
The first thing you need to do is set up your profile. This is THE most important thing you will do on NetGalley. Every time you send a request for a book, the publisher or author, gets your request and approves or denies it based on your profile and the stats listed on it.
Before you do anything with your profile, read this informational page on setting up your profile. I’ll cover some stuff here, but I find that it is always good to do some research on your own too.
- You’ll need to decide what type of reviewer you are. This is important. Some publishers will only approve you if you are a blogger, while others have less strict requirements. So, first, be honest, and second, decide what you are going to be.
- Fill out the “Bio” section. This should read more like a resume and less like a blog post. Think of it as the 5-second chance to show the publisher why you should have their book. Provide the places you talk about books and relevant followers, impressions, etc. Whatever you feel is important. I give the followers for Instagram and my monthly visits for my blog. I don’t provide the stats on my other pages (Facebook, Twitter, Litsy) because they, honestly, are not impactful numbers, and they are not the main places I talk about books.
3. The next section of the bio asks you to connect your social accounts. They only offer a connection to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads. This is a super helpful and convenient way to post your review once you have read and written it, so I would suggest linking them. You get the choice to post every time, so if you don’t want a review posted, you just don’t check that box. I have my Twitter and Goodreads connected, but not LinkedIn. I do have a day job, and unfortunately, it’s not a book-related job, so posting the LinkedIn doesn’t make sense for me, but it might for you!
4. Finally, you will need to provide links to all the places you talk about books. These places are hyperlinked so that a publisher can click and check out your pages. You do have to choose your Primary Blog/Site. This should correlate to what type of reviewer you chose earlier. If you chose blogger, you wouldn’t want to post an Instagram link here. The publisher will be looking for a blog link. You also will not provide Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn here because you linked them in the spot above. The site won’t let you link to these three sites in this section, so make sure you put the links in the right place.
The Hard Part is Over, Now What?
Congratulations! You made a profile and you are almost ready! Before you start shopping furiously for books, you need to link your Kindle account.
You DO NOT need to own a Kindle to do this. There is a free app that can be used on a variety of devices. I read on my cell phone, and it’s the best thing ever for me. My phone is always with me, so I can read ANYWHERE. So, use this device guide to determine what you need before you start downloading. There are links in this guide to the correct kindle app for your device.
Make sure you add firstname.lastname@example.org to your Safe Senders list on your Kindle. Here’s information on how to do that.
Here is NetGalley’s whole How-To Guide to make sure you everything up correctly. Don’t worry, these are all one-time steps and they will make getting books SO easy!
Now Can I Look at Books?
Yes, yes you can!
Here is your Reviewer Homepage/Dashboard. “Your Shelf” is a list of all of the books you have requested and been approved for. “Find Titles” is one way to search for books. “Browse Publishers” allows you to look at all the available books a publisher has available. You can also use the search function to search for titles that you have already been approved for, or change the drop down to “All of NetGalley” if you have a specific book you want.
Do NOT turn into a button-pushing, bookworm-crazed fanatic. Request a few books and wait 24-48 hours and see if you get one. I requested like 20 thinking that I wouldn’t get many, and I was wrong. This immediately put me in a poor Feedback Ratio.
The Feedback Ratio is the number of books you have reviewed divided by the number of books you have been approved for. This information is available on your Profile Page anytime you want to find it. You can see that as of today, my ratio is 77%, which I am sad about. I like to follow rules, and the suggested ratio is 80%. Aside from just following the rules though, publishers can see this ratio. It is a quick snapshot of how reliable of a reviewer you will be for them, so I would suggest you take this ratio somewhat seriously if you really want to get some books.
Once you find a book you like, click on the cover and a little pop-out window comes up with some book information. This one caught my eye today, so we’ll use it as an example. The book publishes on Nov 10, 2020. I can click the little thumbs up or down to show the publisher if the cover is interesting, which I will click up because I like it. I can then read the synopsis below, and click “Request” if I would like to.
