Ah, Netgalley. Both a blessing and a curse. This site has been the cause of much of my excitement but has also been a factor in my stress. Today I thought I’d talk about my personal tips for Netgalley, and how to get the most out of it!
If you’re not familiar with it, Netgalley is a site where bloggers and book reviewers can request ARCs in exchange for an honest review of the book. It’s a simple way for people, both with large and small followings, to get their foot in the door for ARCs.
It’s how I first began reading ARCs. It took a while before I first got accepted. But don’t be discouraged! I hope the following tips will help you land some ARCs (maybe even your first)!
Keep your profile updated.
Your profile should always be up to date with the most important information about you. Include links to your social media sites, your blog/Youtube channel (if you don’t have one of those, it’s fine), and anywhere else you post about books (like Goodreads). Include the stats of all of those (how many followers you have, how many views you get, etc.). Also, include any other relevant info. This can be the genres you like to read, your location, etc.
Publishers want to be able to see as much information about you in as fast a time as possible so they can continue on with their job. Putting all of this basic info into your bio makes it easier for them to make a decision about whether to approve you for the ARC or not. If they don’t see that info right away, they probably won’t go looking for it on their own, and instead, they will just move on to someone else. Don’t give them a reason to say no before they even consider you.
Request from smaller publishers first.
When you are just starting out on Netgalley, you probably won’t get accepted by Simon and Schuster or Penguin Teen. Don’t be offended or upset by this. It makes sense from a business standpoint. Start with some smaller publishing houses to build up your profile first.
Another thing that publishers look at is your feedback ratio (I’ll explain this more in the next point). If you have never been approved for any books, they don’t know how good you are at reviewing books in a timely manner. But don’t worry- many smaller publishers still accept accounts with no feedback ratio, so start there!
Eventually, you can work your way up to bigger publishers and may even be auto-approved by some (meaning you have unlimited access to all of the titles they post and don’t need to go through the waiting process).
But don’t request too many books.
Going back to the feedback ratio- the publishers can see how many books you’ve requested, how many you’ve been approved for, how many you were denied for, and how many you’ve reviewed. This all ties into your feedback ratio- this is the number of books you’ve been approved for to the number of books you’ve provided a review for (or feedback).
For example, if you’ve been approved for 4 books, but you only reviewed 2 of them, your feedback ratio will be 50%. If you’ve reviewed 3 of them, your ratio will be 75%. The higher your ratio, the better your chance of getting approved. Netgalley recommends a ratio of 80% or higher, but I’d say try to keep it above 70%.
That being said, don’t go crazy and request every single book on Netgalley. Chances are you’ll be accepted for a lot more than you thought you would, and you’ll be stuck with a really low ratio, and will most likely not be able to review all of the books before publication. This is also unfair to reviewers who would love the chance to review a certain book but were unable to because spaces filled up.
So, stick to only those you are truly interested in and know you will read soon! Trust me, it makes life so much easier. I know it’s tempting, and I’ve fallen into the requesting trap myself, but don’t make the same mistakes I did.
I hope these tips were at least a little bit helpful! Let me know what other advice you have for Netgalley users as well! We can all learn from each other :)