In May I joined NetGalley. This is where authors and publishers may list their books, for a fee, which are then requested by professional readers and reviewers who, if accepted, review the book(s). Fiction and non-fiction.
I joined as a reader/reviewer.
The readers/reviewers are selected by the publisher/author based on: the requester’s biography, where they post their book reviews, and how many reviews they’ve already written.
I decided to join NetGalley for two reasons:
- because I’ve been reviewing writers’ guides over the past 18 months, and
- to increase the range of authors and books I read.
When I first joined, every single request I made was declined. So I went in to my biography and added that I was new and I had to start somewhere. Since then, I’ve pretty much had every other request approved and I’ve been added to several publishers’ automatic approval lists, which means, I think, that I don’t have to wait for them to approve me, I can simply “read now”. OR it means they just approve my request without reading my bio.
After changing my biography, I went back to look at the books I’d been declined for and some of them had “wish for it” added to their page. This means the book had passed its publication or archive date but the publisher or author still wanted a few more reviews. I’ve wished for some of those, and I’ve been granted them.
At first, if a book was archived, even if I’d downloaded it, it disappeared from my device. But since then the documents have been made available from “manage your device” in Kindle “your account”, and I’ve been able to send them to my device again. Now the first thing I do when a request is approved is send the document (book) to my device, and they’re staying on there a little longer.
A couple slipped through before I could do that, though, and there were even two books I couldn’t read because I don’t have the compatible software. (The vast majority of books I’ve requested have been Kindle files, but one or two have been in Adobe and I neither have nor want Adobe.)
I absolutely refuse to give a poor review just because I’ve not been able to read a book or I’ve not finished a book. I don’t think that’s fair and I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault.
So now I have made sure I’ve gone into every book either already archived or unable to open and given some feedback, explaining why I’ve not finished reading the book, with a decent star rating. I might get into trouble for doing this, or I might not. Time will no doubt tell.
Since joining I’ve apparently requested and been approved for 58 books, I’ve had ten declined requests, and I have nine pending requests. As of today, I’ve reviewed or given feedback for 14 books, which translates to a feedback ratio of 24% (target feedback ratio is 80%), and I currently have 44 approved books left to read. Some of these will help me finish my 52 Books in 52 Weeks project.
I’m currently reading three books from NetGalley: one writers’ guide, one novel and one anthology of short stories. While I was pre-writing this post, another publisher added me to their auto-approval list.
I was awarded my first badge, professional reader, as soon as I was accepted on NetGalley as a reviewer. – you can see it at the top of the sidebar. Yesterday morning I was awarded my second badge: 10+ reviews posted on NetGalley.
I’m really enjoying reading a much wider range of material and am looking forward to my next badge. Who knows what that one will be …