Once you click request, the box to the left appears. You just answer the question and hit “Send Request”.
Then you wait…or keep book shopping…your call.
How Do I Know if I Get Approved for a Book?
You will receive an email from NetGalley if a publisher approves or declines your request. If you are approved, head over to NetGalley and click on “Your Shelf” on your homepage. The book will be there and, here’s where you will thank yourself for setting up your Kindle…Click “Send To Kindle” and it will show up there in just a few minutes!
I’ve Read the Book, Now What?
Once you have read the book, you need to write a review. I like to write my full review on my blog and then schedule the post for a future date somewhat closer to the pub date. I copy that review and head back to NetGalley. Find the book you just finished by clicking on “Your Shelf” and click that purple “Give Feedback” box (shown above). I can then paste my review into that box.
Below the review box, there is a checkbox you can click to post your review automatically to Goodreads. I personally love this! Then, you choose your star rating. If you posted a review anywhere else, you can add the links in the “Add Link” section.
Once you submit your review, a second page comes up for Reviewer Options. You can answer the questions below, add descriptive tags, and add notes for the publisher. I always add notes for the publisher to give them post dates for the links I provided on the previous page. I’ll let them know that I have added the Amazon review and it will be live once Amazon approves, or what date my post will launch for my blog or any other reviewing site.
You can find a complete list of publishers that are active on NetGalley here. They are listed alphabetically and there’s some great information on their pages.
Here is Sourcebooks Kids as an example. The publisher page gives overall information about Sourcebooks. You can click the heart to like them as a publisher, you can search their titles, and you see a ribbon of recently added books by them. There is also a “Most Requested” link. I use this on the home page as well as on publisher pages to see what books people are the most excited about. The feature I like the most on the publisher pages, though, is the “View Approval Preferences” link.
When you click this link, an Approval Preferences pop-up shows. This is a list of things that this publisher is looking for when they approve or deny a request.
If you have a specific publisher that you are trying to get approval from, I would suggest taking a look at their requirements and then formatting your bio page to include this information.
Publishers have the option to add reviewers to their Auto-Approved list. This means that you won’t see a Request button for a book from their listings. Instead, you will see a “Read It!” button. Clicking this will send you straight to your Shelves to download the book to your Kindle App.
Publishers choose to auto-approve reviewers for a variety of reasons, but they are most likely to do this for reviewers that have been reliable for them. You can see NetGalley’s information on Why Publishers Auto-Approve here.
NetGalley Wish For It
Sometimes a book is not available on NetGalley. This happens for a variety of reasons, but the result is the same, it is not available for you to request a review copy. You can, however, “Wish for it!” You just click the “Wish for it!” button and wait. The publisher sees the request and might grant your wish. If they do, you’ll get a notification that your wish was granted, and you’ll have access to the book!
NetGalley has a list of badges that you can earn as a reviewer. Once you sign up, you automatically receive the NetGalley Member Professional Reader badge.
You have the ability to grab the code for each of your earned badges to display on your blog. You can find that in your profile under the “Earned Badges” link.
The 80% ratio badge seems to be the one that everyone strives for. I go back and forth with having it, and then not having it, as I bounce between 75%-85% as approvals come in.
The auto-approvals badge is earned when 4 or more publishers have you on their auto-approved list.
You can then earn badges as you submit reviews. You get your first badge at 10 reviews, then 25, 50, 100, 200, and 500.
The Top Reviewer badge is earned when three or more of your reviews have been featured by a publisher. This means that the publisher is featuring your review on the book’s Title Details page on NetGalley.
You can see if your book is featured by going to your shelf and clicking on the “Feedback Sent”. You will see a list of titles that you have submitted feedback for. If there is the orange icon that looks a bit like an “i”, the publisher has featured your review!
Once you have three features, you earn the “Top Reviewer” badge.
I believe that I have now covered everything I know about NetGalley! I hope that you have found some useful information here!
Do you use NetGalley? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!