Hello everyone! Today I’m here with something a little different from my regular book-related posts. I have been blogging in this blog for almost a year now, focusing on my posts related to Books, Movies, and Travel. And I decided to join Net Galley sometime in February this year, as a way to improve my presence in the social media and to receive free books, because it seems so fun from when I look at other people’s posts.
Here are some stats of my NetGalley:
- Books approved: 13
- Books read: 5 and 2 DNF
- Feedback ratio: 46%
- Average ratings of the books I read: 2.85 stars
What I Liked About NetGalley
When I first joined NetGalley I was psyched. The main reason I joined: free books! Who doesn’t love them? As someone who loved reading ebooks from any kind of free places, NetGalley’s system of easily sending your e-ARCs to your Kindle was perfect.
Another thing I adored about having a NetGalley was the opportunity to find unpublished gems. Of course it can be a hit or miss, but sometimes you can just know when you start reading a book, even though it’s only an ARC, that it’s going to be one of your five-star reads that month. It’s a wonderful feeling. And consequently, that means you get to share your feelings of the book to the world, recommend them to other people, and maybe buy the book for yourself when it actually comes out.
Thirdly, this platform allows me to increase my possibility to improve my traffic in my blog, and improve my relationship with book publishers, therefore creating a cooperation with them and in the future, who knows, maybe I’ll receive ARCs that I didn’t even requested because of this relationship.
And finally, I’m thankful I have a NetGalley, because it increases my awareness of books that will be coming out in the future, at least from the genres I’m interested in, such as mystery/thrillers and literary fiction. Of course not all books that will come out are available on NetGalley, but from browsing through their publishers and books you can get a pretty clear idea of what will come out soon, whether it’s interesting to you or not.
What I Disliked About NetGalley
Now of course there are disadvantages of having this platform in my life. The first thing that came to my mind is the high amount of bad books I get exposed of from NetGalley. It’s not rare that I would scan through a book that might sound interesting, but when it is in my Kindle and I start reading the first few chapters, I realise that it’s just not for me, or that the editing is bad, or I’m just not into the book at the time. I feel like a majority of the books in NetGalley are more on the “okay” side instead of the “amazing” side of the spectrum, as you can see from my average rating of 2.85.
Another thing I don’t like about NetGalley is that it adds pressure to me to read the books I have requested as fast as possible so I can quickly write a review of them that are a) in time before/right after the books are published, or b) so that my feedback ratio is a high number and everyone sees that I’m a good reviewer. As you can see in the stats, I have failed big time in reading all my requested books. Mainly because I’m not interested to read them all at the same time, but also because I requested a lot of books in NetGalley lately.
And last, is that NetGalley causes me to compare my ARCs, my statistics, and the amount of ARCs I am able to read in a month to other bloggers. For me personally this isn’t really a huge deal, because I rarely compare myself to others when it comes to blogging in general. However sometimes it does kind of suck when you know that another blogger with more traffic and better statistics on their NetGalley profile got accepted for an ARC you requested but was denied of. This can be also an advantage to me, because then it motivates me to blog better and read more, and make better reviews as well.
Best Books I Read that are ARCs
(Click on the covers to see my reviews on these books)
Plans for the future
- Increase feedback ratio – everyone always gets into this spiraling habit of browsing through NetGalley and requesting loads of ARCs, get accepted of so many of them and therefore decreasing their feedback ratio. This is what happened to me. So for now I’m gonna ban myself from requesting more books, increasing my ratio to up to 80% by reading the ARCs I already have in my Kindle.
- Not try to prioritize ARCs – there are so many books out there that I can read: my own physical copies I bought, the library, the ebooks I already own… I hope that despite my goal to read more ARCs, I will vary my reading and not only read ARCs every single day
- Better time management – deciding what I will read next after finishing a book has always been depending on mood for me. But lately I’ve been thinking of making my TBRs more clear, managing my decisions for what I should read next
- Higher selection process for requesting future ARCs – this is definitely a plan I’m least convinced will work, mainly because like I said in the first point, I always get in the habit of requesting waaayyy to many books. However I need to increase my expectations and my selection to only choose the ARCs I’m really, really really interested in instead of the ones I’m only mildly interested in which in the end turned out to be a book I won’t enjoy reading.
NetGalley is very fun, and if you want to improve your blog, get connection with publishers, and receive free, unpublished books, go ahead and make an account. I really love the amazing books I was able to read thanks to the platform. However it can be stressful at times, with all the pressure of having a high feedback ratio and generally adding more things to things you need to manage your time with. In the end it’s all about luck as well, since you will never know whether the ARCs you requested will be good or hyped around the book blogging community. But like reading in general, everything is also luck, since you’ll never know if you’ll like a book until you read it.
So this was my experience with NetGalley so far. A mixed bag, but overall I’m definitely going to continue improving my statistics, and cultivate a better profile in the future.