Welcome back to the latest installment in NetGalley’s staff interview series. We’re profiling different members of our team to give you a peek behind the curtain at what we’re working on, our best tips for members, and more. Here, we want to introduce you to Community Support Manager Alicia Schaefer!
Role: Manager, Community Support
Years at NetGalley: 5 years this April!
Your NetGalley Feedback ratio: 94% (including 3 books marked as Will Not Give Feedback)
An indie bookstore you love: The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, New York ☮️
What brought you to book publishing and what led you to NetGalley?
I was a bookkeeper/office manager for over 20 years before finding my way to member support. I was always called “the office mom,” as I love to help and take care of everyone around me, so it made perfect sense that I ended up here.
As for publishing, I was a book blogger and NetGalley member for years before the job listing popped up and I thought, “how cool would it be to get to work at NetGalley!?” I was already working remotely for another company doing member support, so it was an obvious move, and really, a dream come true for me.
What does a typical day at NetGalley look like for you?
When working in member support, every day can be different! My job is to be an advocate for members, and a bridge of sorts, listening to what members really want to see changed or added to the site, and then being able to share those ideas with the rest of the team to see what can be accomplished. I also spend time working on expanding our knowledge base so that members are more easily able to find answers to their questions without having to reach out for help. Lastly, I spend a portion of my time managing our raffles on BookishFirst, our giveaway platform for consumer reviewers—adding new books, closing raffles, and helping our readers!
What is your number one tip for new NetGalley members?
Just one? Oh, that’s tough . I think I have to go with filling out your Profile as thoroughly as possible. Think of your profile as your “Reading Resume”—if there is anything that you feel is pertinent and can show your reach as a book advocate or influencer, be sure to add it. This is what publishers look at when it comes to making approval decisions, so what you add here is incredibly important!
What do you love most about your job? What do you wish people knew about your job?
I love helping people and I get to do that every day! My favorite moments are when I truly feel like I connected with and was able to assist one of our members. I even keep a “feel good” list of some of my favorite notes from members, the ones that truly warmed my heart. Knowing I can help is what makes me want to come to work every day.
What I wish all members knew though, is that many things on NetGalley are handled by the publishers and authors themselves and can not be changed or influenced by the NetGalley team. Things such as approvals, who gets auto-approved, or what file types are available for any book.
What’s one tip you have for members to keep in mind when crafting book reviews?
Make sure your review text is about the contents of the story. Often we see reviews that contain descriptions of formatting or file issues, or maybe it simply says the member decided not to read the book, or it didn’t work on their device. These are great examples of reasons to either use the Will Not Give Feedback option or to reach out to us in support so that we can try to help.
How do you make time for reading?
Using my new favorite obsession… audiobooks! I admit, I wasn’t very interested in audiobooks at first, but once we released the NetGalley Shelf app and I listened to Laurie Frankel’s One Two Three while working in our greenhouse two summers ago, I was hooked! I have very little free time to read but I do have lots of time that I can listen while doing other daily tasks. So now I listen while cooking, cleaning, gardening, and even while playing with my pets. Multi-tasking for the win!
Alicia’s Last Five Audiobook Listens