NetGalley members love sharing reviews on their bookish social media platforms. While many have flocked to the ever-growing reader community on TikTok, some aren’t sure what the best practices are for sharing reviews of DRCs and ALCs from NetGalley on their BookTok accounts. So we’re here with everything you need to know about reviewing on BookTok.
If you’re completely new to BookTok, check out this post first for tips on starting your TikTok account, equipment recommendations, basic filming advice, and more!
Connect your accounts
The first thing you want to do is make sure that your BookTok account is connected to your NetGalley account. Visit your Profile and scroll down to the “Where I Share Reviews” section to connect the two. If you mostly review on TikTok, you can also indicate that in the “Primary Audience” section and you can add stats such as your follower count to your Bio. Taking these steps lets publishers know where to best find examples of your reviews and reach.
Watch book reviews on BookTok
If you’re interested in sharing your NetGalley reviews on BookTok, you likely already watch a lot of videos created by the community. Take some time to specifically look at review videos. This will help give you a sense of what you respond to as a viewer and can help shape the format of your reviews.
Remember to be cautious when it comes to mimicking elements of another person’s video. For example, it isn’t uncommon for readers to share their star rating, but you don’t want to plagiarize any unique elements from another creator’s video.
Consider your reviewing strategy
NetGalley members are asked to share written reviews of the books they are approved for. Writing a review before filming can help create an outline of topics for your video, and writing a review after filming can allow you to expand on ideas further. If you use the 3-minute video format, consider listening back to the video and transcribing it directly into NetGalley for your review! Play around with different methods and find the one that works best for you.
Remember to include the BookTok review you created in the “Add Link” section when submitting your written review on NetGalley.
Find your review style
After looking at other reviews you’ve enjoyed, the best way to get started is by just diving into your own review. All good reviews should hook your audience, explain the basics of the plot, expand on both praise and critiques, and make your opinion clear. The way that you share this information is entirely up to you and it’s your unique spin on it that will stand out to followers.
Try practicing first with a book you’ve read and loved (and have even written a review for). You don’t need to ever post the video, but it’ll be helpful to get a sense of how you may want to speak to your audience. Rewatching it back yourself will let you see if you left out any important information.
Whether you’re filming or writing reviews, we have tons more tips here on how to share everything from a critical review to an audiobook review. Then check out this roundup of types of review posts for bloggers that could be easily adapted to video content!
Read over your captions
Including captions in your videos is an important accessibility step. TikTok can automatically generate captions, but it sometimes makes errors like writing “Net Gallery” instead of “NetGalley.” Read over your captions to ensure that the book title, character names, author name, and more are correctly spelled.
Think outside the box
Once you’ve practiced the art of reviewing a single book in a video, you can begin to get creative. The limited amount of time you have in a BookTok video can present a challenge, but there’s still lots of room for videos such as bite-sized reviews of your last five star reads, reviews comparing books that use the same trope or retell the same classic, and more!
Show off the book
When reviewing books on NetGalley, you probably won’t have a physical book to hold up in your video. However, you can show the cover on your e-reader or use one of TikTok’s tools to make the cover appear on the screen or as the background of your video. This makes it easy for your viewers to be able to find the book themselves if they’d like to add it to their TBRs!
Ratings help give readers an immediate sense of how you felt about a book. NetGalley provides readers with a pre-set rating system that pairs stars with a likelihood of recommending the book to fellow readers. But you may choose to use a system of your own design for your BookTok channel. A video where you explain what different starred ratings mean to you (paired with a short review of a book to match each rating) is a great way to both share book reviews and give your viewers insight into your rating system.
Avoid major spoilers
If you are going to discuss a major plot point or a book’s ending, make sure to have a clear warning (both verbal and written in the captions help to make it the most accessible) before you reveal anything. It’s also important to note that NetGalley members are encouraged to avoid sharing spoilers in their official NetGalley reviews.
Share content warnings
Content warnings can help readers be aware of elements of a book that might trigger traumatic memories, cause anxiety, or are generally upsetting. Providing them in a review is a helpful way of giving readers a heads up about what they’re in for so they can make a healthy and informed choice about whether or not they want to engage with that book.
Did you know that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires readers to disclose if they received a review copy of a book? On BookTok, you can acknowledge this in your video or in the caption by saying something like, “Thank you NetGalley and (publisher) for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.”
If you’re mentioning NetGalley and the publisher in your caption, take the extra step to tag them so they can see your content! You can find NetGalley here on TikTok.
Remember that it’s respectful book reviewing etiquette to avoid tagging authors in anything other than positive and critique-free reviews.
You can include hashtags in your video description. You’ll likely want to use #BookTok, as well as the book title or genre that you’re featuring. On NetGalley, publishers may include hashtags above the book’s description, and you can also check the publisher and author’s social media to see if there are any specific hashtags associated with the book.
You should take a close look at any hashtags you want to use. It’ll help to give you a sense of the other types of content included under that hashtag—allowing you to see how yours fits in. It’ll also let you know if the hashtag you want to use is too broad or common, if it seems overpopulated with other common uses of that phrase.
Link out to longer reviews
Cross-posting your NetGalley review to a platform such as Goodreads is helpful to fellow readers and also to publishers who approve book requests on NetGalley who will appreciate knowing that your review will be published in more than one place.
If you use Goodreads to share book reviews, you can easily direct BookTok viewers there for a more in-depth review using a free account on a website like Campsite or Linktree to create a website with a list of handy links to things such as your other social media accounts.
Create a Playlist
Playlists make it easy for followers or viewers new to your channel to find connected videos. You can make a playlist specifically for NetGalley reviews, specific genres, the books you’re reading in a particular year, and more!
Looking for more bookish social media tips? We got you covered!
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