Recently I’ve hit a milestone of 50 reviews on NetGalley and am close to reviewing 75 books. It’s been a lot of fun reading ARCs and being able to explore so many different genres and books. I believe that NetGalley is definitely a site that book bloggers should know about. So here, I wanted to share some of the things I learned after a year of using NetGalley.
1. Hit the Read Now Category
When I first started NetGalley, I gained most of my books from the Read Now category. There’s no wait and there are quite a few interesting ARC available. It helps you establish your review ratio, which is a very essential part of NetGalley. The Read Now category was also where I got discovered and received many of my auto-approvals.
2. High ratio is a good ratio
This is super IMPORTANT. I think that’s enough said.
3. Be realistic
Are you sure you can handle 20 books at a time? One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made was when I got too excited and added 15 books to my shelf. I had to read so many books that one month and it definitely took away from the pleasure of reading.
4. Keep track of deadlines
Watch out for deadlines. I get SOO anxious about them. With so many books, it’s easy for some books to fall through. I eventually learned to check the archive date before I decide whether or not I wanted the ARC.
5. Read the Buzz Books
It offers you a variety of books to check out without needing you to commit to it. The excerpts do give you a good idea whether or not you’d be interested and it helps you stretch out into other genres and categories.
Bonus: sometimes the Buzz Book catalog offers books from well-known publishers that usually wouldn’t lend out books so freely. In fact, it was thanks to Buzz Books that I got to read one of my favourite books, When Elephants Fly.
6. Read read read
In addition to a high ratio, I think publishers also consider the number of books you’ve reviewed. A 90% feedback rate with 100 books is probably better than a 90% with 20 books. I’m not sure if there was a correlation, but the more books I read, the more offers and auto-approvals I was getting from publishers. Also, it’s just fun seeing your stats update. Seeing my stats improve definitely gave me more confidence to send out more requests.
7. Don’t be afraid of rejections.
Publishers are pretty nice so don’t be afraid to request. Like any process, rejection is normal so don’t take it personally. I’ve heard that, compared to other reviewing platforms, publishers on NetGalley are more open to giving new bloggers a try. And honestly, there’s always the joy and giddiness of having your request approved. 🙂
8. Know what publishers want
Some publishers require more from their reviewers in order to accept their requests. Check out their approval preferences to learn what they’re looking for. This will definitely help you realistically gauge the likelihood of getting accepted for an ARC.
9. Don’t be afraid to explore
The nice things about NetGalley is that there are so many books from so many different categories. I got to explore so much more than YA. It was definitely a lot of fun reading different genres, like poetry, graphic novels, and nonfiction.
10. Read for yourself.
Yes, very obvious but super important. Pick what you want. Don’t feel like you are expected to read anything. Sure it’s a marketing platform that connects reviewers with publishers, but it should also be an enjoyable experience for you too. I used to request books simply because they were available to me, and I’d forget to consider what I wanted to read. For a while, it took away from the joy in reading. Eventually, I realized that I should be reading for myself. 🙂
Anything thoughts? Comment down below! I’d love to know tricks and tips you learned from NetGalley!