NetGalley is a website where reviewers can request advance copies of books. I have been a member for about two years. I’m no expert on NetGalley but I have enough experience to sum up the advantages and disadvantages of this resource.
- Access to new and upcoming titles for free, which allows you to read the latest work from some of your favourite authors, genres and publishers, as well as to discover new ones.
- In my experience, most requests are likely to be approved by the publishers. After all, the more reviews they get, the better.
- You can see what other reviewers thought of a book, which can help you decide whether to request it, and of course the reviews you write will help others decide in turn.
- For every milestone, you get NetGalley ‘badges’ which you can display on your blog by copying and pasting the image code they give you.
- There are lots of publishers on there. Many of them regularly update their titles, so if you check back every month or so, there will be something new and interesting.
- Once a publisher has approved your request, it’s easy to download the title from your ‘shelf’ on your NetGalley profile. I find that it sometimes takes a few minutes to appear in my Kindle library.
- Many of the advance copies are uncorrected proofs. This means they can have a weird format, typos and missing text. It can make for an annoying reading experience.
- If a publisher rejects your request, there is no reason given and it’s hard not to take it personally. I have only had three requests rejected so far.
- There is nothing to stop you going on a request frenzy and ending up with too many books to review, all with publication dates close together.
- You have to give a star rating when submitting a review. I don’t do star ratings on my blog as I find them problematic.
- Some titles are there for you to browse but when you attempt to request them, you are told that they are not available in your country.
- I seem to remember that it was a little confusing and time-consuming to join NetGalley and set up a profile. It was worthwhile, however.
Here are some of the best books I’ve read via NetGalley:
In Miniature by Simon Garfield
Critical by Matt Morgan
Who Did You Tell? by Lesley Kara
Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke
Some I had mixed feelings about:
Sweet Dreams by Dylan Jones
Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce
The Switch by Beth O’Leary
Five Days of Fog by Anna Freeman
And here are the only ones I thoroughly disliked:
The Last Day by Andrew Hunter Murray
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
In summary, NetGalley is a very good source of new books for reviewers but self-restraint is required to avoid requesting more books than you can manage.