Recipes for Success: Review Policies

Hello, bloggers and reviewers! I hope you caught last week’s debut Recipes For Success post about first steps to creating a book blog. This week Kate, Ex Libris blogress, returns to share her Recipe for Success for crafting a great Review Policy. Share her tips with your fellow reviewers on Twitter using #NGextras.

Next week Kate will be sharing some tips on focusing your blog’s content.

Recipes for Success aims to give new bloggers and reviewers helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as reviewers. Check back often for tips and tricks from the insiders!

Ex Libris

Review Policies Continue reading “Recipes for Success: Review Policies”

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NetGalley’s View from the UK

I’m Stuart Evers, NetGalley’s newest member of the Concierge Team, based in the UK. Welcome to the first of my ‘View From the UK’ blogs – your monthly roundup of what’s happening book-wise in Great Britain. I’ll be covering everything from the latest prizes and awards, festivals, events, hot titles, literary gossip and overlooked classics, to welcoming new publishers to NetGalley, tips on titles you might want to request and anything else that has caught my eye over the previous month.

I joined NetGalley just before Christmas to help ensure our British members get the very best experience on the site. I’m an author myself, and have been a bookseller and editor so I’m hoping to bring all that recommending experience to help you find the best titles – no matter what genre you read. If you have any suggestions, thoughts, or ideas for things you’d like to see on NetGalley in the UK, please get in contact via our Knowledge Base and I’ll get back to you!

The big news for January had to be the announcement of the Costa Book Awards. Hilary Mantel went into the evening as favourite … Continue reading “NetGalley’s View from the UK”

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Recipes for Success: First Steps to Creating a Book Blog
Guest post from Kate of Ex Libris

Here at NetGalley our goal is to provide a central resource for professional readers to discover new titles to recommend! Whether you’re a reviewer, blogger, bookseller, librarian, or educator, we know that you’re spreading the word about books. Some of our members are well-established and some of you are just starting out. For those of you who have just started or are thinking about starting a dedicated book-review blog, we introduce this new blog series: Recipes for Success. Here you’ll find tips and tricks from the insiders! We aim to give new bloggers and reviewers helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as reviewers.

Our first post is from Kate of Ex Libris, who’s here to kick things off by sharing four first steps in creating a book blog. Kate has been a NetGalley member since 2011 and has been approved for 182 titles as of today! Don’t forget to stay tuned for Kate’s next Recipe for Success, all about Review Policies.

Ex Libris

So, you want to start a book blog….. Continue reading “Recipes for Success: First Steps to Creating a Book Blog”

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NetGalley Devours: Big Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans

We have one more children’s book review for you this month! Keep an eye out for the Children’s Book Roundup in your inbox later today for even more great children’s titles available on NetGalley.

Have you read and reviewed Big Change for Stuart too? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter! #NGDevours

Big Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans
(Random House Children’s Publishers UK, pub date: May 2, 2013)
Big Change for Stuart

Recipe

Mix magic mayhem and mystery with fiendish puzzles and pulsating peril to make a truly compelling confection.

Description

Stuart Horten – ten, but looks younger – is now the owner of a magician’s workshop. Except that without his Great-Uncle’s Last Will and Testament, he can’t actually prove it. Which is a problem, since someone else wants it as well: someone who has a lot of money.

The workshop contains seven magnificent stage illusions, but when Stuart starts to investigate them, he discovers that each is the gateway to a magical adventure, with a puzzle to solve, and a clue to extract.

As the clues mount up, the adventures become riskier. Friendship is strained, danger looms, and Stuart has to decide what sort of prize he really, truly wants. [From the publisher]

Review

I have to confess I don’t read much Children’s fiction – but this title really caught my eye. My favourite book as a child was Stuart Little and finding another little Stuart was too much to resist, especially as my first child is due in a month! Continue reading “NetGalley Devours: Big Change for Stuart”

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Cari's Book Blog
Cari's Book Blog

Ever wonder what goes on behind-the-scenes at NetGalley? Pop over to Cari’s Book Blog for a glimpse at what fills each day for the NetGalley Concierge Team!

Thanks, Cari, for inviting us to share our day with your readers as part of your new monthly series!

-The Concierge Team

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NetGalley Devours: World on a String by Larry Phifer, Illustrator: Danny Popovici

Last week, Lindsey devoured World on a String. Have you read and reviewed this title too? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter! #NGDevours
Check back soon for another children’s book review from Stuart, NetGalley’s newest Concierge!

