So Hollis and I feel kind of in control with NetGalley, with the odd ‘it controls me’ moments. Edelweiss+, however, is a totally different kettle of fish. Now, we know that this is a platform less used by readers and more used by book professionals but there are some blogger/reviewers only (like us) on there.
So what’s different about Edelweiss+, I hear you say? For starters, it’s a pretty clunky platform and definitely not as user friendly as NetGalley. It does work on the same principles though; you see a book, you request it, and ideally the publisher will grant access. Instead of ‘read it now’, it also has a ‘download’ option rather than request for some select titles.
What has been Micky’s experience, is that getting declined is the default (see the left of the photo above *laughs/cries*). For example, say for every ten that are requested, access might be given to one or two. Why continue? Well, there are publishers that use Edelweiss+ and not NetGalley, or favour Edelweiss+ more.
Unlike NetGalley, your profile is very basic and there is no running tally or reads, reviews or percentages. I miss that element, I like competing to get myself in a better position! Now over to Hollis who has had a better experience than me (somewhat), which is probably to do with regional issues.
Micky isn’t wrong, I have had some better experience. For a while it was all books, all day, download download download! Now? Less of that. I do think there is some logic behind the “provide a reason for your request” box but realistically I don’t imagine your enthusiasm sways anyone. I think it’s just hit or miss.
I have no screenshot to show you because I clear my dashboard, refusing to linger over the rejections, but I, too, would prefer there was some kind of feedback ratio to indicate that, strong profile or not, I’m reading and reviewing what I’m given. Maybe there’s something on the other side of the screen? Hard to tell. But I’ll keep clicking, keep enthusing over new titles, keep hoping those books that only show up on Edelweiss+, as opposed to NetGalley, might make their way onto my kindle.
What has been your experience? Do you use Edelweiss+ or have you thrown in the towel?
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 :
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.
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?
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.
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.
We’ve all been there. You recommend a book to a friend, or family member, and then they don’t like it. Or, worse, hate it. Hi, Hollis here. I had the idea for this post while reading through a book series much beloved by friends of mine. What made me decide to actually write it was when blog buddy, Micky, picked up one of my favourites and wasn’t liking that, either. As of the writing of this, she’s even put the book down. Talk about karma. Edit : since drafting this, she’s finished the book and disliked it greatly, elle oh elle.
Jokes aside, though, the best part about reading, and talking about books, is the discussion. Whether that’s coming from the same side of the page or opposite sides of it. I’ve never been bothered by it, though I’ll definitely feel a little guilty when I’m the perpetrator of the indifference or dislike, but though I might pout or put on a little bit of a show, I’m not bothered if people dislike what I love.
Micky here, I feel pretty much the same as Hollis now, a mild disappointment when someone doesn’t like a beloved book, probably because I wanted to gush with them. I have to say I never feel offended, even if it’s hate of a book I loved. One of my favourite ever conversations with Hollis back in the day was over my long time love and her full on hate for REAL by Katy Evans. Hollis, our friend Jess and I had full on hilarity hearing Hollis’ take on this book.
I do think I have evolved to this position of chill, however. Once upon a time, I might have thought but whyyyyyyy don’t you love what I love? I’ve moved on from this and just because Hollis’ hates something I love, doesn’t mean it’s not a good book, just not her kind of book and vice versa.
This blog chat was framed as a ‘how to’ but honestly we don’t have anything to recommend to you. We could suggest you get over your sadness by watching cat videos (Hollis recommends the Dodo twitter account), or eating your feelings (mint chocolate chip never lets you down), or watching Disney movies. But we’re probably all doing those things right now anyway because #pandemic.
Instead, we want you to think back, if you can, and try and recall the first book that you loved but someone else didn’t. Can you remember? What was the book? Have you moved on? Still in therapy? Will we ever stop asking questions that no one will probably answer? Tune in next time..
We’ve found that breaking down our tbrs can be something that inspires us to pick up reads hidden or briefly forgotten. ‘Five on my tbr’ is something that I (Micky) have done a few times on bookstagram and I got it from someone else, but I’ve no idea who. We thought it’d be nice to have a running occasional feature where we pick five on our tbrs and you tell us yours.. and no doubt that will cause some adding to tbrs!
Literally all five of these books are titles that have been scratching at the back door of my brain, waiting to be let in. Either because they are a favourite author (MZ), a final book in a series (the Gray), or a highly recommended book buddy recommendation (Fanetti, sorry Paula). The others are ones I know, or think I know, that I’ll love.. but just haven’t had time to pick up. But hopefully identifying all these and making them into a TBR (something I never do) will kick my butt into gear.
Tell us the top five books on your TBR! Do any of ours make your lists?
Most of us love a good book that evokes all the emotions; maybe not all of the time, but at least occasionally. A private cry, a good book sob, can leave you a bit wrung out, yet having felt the book deeply is pretty satisfying. BUT it can leave you looking like that pug in picture, are we right? Micky doesn’t cry easily at books but some do just hit that spot, whereas Hollis has her eyes set on leak. We’ve listed some of our favourites by genre.
Some of the books we’ve listed are weepies in part because of the difficult issues tackled within the pages. We have starred the books that we think have triggers for some people and advise you to read the blurb so you know what you are getting into.
So, it being February, Valentines Day and also a day off for me (Micky), I decided to fritter my day away with smushy Netflix feelings and I have no regrets. I’m one of these people who read the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy after watching the first film. If you haven’t read them, the first film encompasses all of book one and a little of book two.
So, the first film for me was all mushy, vicarious heart-eyed perfection. I would rate it on the book scale as 5 stars for the characters, the acting, the emotion and how it made me feel. I’m not always a fan of fake dating tropes but this pretty much epitomised the right length to carry on a fake relationship without dragging on. This book and film were sweet without being too cutesy. I rated the book 4 stars.
