How to Recover After Tanking Your Feedback Ratio

A woman holding a laptop and shrugging

We’ve all been there: A request spree happens, life gets in the way of reviewing consistently, and before you know it your Feedback Ratio has taken a nosedive. Since this is one of the key stats publishers consider when approving requests, it can be stressful to see that number plummeting. But never fear: We’ve outlined some steps to take to resurrect your Feedback Ratio!


Don’t stress
It can be easy to feel as though a low Feedback Ratio might put your requests in jeopardy. But it is no cause for despair and can be fixed with some dedication. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that your Feedback Ratio is only one of the factors publishers consider when approving requests and that you’re a stellar book advocate who will get back on track!


Create a reviewing schedule
A common issue members face is that they read quickly, but struggle to make time to write reviews. Reading is part of most members’ daily routines, so why not make reviewing a habit as well? Set aside a specific time every day or a particular day of the week to get into the habit of writing reviews consistently. Carving time out, rather than trying to squeeze it in, offers reviewers more opportunity to consider their thoughts on a book—and can make the experience less stressful.

Writing insightful reviews increases the likelihood of publishers approving more of your requests in the future. So while it may be tempting to fire off a quick generic review to raise your Feedback Ratio, it’s important to remember that publishers aren’t only looking for a high percentage, but also thoughtfully written reviews.


Set a goal
Once you’ve decided where reviewing fits into your schedule, you can make a plan for how many books you’d like to review over a certain period of time. The Feedback Ratio calculates the percentage of Feedback you’ve submitted to approved books and audiobooks, which means that it’s easy to create a plan for fixing a low ratio.

We recommend an 80% ratio for your best chances of having your requests approved. Depending on what your ratio is, that number may feel miles away. So when it comes to setting your goal, start with a small increment such as raising your ratio by 1% every week, two weeks, or month. This will give you a sense of momentum as you work your way towards 80% and ensure you aren’t discouraged.

Mood readers sometimes struggle with a set TBR, so having a goal for the number of books reviewed in a certain amount of time (rather than the books themselves) allows for a selection of what you pick up next.


Stop requesting books
I know, I know, this is the one bit of advice no NetGalley member wants to hear. However, a temporary self-imposed ban on new requests is a great way to ensure that you’re making progress on improving your Feedback Ratio without getting caught up in a request spree that could set you back.


Decide on request conditions
If you don’t want to stop requesting books altogether, it can help to create a system to help better manage your requests. For example, allow yourself one request for every three books you review. This way you’ll continue to make progress on improving your Feedback Ratio (not to mention the added reward incentive!) and it’ll help you seriously consider which books you’d like to request.

Check out our article—Everything You Want To Know About Requesting Books on NetGalley—for tips on how to make the best request decisions!


Withdraw pending requests
It’s important to make thoughtful requests, but for the times when you make a request in error or get carried away, you can now withdraw a request. Visit the Not Active section of your Shelf and then click Pending Requests. Click the red text that reads Withdraw Request to begin the process. Be warned: If you withdraw a pending request you will not have the ability to re-request that book, even if it changes to Read Now. Learn more about withdrawn requests here.

Withdrawing a request won’t improve your Feedback Ratio (since your ratio is based on approved books), but taking a look at your Pending Requests can give you a chance to seriously consider if you’re still interested in those books—because if they are approved they will have an impact on your ratio.


Select “I will not be giving feedback on this title” when appropriate
When you go to submit Feedback on a book, you have the option to indicate why you aren’t providing a review. If you choose not to give Feedback, your ratio won’t improve (because the ratio counts submitted Feedback), but selecting this option for books you no longer are interested in can help to clear your Shelf. This will streamline the books on your TBR and offer you a less overwhelming view of the books you need to tackle. If you change your mind, you can always go back to those books and choose to review them.


Utilize read now (judiciously)
Some books are available to Read Now, which means they do not require approval before you can download the book or audiobook. If you’re strategic, Read Now books can be a great way to bolster your Feedback Ratio. When you’re looking to get your Feedback Ratio back on track, look for Read Now comics and graphic novels, volumes of poetry, and book club kits. These are all short reads and give you the ability to turn around a thoughtful review quickly. Similarly, audiobooks allow you to multitask while you read and can help you finish books faster so that you can review them.


Find archived books at your library
Remember to always check a book’s archive date before you request it and to download it once you’re approved. If a book you were approved for was archived before you downloaded it, you could decline to give Feedback or check your local library to see if they have a copy you can borrow to review!


Start or join a readathon
While NetGalley often hosts reading challenges (such as last year’s Summer Bingo), many members create their own throughout the year. Keep your eyes open on your preferred social media platform for readathons hosted by fellow members or consider starting your own. Whether it’s a readathon or a bingo board, sharing your goal with others is a great way to help motivate each other and make some bookish friends.


Look into the future
After you’ve followed these steps and gotten your Feedback Ratio back on track, think carefully about your next steps to help ensure that you don’t find yourself in the same position again. The habits you’ve created here—such as dedicated time for reviewing—will ensure you continue to achieve your goals as a book advocate!


What are your tips for maintaining a good Feedback Ratio?

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’m in the middle of a feedback ratio redemption. My strategy is to finish reviewing the books on my shelf now, and not to request any more until they are reviewed. Then I’ll request and read only one book at a time until my ratio is over 80%. I like the advice above to find books that are no longer downloadable in my public library so I can review them. That’s something I intend to do. There were some I requested years ago and never downloaded, which is why my feedback ratio is low right now.

  2. I would love it if there was a way to heart or put a wish list together for books we’d like to request. I think it would helpful for reviewers to revisit their list if they have time to add another book requests to prevent over-requesting, plus help us reviewers keep track of which book we’d like to request next if we have the time.

  3. Thank you for this concrete, helpful plan of action! I feel like I have the tools to start over with NetGalley

  4. Thank you for this. I have a good ratio and still get declined from some publishers but I do keep requesting. Eventually maybe I’ll be approved.
    This is very helpful and I do love the withdrawal. It helps.

  5. So true that most of us find it easier to read than review daily. When I’m in a reviewing rut (like now), I like to work backward from the Publication Dates. I look for books on my shelf that have been published recently and that I’ve read. Then I work backward by date. That way I can feel like my review is still helping, even if the Pub Date passed a few months ago.

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