Five Reasons I Don't Rate Netgalley
I think pretty much all book bloggers have or will dabble with the offerings of sites such as Netgalley, Edelweiss or Bookbridgr at some point. I mean, what’s not to love about free books, right?
I see other bloggers hugely enthusiastic about the site… usually talking about how they have downloaded FAR too many books to keep up out of sheer excitement over the privilege. I never quite understood that because I didn’t really do it. I regret to say that I have never felt the same enthusiasm over the site; today’s post is all about telling you why.
Book bloggers inevitably have to read A LOT in order to keep content on their sites… and let’s face it – there is practically an infinite choice out there! I remember hearing a ridiculous fact about how long it would take you to read all the free books available for download via Amazon. It was years… decades, even! Decades of continuous reading, and those books barely scratch the surface on the number out there available.
Inevitably, reading takes time. At the moment my average reading speed is about 4.5 books a month, which isn’t the most I could do… but hey, I don’t have a death wish. Bearing in mind I work 35 hours a week and have a little of a social life on the side, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for reading and writing. I already put a lot of pressure on myself to keep up the schedule I do… and I feel extra pressure by Netgalley and it’s rating system to review ASAP. As soon as you are accepted for a book, your rating drops… and the “recommended” rating needs to be quite high to stand a chance of acceptance for new, popular books.
If I’m completely honest, I just don’t think the site is all that great.
In the time I have been using it, there have been no changes, no updates… just the same, uninteresting userface since day one. What also surprises me is that there isn’t an app. Whilst compulsive downloaders may think this a blessing in disguise… I think an app would make using the service far more convenient. I’d be more likely to take note of what is available if it were presented in a more approachable, on-the-go format.
Am I a bad book blogger because I don’t reach the 80% recommended rating? No, I’m not.
Referring back to my first point, I read a lot of different books; some I have bought, others I have been gifted or provided with a copy in exchange for a review by authors/publishers directly. Some are even borrowed, the old fashioned way, from a library. Should I be punished for being a diverse reader and having multiple sources of books? I don’t think so, and yet I feel in order to gain a respectful rating and backing as a Netgalley reader, I’d have to read their books alone for months.
Badges look cute, sure, but do they serve much of a purpose? Again, am I a bad blogger because I haven’t earned many? I don’t think so.
From what I have seen, the vast majority of badges are awarded for quantity as opposed to quality. I suppose it’s a great tool for authors to identify that a blogger is active and reliable… but I think the best way for a blogger to sell themselves is via the content they publish on their own site.
Lastly, and most importantly, I just haven’t been enamoured by the books I have downloaded and read so far.
I know publishers do release review copies of both new and popular titles via Netgalley, but with my profile being as small and limited as it is, a request for these books would probably have me laughed out of the door.
Given the relationships I have established with publishers directly, by providing links to my blog alongside requests, I think I would have far more of a chance of obtaining review copies of titles without using a service like Netgalley at all.
If you love and use Netgalley all the time, then hats off to you. I hope you continue to enjoy the free books on offer.
I have two books left to read and review; both of which are scheduled soon. Writing this post and mulling over the reasons I don’t like the site has convinced me to close my account once I have reviewed the books I have outstanding.
If I have the means to enjoy reading in other forms, then why would I not allow other readers the chance to use the service and enjoy a hobby when they may not have the resources I do. I would much rather lend the opportunity to someone else when I don’t enjoy it at all.
Am I being unduly unfair? Do you use sites like Netgalley? What are your thoughts?
17 thoughts on “Five Reasons I Don't Rate Netgalley”
I don’t think you are being unfair! I get your feelings a little…I’m addicted to the requests. It does get overwhelming sometimes.
I wish I could build my network up with publishers the way you do. I’m trying to use my newspaper as my way to do it since that is one thing that sets me apart from people but I just got my first book last month by asking through email.
I need to read up on how to write reviews for the newspaper since I have a feeling that I can’t just gush for paragraphs about stuff like the feels it gave me and all that.
That’s good to know!!
