Did you know that one of the most popular Google searches about NetGalley is members asking how to get approved for books? We get it—there’s no better feeling than that “You’ve Been Approved” email popping up in your inbox. So we’re here to help! If you’re looking to increase your chances of being approved for the books you’re most interested in reading, check out the steps below to follow to make your Profile stand out to publishers.
If you’re new to NetGalley and need a guide to signing up, read this article first.
Understand the approval process
New NetGalley members sometimes think that the NetGalley team is approving book requests, but this isn’t true. Publishers upload books to NetGalley and they’re solely responsible for approving requests to read those books. It’s important to know this because it’s the publishers that you’ll want to appeal to when shaping your NetGalley Profile.
Make sure your Member Type is correct
When you signed up for NetGalley, you selected one of six different Member Types (reviewer, book trade professional, librarian, bookseller, educator, media/journalist). Publishers have specific goals for working with each one because different Member Types will have unique audiences and places where they advocate for books.
It’s especially important to select the most accurate Member Type because as a publicity manager shared with us, one of the most common reasons a book request is declined is an incorrect Member Type. If your job changes or you realize you accidentally selected the wrong Member Type, please contact support and we will help you change it.
Fill out your Profile
When you request a book on NetGalley, the publisher will look at your Profile to learn more about you. So you want to make sure that your Profile is not only complete, but filled out with the information that publishers are looking for. To help make sure your Profile is in tip-top shape, we have a list of 10 things to include in your Profile and important Profile dos and don’ts.
Maintain a strong Feedback Ratio
Your Feedback Ratio is a calculated percentage of your feedback on books and audiobooks you’re approved for. It’s an important stat that publishers consider when making approvals, so we recommend keeping your Feedback Ratio close to 80%. Publishers and authors rely on your feedback and are more likely to approve members who provide meaningful feedback and recommendations about their books. When a publisher receives your request, they can see your Feedback Ratio and it tells them how likely you are to provide feedback on the book you’re requesting.
Here’s a list of ways to improve your Feedback Ratio and how to recover if you’ve completely tanked it.
Check publisher approval preferences
Did you know that publishers share what they’re looking for from NetGalley members on their pages? Next time you go to request a book, first click on the publisher’s name. Once on their page, click ‘View Approval Preferences.’ This will give you an overview of what they’re looking for when they check a member’s Profile. If you notice your Profile is missing something, you can add it before you request one of their books!
Put in your request
Over the years, members have shared some pretty interesting theories with us about their requesting strategies. Some prefer to request a book the moment it’s uploaded to NetGalley, while others wait until close to the archive date. The truth is that, like any other task in their busy day, most publishers fit in time to sit down and read through requests as they’re able.
Our best advice is that if you see a book you’d like to request and you feel as though your Profile is in good standing, put in that request! If you notice the archive date isn’t soon and you want that extra time to amp up your Feedback Ratio, you can always add the book to a List so you remember to go back to it later.
Keep reading, reviewing, and requesting
The above steps will help set you up for success on NetGalley, though they’re only a start. Consistently engaging with books, leaving Feedback, and updating your Profile will not only grow your knowledge of how to be the best book advocate you can be, it’ll also improve your chances of being approved. Publishers will check your Profile and see a member with a strong book reviewing history.
Even when putting our best foot forward, there are a lot of reasons why even stellar Profiles are declined (we talk about a few of them here). While it can be disappointing to not be approved for an anticipated book, remember that it isn’t a personal decision and that you can always continue to support the author by buying the book when it publishes or requesting it from your library.