NetGalley is an online platform that enables influential readers—professional reviewers, media professionals, librarians, and educators—to download and evaluate your title, pre-publication. It has reached a critical mass as a service and is used by mainstream publishers and self-published authors alike to generate pre-publication excitement and buzz for a title.
As of Dec 2017, NetGalley has 380,000 reviewers or "influencers" worldwide, and 45,000 of those are in the UK. NetGalley claims the site is sticky, and that 65% of members come back nine times or more in a month. The majority of NetGalley readers are interested in Teens and YA, General Fiction, Mystery and Thrillers, and Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and there is least interest in Middle Grade, Humour, Horror, Sports, and Literary Fiction. We have also found that History, Pagan and Spiritual books get a decent response there.
NETGALLEY.COM vs NETGALLEY.CO.UK
As NetGalley has grown globally, they have created sites for different countries. Our books appear on the UK site (netgalley.co.uk) and the US site (NetGalley.com). As you would expect, the .co.uk site prioritises British publishers, and British books will be seen by more British reviewers. You can choose which countries and territories see your books.
HOW DOES NETGALLEY WORK?
Every time a member logs into NetGalley, they are presented with a selection of books based on their interests, normally starting with the books that have been most recently added to NetGalley. Members have the ability to search the site by many criteria, including subject, author, publisher, and most-downloaded.
You can offer your book for download in a variety of ways:
NetGalley offers the ability to create a widget. A widget is a pre-approved link that you can use to invite a contact to read a title on NetGalley. When a reader receives a widget link, typically via email, they can click on the link, register for free, or login to NetGalley (if they are already a member). They are then taken directly to the Title Details page for that title, where they can download it.
NetGalley offers Activity Reports and Feedback Reports, so you can keep records of who downloads and reviews your books.
HOW TO GET MEMBERS TO VIEW YOUR TITLE
NetGalley say views matter, so the more time a member sees your title, the more downloads and reviews you can generate.
When you set a book to Available For Request or Read Now, it will be presented to members on the NetGalley homepage for a few days, generating many views, and usually resulting in a spike of interest and requests for download. After that, unless your book is causing a huge buzz, interest will likely be less intense, as your book is harder to discover.
At this point, NetGalley offers a variety of extra marketing services at various price points which you can use to give your book an extra boost of visibility and gain more views. Whether it’s entering your book to be a Book Of The Month, paying to be featured on their homepage for a week, or a full mail-out to thousands of their members, these services are especially useful if you feel your book has real sales potential and you want to present it to the maximum number of influential readers, the maximum amount of times.
Click here for the full NetGalley media kit, which contains details of all marketing services.
IS NETGALLEY JUST FOR NEW BOOKS?
The vast majority of books on NetGalley are new, but readers are also looking out for (in NetGalley speak) "interesting books they might have missed" and reviewers are taking "a more fluid approach to reviewing" i.e. papers don't review according to publisher's schedules, so we are free to add in older books if we feel appropriate, and reviewers may review older books too. For example, if we add the second of a trilogy to NetGalley, we will likely add the first, so reviewers who missed it can read it.
NetGalley is free for readers, but authors and publishers have to pay a fee in order to list a book. At John Hunt Publishing, we pay to have twenty titles on NetGalley at any one time.
As an individual you can choose to add your book to NetGalley at various price points. As of June 2018, to add a book for six months as an individual author, the price is $450. You can also save some money by adding your book through the Independent Publisher’s Association.
HOW DO I GET MY BOOK ON NETGALLEY?
If you have paid for an Extra Publicity service, you are guaranteed a placement on the site for at least three months.
If you have not paid for Extra Publicity, then we cannot guarantee your title for selection on NetGalley – we have limited (twenty) places there.
We decide which books to place on NetGalley for different amounts of time based on a variety of factors, including sales potential, genre, and past NetGalley experience.
We usually decide to place titles on NetGalley 3-4 months before publication date. If we decide to place your book on NetGalley, it will be added as Advertising to your marketing activities and you will receive email notification.
We create NetGalley widgets for all titles created, and these are uploaded in PDF form as an "article" on your Marketing Page.
If you have any queries regarding your book and its possible NetGalley placement, please make an enquiry on the Marketing & Publicity Author Forum in the Review Copies section.
OUR TOP TIPS FOR NETGALLEY BASED ON OUR EXPERIENCE
Create A Strategy – Make Members Feel Special
Rather than sticking your book on NetGalley and hoping for the best, think about building a community of influencers whose tastes chime with your books, and nurture those relationships. Every time you interact with a NetGalley member you are representing yourself and/or your publishing company, and whether the member likes the book or not, you have an opportunity to leave a positive impression about your work.
Here are our top tips for using NetGalley based on our experience:
A FEW OF OUR EXPERIENCES ON NETGALLEY
Fairies, a Pagan title by Morgan Daimler, was only on the site a short time and was downloaded 149 times and 21 reviews were generated.
Margaret Tudor, by Sarah-Beth Watkins, gained 1373 impressions, was download 290 times and 39 reviews were generated on the site.
You can reach institutions you might never have found with a normal press release mail-out. Here’s a comment about Steve Taylor’s new edition of The Fall from an educator who downloaded and read the book:
A perfect addition to the list of recommended reading for my A-level students. Not only do they look at ego, but the gender dynamics that can be traced back to the fall.
And here's a note from from Katy Noyes, librarian at Shirebrook Academy, who left us a rave review for Feral Chickens:
Always a thrill to hear a review is read and well-received (I believe the author read it on Goodreads as well). Such a unique plot and I really hope a producer reads it and sees potential for the the screen – I’ve GOT to see the guillotine scene!! Yes, I’ll be asking my library to purchase a copy for readers. I hope it gets a wide readership.
For Nigel Jay Cooper’s second novel, The Pursuit Of Ordinary, we paid for a NetGalley mailout to the NetGalley fiction email list. This resulted in 3383 impressions, 314 downloads of the site, and 63 reviews, many of which were rave. There were almost two hundred requests within a day of the email going out.
Here’s a sample review generated by the mailout:
From the beginning to the very end, this book will grip you tightly and hang on for dear life. It’s beautifully written! It’s a different concept! It works on all levels!
Bookseller’s who download your book may recommend to customers. Here’s a extract from a bookseller on NetGalley:
I review on Goodreads, but most of the recommendations and feedback I give is in the busy store I work at. The owner always asks me to find the "next big book", so I have been reading up to 5 or 6 books a day!
NetGalley is currently an invaluable tool in book marketing. While no author or publisher should exclusively rely on it to market their book, it’s clearly a powerful opportunity to present your book to influential people you could never have sought out on your own. You’ll have the opportunity to present your title to many booksellers and librarians you may never have considered or reached normally, and give yourself a real opportunity to increase online reviews for your book, on blogs and social media, and especially on Amazon and GoodReads.
The book market is saturated, and your book will be up against many others. This is why it’s vital you use the service with intelligence and care, doing everything that is in your power to create a positive and exciting impression of your work.