Why Book Reviews Matter & How to Write Them

We’re always talking with our members and publishers to find out how they use NetGalley, and what is important to them when it comes to finding titles, reading them, providing Feedback. Recently some of you told us that you would like some tips on how to write a book review and what happens once you submit your review to the publisher via NetGalley.

First, I’d like to start with why your reviews are important to the success of the book and the author. Since most titles on NetGalley are pre-pub and not even yet on sale, publishers are making them available for a very specific purpose: to gain feedback and insight from you–professional readers and influencers. These reviews will later help inform consumers, too.

Publishers (and authors!) really love a thoughtful, insightful, meaningful review. They can be used in many ways: as a blurb on the printed galley or final book jacket, in marketing/advertising materials, to help build a blog tour or other online promotions, to spur excitement in-house and with sales reps, etc. Don’t take our word for it–here are a few anecdotes straight from our publishers (and scroll down for some tips for meaningful reviews, too!):

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Dina Sherman
School & Library Marketing Director
at Disney Book Group

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “Tips for Writing Reviews”

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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. Continue reading “Guest Post: The In’s and Out’s of NetGalley”

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image We continue to hear first-hand from publishers how word-of-mouth can truly help make or break a book’s success.

Today Dina Sherman, School & Library Marketing Director at Disney Book Group, has some words for our members:

“‘Professional’ reviews are essential as marketing tools, but it’s reader reviews (from teachers, librarians, booksellers, bloggers) that really get us excited about our books. Both staff and authors want to know that people like, or even better, love, the book as much as we do!

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Probably my favorite NetGalley review of all time was for CODE NAME VERITY.  It was an in-house favorite (OK, let’s be honest, an in-house obsession) from the first time we read the manuscript. We talked about it all the time, shared it with every person we met, but couldn’t quite sum up our feelings.

Then came this wonderful reviewer*, who wrote, “Suck it, Hemingway.”  Exactly! It became our rallying cry and we would say it in meetings whenever we were trying to express our feelings about the book. It certainly helped us keep pushing to get it out into the world.”

* Written and submitted by Katherine Montgomery, educator

You can view Disney Book Group titles on NetGalley here to request and review.

Take a peek at our best practices for Feedback here (whether you’re a blogger/reviewer, librarian, bookseller, media professional, or educator), and don’t forget to sign the Wellness Challenge Pledge!

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image We’re focusing this year’s NetGalley Wellness Challenge on Feedback and Reviews, because we’ve heard first-hand from publishers how word-of-mouth can truly help make or break a book’s success.

Today Pamela Brown, Marketing Director for Mulholland Books, has some words for our members:

No one is more important to a book’s success than you, dear reader.

“Marketers can spin their wheels coming up with creative contests, viral videos, and sought-after swag, but at the end of the day, we know it’s your recommendation—to your friends, to your family, to your colleagues—that matter.

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Take, for example, Lauren Beukes’s The Shining Girls. I made myself hoarse singing its praises, but it was not until reviewers like you started talking about Kirby Mizrachi and the time-traveling serial killer that it became one of last summer’s must-reads. Thank you. Please wield your power wisely by reviewing what you read and recommending what you love.”

You can view Mulholland Books’ titles on NetGalley here to request and review.

Take a peek at our best practices for Feedback here (whether you’re a blogger/reviewer, librarian, bookseller, media professional, or educator), and don’t forget to sign the Wellness Challenge Pledge!

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Recipes for Success: 5 Top Tips for Writing a Book Review

At NetGalley, we’re always looking for new ways to help our members improve their chances of being approved, and give better feedback. So we’ve put together a video of top tips for reviewers – as compiled by Stuart Evers, NetGalley UK. Stuart’s a published writer in the UK and has written hundreds of reviews and blogs for some of the UK’s biggest publications, and these are his top 5 ways to make your blog and book reviews more effective. Let us know what tip you found most helpful below, or via Twitter #NGextras

Recipes for Success aims to give NetGalley members helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as professional readers. Check back often for tips and tricks from the insiders.

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Recipes for Success: 8 Tips for Writing Good Book Reviews (or, A Neon Sign at the Topless Bar of Literature)

Guest Post: Janice Harayda, novelist, award-winning journalist, and founder and editor-in-chief of One-Minute Book Reviews

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We’re thrilled to welcome Janice Harayda to the NetGalley blog. After being fortunate enough to hear her panel on book reviewing at the 2012 BEA Bloggers conference, we’re so pleased she’s shared this updated version of her remarks as part of our Recipes for Success series. Janice Harayda is a novelist and an award-winning journalist who has been the book columnist for Glamour, the book editor of the Plain Dealer in Cleveland and a vice-president of the National Book Critics Circle. You can read more of her comments and tips on reviewing here, and follow her tweets at @janiceharayda.

