The Merits of E-Galleys

16 04 2012

For many, many years, publishers have distributed galleys or advanced readers’ copies to readers, whether they be teachers, bloggers, librarians, or reviewers. The Story Siren has a great post explaining the ins and outs of ARCs and what they are here. The format of ARCs has worked well for a while. But a new way to reach readers with galleys has started. E-galleys, or a way of reading a galley on your computer.

The most popular of these sites is NetGalley. NetGalley allows you to read books on your computer using Adobe Digital Editions (you can download Digital Editions free from and then write reviews of the novels and submit them to publishers. To get to read these books, you must send a request to the publisher. The publisher can choose or deny your request. If the publisher accepts your request, you can download the galley in a file-protected document and the document will enter into your Adobe Digital Editions files.

Here’s a more detailed explanation from NetGalley:

Remember, you must be logged into NetGalley in order to request a galley. After you log in, make sure to fill in your Profile and Public Bio, so publishers know who you are and what you do. The information in your bio is what publishers see when deciding to approve your galley requests. Check the Publisher Approval Preferences page for guidance. And don’t forget to indicate if you are a member of any Associations, like the ALA or ABA (under Account Information).
*HINT* In your Profile, the “Company” should not be the same as your first and last name, or else publishers might not be able to see your Public Bio when you request titles. Please at least put an underscore (example: first_last) to avoid the issue. Thanks!
After you hit the REQUEST button in the NetGalley catalog, your request will be sent to the publisher, and you will receive an email notification if your request is approved or denied. If approved, the galley will be in your NetGalley account. Depending on what options the publisher allows, you can view the galley as a PDF or EPUB, on your Kindle, Sony Reader, Kobo, Nook, iPad/iPhone (through the Bluefire Reader app), Android (through the Aldiko Book Reader app) or other device, or using NetGalley’s web-based reader. See our Device Guide for details!
Please note: NetGalley readers will need to download Adobe Digital Editions (it’s free) in order to view certain galleys. Download it now!
You are under no obligation to finish reading a title or write a review. If you do choose to write a review, you can use NetGalley to send the review with the publisher. Your review is shared with the publisher as a courtesy — but the content and publishing rights for that review belong solely to you. NetGalley does not post or publish your review — instead, we are providing an “electronic tear-sheet.” Most publishers will appreciate if you also include a link or other information with the review that says where the review will be published. You can also use NetGalley to let the publisher know that you are declining to review.
Get it? So NetGalley allows publishers to choose titles they want promoted, send them to reviewers, and the reviewers will write reviews of the titles. It’s been very succesful with publishers and reviewers. There are 300 publishers using NetGalley so far, and the amount of reviewers doubles each day.
Another thing I would like to mention is the “review” screen. This is what happens when you click on a book you are interested in reading. There are two buttons for Netgalley. One is the MORE INFO button, which leads you to the cover copy of the book, some more detailed information concerning print, size, sale date, etc. The second one is REQUEST. By clicking this button, you are essentially saying, “Hey, I wanna read it!” and sending a request to read the book to the publisher.
Here’s an example with one of Flux Book’s Summer 2012 titles, Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear. (The following is copy-pasted directly from Flux Book’s Netgalley page.)
Innocent Darkness

Go to Catalog

Title: Innocent Darkness
SubTitle: The Aether Chronicles #1
Publisher: Flux Books
Pub Date: August 08, 2012
ISBN: 9780738732480
Author: Suzanne Lazear
Innocent Darkness : click here
FICTION – JUVENILE: Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic

Edition Information
Print Editions:

Format: Paperback
Publication Date: August 08, 2012
Pages: 408
Trim Size: 5.1875 x 8 IN
ISBN: 9780738732480
List Price: $9.95 USD

Marketing Copy


A steampunk faerie tale with romance, danger, and a strong-willed heroine

When spirited sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock and her best friend Steven “V” Darrow take a flying car out for a joyride, neither expects Noli to be sent to reform school to mend her hoyden ways. While at the dreadful school, Noli’s innocent mid-summer’s eve wish summons Kevighn, a mysterious man who takes Noli with him to the Realm of Faerie. At first Noli believes she has been rescued. But the sinister reason behind the handsome huntsman’s appearance quickly become clear-he wants to use Noli as a blood sacrifice to restore his dying world. V, who has secrets of his own, shows up to help Noli escape and return to the mortal realm-but first, they must navigate the dangerous intrigues of the Otherworld.

If they are successful, Noli will live. But if Noli lives, the entire Otherworld civilization will die.

 So, you can see, we have the basics: the title, the author, series title, release date, ISBN number, and the categories that the book is in. This makes up the “information” portion, where you can learn about the basic information of the book. This is just helpful information for reviewers of the book.
Underneath the information is some more information, this time on the format of the book itself. This tells us the book price, the ISBN, the trim size (how big the book is) and and the number of pages — again more information for reviewers. Most of the information here is just helpful information for reviewers to use.
Then we have the marketing copy — the information that tells us what the story is about. This tells us what the book is about and kind of shows you if you want to read the book– like, do you think the book sounds interesting? Or is it just completely lame?
There is another feature called “reviews”. Innocent Darkness does not have this so I’m going to call upon another book (Bad Hair Day by Carrie Harris, Random House, Fall 2012, again copypasted from RH’s Netgalley page).

Praise for Bad Taste in Boys:

“Darkly funny, twisted, and sexy.”—Kiersten White, author of the New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy series

“With this laughing, shrieking riot of a debut, Carrie Harris captured my heart . . . and my braaaaiins.”—Andrea Cremer author of the New York Times bestseller Nightshade

These are quotes from authors on the author’s first book. These would probably be the blurb for the books, and I think that Kiersten White’s blurb was also on the cover of Bad Taste in Boys. In this section are reviews and blurbs for the author’s other books, or blurbs/reviews for the title you can request. There might be blurbs or their might be quotes from review journals such as Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal (to name a few) in this space.
Now, what happens after you request a book? The publisher is given notice that you are interested in reading the title. They then can either say yes or no. If they say yes, you will recieve an email that says you can access the title now and you can go back to Netgalley and download the galley. Downloading the galley is simple: go to the book’s review page and instead of “more info” there will now be a “download” button as well as a button to download the title onto a Kindle e-reader.
If they say no, you will receive an email that says you have been denied. You are usually denied if the publisher feels that you don’t meet their review criteria, which is a list of things that they need to know about you before they will allow you to read a title. This could be blog stats, librarian positions, links — every publisher’s is different. You can edit this on your reviewer page, which is like your “about me”. Then you can request the title again and the publisher may allow you to read it.
Another thing that publishers can do is the “read now” button. This button is by some titles and is less common. If you click that you will automatically be allowed to read the title, without having to request — you can simply download the galley and there doesn’t need to be any emails at all.
This is pretty easy to learn and you can go around the Netgalley site if you want to learn more, or leave comments here or send me an email (check out the contact now page) if you want help with anything.
Happy Netgalley-ing!



2 responses

19 04 2012
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18 07 2012
NetGalley: A Primer « Dancing Through YA

[…] about six months ago I wrote about NetGalley, what it was, and how you can use it. There are two issues with this post: one, some parts of the post have become outdated as NetGalley […]

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