NetGalley: A Primer

18 07 2012

So 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 There are two issues with this post: one, some parts of the post have become outdated as NetGalley has updated, and two, it wasn’t the easiest, IMO, to read or understand. So I present to you today, NetGalley: A Primer, which will hopefully be more up-to-date and easier to understand.

What is NetGalley?

The best explanation probably comes from Netgalley’s own home page: NetGalley delivers secure, digital galleys to professional readers. If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to read and request titles before they are published.

Essentially NetGalley is a place where publishers can put secure, digital galleys (also called E-ARCs) online for readers, reviewers, librarians, bloggers, and the like to read and review.  The galleys are all secured and protected, and are only available on the site for a limited amount of time. (for instance a galley goes up in June and expires in August) The service started in 2008 and has since become extremely popular, with hundreds of publishers and authors using the site. If you want a full, comprehensive list of publishers that use the website, you can view Netgalley’s list here.  Many librarians, bloggers, reviewers, journalists, booksellers, educators, and the like really enjoy using the site, and say that it is a great way to get online digital ARCs. How do I join?Well, joining is fairly simple. Simply click the yellow Post-It note in the top header of the website. This Post-It note reads “Sign In or Register”.

sorry the picture is small. click to make bigger.

Once you click on the Post+It note, a new screen appears. If you are interested in registering, simply look at the side that reads “Join NetGalley, it’s free”. Below that is a small form that you are required to fill out that asks for your email, your name, country, and a login and password. *Also if you put in your role as a librarian, NetGalley asks for your ALA member number, but it is not required*

Once you fill out this form, the site welcomes you and asks you to check your email, where there is a required verification message that must be checked.

The email is fairly simple, just a link to click that redirects you to the website (basically a way to make sure that you aren’t a spammer). Once you have checked your email, you can go right ahead and start exploring NetGalley! So what can one do on this website, exactly?

Your Profile and why you need to fill this out (trust me, it helps)

One of the first things you should do once you have been verified is fill out your profile. You can get to your profile by clicking the “My Profile” button in the left sidebar.

Once you click on “My Profile” you fill out your contact information, such as your name, address, state, country, and email, as well as your web page, blog, or Twitter profile.

After you put in your contact information, you can create your Public Bio. Your Public Bio is basically all of the information about yourself that you want publishers to know. For instance, if you run a blog, but a link on there and display your info and stats (if you want). If you’re a librarian, bookseller, or teacher, write about the place you work and how you use ARCs. It’s essentially an open canvas for whatever you’d like to write about.

You can also add a picture and list what genres you enjoy reading. There is also a box to write down your biography and information. 

But there’s something pretty important about this bio, as silly as it seems. This bio is how publishers decide whether or not you will gain access to advanced reader’s copies. Yeah. It’s important. Publishers have different requirements for who they give the galleys to — for instance, they only give to librarians and booksellers, or you need to be a prominent blogger, etc, etc — and you can read the requirements here. So to have the best chance at getting the most galleys, make sure that your bio explains who you are, gives links to any websites such as blogs, etc. You can also check the publisher requirements if you’re curious what biographies publishers are looking for.

Onto the galleys  & searching for books

So you’ve registered, gotten your public bio filled out, it’s time to look for galleys that you would be interested in reading. NetGalley offers you three ways to look through the galleys in their catalog: by searching by publisher, by recent (newest titles), or by genre.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to use examples from the browse catalog by genre section, specifically the “Teens and YA” section.

The catalogs are organized in a fairly easy to read and understand way. There’s the picture of the book, the title, the author, the publisher, and a short, one – or -two line description. You can scroll through the pages to find new books and read about them. I’ll use Tiffany Schmidt’s Send Me a Sign, which is available on NetGalley at the time of this post (7/16/12) as an example.

You can see we have the title, the cover, the author, and the publisher. Below this is the pub date, ISBN, and the genres that the book falls into. The next part of this (tiny) snippet shows the first few lines of the book blurb. However, the book blurb cuts off and doesn’t tell us the “whole story”. So if you want more information, you need to click on “more info.” More info is just what it says:  more information about the book.

The information below (which is copy-pasted from NetGalley, as I was unable to take a screenshot of it) gives more information on Send me a Sign.

