I haven’t done a discussion post in quite a while! I haven’t really had an idea, but I came up with the idea of writing about Netgalley and decided to go on with it.
If you don’t know what Netgalley is, it is a site that many bloggers, reviewers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and even more can use to receive digital ARCs (Advanced Readers’ Copies) of upcoming/newly released books, in exchange for honest reviews. If you’ve read some of my reviews, you may notice that a few of them say this:
*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
This means that the book was one I requested on Netgalley to read and review, which I was approved for by the publisher, so I got to download it, read it, and write up a review!
At first, I had quite a bit of trouble getting publishers to accept my requests. Admittedly, my profile just explained what genres I liked and that if they wanted me to review their book to just check out the review policy on my blog. I didn’t even include my blog email or a direct link to my blog in the company field, like Netgalley recommends. I was just a naive new little blogger requesting to her heart’s desire, even though it was only a couple months ago! (My blog has grown and developed A LOT since then, FYI.)
I then started reading the criteria that Netgalley recommends you include in your bio in order to get more approvals; as well as the approval criteria of the publishers that had declined me in the past. I found that this helped me A LOT, and all the declines just turned into more approvals! This is now what my profile looks like:
As you can see, I included more up-to-date stats rather than general information, which is what many publishers like to see. Publishers like knowing that they have a committed reader and reviewer at their hands, rather than someone who will take advantage of the awesome free eBooks.
In my bio, I’ve included what I do (blog), the types of books I read and review, when I created my blog, my number of followers as of a specific date, the average number of likes per post, how often I review, the number of unique visitors per month, my blog email, and a couple reviews I’ve written for previous Netgalley approvals. I’ve also made a promise to update when the stats change, which I have been doing. If you are new to Netgalley or don’t have this information in your profile, I suggest you add it for a better chance of approval!
Adding in this information really helped me because at the beginning, most of my only approvals were from indie authors, but I am now able to review for a number of publishing houses, including SOURCEBOOKS Fire and ABRAMS Kids! I plan to request more books from bigger publishers in the future, once I’ve reviewed more books from smaller publishing houses.
This brings me to my next point of reaching (and maintaining) a ratio of 80%. This basically means that your chance of approval drastically seems to improve once you’ve read and submitted feedback for at least 80% of the books you’ve been accepted for. As I am a very quick reader and am pretty good with deadlines, this hasn’t really been an issue for me. What I like to do when I get approved for books is read them all before requesting others, as I am even more likely to be accepted with a 100% ratio. As I write this, I’ve submitted feedback for 10/11 approvals, giving me a ratio of 91%. The one book I haven’t reviewed yet is one whose file isn’t really working, so I emailed support and hopefully they’ll be able to help!
I know having a ratio of at least 80% is very hard for some people, especially those who have huge TBRs. Here are a few tips I have to get that 80% back:
- DON’T go on requesting sprees! Even if you think, “Oh, so what, I’m probably going to be declined for them all anyway,” well GUESS WHAT? Chances are you’ll be accepted, and will have to fulfill all those reviews before the books get archived. That won’t be good for your ratio! My tip for you is that you download, read, and review them all as soon as possible once you get them, and if a book is archived before you’re able to do anything with it, that you submit feedback to the publisher saying that you were unable to read it in time and that you’re sorry. That still counts towards your ratio, you know, so don’t you worry! This has personally never happened to me, because as I said before, I think I’m very diligent with this process. But this has happened to many others, and that’s my advice!
- Schedule when you’re going to read and review books. The rule I’ve made for myself is to read an ARC and then a physical book and then keep continuing on with that pattern until all my ARCs are read and reviewed, so I don’t strain my eyes from reading from a screen all day. This has been very effective for me, and once I’m done, I can request more ARCs! Also, I don’t do this myself because I read and review my ARCs ASAP, but consider putting in your planner or calendar, whether it be physical or digital, the dates that your ARCs release and/or archive. I know that this has been helpful to many reviewers to manage their time wisely around reading and reviewing their ARCs.
- Only request the books that you know you 100% are interested in and want to read. Many bloggers have requested books that they’re not sure they’ll enjoy, and end up getting approved for them, to the point when they’re no longer interested and they end up just sitting there until they eventually get archived. Guys, I can’t stress this enough, only request the books you know you want! Your Netgalley ratio will thank you, and you will enjoy the ARC process way more.
So there you have it, my tips on using Netgalley and being able to get accepted for books! I hope this guide has helped you to better navigate around Netgalley and all its quirks, and get one step closer to receiving some of the most hyped up galleys!
So tell me, do you use Netgalley? What are some tips YOU use to get a better chance of approval? Tell me in the comments below.