NetGalley Newbie: Tips for Getting Off to a Great Start

If you’re a book advocate or industry professional (reviewer, book trade professional, librarian, bookseller, educator, journalist or member of the media) who wants to discover and recommend new books to your audience, NetGalley is for you! You can use NetGalley for free to request and read books before they are published and provide essential reviews and feedback to publishers and other readers. But we know getting started can be daunting! Whether you’re a NetGalley newbie or a long-time member in need of a refresher, check out these tips.


First and foremost: Fill out your Profile!
Think about your NetGalley Profile like a resume. The information in your Profile is what publishers see when deciding to approve or decline your requests, so make sure to keep your Bio professional and succinct. A love of books brought all of us to NetGalley, so don’t worry about expressing that passion to publishers. Instead, focus on relevant information about how you use digital review copies and explain your role as an industry professional. If you’re a Reviewer, clearly state where you review books (including important stats about your platforms, such as average monthly pageviews to your blog or social media reach) and share any book-related extracurriculars (like if you run a book club). Librarians, booksellers, and educators: make sure to indicate if you are a member of any professional associations.

Still unsure of where to start? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered with this list of 10 things to include in your Profile, a roundup of profile dos and don’ts, and insight into what you should include in your Profile based on your member type.


Provide important links
Your Profile includes a section titled “Where I Share Reviews.” This is a crucial place to provide links to any websites or social media where you share your book reviews, the media outlets where you cover books, or the bookstore, library, or school where you’re employed. List all relevant links, and revisit them in a few months to make sure they continue to represent the platforms you’re most active on. Pro tip: Set a recurring reminder in your calendar to update the stats and links in your Profile.

Readers who are new to NetGalley may also be looking to create a place to share their reviews. Here are tips on how to start a book blog, Booktube channel, Bookstagram, and BookTok.


Share your reading preferences
In the Categories section of your Profile, indicate genres you’re most interested in or are assigned to cover professionally and give publishers more information about your reading habits. These preferences help NetGalley tailor the types of books you’ll be notified about in email newsletters and other alerts from publishers. 


Follow publishers’ Approval Preferences
On publisher pages, click View Approval Preferences to learn more about what a particular publisher is looking for when approving requests. Since publishers utilize NetGalley in different ways, these preferences can give you insight into how they want to connect with specific member types and what information they want to see in member Profiles. If you frequently interact with a specific publisher, make sure to read through their preferences to ensure you become a valuable contact for them. Pro tip: Adding publishers to your Favorites allows you to easily find them again if you want to remind yourself of their preferences or see what new books they’ve added most recently. For more advice directly from a publisher, check out our interview with a publicist!


Avoid the request spree
It can be tempting to request every book that appeals to you when you’re first browsing through NetGalley. Before you request, make sure your Profile is as strong as possible. Then only request books you truly hope to read and review or consider for your store, library, or classroom. NetGalley members are expected to provide Feedback for the majority of books they access, in exchange for getting free digital review copies. Keep in mind that if you’re unable to keep up once approvals start rolling in, it’ll have a negative impact on your Feedback Ratio, which can be tough to quickly recover from. Start slow and steady.


Learn from declined requests
Publishers have a wide range of criteria for approvals, which can vary by imprint and type of book, and they often cannot approve all requests that are received. Publishers and authors use NetGalley to help accomplish a variety of goals, and incorporate NetGalley into their overall marketing and publicity efforts in different ways—so if your request is declined, use it as an opportunity to learn from their specific preferences. 


Utilize ‘Read Now’ books
Aptly named, Read Now availability means you don’t need to request publisher approval before accessing the book—so you can immediately start reading and reviewing. Take advantage of Read Now books to help build up your Feedback Ratio, which is one of the key stats publishers consider when approving requests.


Customize your NetGalley browsing experience with light or dark mode
The wait is over—dark mode is here! Dark mode is a setting that helps reduce eye strain and provides better contrast, which improves readability. It also helps reduce energy consumption and increases battery life—just one of many steps we’re taking to improve accessibility on NetGalley! Enable dark mode by visiting the menu in the top left corner on mobile or through the arrow next to your Profile on desktop. 


Stay organized
Your NetGalley account can help you organize and prioritize: Your Shelf tracks books that are ready for Feedback, and the weekly NetGalley Checklist email can provide helpful reminders (so be sure to subscribe to the Checklist in the Account Security section of your Profile). Many members also choose to organize their reading schedules using spreadsheets or bullet journals. Our interview with NetGalley member Lili includes her tips, and we have more tricks for making time for reading here.


Read, review, repeat
If you’re new to NetGalley, there’s a chance you’re also new to the world of book reviews. Valuable reviews are crucial to publishers and authors, as are the star ratings, Opinions, and industry list nominations that you submit via NetGalley. Check out the NetGalley Review Guidelines and tips for writing and submitting feedback to publishers. 

Increase the visibility of your reviews by sharing to your blog, social platforms, and retail sites—with just one click right within your NetGalley account. Read our tips for writing a good book review, a critical book review, and audiobook review to help build your platform as a book advocate.

NetGalley Tips

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

  1. I’ve enjoyed reading your website. I’m an author, not a reviewer. I’ve written reviews for other writers on Amazon and a couple of blurbs. Thank you.