World on a String by Larry Phifer, Illustrator: Danny Popovici
Storytime Works/Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Member; Pub Date: Jun 4 2013
World on a String

Description: Picture book that offers a uniquely uplifting perspective on loss. World on a String is the story of a young boy, Charlie, who finds and befriends a big red balloon. Soon, Charlie and his balloon become best friends. They play together. They go to school together. They do everything together. Then, one night, Charlie’s balloon comes untied in a thunderstorm. At first, Charlie is very sad. He imagines that his friend is lost, tangled and all alone. However, by remembering the happy times they shared, Charlie is able to shift his perspective, deal with his loss and, ultimately, he imagines his balloon as a very important part of the starry sky. [From the publisher]

Review: I stumbled across World on a Stringand instantly did what we’re all told not to do—judged it by its cover, but in a good way. I was intrigued and wanted to see more, and since this IBPA member title is currently available to READ NOW in the NetGalley catalog, was able to download it right away. The illustrations hooked me by the second page, and …I found myself relishing in the little details and inherent movement of the artwork. Then I started to read the text—sweet rhymes that I knew would easily appeal to my two-year-old daughter. I did a complete read-through in just a few moments (this is a short picture book, after all) but ended up surprised at how quickly the story touched me. Continue reading “NetGalley Devours: World on a String”

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News from NetGalley

READ NOW on NetGalley: BUZZ BOOKS 2013 Shares Pre-Publication Excerpts from Big Spring and Summer Releases

You have probably seen the coverage today about Publishers Lunch’s BUZZ BOOKS 2013, featuring substantial excerpts from 28 highly anticipated Spring/Summer titles. We’re delighted to be working with Michael Cader and his team on this project, by offering to trade professionals a version of the sampler which features links to request or download the full galley via NetGalley. The sampler is available to READ NOW by clicking here, or on the cover image below. Click the “Additional Trade Information” link at the end of the excerpts to see the NetGalley links.

Buzz Books 2013 What book are you most excited to read from the list? What have you read so far? Tell us on Twitter by tagging @NetGalley and #BuzzBook, or on our Facebook page.

Scroll down to view the complete list of excerpts and more information about BUZZ BOOKS 2013.

Note: This project was made all the more meaningful to NetGalley because Publishers Lunch works closely with Joshua Tallent of eBook Architects on the production of the ebook. Joshua heads up this premier ebook design and production firm, now part of Firebrand Technologies (who also owns NetGalley). Chances are, if you are reading a beautifully designed and executed ebook (as the BUZZ BOOK is), you are benefiting from the work of Joshua and his team.

ABOUT BUZZ BOOKS 2013: SPRING/SUMMER: Winter Institute and Beyond, in an eBook.

The new edition of BUZZ BOOKS—available on all major ebook platforms—presents substantial excerpts from 28 highly anticipated books set for release between March and July. For trade readers, it builds on the ABA’s Winter Institute 8, convening later this month in Kansas City, helping to amplify what has become the unofficial spring/summer launch event. For everyone who can’t make it to WI8, we feature excerpts from 11 authors appearing there.

BUZZ BOOKS 2013 combines excerpts from major new works of nonfiction—Michael Pollan’s COOKED; bestselling authors of Made to Stick and Switch Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s DECISIVE; and Lily Koppel’s THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB (already in film development)—alongside potential breakouts from established novelists. There’s Kate Atkinson’s LIFE AFTER LIFE, Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, Meg Wolitzer’s THE INTERESTINGS, Ruth Ozeki’s A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING, Philipp Meyer’s THE SON, Therese Anne Fowler’s Z: A NOVEL OF ZELDA FITZGERALD, Alexander Maksik’s A MARKER TO MEASURE DRIFT, and Benjamin Percy’s RED MOON.

Continue reading “READ NOW on NetGalley: BUZZ BOOKS 2013”

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NetGalley Devours: An Infidel in Paradise by S.J. Laidlaw

Happy February! This month the NetGalley team will be looking at children’s and middle grade titles. Check back soon for even more reviews. Have you read and reviewed this title too? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter! #NGDevours

An Infidel in Paradise by S.J. Laidlaw 
(Tundra Books/Random House Canada, pub date: February 12, 2013)

An Infidel in Paradise

Description: Sixteen-year-old Emma is no stranger to moving. The daughter of a Canadian diplomat, her life has been a series of changing landscapes, cultures and friendships. But when her parents split up and she and her siblings are forced to move to Pakistan with her mother, her feelings of loss and culture shock are overwhelming. Add to that rising political tensions and her attraction to a local boy who has been promised to someone else, Emma’s life very quickly spirals out of control, putting herself and those she loves in mortal danger. [From the publisher]

Review: Ages 12 and up. I’ve always enjoyed books set in a place I’m unlikely to visit—-a pseudo-vacation, in a way. So I chose An Infidel in Paradise because it takes place in Pakistan, where Emma, the main character, has just moved. Emma’s mother is a busy and often disengaged diplomat, and her parents have recently separated, with her beloved father remaining in the Philippines at their family’s last post. Emma has lived all over the world, but she’s shattered by the changes in her family and the adjustments of living in a restrictive and sometimes hostile country.