So how did my viewing go today? I cannot deny that I was somewhat anxious about the storyline after having seen the trailer. I didn’t know how I felt about a love triangle and it did unsettle me watching it. BUT this was a viewing success overall, I still love the characters and their dynamics. Without spoilers, I’m going to tell you my likes and a few wanted more thoughts.
I liked Lara Jean’s insecurity and journey. I adore her outfits (does that make me shallow). I liked John Ambrose’s smile very much. I liked the side Jen bits. The story was interesting and kept my attention throughout, I enjoyed the mild humour, Kitty and Covey life.
I wanted more Peter Kavinsky time with Lara Jean. I felt that their dynamic was a little diluted and he had less dialogue and screen time. I will believe in the fact that the third film might bring me what I need in this. I wanted more Dad Covey time, big fan of him and his minor storyline, also more Kitty.
So, for a rating of the film – 4 stars which is exactly what I rated the book. Winner! What did you think of the second film?
Somehow, despite the endless book birthdays and release schedules, and the growing pile of unread books, we are all still on the hunt for new books to discover, new authors to stalk (er, follow), and new fandoms to obsess over. But amongst all those new releases, and series’ that get extended or expanded, there are so many books that go overlooked. Today we’d like to spotlight some of our favourite “underrated” titles (quotation marks included because we know these are loved, just by a smaller margin).
We’re both different creatures when it comes to DNFs and who, what, when, and why. Micky is all about life being too short to read something that really isn’t working for her and Hollis is a trooper through and through, working to get that book finished.
Let’s talk about why we DNF and share our DNFs for 2019.
Micky here and I have tried to modify my DNF behaviour after having some stats in 2017 that I didn’t like. That year, I felt I was a little too quick to DNF, so 2018 & 2019 I tried to find a balance between not keeping reading when it’s never going to work, but forging on when I’m just not in the mood. I think I’ve found a bit more of an equilibrium that I am happier with, but I try really hard not to DNF arcs. That said, there were a few arc DNFs in 2019. Looking at what I did DNF, the majority of DNFs were romance.
Hollis, meanwhile, only seems to DNF ARCs. Though I try really hard not to quit on anything, particularly before the halfway mark, I am getting better at it both for the sake of my sanity and to have a few less lowly rated and/or ranty reviews. Not sure that’s made much of a different on either, to be honest, but the intent is there. Looking through my list there’s almost a fifty/fifty split between contemporary and fantasy and I think likewise half of these are debuts. I love discovering new authors, hoping I might love them, but as this list demonstrates.. that’s not always the case.
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.
Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.
All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built.
As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them?? — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.
Title : Tweet Cute Author : Emma Lord Format : eARC Page Count : 368 Genre : YA contemporary Publisher : Wednesday Books Release Date : January 21, 2020
Reviewer : Hollis Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5
Hollis’ 4.5 star review
So, before actually starting this book, I had a feeling this would be cute (and honestly that’s as high as my hopes were because I’ve been burned before!) but by 49% I knew I would love this. And I did. Side note, I know 49% doesn’t sound impressive considering it’s halfway through the book and most people can see the writing on the wall by that point, but this felt.. long. Not in a bad way, but this is a substantial romance read, so. I don’t know, I don’t know why I’m defending this point, regardless, I loved it, let’s move on!
This contemporary is chock full of all the best kind of tropes. Opposites attract, secret identities, business rivalry, slowburn, friends-to-more.. also, lots and lots of sassy tweets and memes.
Additionally, the author leaned into these tropes but made them better? I don’t know. If you’ve seen You’ve Got Mail, it’s pretty obvious how some of the events go down, and yet it felt less cheesy (hah!) and far more layered (with cheese?).
Pepper and Jack both have very real soul-searching to do, compounded by very real expectations, and obstacles, set in place by their parents. I’ll admit the area of the parentals is kind of where things got dragged down a bit for me, in particular I struggled with Pepper’s mom, but I do feel things are wrapped up nicely without it all feeling like a cop-out or too far fetched. It doesn’t mean I liked how things went down, but, I mean, there are underlying motivations that pushed everything in motion.
But back to Pepperjack. These two, I mean, wow. I loved how these two interacted from the very first page. It was such a gradual shift but it was so well done. The chemistry, everything, was just sweet and awkward and perfect. The banter sprinkled throughout, the humour infused in so many situations, even outside of the MCs, was so great. I laughed, nay, giggled, at so many spots. But it was the quiet moments, too, particularly between the two leads, which were just.. special. You really felt their connection, their understanding of each other, and that more than anything made this book wonderful.
This was such a fantastic debut and I look forward to more people reading it the closer we get to release (it’s November, as I write this, lolz), and am so excited to see what Lord has for us next. I’ll definitely be first in line to get my hands on it.
** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Author Bio : Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.
Early Praise :
“Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” – Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters
“Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist.” – Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight
“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favorite’ from page one.” – Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest
Hi, Hollis here. Because we are seconds away from closing the door on 2019, I got to thinking about all the books set to release next year that we know of (which, admittedly, only really spans the January to June-ish portion of 2020). There are so many! And so many still yet to be announced. So while I know we will have a few of these anticipated release posts throughout the year, I thought to be a little.. mean.
I’m challenging myself, and my blog buddy, to narrow down an anticipated list of only ten titles. Yes. Ten. That’s not even one title per month. Ten. Dix. Dieci. Diez. T e n.
Hollis’ Top Ten (I ALREADY HAVE REGRETS) Anticipated Releases of 2020 (in order of publication) :