THE NETGALLEY SHUFFLE

We all know the struggle. You log into NetGalley, particularly when you first get started, and go a little.. click-happy. Suddenly you’re drowning in ARCs, approvals coming every which way, and your feedback ratio drops and drops and you don’t know how you’ll ever reach that recommended 80% milestone. Heaven forbid you hit a slump and take a break from ARCs only to keep clicking, keep requesting, and thus the cycle repeats.

We don’t know how it happened but here’s our humblebrag : Micky & Hollis are both in the 90%+ margins. Micky has been approved, and read, almost double what Hollis has, but still. It does get easier to keep that percentage high, and have it stay that way, the more you get approved for, the more you read or keep pace with said approvals, but it can be equally easy to request, clicking on more — no matter your %.

Neither of us know the magical workings behind NetGalley, we don’t have any particular tricks, but we wanted to open the floor to you and see if there’s something you’ve learned, something you’ve struggled with, and help each other out. There’s lots we still probably don’t know and we always find it interesting when publishers post recommendations or suggestions to improve your profile (you can sometimes catch these threads on twitter).

It’s easier said than done to just say read what you click, keep an eye on publishing dates so you don’t overload yourself in back to back months, but part of the fun is stumbling through these trials and errors and learning from them. Or, like us, even with our high percent, crying over a month with sixteen ARCs and no end in sight. It happens to us all! That said..

Here are our Top Ten Tips for Netgalley :

  1. Take the time to write a strong profile. Have a photo of yourself — publicity assistants tell us it helps to see who you are. Add a bit of relevant stuff about yourself, how you enjoy sharing your love of books. We started ours with no blog/bookstagram presence, just reviewers, so don’t feel you don’t have enough to have a go. Add all your social media links that are relevant to books. There’s a section just for that.
  2. Go slow, it’s so tempting to click on everything you find even slightly interesting. Try and resist the urge to do that. Our rule of thumb is.. do I really want it, do I really need it?
  3. Try and read and review the arcs before release, ideally a week or two at least. What publishers are looking for is your views before release, to build up reviews and get the word out there! I (Micky) try and stay a month ahead with my reviews but I can be the week before, Hollis is much more organised than me at this.
  4. Keep a tally/list of how many arcs you have due and once you get to a number that is your threshold for enough that month DON’T LET YOURSELF REQUEST MORE. Micky keeps checklists for this, Hollis uses a dedicated Goodreads shelf to keep track; whatever works for you. We map our physical arcs into this too.

5. You don’t need the elusive 80% to get approved by publishers. It is definitely something to aim for but you will still get approvals without it.

6. Share your completed reviews on publication date with the outlets suggested by that publisher e.g. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones. Publishers need you to do this and it is part of what you are signing up to do.

7. Be honest. You don’t need to bump up the rating to please the publisher, honest reviews are sought. We have not had a reduction in approvals from publishers who might have had a low rated review from us previously and neither of us shy away from those one-star ratings.

8. As you fall deeper into the reviewing rabbit-hole, maybe you do start a blog, or a bookstagram, so make sure to add those links in the relevant section. Cross-post your reviews to all your platforms, tag authors/publishers when you do (in positive reviews only, please!!), and update your Bio routinely with any change in stats (followers, subscribers, etc).

9. Don’t read only arcs, you will exhaust yourself with deadlines and potentially put yourself in a book slump. Make sure there’s room for reading the things your like, your owned tbr, maybe library books, a mood read or a re-read.

10. The same goes for blog and bookstagram tours connected to NetGalley arcs, don’t sign-up to everything, give yourself some space. In reality, you can be late with netgalley arc reviews but you can’t for a blog tour. Keep the pressure manageable.

We’d love to know your experiences, how you do the NetGalley shuffle! We are happy to answer any questions you have. Watch out for our Edelweiss blog feature coming soon where we expose this different creature of a platform and tell you our experiences with that.

15 thoughts on “THE NETGALLEY SHUFFLE”

  1. This is a great post 😊 I learnt my lesson and now only request one or two books at a time on Netgalley. I don’t want to get swamped! I have only very recently joined Edelweiss so I am very interested to see your post. It doesn’t seem quite as straight forward as Netgalley?

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    1. love your ability to limit and ration your requests!! it is definitely hard but easier once you’ve been swamped before. you’re right, though, somehow edelweiss+ just seems more complicated. it’s definitely an adjustment from NG. – H

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  2. My top tip: don’t be international xD haha, but really, on a more serious note, you are right, a strong profile matters. And oh my god it’s so hard not to be too click happy. I’m still not out of the woods and I’ve been blogging for like three and a half years now. I don’t know if I’ll ever be! I just break my stride every time things are getting better, lol.
    Ironically though, I seem to have better luck on Edelweiss because it’s somehow more accessible for internationals.

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    1. That’s so weird. I (Micky UK) have worse luck on edelweiss and Hollis (Canada) does better on there than me. We have an edelweiss post next week, which is a car crash of whaaat! It is a constant battle not to be click happy πŸ˜”

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      1. I guess it might just mean that I have worse luck on NetGalley xD but NetGalley really does hate people who are not from US/Can/UK, so that’s to be expected! Most titles only appear as “wish for”, so at least you can actually request on Edelweiss πŸ™‚

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  3. I had a handle on my Netgalley when I wasn’t an international blogger but now that I’m here (you-know-where) I’ve been approved for more books than I’ve ever been approved for! Even got 2 wishes granted!
    I think location also plays a part in the criteria. If you live in a tiny island in Nowhere, you barely get approvals. But once you’re in one of the big countries, you get approved for more.
    Right now I’m in the first paragraph of your post lol. I did achieve the 80% threshold once but that’s in the past now. Lol.
    However, I haven’t read/reviewed as many books on NG as you and Hollis. That’s a pretty cool achievement. Way to go! πŸ™‚

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  4. I love the list, I need to create that on my phone so I know what I’m doing & really watch release dates!! I’m struggling to keep up now, it all happened so fast!! I feel like once I got some reviews behind I just left them. Now I’ve stopped requesting and I’m balancing between upcoming & past to get through my shelf!

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