My experience with NetGalley so far


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.

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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

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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Another thing I adored about having a NetGalley was the opportunity to find unpublished gems.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.

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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.

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Best Books I Read that are ARCs

36101334     36373586

(Click on the covers to see my reviews on these books)

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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.

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Conclusion

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.

 

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27 thoughts on “My experience with NetGalley so far

  1. I really, really wish NetGalley had a preview function. Just let us see the first chapter or even the first couple of pages; it would make selection so much easier!

    I also try to space out ARCs I request by date so I’m not quite so pressured to read too quickly or be stuck only reading ARCs for long stretches. (I say that even though I have two books with the same publication date in my queue at the moment. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s an excellent idea. And time management is definitely key to organising ARCs, and your tips about publication dates is so interesting because before I’ve never really cared about publication dates hahaha!
      Wish me luck for the future of my ARC-reading habits and thanks for dropping by 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Good luck with the plan! Sounds sensible 🙂

    I’m usually quite picky when it comes to what book i request, but i did run into some pretty bad ones. Others seemed to like them a lot tho, so i guess it’s just me being me.

    I didn’t expect to be approved for most things, so when i got access to them all at once it was a bit overwhelming.

    I’m just going through now the ones i have and haven’t requested stuff in quite a while. It does help a lot in terms of my sanity 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course it all depends on your personal preferences of a book, and you can never know if you’ll like a book or not, whether you’re being picky or not!

      Taking a break from requesting ARCs are always refreshing and helpful 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The key for me to enjoying Netgalley was to learn how to be picky with my requests. Doesn’t do anyone any good when I request a book that I just don’t really like. Good luck with your plan!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post, and agree with other commenters that a taster or preview function would revolutionise the site.
    I feel bad when I request a book and don’t like it knowing someone else could have had it, y’know?
    The I also don’t like the time it sometimes takes from requesting to approval. Often books are on their ages and by the time you get approved, weeks or months after requesting, you don’t have time to read and review properly before release, or you’re no longer interested in the title. I just wish you could pull a request before approval so it didn’t affect your stats when you don’t read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I only started requesting this February too and I liked maybe…30% of the books I got approved of? It’s definitely got its positives and negatives. I should take a page from your book and start reading more non-ARC books. 🙂

    Have you tried Edelweiss? I don’t think they have a feedback ratio (at least not that I’m aware of), so it’s a bit less stressful for me to request books from there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree, not all the ARCs you think are interesting end up being more than 3 star reads.
      I didn’t try Edelweiss yet! I think NetGalley was the more famous one so that was the one I chose, and I think I prefer to only use one type of platform for my ARCs (for now).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great post! I’ve learned a lot being on Netgalley and edelweiss (netgalley on speed and higher quality if you haven’t checked it out) as well. I have created an outline of what needs to get done so I know how much I have to do arc wise and where I can put non arcs so I request more wisely. I went a bit bonkers on edelweiss not expecting the domino effect. One gets approved and suddenly KABOOM. You don’t get everything but you get a lot. And a lot you don’t expect like the wicked king.. who saw that coming??? Not me! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

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