  2. I am anxious to read light novels and historical based novels. I have been reading for most of my 85 years and have in the past belonged to several book clubs.
    I am also the mother of the CEO. I have reviewed on Amazon and goodreads.
    Looking forward to the audio books on the app.

  3. Very excited to be joining NetGalley. I am the mother of the CEO and have been reading historical novels for many, many years. I also at this point in my life am interested in light novels and biographies. I have belonged to book clubs in the past and have reviewed books on Amazon.

  4. I am a new member of Net Galley.
    I appreciate the breadth of all you are doing.
    Now I have the enjoyable challenge of learning how to use what you are providing.

  5. I enjoy fiction light hearted novels and some thrillers a little bit of history Looking forward to the wide variety of books that are on netgalley and happy to give you my reviews

  6. Wow! These “NetGalley Newbie Tips for Getting Off to a Great Start” are really great tips for getting off to a great start! I am a newbie and had just signed up to support my friend’s new authorship. I am delighted by the adventurous possibilities before me! Thank you!

  7. I am looking forward to reading and listening to some new titles. Going through COVID, has given me more time to do what I enjoy… BOOKS!

  8. This was a really helpful article! I just got approved for my first request on NetGalley, which was a relief because I’ve put in a lot of requests before this without hearing back. This was great advice! Thanks 🙂

  9. Hi Kelly. Thanks for this blog explanation for newbies. I do not have a blog at the moment so no link available. Is it fine just to review the book on good reads? Regards. Pramod

  10. Hmmm. I am a lifelong passionate reader in a wide range of genres. The past three or four years I’ve received my books in e-format and discovered I could also give something back in appreciation by reviewing the books I read, mainly on Amazon. So far I have done more than a 1400 reviews and, somehow, became rather good friends with a huge number of authors the world over and being an ARC reader or even a Beta reader to many of them.
    And now I am here as newbie at Netgalley
    . Thank you for the privilege and chance to open up even more new horizons.

  11. Excellent information. I wish that I had received this email with its link on bio suggestions before writing and submitting my reader resume because I would have included that I am in my city’s New Comer’s Book Club that meets monthly, as well as a weekly short story group and a monthly literary discussion group. Each are platforms for interactive exchanges on the latest and greatest books that members have read or can’t wait to read.

  12. I’m excited to be introduced to some new authors and new books and series. I haven’t reviewed for a few years and I’m looking forward to getting back to it again.

  13. This is very important information. I’m so excited to start reading. I’m a book reviewer but haven’t really reviewed any, only in good reads . I’m looking forward to trying out this

  14. Wow, I wish I had seen this before I started. I received an invite to get a new book and write a review. I signed up not having a clue I had a profile page. The only thing I noticed was I was only able to check one genre of books – I read several and felt I might get pigeonholed. I admit I went crazy with saying what I would take. I had read reviews that stated they received the book from NetGalley for an honest review and thought I could do that with the amount of books I read.
    Best grab a book and proceed slowly.

  15. I am new to NetGallery and have a personal blog on Instagram with over 2400 followers. I started in May this year to share books with other passionate readers.

  16. Thanks for the very specific tips like the heads up on the Read Now books. Your article was very helpful for a NetGalley beginner, and reading the referenced articles/samples were also beneficial.

  17. Thanks so much for these helpful hints. I’ve been a reader all my life and love a wide variety of genres. Historical fiction, autobiographies, romance, cookery, science…quite eclectic really! Have posted several reviews onto Amazon, been a member of several book clubs, and frequently read with younger children.

  18. I have been an avid reader for decades and love love love books. When I love a good book, I share it with my world. I am excited to be part of NetGalley.

  19. Debbie Babitt’s ‘First Victim’ is a first-rate, 5-Star psychological thriller…a non-stop, roller-coaster ride from the first line to its gut-wrenching conclusion. Every character is brilliantly portrayed, from Judge Alice McKerrity, to her daughter, the judge’s girlhood bestie, her first love, and the novel’s brutal antagonist. First Victim presents as a searing portrait whose dialogue between characters often reminded me of the staccato repartee in Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment.’ A fabulous read from beginning to end, Debbie Babitt is at the pinnacle of writers specializing in crime novels and psychological thrillers. Ms. Babbit’s debut novel, ‘Saving Grace,’ was great. ‘First Victim,’ however, is spectacular. This avid reader can’t wait to read Debbie Babitt’s third novel!

  20. Hello Everyone,
    I’m new to Net Galley I love to read anything and everything from Biographies Health Mind Body to Religion & Spirituality
    I belong to a Book Club in it we review the books that we read it’s very interesting the different types of interpretations of reading a book each person has
    I also love to post on Facebook any recommendations of books I have read
    I look forward to reading and reviewing your book

  21. I am excited to become a member of Netgallery. I have been a reader from a very early age. I have 3 sisters (75, 73, 72 … I am 76) and from the time we were young, my mother walked the 4 of us to the library and we could take as many books as we could carry home and we could return the next week…the next trip to the library. And I did… my sisters too.
    Now I am still a reader although I am finding it harder to find a “good” book. But when I do I can’t put it down. It is going to be wonderful to be a part of this process.

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