Last night I was simultaneously on Twitter and looking at all of the eARCs I still needed to read and review from netgalley. It probably wasn’t the best combination because I ended up tweeting some of my regrets when it came to using netgalley and some tips for new bloggers on how they could avoid the same mistakes I made. I’ve decided to sum all of those typo-filled tweets in a hopefully more eloquent post and to talk about how I plan to fix the mistakes I first made when signing up to the site.
What Is Netgalley?
For those of you who don’t know netgalley is a free site where bloggers (and other people involved in promoting books) can go to request eARCs of upcoming titles directly from publishers. These eARCs can usually be read on either your ereader or computer.
What’s Your Ratio And Why Is It Important?
Your ratio is the percentage of books you’ve given feedback for compared to the number you’ve been accepted for. For example I’ve been accepted for 46 books but have only given feedback for 17 of them. Therefore, my ratio is currently 37%. Don’t worry if maths isn’t your strong suit because Netgalley calculates your ratio for you. If you’re like to view yours just go to your profile section and you’ll find it there.
Your ratio is important because it gives publishers an idea on how reliable you are (yes, they do see it). Since the number of eARCs a publisher can give out is still limited they’re more likely to give it to those who have evidence that they read and review the majority of books they’re sent. Netgalley recommends you have a feedback ratio of 80%. That being said if your ratio isn’t that high you will still be accepted for some titles, but you’re less likely to be accepted for the more popular/highly-demanded titles.
My Ratio Is Really Bad, How Can I Fix It?
You might be wondering why someone who currently has an awful ratio is giving you tips on how to fix your own. Well, I’m currently actively trying to get my ratio up to 60% before the end of the year. Which means I’ve had to come up with some ways to make that happen. Believe it or not my ratio was lower than 37% two weeks ago, so although my ratio is only increasing slowly it’s still better than nothing.
Here are the things I’m currently doing to try and reach my goal of 60%:
- Calculate how many books you’ll need to read to reach your target percentage. My goal is 60% so I’ll need to read and review 11 more books to hit it.
- Try to add a few books onto your monthly TBR to help motivate yourself to read them but don’t limit yourself to only reading your eARCs.
- Try to read books that are closest to their archived dates. Publishers prefer if you’ve submitted your feedback before that date.
- Put yourself on a requesting ban. I’d personally recommend not going on netgalley at all unless you’re uploading feedback to resist the temptation.If you really need to request something only request books you desperately want to read.
- Check to make sure you downloaded the book if it’s already been archived. If you hadn’t it’s okay to send the publisher a note saying you won’t be able to review the title because you no longer have access to it.
- If you’ve read a few eARCs but still need to review them consider doing mini reviews instead of longer reviews.
- Priorities the books you’ve recently been accepted for. It’s better you read and review them whilst you’re still interested. It’ll help stop backlogging
New Bloggers + The Netgalley Effect
Okay, so I totally made up the term the “netgalley effect” but what I mean by it is when new bloggers first sign up to the site and the temptation of free books, even if they are only ebooks, is too overwhelming so they request every book that sounds even remotely interesting. I did it, some of you probably did it too and if you’re a new blogger who has just heard about netgalley from this post you’re probably very tempted to go and do it. Don’t.
You might not get accepted for the titles you’ve requested straight away but very soon publishers will start responding to your requests and you could end up with 15 new titles you need to read and review in a week. I’m not exaggerating, this happened to me when I first signed up. Soon you’ll have so many titles that you’re only half interested in you’ll be wallowing in regret.
As someone who made the mistake them self, I’d like to share some tips to avoid building up a collection of titles you don’t really want to read:
- Only request titles you really want to read. I know it’s very tempting to request everything, but try your hardest not to.
- Limit the number of books you request each month. I’d recommend 3-5 titles each month because that’s a manageable amount to read and review in a month.
- Keep an eye on your pending requests. Again, I’d recommend you only have 3-5 titles pending at a time, but if you must request more I’d stop at 10. After that you’re risking being suddenly overwhelmed by so many approved titles.
- Try to read and review books before the archived date. Publishers prefer it and it’ll make you seem more reliable.
- Being auto-approved is not an excuse to download every single title (If you want to get auto-approved you’ll need to review titles before they’re archived consistently).
Do you use netgalley? Is your ratio better than mine? What are some of your tips to get/keep your ratio high? What’s your favourite book you’ve read from netgalley? Tell me in the comments!