The book’s not complicated, but it’s rich in details and brings to life the stark differences between the cultures (Emma is Canadian) in a way that will be appealing to teens because …it sneaks under the radar. You’ll learn what traditional Pakistanis wear, but because the girls go shopping; you’ll learn about arranged marriages, but through the eyes of the “hot” love interest. Laidlaw does a thorough job of introducing characters with different perspectives, from the wealthy Pakistani students who attend Emma’s school, to the poor children who collect trash outside the diplomatic compound and the servants who look after Emma’s family.

As a parent, this book reminded me of how unsettling and lonely the teen years can be, no matter where in the world you are. My heart ached for Emma for most of the book—-as she gets angry and says something she later regrets, as she pushes her friends away so she doesn’t have to risk losing them, as she misses her father but refuses to forgive him. She makes reckless but human decisions, but she loves and is loved genuinely, and the book comes full circle at the end as she regains her footing.

Middle-grade readers will like the casual language of the book, the teen-appropriate connection between Emma and Musa, and its quick pace. Adults will enjoy recommending it because of the cultural references and current events focus. A final note: the ending, though a bit dramatic for adults, is perfect for this genre.

I requested the book from the NetGalley catalog, and read on my iPad using the Bluefire Reader app.

If you would like to purchase An Infidel in Paradise you can do so at any of these locations:

Canada:
Print:
Amazon
Indigo

eBook:
Kobo
Amazon

United States:
Print:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

eBook:
Kobo
Amazon

– Review written by Susan Ruszala, NetGalley President

 

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NetGalley Reaches a Milestone—thanks to you! (PLUS, a gift!) 

100,000 professional readers are now using NetGalley to discover and spread the word about new books—that’s double the number from this time last year. We are honored to be the connection point between publishers and readers of influence—including librarians, reviewers and bloggers, media, booksellers, and educators. Thanks to each and every one of you for your continued enthusiasm and feedback.

As a thank you for your part in helping NetGalley grow to be a central resource for the industry, we’re highlighting a few new READ NOW titles from several publishers who believed in us from the very beginning. (We’re now working with over 200 publishers worldwide.) Because of your dedication to starting the buzz about their titles, these publishers would like to introduce you to these titles, which you can start reading and reviewing right now.

How do you recommend NetGalley titles? Use the Send Feedback button to tell publishers how you spread the word about books. Tell them if you’re purchasing the book for your library’s collection or hand-selling it in your bookstore, posting a review online or adding the title to your curriculum, and any other ways you may be starting buzz. Read on to see how some of our members are using NetGalley and join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

                 Only God    Only God    The Better Mousetrap    This is Houw You Get Your Next Job    Kingdom of Rarities    The Insanity of God
                 Barbour Publishing     Taunton Press          Kogan Page               AMACOM Books         Island Press               B&H Publishing

“Just wanted to say that is really makes it easy to order books for the library when you have already read the egalley and can make an informed choice. I think I checked off at least five books on our latest B&T order that I had read and enjoyed, books that I probably would have passed over before. Not to mention ordering personal copies as well. – Sharon Redfern, via NetGalley Facebook Page

“I love NetGalley! Being a bookseller, this really helps me in recommending books to customers and knowing they’ll be happy with their purchase. Net Galley works wonderfully with my Nookcolor as well so that makes it so convenient.” —Rachel Shell Vance, via NetGalley Facebook Page

“I love reading about all the new books and reading all that I can on my device, then order them for our library.”
– Kathy Grimenstein, Branch Head – Fairview Public Library

“LOVE NetGalley! Thank you so much for giving reviewers the opportunity to read and review all those fabulous books! You guys Rocks! :D” – Nuzaifa @ Say It With Books via NetGalley Facebook Page

A final note: More than ever before, we want to know who you are and how we can help make your NetGalley experience the best it can be. Read our tips on improving your Profile, and as always, we want to hear from you about what you love about NetGalley, what you want to see in the future, and what can we do to help. Don’t be shy! Let us know by tagging @NetGalley on Facebook or Twitter!

