NetGalley Addicts Support Group discussion

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Do you 'pity' request?

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message 1: by Annie (new)

Annie (bionerdannie) | 32 comments I'm wondering if anyone else is prompted to occasionally request books because they have what you consider an unfair review?

I notice that I am prompted to request and review books based on off-base reviews (1 star review on a romance book because it was 'smutty', or 1 star on a 'demon hunter' dark fantasy because it was against someone's religious convictions, etc).

Am I just a weirdo?


message 2: by Saarah (new)

Saarah Niña (saarahnina) | 5 comments Aww. That's so sweet. Do you ever like such books?

If I see a book like that, I sometimes just discredit the 'irrelevant' kind of reviews and I would request if I like the sound of the book OR if other reviews make me want to read it. But when there aren't any such fair reviews, then I just make a choice based on the blurb.


message 3: by Devann (new)

Devann (devannm) | 58 comments haha i wouldn't necessarily say i would request something BECAUSE of an off-base review because i think that almost every book gets enough reviews eventually to even it out between the 3-4 star range so i definitely don't feel obligated or anything, but i have definitely requested or read some books in the past because of angry reviews from christians [on books featuring demons or the devil usually like you said] or from homophobes about books featuring lgbtia characters. but that's more just because i'm a queer atheist so like if it looks interesting anyway and then paired with those 'bad' reviews i figure i will probably like it lol


message 4: by Gayle (new)

Gayle Noble (outsmartyourshelf) | 34 comments Not for those reasons, but I have requested some books that only have one or two reviews as I felt a bit sorry for the authors.


message 5: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis (seattlebookmama) | 102 comments I have never pity-requested, though there were a couple of books that I saw had terrible reviews, and so I wanted to like them and be the one to heap praise on them. (Once in awhile it works, but usually other reviewers turn out to be correct.)
What I have done, however, is a gratitude-request. Some of the less well known publishers were the first to auto-approve me, and so once I got to where I was nearly always able to get review copies from the big houses, I made a point of returning now and then to the ones that liked me first. But the downside of that is if I am wrong in believing I've downloaded a title I will love, I either have to sit on that book and not review it, or publish an unfavorable review, and I hate doing either. Now it's more or less moot, since 3 of my first 4 auto-approved publishers have left NG anyway.


message 6: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 80 comments I think it depends on how the review is written and what other reviews by that reviewer look like - but often no


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) (dorie--catsbooks) | 477 comments Donna wrote: "I have never pity-requested, though there were a couple of books that I saw had terrible reviews, and so I wanted to like them and be the one to heap praise on them. (Once in awhile it works, but u..."

May I ask which publishers have left NetGalley??? I hadn't noticed any that I request from but I'm pretty selective on NetGalley :)


message 8: by Donna (last edited Jul 29, 2018 11:24PM) (new)

Donna Davis (seattlebookmama) | 102 comments Dorie wrote: "Donna wrote: "I have never pity-requested, though there were a couple of books that I saw had terrible reviews, and so I wanted to like them and be the one to heap praise on them. (Once in awhile i..."

I would guess--and that's all I have to work with, a guess--that it's the cost. Even the big houses have tried their hand at developing independent websites where reviewers can request a galley. But they're unlikely to have as wide an audience as NG, and most of the times that I have gone that route, I've been disappointed. Also, it's hard to use these other sites very much without dropping some NG titles without a review, and I would much rather keep up my 80%+ than waste it by exploring a lot of other sources. I tried Edelweiss and got a few good titles, but they are much slower to approve than NG. I really just think NG is a well run business. On the few occasions I've contacted them with a question or concern, I heard back the same day (two days if I sent it on a Sunday.)

The largest publisher I've seen leave is Open Road Media. (I still have a couple of their galleys and they do still accept reviews for the books we have already accepted.) Brash Books publishes mystery/detective/thriller novels, mostly digitally, and mostly old titles that won acclaim in the pre-digital era but haven't been published digitally. Actually, that's what Open Road does also. Brash left NG and has its own site and as far as I can tell, everyone that uses it can get 'read now' books all the time. (If interested, it's Brash Books Priority Readers Circle.) I was invited to join and I did, but it seems to me there was a note to please share the information with others. It's a friendly press, and I like working with them.

Two other publishers I've noticed decamping are Henery Press--another publisher of mysteries, a relatively small press--and Oxford University Press.

