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Five Tips For Using NetGalley

So you want to review books before they are published, but have no clue how to get admission into the mystical world of free books. I have five tips on how to start getting approved to review books on NetGalley.


First things first, set up for a successful profile. This is an extremely important step in how quickly you will start to be approved. You need to be short and concise getting across all the major points of why a publisher would want to give you a free ebook. The vital pieces of information you will want to include are…

  1. Your name and social media accounts. Publishers will often look at your accounts to see if you are sharing content that works well with the type of book that you are requesting.
  2. Your social media statistics. I list myself as a blogger. Since Instagram has my largest following, I include a to my Instagram feed as my “blog”. Show them that you have taken the time to build a following. This doesn’t mean you need to be in the thousands. I was approved for my first book when I was at around 700 followers on Instagram. I don’t focus on Facebook or Twitter as much but I did state that I have accounts. I do update my numbers regularly as my accounts grow to reflex the most accurate information
  3. Give a little information about why you enjoy writing book reviews. Show a little personal glimpse of who you are. 
  4. Let them know what genres you enjoy reading. I would keep this narrowed down to two or three genres that are your favorites. Be forewarned that this holds a lot of weight for what books you will be approved for. The few times I have requested a book outside more normal genres, I have been denied. I don’t know if this is the case for everyone, but it has happened to me.
  5. I included a concise list of my favorite authors to let the publishers get to know me a little better.

Second, I suggest going to the Read Now category and reading your first few books from that second. Think of it as paying your dues as a newcomer. This section is a compilation of books that still need a little more love from reviewers. You might not find a book that wows you, but remember that this is temporary in order to get you to where you want to be. If I remember correctly, I read two books from Read Now and then I started getting approved for books I requested from the publisher.

Third, Be patient! Do not make the mistake of going on a requesting frenzy when you first join. I speak from experience. It is like the dreaded library request pile. They will all be approved at once! Then you will panic and have to read nine books in three weeks and you will be feeding everyone tv dinners and your cats will be grumpy from staying up all night with you while you read… I did say I speak from experience. 

You need to be mindful of how many books you can actually read and how many you have in your queue at one time. Part of your approval hinges on your percentage the NetGalley gives you. This is a ratio of how many books to have to read to how many books you have reviewed. NetGalley says you should aim for an 80% approval rating. 

Fourth, seek our specific publishing houses that you really enjoy. I have found that certain publishers tend you have my go-to type of book. You can eventually reach an auto approve status with the publisher after you have completed a certain amount of reviews for them. 

Fifth, I know this seems like it doesn’t need to be said, but… make sure you take the time to write thoughtful reviews. Author’s are counting on you! NetGalley will give you the publishing date of each book. I always aim to have my review done a few weeks before then. You can submit your review at any time and then you will receive email prompts to post your review on any sites that where the book will be sold. Getting the chance to read an advance copy is a gift. Treat each book like a treasure.

I hope this helps give a little glimpse into the world of NetGalley. It is a book lovers dream to be sent free books to read and review! Please let me know if these tips helped you! I would love to hear about your NetGalley experience.

Melissa has been in love with books since she was a child. As a young girl, in her Holly Hobby decorated room, she would sit and tape scraps of paper to her books so that she could organize them by the Dewey Decimal System. She is a huge advocate for helping children learn to love reading. Along with hosting an online Regency based book club and a book club at her home, she started a book club for kids at her son’s school. These days, Melissa can be found at the library writing a book review or tucked in some quiet corner having a love affair with a newly discovered romance novel.

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