I love to read, I love to browse book stores, I love picking up my library holds and I really love NetGalley. But, in my years as a member, I have learned a lot about best practices in using the site, and I’m going to share my mistakes and successes with you, so you can be successful from the start. If you want to know how to use NetGalley effectively, read on!
What is NetGalley?
NetGalley is a platform for publishers to get digital copies of their books prior to their release into the hands of book reviewers. For a long time the platform used only ebooks, but now they offer the ability to listen to and review audiobooks via the NetGalley shelf app.
Who can use NetGalley?
NetGalley is available to anyone who reviews books. If you have a blog, Instagram account or even if you regularly add reviews to Goodreads, you’re a good candidate for NetGalley.
Why should and shouldn’t I use NetGalley?
If you want access to ARCs (advance reader copies) for review purposes, NetGalley is for you.
If you’re just looking for another way to get free books, and you don’t have any interest in writing reviews, might I suggest you take a look at our list of ways to get free books, even when your libraries are closed?
While you might have some initial success getting books this way, if you’re not submitting reviews, publishers won’t be interested in continuing to send books your way.
How does NetGalley work?
When you create an account, you’ll let them know your preferred genres. You can read and request books from any genre on the site, but your dashboard will show books from the genres you like most. There are some ebooks and audiobooks in the available now category, which means that you don’t need approval from the publisher before reading them.
Other books require a request. Simply click on any book that you are interested and click “request.” You’ll get an email letting you know if you’ve been approved, but the length of time for approval varies widely.
Once you’re approved for a book you can choose to either download the epub version to read on a device like an ipad, or you can have the book sent to a Kindle device. Audiobooks can be streamed from the NetGalley shelf app.
Once you’re finished, you rate and review the book in the NetGalley platform. You can add links to any other reviews that you’ve written elsewhere like Goodreads or Instagram.
Tips for NetGalley success
- Don’t go overboard requesting books! Your feedback percentage is very important and a low percentage will hurt your chances for getting books. I made the mistake early on of biting off more than I could chew, and requested books that I didn’t really have any interest in reading. MISTAKE! I’ve been working hard to rebuild my feedback percentage for two solid years now.
- The “read now” section is a great place to get started as a NetGalley reviewer and there can be some gems in there. However! See above. Don’t request willy nilly just because you’re drunk with the power of free books.
- Follow We Are Bookish, the official NetGalley blog. This is a treasure trove of helpful hints for things like making your profile stand out, how to take great ereader photos for Instagram, annd book recommendations.