Guest Post: The In’s and Out’s of NetGalley
I’m happy to welcome Lili, Children’s Publicity Intern at Bloomsbury USA and a blogger, as our guest writer today. Lili has been documenting her internship experiences in publishing in her Intern Diaries series and recently reflected on the NetGalley approval process from a publisher’s point of view. At NetGalley, we’re always looking for new ways to help our members improve their chances of being approved, and becoming better recommenders. Keep reading to find out more about what publishers look for in NetGalley profiles, and hopefully you’ll take away a tip or two!
The below post originally appeared on Lili’s Reflections in her Intern Diaries series.
After my first internship at a literary agency, I put together a free-flowing post about what I learned. Well, now that I am at Bloomsbury, I want to do the same thing as I go, but share it with my readers since I’m quickly discovering that many of you aspire to do the same thing that I am doing now! With 5 months under my belt and several more to go, I think now’s a good time to start recording my thoughts! This post series will be posted on Sunday’s whenever I get the time.
I got a few questions about NetGalley, so I just wanted to post about it to hopefully clear things up in all areas!
Here is something that I learned and never really realized as a blogger in regards to NetGalley…many titles have a limited amount of people that are allowed to download it. Those messages you get about there not being enough eARCs are actually real!
And I know you’re sitting there thinking it’s an eARC, it’s not physical, so why is there a limit? And there’s a limit because, like ARCs, eARCs are meant to be read by a certain audience with certain kinds of platforms to get the word out there.
As an intern, I do man the NetGalley account for review requests and media professional requests. Yes, these are two different things. If you are a blogger, you should characterize yourself as a reviewer, by the way. It’s important that you do this. There are certain titles with important caps that I can’t touch, but otherwise I am told to simply look at the blogs and use my best judgment while staying within a certain statistic or expectation range.
So, some NetGalley pieces of advice…
1. Make sure your blog links work.
So many requests filter in on a single day that we can’t go googling for your blog. You have the option to link a website, so link your platform’s website! After linking it, go back in and check to make sure you linked it properly, because when we try to click sometimes and we are taken to an error page because a letter or a dot is missing in the URL, you’re most likely going to get denied for not having a platform.
2. Goodreads does not count as a platform.
Do not link your Goodreads account. People with only a Goodreads account linked are more likely to get denied. If you have a blog and a Goodreads you can link both, but the blog is more important!
3. Do not request books if you have no platform.
If you have no platform whatsoever and you just like to read, NetGalley is probably not the place for you.
4. Do not request books if you haven’t blogged for months.
We do actually click the links you provide for us and check out your blogs. If your first post is dated from months ago, if not years ago, you are going to get denied. Just because you once had a blog does not mean you can still reap the benefits if you are not still active. 🙁
5. Do not request books that are out of your territory.
Seriously, it’s not like we hate people that don’t live in the US or Canada, but there are different branches of a publishing house that work with different territories. For example, Australian bloggers requesting US titles are probably going to get denied by the US but approved by the Australian branch. Just listen to the guidelines that say what territories the posting is for. You’re hurting your approval/deny ratio if you don’t listen and publishers do see that when they are approving people and, for some, that can make or break a random click.
6. When submitting NetGalley reviews, update your review with your blog link when the title goes live.
Do not link to your Goodreads or Amazon or blog in general, we want to read the review once it is live so we can help promote it and note it in our files etc etc. Just going in to update the review can help the publisher immensely and if you make a habit of it your name may just become something people recognize automatically, which is always a good thing.
7. Don’t think that you won’t get approved for books on NetGalley because you’re a smaller blogger.
If anything, you are more likely to get approved on NetGalley than you are a physical ARC as a smaller blogger! Sure, there are frontlist insanity titles that have such small approval ratios you may not get, but you will have access to most titles as long as you are blogging consistently and purposefully. I’m not saying start requesting books after a month of blogging because that doesn’t show the consistency people are looking for when approving NetGalley requests, but once you’re in it for 2-3 months and have a small amount of followers, go for it!
8. Submitting reviews is always a good thing!
It ups your review ratios which we do see and it shows you’re reliable, which makes people more inclined to send you things and if you keep working with them then, who knows, one day you may be auto-approved! I’m not allowed to do such a thing as an intern, but auto-approved members are mostly those people who have been diligently supporting a house for a while that their name just sticks out.
9. Stats are always a plus!
In your bio maybe mention stats. It can never hurt you to help us find them as opposed to making us search for them.
10. Do not get discouraged if you are denied from a title.
In the end, NetGalley is two buttons on our end. It’s easy to miss a button sometimes, or sometimes we have to deny because of the limit ratio. Other times it’s as simple as you being out of territory or your blog link not working. So, just keep going with it. Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged. We do want you to read and review, so make sure you actually do read and review and everyone wins!
11. If you are a reviewer, say you are a reviewer.
There are several different categories for NetGalley users. Librarians, Booksellers, Educators, Media, and Reviewers. If you are a blogger, then you are a reviewer. If you categorize yourself as media you may be more likely to get denied because you aren’t technically one. Just make sure you note that you are what you are and you are good!
Thanks so much Lili! And don’t forget, you can always visit the publisher pages in the Browse Publishers section to view their approval preferences.
Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts below. Do you have any other NetGalley questions? Did you learn anything from this post?