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Marketing Tactics > NetGalley requests: accept, decline, or ignore?

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message 1: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) | 70 comments I set up a NetGalley account for my forthcoming book, and pretty quickly I received a number of requests for the ARC.

I approved most, but I'm hesitating for a couple. Both have been approved for many books and provided almost no feedback (0% and 1%). Based on their profiles, I don't see evidence of significant external reviews or influence, though I guess I can't be sure.

Part of me says, "Cool! You want to read my book? Go ahead!"

Part of me says, "That Decline button must be there for a reason. This seems like the reason."

Is there some downside to approving people who seem unlikely to provide feedback?

And if there's a downside, is it more common for authors/publishers to actively decline, or just leave the request unanswered?


message 2: by Wally (new)

Wally Runnels (wrunnelspacbellnet) | 90 comments Just realize that what ever you do it's not costing you anything.


message 3: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments There is a GR group NetGalley Addicts Support Group you might want to join if you haven't already. There are a lot of interesting topics including approvals.


message 4: by Dan (new)

Dan LaBash | 24 comments Other than those you want to decline, how has your experience on NetGallery been so far?


message 5: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) | 70 comments M.L. wrote: "There is a GR group NetGalley Addicts Support Group you might want to join if you haven't already. There are a lot of interesting topics including approvals."

Thanks. I was hoping for feedback here first, since this group is oriented toward authors, where NetGalley Addicts Support Group is oriented toward reader-subscribers.

For example, that group's post on approval is mainly peoples' disappointment and frustration about being declined for books.

But after your post, I looked closer, and most of the people posting in NASG sound like they review a large percentage of the books they receive, so they're not in the 0%-1% category. Maybe I will ask there for perspective.


message 6: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) | 70 comments Dan wrote: "Other than those you want to decline, how has your experience on NetGallery been so far?"

It's early to say—I just opened my account yesterday.

But based on requests, it's promising. In the 24 hours since opening my account, I've had 22 requests, and I've approved 18.

Based on what I've read, that's a small number compared with an Amazon KDP free promotion or some giveaway promotions elsewhere. But NetGalley is heavily for professional readers (librarians, teachers, booksellers, book bloggers), who are likely to be more influential than the typical person doing a free download.

Also, as a new novelist I'll be paying close attention to their feedback, since it has a better-than-average chance to be well-informed. It'll be a good opportunity for learning, assuming they read the book and provide feedback.


message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Connell (michelleconnell) | 39 comments How do you get the book to people? Is it a pdf? I've thought about signing up with NetGalley but don't know much about it.


message 8: by Frank (new)

Frank Prem (frankprem) | 6 comments Is NetGalley a service the author has to pay for?


message 9: by Andy (last edited Apr 04, 2019 01:23PM) (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) | 70 comments Michelle wrote: "How do you get the book to people? Is it a pdf? I've thought about signing up with NetGalley but don't know much about it."

Frank wrote: "Is NetGalley a service the author has to pay for?"

You do pay for the service: $450 for a 6-month listing.

NG is different from most review-seeking services because their members are "readers of influence." That theoretically means librarians, booksellers, book bloggers, teachers, etc. Of those who contacted me so far, more than half are none of the above, but are avid-seeming readers who post reviews on GR and Amazon. Still, that's valuable. So besides leaving a review on NG, readers might leave one elsewhere, and they might consider buying it for their library or book store.

You upload your book as a PDF, mobi, or epub, along with book details. You can make the book automatically available to anyone on NG, or you can set it up so that people have to ask you for a copy. In the latter case, before you decide, you get to see the person's profile: why they're a "reader of influence" and, importantly, what percent of the time they leave feedback for the books they're given.

It's not a tool to directly create sales. It's a tool to seek reviews and visibility. What I've read from Indie authors is that it's expensive, but by and large people are positive about the results.

I won't post the links, but Googling the following phrases will find you some overviews:

netgalley "how it works"
The Savvy Self-Publisher's Guide to NetGalley
Using NetGalley To Get Reviews: What have we learned?


message 10: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Connell (michelleconnell) | 39 comments Thank you, Andy. I'm not sure that fits into my budget, but the info is helpful.


message 11: by J.R. (new)

J.R. Alcyone | 4 comments Michelle, if Net Galley is out of your budget and you need reviews, a different service you can try is Book Sirens. They charge $10.00 to list your book and $2.00 per reader who chooses to download your book. You can decide how many readers you want, and you are only charged as people choose your book.

I've been using the service for about 4-5 months, and I have gotten three reviews through it. My book is literary fiction, though, and on a difficult topic, which limits its appeal. But obviously, even putting that aside, those numbers don't come anywhere close to what you could get through Net Galley. But the price isn't anywhere close to what Net Galley charges, either.

Another site I haven't used but which is more affordable is Hidden Gems. I looked at their site and I have heard mostly good things, but they are booked way, way out in most genres.

Anyway, I just wanted to throw those out as options to research.


message 12: by Michael (new)

Michael Lewis (mll1013) | 30 comments Wally wrote: "Just realize that what ever you do it's not costing you anything."

I'm confused by this comment, because Net Galley is a paid service. Can you clarify how someone can use the service without "costing anything"?


message 13: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) | 70 comments Michael wrote: "I'm confused by this comment, because Net Galley is a paid service. Can you clarify how someone can use the service..."

Listing your book on NetGalley does cost money. Wally's point, which is a good one, is that it costs me nothing additional to approve someone's access. So if 10,000 people request the book, it costs me nothing to say "yes" to all of them.

My question is really less about the financials, and more whether to favor those who are most likely to leave feedback. In part that's because I'd like to support the point of the service by favoring people with a history of reading what they request. In part it's to thank those who have taken the time in the past to leave feedback.

(Though there's a special case: Some subscribers, like librarians and booksellers, don't post feedback, but are great to connect with because of their influence outside of NG.)

I've gotten more good advice from the NetGalley Addicts group, too.


message 14: by Michael (new)

Michael Lewis (mll1013) | 30 comments Andy wrote: "Michael wrote: "I'm confused by this comment, because Net Galley is a paid service. Can you clarify how someone can use the service..."

Listing your book on NetGalley does cost money. Wally's poin..."


Thanks for the clarification.


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