Top Ten Tips for NetGalley Newbies

Top Ten Tips for NetGalley Newbies

Hey Everyone!

If you have recently joined NetGalley, thought about joining NetGalley or just said "What's NetGalley?" then this is the post for you!

To answer this last question, this is what NetGalley has to say.

NetGalley is a service to promote titles to professional readers of influence. If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to request, read and provide feedback about forthcoming titles. Your feedback and recommendations are essential to publishers and readers alike.

This post is aimed at readers and bloggers. If you're an author looking to get your book listed on Netgalley, Karan & Co Author Solutions might be able to help you out.

Top Ten Tips

1. Set up your profile correctly.

Work out which category you fit into. NetGalley splits everyone into 5 categories. Click on the links below for more tips on the information publishers want to see in your profile. Include a photo. Include information on who you can influence to buy a book - whether it is where you work or where you post your reviews. Include social media links, such as Facebook and Twitter.

librarians | booksellers | educators | media professionals | reviewers/bloggers

2. Add your kindle account details.

This will make it easy to send you books directly to your kindle in one step. If you don't have a Kindle you can use a free kindle app on your smartphone or tablet. You can find more detailed instructions on how to do this HERE

3. You don't have to have a blog to join NetGalley.

I know plenty of people who don't have a blog and still get approved for lots of books. They share their reviews to Goodreads.

You may not get approved for the most popular and high profile books but there are still plenty of books to access.


NetGalley has now updated the profile section so that you can identify what type of reviewer you are

  • blogger (have your own blog) 
  • consumer reviewer (review on Goodreads, Amazon etc) 
  • book trade professional (agent, publisher etc) 
  • traditional reviewer (publication assigns reviews) 

4. Approval Ratio.

NetGalley suggests that publishers prefer you to have an 80% feedback to approval ratio before they approve you for a book. But how do you get an 80% ratio when you have no books? If you need experience to get the job, how do you get the job to get the experience? The answer is Read Now. There is a Read Now tab in the Browse section of the Find Titles page that you can click on to find all the books that are automatically approved for everyone. If you read a few of these first, review them and post your feedback, then that will increase your feedback to approval ratio and make it easier to get approved for other books. Bonus tip - read a children's picture book or two to speed this process up.

5. Check the publisher's approval preferences.

If you see a book you would like to read, before you click on Request, check what is says beside the Request button. Often it will state whether there are limitations due to region (you need to live in a certain country to be able to be approved) You can also click on the orange publishers name above the request button. This will take you to the publishers page. Here you can click on View Approval Preferences. This will tell you if the publisher has any other special requirements.

6. Favourite publishers.

You can add publishers that you like and that you have checked during step five to a favourite list. While you are on the publishers page you can click on the heart and that will add them to the favourite list. You can get to the publishers pages by clicking on their name from a book page or from the Browse Publishers tab, then going through them alphabetically. My tip is to browse all the publishers and favourite the ones that are based on your country. If you spend a bit of time setting up all your favourite publishers, it can save a lot of heartache later when you fall in love with a book description only to find out that it's not available in your area. Once you have all your favourites selected, you can click on Favourite Publishers in the Browse section of the Find Titles page and scroll through to your hearts content.

7. Download ASAP.

Most books have an archive date. Once this date has passed, you can no longer download the book, even if you have been approved for it. If you download the book as soon as you are approved, that will make sure you don't forget. You can download the book by either clicking Send To Kindle, which will make it available on your kindle ereader or app next time you sync it, or Download, which will download it to your computer, where you can then transfer it to another ereading device via Adobe Digital Editions.

8. Don't be picky about spelling and format.

Some of the books you will have access to are the finished product, but some are uncorrected proof copies, so will still have spelling and format issues. Don't be picky about these issues in your reviews, focus on the content.

9. Include a disclaimer in your review.

Some countries don't require you to disclose that you received a book free in exchange for a review, but in some countries it is law. To be on the safe side, it is a good idea to include a disclaimer in your review. I say "I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review". I have seen some reviewers place this at the beginning of their review. I personally prefer to put it at the end. Often your review will be condensed to a few lines until someone click on it. They are more likely to click on it and read your review if the first sentence is interesting rather that a generic disclaimer.

10. Give an honest review.

Make sure your reviews are honest. Say what you think, but remember that authors are people like you and me and can be devastated by a scathing review. If a book was so unsuited to you that you couldn't finish it, you don't need to post a public review, you can just send private feedback to the publisher to tell them that it wasn't for you. If you do want to give some negative feedback in a public review, try to be tactful. Try the sandwich technique, start with a positive, then some constructive criticism, followed by another positive.

Now go forth and read! Come back and let me know if you find something awesome!


  1. Hi Renee! What an excellent and thorough post - these are definitely the tips we give our members when they need a little help. Thanks so much for adding our links and for being a NetGalley champion!

    1. Thanks for coming to have a look! I love NetGalley. The main reason I started this blog was to improve my chance of approval. I also gave it an overhaul recently to get approved by a particular publisher.

    2. Could you share what did you do to make it more attractive to that publisher? This newbie would appreciate it. ;)

    3. Hi Madeline!
      The main thing I did was change the focus of my blog away from free books. Because I had received the book for free, I had been writing Cost: $0 at the bottom of my reviews, but that was being misleading, as most other people would have to pay for the book. The publishers that use NetGalley are doing it to improve sales, and me focusing on "free" in my header (It used to say Freeding: Reading for free), wasn't what they were looking for. I had requested a book, and been denied, so because I felt I had met that publishers requirements, I emailed them to find out why. after a few emails back and forth with constructive feedback, I decided to overhaul my blog and was then approved for the book I wanted. Make sure you check the publisher's approval preferences, and if you have been rejected and don't understand why, don't be afraid to ask for feedback.
      Happy Reading :)

    4. Ah, that makes sense. Thank you for sharing!!! I am starting to think that the feedback percentage doesn't mean much. I applied for a million books at once and was approved for them, despite the fact that my percentage got worse with every approval.

    5. I think the percentage feedback plays a bigger role if you are requesting books that are in high demand. Happy reading 😀 Sounds like you'll be busy.

    6. Ah, that makes more sense. Thanks, again!

  2. very nice! I've been a NetGalley member since 2007...OMG that's 8 years...! I absolutely love it as well...!

    1. Wow Sherri, you're a veteran! Do you have any other NetGalley tips for us?

  3. Thanks for these tips, at present, my blog is all about audiobooks but I've been thinking about adding books of the silent kind.
    thanks again
    audiothing audiobooks

    1. I love audiobooks! **off to stalk your blog**

  4. Oh, forgot to ask, is there any obligation to take/review a minimum number of books within a certain time period?

    1. There's no minimum obligation. Most publishers prefer you to post your review within a month of publication, but there's no penalty if you don't. My tip is don't go too click happy to start, you don't want to feel overwhelmed or pressured to review too many books at once.

  5. Do you have any suggestions on how to find good books on NetGalley? I often find a new release that I want to read and find that it has been archived by NetGalley.

    1. I mark my favourite publishers then check in to the favourites list every couple of weeks. Good luck finding your next read


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