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NetGalley Devours:
Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman & 

Tenth of December by George Saunders

Welcome to a new blog series from NetGalley! NETGALLEY DEVOURS is dedicated to our staff reviews of titles that have been posted on www.NetGalley.com. Just like all of you, we at NetGalley are avid readers! Each month we’ll be picking a few titles that we’ve read, and telling you what we thought. Have you read and reviewed these titles too? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter! #NGDevours

Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman (Soho Press, On Sale: January 8, 2013)

Little Wolves

Recipe:
Mix one part loner with two parts violence to get an ethereal story run through with Norse mythology rooted firmly in realism.

Description:
A tragic act of violence echoes through a rural Minnesota town in a haunting new novel from Alex Award winning author of The Night Birds, Thomas Maltman. 

Set on the Minnesota prairie in the late 1980s during a drought season that’s pushing family farms to the brink, Little Wolves features the intertwining stories of a father searching for answers after his son commits a heinous murder, and a pastor’s wife (and washed-out scholar of early Anglo-Saxon literature) who has returned to the town for mysterious reasons of her own. A penetrating look at small-town America from the award-winning author of The Night Birds, Little Wolves weaves together elements of folklore and Norse mythology while being driven by a powerful murder mystery; a page-turning literary triumph.

Review:
Little Wolves is a story full of quiet grief and malice. Although the story starts with a literal bang, the protagonists are left to wade through a miasma of questions—why did he do it? How could I have prevented it? Who am I? How do I move on? 



This is a novel that lives in the grey-area between past and present, good and evil, power and weakness. Maltman weaves the lives of his characters together into tighter and tighter knots, giving us more than a simple mystery. Wolves and ghosts roam the realistic narrative (it’s based on true events) and I love this book for its stark portrait of a small-town dealing with tragedy and the individuals within that community who can’t simply accept that everything is as it appears.

If you would like to add Little Wolves to your collection, personal or professional, you can purchase it at any of these locations: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Google Play, Indiebound

I read this title on my Bluefire Reader app on the iPad.

– Review written by Kristina Radke, Community Concierge

Tenth of December by George Saunders (Random House, publication date: January 8, 2013)
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Recipe:
One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet. [From the publisher]

Description:
In the taut opener, “Victory Lap,” a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In “Home,” a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill-the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.

Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.

Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December-through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit-not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should “prepare us for tenderness.”

Review:
The NY Times Magazine ran a feature story in their January 3, 2013 edition, “George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read This Year,” more of a homage than a review, really, to coincide with the publication of Saunders’ newest collection of short stories, Tenth of December (Random House, January 8, 2013). I requested the book from the NetGalley catalog, and read on my iPad using the Bluefire Reader app.

Since short stories aren’t my favorite, I actually, ashamedly, hadn’t read any of Saunders’ previous works (he is often described as “one of the great writers of our time”). But there was something about the NYT article that drew me in: “… the main thing about it, which tends not to get its due, is how much it makes you feel… One thing is that you read them and you feel known, if that makes any sense.” And truth be told, it does make sense; he has a way of writing that captures familiar human emotion in the most absurd circumstances, from the teenaged girl being kidnapped in the first story, “Victory Lap,” to the futuristic mind-altering drugs in “Escape from Spiderhead.” His writing is creative and exciting.

From a literary perspective, there’s no doubt that Saunders is one of the finest writers you’ll experience. Many times I found myself stopping to admire the beauty of a turn of phrase or collection of sentences, as if the book were an art museum. (I love books like this—Junot Diaz of course comes to mind, and Paul Harding’s Tinkers, too.)

But if you are a reader not particularly interested in the pedigree, it bears mentioning that the stories are wry, witty and clever. You will identify with the characters in just a few pages, will be anxious about what will happen next, and miss them when the story ends and a new one begins. Each story is surprisingly different, yet the collection is harmonious and many themes echo throughout. And although many of situations Saunders describes are despicable and ugly, life’s relentless penchant for beauty shines through again and again. (Saunders says it best, “Why were we made just so, to find so many things that happened every day pretty?”) And… well, I could go on.

The collection is short – less than 120 pages – and a quick and enjoyable read. If you’d like to own a copy (as I would), you can purchase it at any of these locations: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Kindle, Nook, iBookstore

 – Review written by Susan Ruszala, NetGalley President

Check out the other titles we’ve reviewed – 2012 NetGalley Picks!

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