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.
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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?

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30 thoughts on “Guest Post: The In’s and Out’s of NetGalley

  1. I have a question regarding Goodreads. I am a librarian and readers advisory is very important here at our library. We do not have a blog for readers advisory yet, but are going in that direction. In the mean time I do post my reviews on Goodreads as well as submitting them on NetGalley. Should I not list my Goodreads review when I submit my review to NegGalley? Right now it is one of the only places our patrons may be able to see a review of a book that our librarians may publish.

    1. Hi Alisha – On behalf of NetGalley I strongly encourage you to share your reviews (no matter where they appear online) with publishers on NetGalley. I believe Lili was referring to reviewers who solely rely on Goodreads as a platform, which doesn’t sound like it applies to you. Thanks!

  2. I have a question. What do you mean by update my review with the blog link?

    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.

    Do you mean update my blog the day the book is made live? Or update on NetGalley when the book is live? I always write a note to the publisher letting them know I will add my review to certain sites when the book is live but I always add it to my blog and goodreads first.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Autumn – – On behalf of NetGalley let me clarify this for you. Sometimes reviewers share a general link at the time that they submit their review to the publisher via NetGalley but they haven’t yet published their review on their blog, retail site, etc. so the specific review/post URL isn’t yet available. I believe Lili was saying that once you do have that url that points directly to your review, update your Feedback (you can do that by clicking View Feedback and then Edit Feedback) and resubmit it to the publisher so they can reference the review directly instead of having to search for it. Does that make sense?

      1. Oh okay. I didn’t think we could “edit” our feedback. But yes that makes perfect sense then. Thank you so much for clearing that confusion up for me.

  3. Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for this article. Being a “smaller blogger” myself, it does get very discouraging when my requests for titles, especially from the “Big Dog” publishing houses get denied repeatedly. This information is very useful and insightful, again, thanks for taking the time out to do this!

  4. How do I update my reviews wiith live links on Netgalley.? I’m confused. I thought you wanted reviews posted prior to publication on Netgalley if possible. The only place I can post it early is on GR. I wait until close to release day to feature the review on my blog so sometimes I don’t know the exact day I will post it. Should I wait until the blog goes live before submitting the review to the publisher via Netgalley? Does it matter if I post the review on my blog months before publication? I was under the impression that was a big no no. Goodreads lets me post immediately, Amazon doesn’t. So I suppose I have been doing this all wrong. Help!

  5. Hi Julie – I’m going to echo my reply to a similar question – Sometimes reviewers share a general link at the time that they submit their review to the publisher via NetGalley but they haven’t yet published their review on their blog, retail site, etc. so the specific review/post url isn’t yet available. I believe Lili was saying that once you do have the url that points directly to your review, update your Feedback (you can do that by clicking View Feedback and then Edit Feedback) and resubmit it to the publisher so they can reference the review directly instead of having to search for it. But, you can definitely still submit your review to the publisher early – but updating it with the direct link definitely helps them out. Does that make sense?

    1. Thank you so much for explaining this to me. I had no idea I could update my feedback. I thought once it was submitted I had no way or changing it or updating it. I will be sure to start updating feedback in the future. This clears up a lot of confusion for me. Thanks for your help!

  6. To me, as a bookseller for the last 20+ years, I guess I have misunderstood the business model for NetGalley. While I am relatively new to this site, I have been using ARC copies for decades as a part of being a bookseller. Limiting approvals to those who have a public blog, excludes a large segment of the population that use ARC copies, and this includes ARC copies from NetGalley, who actually sell books to customers..

    Since signing up for this service, I have used it to tell customers and co-workers about new books that I think they will enjoy. In the last month, I, personally, have sold a few hundred copies of one of the first books I read from NetGalley. In our case, having access to ARCs also helps when ordering books.

    So, while I understand the point of this post, I think it places huge limitations on this program. It completely underestimates the influence of the humble bookseller.

    1. Hi Matt,

      Thanks for your feedback. I believe Lili was mostly addressing Reviewers and Bloggers since each member type uses NetGalley slightly differently and publishers understand that.

  7. I’ve been blogging for 7 months now, and this post was super useful to me! Thanks! I do have one clarification question though.

    When I send in my reviews to NetGalley, I submit the link in the link field, and state the date it will go live in the comments section at the bottom. The link doesn’t change from the time I schedule it in WordPress, to when it actually goes live. It’s the same URL. So should I still go back and ‘update’ my review on NetGalley when the link goes live?

  8. I have signed up as a book reviewer but I don’t have a blog. Instead I have a book related You tube channel where I talk about the books that I’ve read and everything related to them. If I post a review there, will that still be counted?

    1. Hi Jasmine – Yes! We love video reviews too! Just make sure to state that it’s a video review and link to the video when submitting Feedback.

  9. I’m a book blogger, but I’m also a staff writer for my college newspaper and I’m occasionally asked to write reviews.
    I’d like to start publishing my book reviews through the newspaper in addition to my blog. More often than not, the newspaper reviews will come out the week before or after the book is published, since our paper has to remain timely. Am I still supposed to say “This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review” if my review comes out after the book is published?
    The answer is probably yes, but I figured I’d ask just in case. 🙂

    This was a very helpful post!.

  10. When you are accepted to review a book do you get to keep the book you download or do you only have so long to read it and then its gone?

    1. Hi Joanne – When you are approved to download a galley (it usually isn’t the finished book) your file may expire after 55 days, unless you download to the Kindle. I’m including more information about the expiration dates here: http://bit.ly/25NmBSl

  11. Thank you for this article, I have two follow-up questions:

    1) this relates to “5. Do not request books that are out of your territory. I live in South Africa and pretty much everything is “not for my territory”. My approval to deny is 67:33, is that ok?

    2) some replies talk about having a published book review, any suggestions at which publications they would like us to be published in and/or how to get published?

  12. Hi I’m just a consumer reviewer. I read a large volume of books each month
    and always review the books I read, mostly on Goodreads and Amazon. Does this mean I won’t be considered when making requests?

  13. Hi Lili, I have a question about point 5. I currently live in Germany, and I mostly read books in English (US). My Kindle was also bought in the US and I mostly shop at Amazon.com for it. Can I apply for Region US, or must I apply for Germany? If I apply for Germany, can I only apply for books in German? Thank you!

  14. Hello, I’m a new “small blogger.” I have a two questions.

    1. Once I give my direct review link in my blog to the author, am I allowed to post similar reviews for the book I reviewed on Goodreads?
    2. I am on different territory (referring to #5). Most of the books I read is in English(US) and I read on free kindle app and shop for Amazon.com for it. Is this works for every books for review including e-books or is it only for physical copies?

    Thank you.

  15. Hello!

    Is there a set amount of time to read a book? I use another arc place that gives a timespan. I am not seeing it on Netgalley so want to make sure I’m not missing.

    Thanks for writing helps with my other questions lol.

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