  Go to Catalog

Title: Send Me a Sign
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Imprint: Walker Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: October 02, 2012
ISBN: 9780802728401
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Author website :

Edition Information
Print Editions:

Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: October 02, 2012
Pages: 384
Trim Size: 5 1/2″ x 8 1/4″
ISBN: 9780802728401
List Price: $16.99 USD

Marketing Copy


This A-lister has it all…the grades, the boys, and the friends. But can she survive “the Big C?”

Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign shedidn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s an answer her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death.

TIFFANY SCHMIDT lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. She’s not at all superstitious . . . at least that’s what she tells herself every Friday the 13thSend Me a Sign is her first novel.


You can see that once again we have the basics — title, author, ISBN, etc. Just what we had before in the other section. But there is a new addition here:  what the print edition will look like. These give us more information on what the amount of pages will be, etc, etc. Another thing that can be found in some NetGalley books is how the publisher will market the book, but that information is not found here. However, this section tells how the publisher will market and promote the book: will they promote to bloggers, give out ARCs at conferences, etc, etc.
This section is essentially details, but these details can be important to know and have.
The next section is the marketing copy that shows the full blurb, which was only hinted at on the NetGalley catalog page. The last section is about the author, and gives their bio and website. This again is more details and information.
One other thing that can be mentioned (and isn’t mentioned here) is reviews, or the reviews that the book has recieved. These can be from professional journals or blurbs from other authors.
So here’s what you should expect in about every NetGalley book’s full description: the basics (title, author, ISBN), what the print edition will look like, marketing, the full copy, and reviews. Some books will have all of these, others will not.
So now I want to request this galley, what do I do?
Look back up at Send Me a Sign. Next to the book title is a button that says “request”. What do you do if you want to request a book? Hit that button. I’m serious. It’s that easy.
All you have to do is hit the button. When you click this button, essentially you’re saying, “I’d like to read this, please consider me to let me read the book”.
Once you hit the button, another pop-up box comes up, telling you that your request has been processed, and if you are accepted the publisher will send you an email.
This is how the system works: when you submit a request, NetGalley sends your request to the publisher. They then can look at your stats and bio (this is why the bio is important!) and decide if they want you to have the galley. When they make their choice — yes or no — the publisher sends you an email telling you their answer.
This is the email from Bloomsbury for my request of Send Me a Sign. You’ll see that they said yes, but they also added a few specific details about when they want reviews going up and ask you to pay close attention to the archive date on the galley. Make sure, when you get these emails, that you pay close attention to what the publisher’s requests are.
Of course, you might not always get the “okay” from the publishers. If you do, it’s usually because of something with your bio, in my experience (so pay attention to that). If you do get dismissed, don’t feel disappointed. Try updating your bio if that’s the issue and request again, or try requesting another book.
If your request is approved, you can go to the home page of NetGalley and get your book by clicking on its title.
A couple more miscellaneous things — read now & auto-approve
There are also two other things to note about NetGalley: read now and auto-approve.
Read now is when you don’t have to send a request to the publisher. The publisher automatically accepts your request, without needing to approve it, and you can automatically read the book. This is not as common but it seems to be coming more popular with publishers who want to get their galleys to the most people possible.
Auto-approve is when a publisher automatically gives you access to all of their titles. Any title you request from  that publisher will automatically be accepted and you will again be able to read the book immediatly, without any approval or emails. Here’s an example of an auto-approve email:
This can be pretty handy.
and that’s the end
Well, this post is almost 2,000 words and I think I’ve said my piece. So do you have any other NetGalley tips and tricks? Leave them in the comments.




5 responses

19 07 2012
Inscriere in peste 2300 pagini - Promovare web

Can you tell us more about this? I’d want to find out more details.

22 07 2012
Jorel Zarklist

I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as neatly as with the format in your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it your self? Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

22 07 2012
Good Page

I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

25 07 2012

Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against
hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.

Any tips?

30 07 2012
Children’s & YA Listservs: A Primer « Dancing Through YA

[…] back to the “Primer” series! You can catch up on the two most recent  installments if you’re interested in reading past entries. Today’s topic is going to be about […]

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