Think you know all there is to know about NetGalley? Here we’re offering answers to some of the most common questions from members, and sharing some insider info about our team! Whether you’ve just requested your first book or you’ve been a member since the beginning, you’re sure to learn something new.
Our entire team works remotely (and always has!)
Many people in the publishing industry are working from home these days, but members might be surprised to learn that even before the pandemic, NetGalley operated virtually. We have staff members all across the U.S. (and beyond!), and as a result, we’re experts at the virtual book club and virtual team trivia nights.
We’re also pretty small
Some members have thought because major publishing houses have hundreds of employees that NetGalley must be the same, but we’re actually a team of just 35 very dedicated employees! It’ll perhaps be less surprising to learn that many of us worked in large publishing houses before coming to NetGalley.
We control less than you think
Members often ask us why a book isn’t available in a certain format or in their territory. When a publisher uploads a book to NetGalley, they provide the file type(s), choose the territory or region preferences, and decide which member types—reviewer, book trade professional, librarian, bookseller, educator, journalist or member of the media—can request that book (and when!). Publishers also set the security on the files, and what reading options are enabled—including the new NetGalley Shelf app.
There are a lot of considerations that go into each of those decisions. For example, a book may not be available on Kindle because the file contains images that don’t render properly in that format, or a book may only be available to librarians at a particular time because the publisher has a specific campaign in mind for them.
We receive messages every week from members who wonder why the NetGalley team denied their request. While we would love to be an ARC fairy godmother, granting readers’ wildest request dreams with a wave of a wand, that responsibility rests solely with the publishers.
Many books on NetGalley receive more requests than a publisher is allowed to approve, sometimes due to corporate rules or based on the specifics of a particular campaign. Keep in mind that publishers are using NetGalley for a variety of goals, which can vary for each book and for each member type. While they may decide to approve several hundred requests for a particular book, they may want to limit access for another book to just a small number of a particular member type.
Many publishers share information about their approval process on their NetGalley publisher page under “Approval Preferences” that can help give you some insight!
Territory rights could be the reason a book isn’t available for request
NetGalley currently operates in five different territories: U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan! International readers who use a platform outside of the country they live in are often curious about territory rights and why they may only be able to Wish for a book (rather than request it).
When an agent negotiates a book contract with a publisher, that includes the publisher acquiring the rights to distribute that book to a certain territory. They can’t distribute outside of that territory because publishers in other countries could be in the process of acquiring the rights to that book themselves. The tricky thing here is that the specific restrictions outlined in those rights may vary from book to publisher to country. As with the above, it’s the publisher who allows requests from certain territories based on those rights.
We’re obsessed with your NetGalley jokes
From memes to TikToks poking fun at request sprees, our team cannot get enough of your NetGalley jokes. In fact, We Are Bookish’s newsletter features some of our favorites every month! (Subscribe here if you want to join the fun.)
…because we’re not so different
We love your jokes so much because we share those feelings! Publishers decide which of their books will go up on NetGalley and when, so we’re often just as excited as you to see that our most-anticipated read is suddenly available. It’s not uncommon to see a Slack message between coworkers like: “Did you see what just went up on NetGalley?!” especially if we know a certain coworker loves a particular author. And we definitely always want more time in the day to read and review, just like you.
Member Feedback Inspires Us
The NetGalley team is always working hard to make the member experience the best it can be. We want to hear from you, and we really listen!
One feature members wanted was the ability to create custom lists of any books or audiobooks on NetGalley. When you visit your NetGalley account, you’ll now see Your Lists in the upper left corner of your Dashboard. You can now use Your Lists to help manage your TBR and review schedule, reach your reading goals for the year, organize books you’re interested in purchasing or reading later, or even just track which books you’ve wished for. Learn more about Lists here.
Another feature members have asked us for is the ability to see a book’s format before they request, and that information is now visible in the “Available on NetGalley” section at the bottom of book pages. Go take a look!
Reviews aren’t the only feedback that publishers appreciate
Reviews are incredibly important, but they’re just one piece of the puzzle for publishers. Everything from selecting the reasons why you’re requesting a book to using the Will Not Give Feedback option gives publishers insight.
Members often worry that using the Will Not Give Feedback option will reflect negatively on them, but from the publisher’s perspective, the distinction is very clear between a book left unreviewed versus one that was marked as Will Not Give Feedback with a reason. So while it’s true that not submitting a full review will leave one more book without feedback in your stats, marking it as Will Not Give Feedback shows the publisher the reason why and likely will not reflect negatively upon you when it comes to request approvals. In many cases, the Will Not Give Feedback option is used when there is a reason the member could not read a book through no fault of their own.
We have a standalone giveaway platform, too!
Have you ever checked out BookishFirst? It’s our separate giveaway platform for consumer reviewers. You can read excerpts of upcoming books and enter to win print ARCs and finished copies! Plus for every review you submit and every link you share, you earn points that allow you to claim books in future giveaways. BookishFirst also hosts a monthly Bookish Bingo challenge!