If you are new to the world of book blogging, or wondering how book bloggers manage to read so many book ahead of their release, chances are you have heard of Netgalley. In that case, this post is perfect for you.
In case you have been blogging and reviewing books on Netgalley for some time, read on to find out my thoughts on how to increase your chances of getting approved for books of your choice.
I am in no way a Netgalley expert, but I’ve been using it from past 6 months, since the very beginning of my book blogging journey. Having read and reviewed close to 40 ARCs now, I think I have developed my system for increasing my chances of getting approved for ARCs. I truly think Netgalley is a gem for every professional reader!
What is Netgalley?
Netgalley is a platform where professional readers such as book reviewers, librarians and booksellers can request, read and review books before they are published. Publishers and Authors use Netgalley to distribute digital and audio copies of their books before publication to promote them to prospective readers through the published reviews.
Basically, it is a win-win for everyone – book reviewers get free book pre-publication, publishers and authors get free publicity in return for the book copies they distribute.
How Do I Get Started on Netgalley?
Fortunately, Netgalley is very intuitive and easy to use, even for a complete beginner. It is as easy as setting up an account and requesting your heart away for all those shining ARCs!
#1: Register as a Member/Reader
This is as simple as setting up an account on any social media platform. One simply needs to input some basic identification details, and you are good to go!
#2: Complete Your Profile
Before you can start requesting digital ARCs or “galleys”, you need to provide more information of your reading preferences and where will you post your reviews.
Basic Information: This includes where you intend to review the ARCs (your blog URL), your social accounts, and most importantly, your bio.
Reading Preferences: This includes where you wish to receive your e-books (kindle email address), what genres you prefer reading and how you interact with books.
#3: Write a Detailed Bio
This can be a complete post in itself, but for starters, make sure you provide the following information:
- BLOG STATISTICS – Page views, unique visitors and followers
- SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS & STATISTICS – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads
- How often do you post
- Contact Details
Additionally, you may wish to include the kind of content you post on your blog, the genres you prefer to read and what is your vision for your blog.
If you are very new to book blogging and are not sure your statistics are good enough to include in your bio – fret not. Everyone starts somewhere. You can avoid including your statistics for some time if you are not comfortable sharing them, but I would suggest doing it anyways. You will gradually start building your numbers and start getting approved for ARCs of your choice.
#4: Find New Titles to Read and Request
Now to the exciting part! Once your account is established, you can browse through the multitudes of ARCs available to read and to request.
While some of the ARCs are available for reading (or listening) for everyone, most of them are available for requesting (or wishing, but more about that later). If your request is accepted by the publisher, you can enjoy it on your kindle (or on the Netgalley shelf app!)
Tips for Netgalley Newbies
#1: Utilize Read Now and Listen Now Titles: An amazing way to build a solid profile on Netgalley and establish yourself as a serious reviewer is to utilize the “read now” and “listen now” titles. Contrary to expectations, many attractive and highly sought titles are sometimes available in these categories, especially closer to publish date.
#2: Download approved galleys ASAP: Each approved galley or e-ARC comes with an expiry date! To ensure that you avoid the risk of the title getting archived, download it immediately.
#3: Check out approval preferences of favourite publishers: Publishers WANT to approve you for ARCs! Remember, I told you about the win-win? To help you out, most publishers explicitly state what they are looking for in ARC requests. To check these tips, visit the publishers’ Netgalley page and check out their approval preferences!
#4: Utilize both US and UK sites: This tip has been a lifesaver! I learnt this only after a whole month of being on Netgalley, and I was so angry that I didn’t know this earlier.
Netgalley has different web addresses for different countries – US, UK, Japan, France and Germany. Different titles are available on different addresses, and sometimes the same titles are available for requesting on Netgalley UK but only to wish on Netgalley US.
As an international book blogger who was utterly frustrated at not being able to request titles on Netgalley US, the UK site has been a gift!!!
#5: Keep your feedback ratio up: This tiny statistic is a mark of how serious a reviewer you are. It indicates the percentage of titles you have reviewed of the titles you have been approved for, and publishers often use this to ensure that they grant ARCs only to people who have the highest chances of reviewing their books.
#6: Stay Organized: This goes without saying, but make sure you read and review books before or not later than a week or so after publication! The whole purpose of ARCs is to promote books and generate buzz BEFORE publication – right?
#7: Include a disclaimer in your review: It is good practice to include a disclaimer along the lines of “I received a free digital ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review“
#8: Keep your bio (and statistics) up to date: While writing a bio is a one-time effort, do not forget that it exists! Keep it updated with your latest statistics, and keep adding any new information if you feel it might be interesting to the publishers.
#9: Write detailed, spoiler-free and honest reviews: Publishers and readers alike appreciate detailed and honest reviews. Receiving a free ARC does not oblige you to like or praise the book in your review, but you can (and should) be respectful and courteous even when criticizing the book!
Further, the more detailed you are, the better it is! It reflects your seriousness as a reviewer, and no one likes a two-sentence review. But while you are at it, DO NOT summarize the book or paraphrase the blurb. And DO NOT GIVE SPOILERS at any cost!
#10: Do not go request-crazy: This one is easier said than done (*guilty*)! It is so easy to get swept off your feet looking at all those attractive titles and request 10 books in a go (*been there, done that*). I realize that I am not setting a good example here, but PLEASE PLEASE be selective with the ARCs you request, and do not request books you know you won’t read (even if it is popular).
And that’s it!
This is how I request and get approved for ARCs on Netgalley! As an international blogger (situated in India), I get rejected for a LOT more ARCs than you would expect, but I still LOVE Netgalley ✨ I have found UK publishers a lot more open to granting ARCs to international bloggers and I love being able to read highly anticipated books ahead of release and hype them up.
Please bear in mind that it takes time and patience. For the first few months, chances are you won’t be accepted for your highly anticipated books – but fret not. Gradually, as your blogging stats improve and as you post reviews for even a few books, you will start getting approved much more frequently. And trust me, you will LOVE it 💖
I hope you found this post useful! I would love to hear your thoughts and questions – talk to me in comments below💛
Are you on Netgalley? How has your experience been? Do you have any tips for those new to Netgalley?