Recipes for Success aims to give NetGalley members helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as professional readers. Check back often for tips and tricks from the insiders.

A well-known book critic once said that she hoped that her reviews would be “a soft light in the alcove of art.” Some of the books I’ve reviewed have made me feel more like a neon sign at the topless bar of literature. But I share that critic’s view: A reviewer’s most important task is to help you see a book clearly and, especially, to show its uniqueness. A question I ask every day is: How can I show how this book differs from all others? And I’ve tried to develop a few guidelines for answering it. Continue reading “Recipes for Success: 8 Tips for Writing Good Book Reviews”

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Recipes for Success: Librarian Voices
The Ins and Outs of ARCs, from ALA Annual
Guest Post: Kristi Chadwick, Library Director at Emily Williston Memorial Library and blogger at Books, Yarn, Ink and Other Pursuits

Books, Yarn, Ink

I’m happy to welcome Kristi Chadwick, Library Director and blogger, as our guest writer today for Recipes for Success: Librarian Voices. Kristi participated in a panel on the “Ins and Outs of ARCs” at ALA Annual last week and has been generous enough to write up a recap of her experience. Keep reading to find out more about what was discussed during her panel, including what publishers look for in librarians’ NetGalley profiles, and about what she’s reading and requesting via NetGalley!

The Faceless One      Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl

Recipes for Success aims to give NetGalley members helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as professional readers. Check back often for tips and tricks from the insiders.

The American Library Association held their 2013 Annual Conference June 27- July 7 in Chicago, IL. As Marlene mentioned last week, the ALA conference is definitely “BEA for Librarians,” and this year was no exception. While I definitely found some print galleys to bring home with me, I am a self-proclaimed “go-go gadget geek” and love having access to digital advance reading copies and galleys. I love them so much, in fact, that I was part of a panel that discussed them!
Continue reading “Recipes for Success: Librarian Voices”

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Recipes for Success: Librarian Voices
ALA is BEA for Librarians, and why my back Loves NetGalley
Guest Post: Marlene Harris, Seattle Public Library and blogger at Reading Reality

Reading Reality

ALA Annual begins today! For those of you who may not know what the ALA (American Library Association) conference is all about, Marlene Harris, technical Services Manager at Seattle Public Library, has graciously returned to explain. Continue reading to find out more about the American Library Association’s annual conference, and how NetGalley saves Marlene’s back at conferences like this!

Recipes for Success aims to give NetGalley members helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as professional readers. Check back often for tips and tricks from the insiders. 

ALA is BEA for Librarians, and why my back Loves NetGalley

When I try to explain what the ALA conference is to my non-librarian friends, I often use the shortcut that ALA is BEA for librarians. I’ve never been to BEA (insert sad face here) but if the pictures of the exhibit floor are accurate, there’s definitely a resemblance!
Continue reading “Recipes for Success: Librarian Voices”

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Recipes for Success: Librarian Voices
How and Why Librarians Should Use NetGalley
Guest Post: Marlene Harris, Seattle Public Library and blogger at Reading Reality

Reading Reality

I’m pleased to introduce a new segment of Recipes for Success, specifically for all of the great librarian members using NetGalley! Did you know that 12,500+ librarians are using NetGalley to discover new titles to purchase for their library collection and recommend to their patrons?

Today’s guest post comes from Marlene Harris, Technical Services Manager at Seattle Public Library. Continue reading to find out how Marlene uses NetGalley as a librarian, and some titles she thinks you should be reading!

Along Came Trouble      Flirting With Disaster      Making it Last

Recipes for Success aims to give NetGalley members helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as professional readers. Check back often for tips and tricks from the insiders.

How, and why should librarians use NetGalley? Let me talk a bit about how this librarian uses NetGalley.

Continue reading “Recipes for Success: Librarian Voices”

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Recipes for Success: How to Measure the Success of your Blog
Guest post: Thea James, The Book Smugglers

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I’m very excited to be moderating a panel at the BEA Bloggers Conference with some YA Book Blogging Pros, including Thea of The Book Smugglers. The panel will be on Wednesday May 29 at 11:15 am, but today I’m pleased to share this post from Thea.

Continue reading to find out how The Book Smugglers measure their blog’s success!
Continue reading “Recipes for Success: How to Measure the Success of your Blog”

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