I should add that I don't see anything sinister or game-changing about these departures. They were a big deal to me because 3 of the 4 were my auto-approvals, but there are hundreds of publishers, and there's going to be a certain amount of fluidity.


message 9: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 87 comments No, I usually only request books when they are first put on NetGalley so there are no reviews yet. I typically check it frequently enough, and in only certain genres, that I will see anything I'm interested in within a few days of it being added to NetGalley. So I check the new additions, and if I pass on something, it's because I'm not interested and that's not going to change just because someone left a review that seems unfair.


message 10: by Carol (last edited Aug 01, 2018 07:00PM) (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) Donna wrote: "Dorie wrote: "Donna wrote: "I have never pity-requested, though there were a couple of books that I saw had terrible reviews, and so I wanted to like them and be the one to heap praise on them. (On..."

This is so interesting. My approvals on Edelweiss are far more fast (within hours) and my approval rate is substantially higher on Edelweiss. I’ve had three declines in six months, and no publisher has left me hanging without an answer. My NG experience is love-hate, primarily because of the delay and silence. I’ve had requests hang ignored for six months or more without a response.

Any hoo...


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan Underbrink | 24 comments Wow Carol, My experience is almost the opposite. I rarely hear back from Edelweiss at all so I rarely look at them anymore. I have requested 20 books have gotten 2 and reviewed 2. I get more than enough books from NetGalley and a few authors.


message 12: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis (seattlebookmama) | 102 comments Susan wrote: "Wow Carol, My experience is almost the opposite. I rarely hear back from Edelweiss at all so I rarely look at them anymore. I have requested 20 books have gotten 2 and reviewed 2. I get more than e..."

Right? Edelweiss is not all that blogger friendly. Once I went through the page to find customer service, and they wrote back saying that since I had a book, I couldn't have another till I reviewed it. But if you send your review too early, you aren't allowed to post it anywhere. It just feels like trying to fight city hall.
NG very rarely keeps me waiting. Once in awhile I will put in a request, go to another screen, and have an alert pop up telling me I have an email from NG, and there it is, the book I asked for. Done.
That said, I have zealously protected my 80%+ review rate. The more books we read and review, the easier it is to keep it up to that level; on the other hand, if you get into an early deficit, you have to work like crazy to get it up there if you are still requesting or accepting books...but yeah. Net Galley all the way.


message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) This is really interesting. Out of the gate, I was approved for 90%+ of what I requested from Edelweiss, and no one sweats my percentage reviewed or anything else. My profile is “excellent “ and since I get to fill out the “why do you want this book” thing, I get the opportunity to sell myself w/each request. With NG, I’ve been declined in double digits (those who responded at all, that is) with 75 or so requests. I tend to request literary fiction and multicultural on both sites, but the experience has been quite different.

In any event this is a most interesting exchange. I’m also amused — in the auto-approved thread — that so many get autoapproved for Penguin, my nemesis. They will not approve or decline me for a single book, out of ten requests over 10 months. It seems oddly personal, but it’s not as though Indont have plenty to read ....


message 14: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis (seattlebookmama) | 102 comments Carol wrote: "This is really interesting. Out of the gate, I was approved for 90%+ of what I requested from Edelweiss, and no one sweats my percentage reviewed or anything else. My profile is “excellent “ and si..."

This is intriguing. Are you a vendor? Do you have purchasing power for a store or a school library, or are you also a humble blogger?


message 15: by ReadAlongWithSue (new)

ReadAlongWithSue | 17 comments No never. But although I review I know that some books won’t be liked by everyone. I might swim against the tide on some books


message 16: by SundayAtDusk (new)

SundayAtDusk | 82 comments Annie, so what happens if you request such a book and you don't like it?


message 17: by Annie (last edited Aug 18, 2019 12:41PM) (new)

Annie (bionerdannie) | 32 comments SundayAtDusk wrote: "Annie, so what happens if you request such a book and you don't like it?"

I try to use the "crap sandwich" method of book reviewing. Find -something- positive to say, enumerate the problems as specifically and non-judgmentally as I possibly can, and then end with a nice thing; specifically the people I think the book -will- appeal to. This doesn't happen very often, but it does happen, in fact I had a few 1 - 3 star reviews recently...


message 18: by Lori (new)

Lori (llparrish) | 15 comments Annie or you could say that this just wasn't my cup of tea. I use that most times


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