The best thing I can tell you about networking with publishers, is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get!! It’s not really much more complicated than that!
You can definitely talk about the feels a book gives you – I think the difference is a matter of formality of language as writing for a newspaper is certainly different!! That’s amazing – I would love to contribute to something like that!
Talking about how a narrative “truly resonates with the reader” may be a good expression to start you off with 😂
Netgalley has always interested me, but like you said, I’m a little put-off at the idea of somehow being under a time crunch. Granted, I’m new to this whole book blogging thing, but still… I read what I like and I use my time outside of work to share my thoughts on those books!
You’re definitely not being unfair. Certain things work for certain people, and you explained your opinions nicely.
Hope you’re having a wonderful day!
I like NetGalley.. sort of. It’s a really nice site to get you started, but I haven’t really used it since my first few reviews.
#1 I like physical books much more. I have found other sites that connect you with the authors and THEY will send you the books. (Much more fun because you can actually discuss it with them.) After blogging for a while, you can also get put on some lists for bigger name publishers.
#2 I get enough requests as it is! I didn’t think I would get any request as a newbie blogger, but I posted my blog on a book reviewer dictionary site and I get at least one request every week! (And I might add – I mainly accept physical books.)
#3 I ask for books. This may seem greedy, but authors actually love when you ask. I have seen a few I really wanted, asked if the author wanted me to review it, and they sent it!
There are so many opportunities out there! One big thing I have discovered is: if you ask, you will most likely receive. Sorry for the super long comment. Haha. I just love sharing about free books!!
No – thank you!! It’s lovely to hear your experience 😊 There are just so many books out there to choose from! I have also had ample success with requesting books as well (not to jinx it though 🤞🏻) so there’s no shortage of material to feature!
I was scrolling through my feed and seen this and stopped instantly. All of what you said is true. Every single bit of it.
I joined NetGalley a few months ago when a favorite author of mine announced that her book was available through NetGalley.
I’m still there. Grabbing titles, reading books that I’d have typically left in the dust if they didn’t interest me, but I continue because I feel the pressure of HAVING to complete and review and all of the craziness that comes with NetGalley.
I’ve contemplated deleting my account because it no longer feels necessary. I reach out to publishers and I purchase the books I know I’ll enjoy.
Just wanted to say I’m glad I seen this! I was starting to think I was the only one.
I know exactly how you feel, because I have never seen anyone express similar opinions to mine before about the site.
Not that everyone else is wrong, mind. There are plenty of people that will enjoy using the site and use it to get books when perhaps they wouldn’t have access to them otherwise. It’s just not for us all. I’m glad I am not alone in my thinking too!
I still like Netgalley but I also don’t go on there that often to request books because it gets out of hand too quickly lol. Although I totally agree about not having an app!! It’s 2018 they really need to get with the times 😂
Logging in to the site all the time is just inconvenient, right?! 😂 given the popularity of the site you’d have thought this was something they would have developed by now 🤔
Yeah i use netgalley… 80% rating is something I can never think of
I hardly care anymore… i read wat I like and dont request books unless and until I feel it is intriguing.., and so true … i always wonder why they dont have an app yet!!!🦕
Nowadays it’s just verging on outdated, right? Good for you about not being bothered by the rating! I think I put a bit too much pressure on myself when it comes to caring what people think of me, so maybe that’s why it bothers me 😂
Exactly! Our ultimate motive is to read and take pleasure from that… nothing else should matter to us:)
You are right. It’s a lot to read. But if you keep at it like I have, over time it has paid off. I am now Auto Approved for really good publishers line Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Every single book I’ve downloaded from them have the possibility of becoming best sellers. Really good books. Yes, lots of what is on NetGalley is crap. But I’ve been very lucky to have been able to download and read many books that are really well written. And at this stage of the game, publishers and marketers email me, asking if I’d be interested in reviewing their book. I am disabled, and don’t have a social life. So it’s pretty perfect for me.
My % on NetGalley is quite good, & the site has helped out my blog a lot, but I’m also thinking of shutting down my account once I’m all caught-up; I agree with you that it causes too much stress.