First off, thanks to everyone who has commented, tweeted, shared and participated in this conversation; it’s been very encouraging to see how much we all want to make NetGalley even better! I just saw this NG Tumbler post and think it’s worthwhile sharing as well: http://netgalley.tumblr.com/wellness. They’re running a Wellness Pledge programme to help users improve their profiles and usability of the site, with the aim being to get a badge posted to your profile showing publishers that you’re committed to being “NetGalley Healthy”! Here’s the page for the pledge: https://www.smartsheet.com/b/publish?EQBCT=4ca06851f92c4ded943c5816b387caa4
I hope that further helps!
So first off, I want to say how much I utterly love NetGalley; it’s an amazing tool for everyone involved and strikes up conversations about books prior to publication in a, largely, hassle-free manner.
But after working with it for the last month, I thought I’d put together a few, hopefully, handy tips and some advice. The aim is that this will help reviewers, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and everyone else who uses NG, understand what we, as publishers, would love to see in requests. If this helps us approve more requests, and gives you an insight into what we’re looking for, then I’ll be very happy! Thusly:
When I was first applying for my publishing internship way back when I was still in college, my cover letter was all about how much I loved books, and thus this naturally meant I was made for the world of publishing. That is, until it was pointed out to me by my lovely publishing mentor that it’s a given to all involved with books that we’re voracious readers who absolutely love everything bookish. It doesn’t mean it’s not important that you love reading, but to us, what’s more important is what you’re going to do after you read our books. Ideally I’d love to see the following in your profile:
- Links to your blog/website/online forums where you talk books
- Your bio as a reviewer/bookseller/librarian (from here on, NG user as I don’t want to leave anyone out!) is really important:
- how long have you been active whether reviewing, book club recommending, or as a bookseller, librarian etc;
- where have you reviewed in the past
- where do you think you’ll be sending this review
- who will you be talking to about the book ie fellow students/bloggers/librarians/booksellers/customers
- If possible, include direct links to some sample reviews or blogs/school library sites
- If you’re a librarian, and registered with the American Library Association, please try and register your membership number with the NG site so you have the official ALA logo beside your name. That makes a big difference! I’m not sure how you do this, and am happy to be guided, and can include a how-to here if needed.
- For bloggers/reviewers, we absolute love to see your stats: the most useful and helpful basic site statistics are:
- dated eg as of 17 May 2013 I have xyz followers…
- if you have a newsletter subscription, tell us how many subscribers you have
- Page views per day (average)
- Unique visitors per month
- But don’t just tell us about your site, especially if you don’t have one! If you use Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads etc and will be talking about the requested book on these sites, you can still tell us how many followers, friends, interactions you have.
- Whenever we put a title on NG, we send out the respective group email: to the Robot Army, the Chemistry Set or the Witness Protection Programme. We always urge NG users to get requests in early, and I can’t stress that enough: there are often hundreds of requests and we cannot match that amount for each book so do get your request in as soon as possible
- With that, please make sure you do have time to read the books you’re requesting, and that more importantly you download them as soon as possible: our books are generally only available for 4 weeks on NetGalley so if you’ve been approved, please do download the title
When you’re sending in your review, there are a few things that would really make my job easier…and also make me love you even more!
- Please include the date the review was published especially if it’s a forthcoming review
- If you run your own blog, or contribute to one, send us the link which the review will appear on, but also don’t forget to include the link for your Goodreads account, your Amazon reviews, twitter or basically anywhere else the review will appear. This not only makes it easier for me to remember how amazing you are, but also to help promote you and your work: if we’re not already connected on Twitter, I’ll tweet your review and link to you. We want you to get as much out of your work as we can.
Possible Reasons for Declining
First off, none of us like declining people…it makes us sad, really. We love our books, and so look forward to people reading them and sending back informed reviews, whatever way they may go. It’s the nature of the game that not all books are going to satisfy all readers, and we’re never going to decline you because you didn’t like our last book or anything silly. But it is a business, and we do need to make sure we don’t potentially undermine any book’s worth by sending out copies to everyone without seeing a value in it. So, to avoid you and I both feeling terrible, please bear in mind:
- If your profile has no link to a blog, or any discernible outlet, but you maintain you’re a reviewer, it definitely lowers your approval chances
- A profile with little info at all will also lower approval rates
- If you provide a link to a website but there haven’t been any recent posts, or it doesn’t have any book reviews, that will look odd. If there’s a reason for this (you’ve been caught up in something else and are looking to get back to bloggging, for example, let us know that – add it to your bio)
- No bio at all: unless you’re an extremely high-profile person or known to us personally, this is always worrying
I think that covers everything; if you think of anything you’d like clarification on or want to run past me/us, please comment below. I’d really love to hear from NG users as well, especially on what we could be doing to help you: this is a site that we’ll all get as much out of as we put in, so let’s start talking about how we could all do better and help each other out!
Happy Friday, everyone!