Friday, July 29, 2011


I have an author in mind for my Hearing Voices series here at the Blood-Red Pencil, and when I approached her about an interview and to get a copy of her newest book, she asked me if I could use NetGalley for the review copy.


I hadn't heard of it, but the explanation sounded good to me.

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.

So I went to the NetGalley website, signed up, and requested her manuscript from the publisher. In short order, I received a notice in my email that the manuscript was ready for download. I followed the directions, and soon had a pdf to read on my computer! It was that simple

Of course I signed up to receive NetGalley e-letters and notifications of new publishers and the titles they are offering in digital format. I was also pleased to learn they offer downloads for various e-readers and have a section on their webpage to explore this option.

After receiving their last e-letter, I was even more impressed. Not only did I learn of new publishers and titles they've added, but I discovered a featured artist, and could easily connect with them because all the links, including to Twitter and Facebook, were provided. No searching necessary. I can't begin to express how much I appreciate this simple added convenience.

Next month, I'll tell you more about NetGalley via an interview with Lindsey Rudnickas. If you have specific questions about how it all works, leave them here. For now, please poke around this out-of-the-ordinary site, and be sure to connect with NetGalley through Twitter and Facebook.

Does your publisher utilize the NetGalley services? As a reviewer, have you received a manuscript from them? Please share your comments!
Dani Greer is founding member of the Blood-Red Pencil, spends her time writing, reviewing, editing, and promoting books and authors. She is special projects coordinator for Little Pickle Press, and teaches blog book tours classes on occasion. The next and last for the year starts on September 5. Please sign up at the classroom site and be prepared to work hard for a month learning how to plan your own tour. It will only cost you time and effort.

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  1. NetGalley is an excellent platform, and as an author I'd love to use it. But so far, it doesn't accommodate independent publishers who produce fewer than five titles a year. Still, it's saving a lot a postage and printed material.

  2. Thanks so much for the alert to NetGalley. I will let my publisher know about it. I will also check it out to find books to review. I'm hoping the instructions for downloading to a reading device are easy to understand. I sometimes get hopelessly lost beyond "click here," but there is no way I can read a PDF on my computer.

  3. I hope to get answers to question on the publishing side - curious to know who is paying for the service and how much it costs. Good question, LJ. You should have five titles, right? Or soon. :) I particularly love the e-reader app. Also, the connection to the publisher, as the download is vetted through them (or maybe in my case it was a special title request from Poisoned Pen Press). It was so slick a process, I had the passing thought I'd do a lot more reviews! Maryann, I'm with you about reading long pdfs on computer. But on the Nook - easy peasy, so that's another motivation.

  4. Dani, I'm soon going to have eight titles, but the requirement is to have five titles listed with them on a monthly basis. The publisher pays a setup fee that starts at around $400 and also pays a monthly subscription fee of $150 or more. Too much for an indie who only releases one title every six months or so. I'll send you the email I received from them when I inquired.

  5. NetGalley is a mixed bag. I have received some works for download via Adobe Digital Editions. Most often these have a date by which they are no longer accessible. I don't like that. I get that publishers want timely reviews but I don't appreciate losing access to the version. Seems unfair since I took time to read it.

    I've also downloaded via pdf. This preferable, since I still have the pdfs. Also, I'm not tied to my computer to read, since I can print out the pdf and take it with me.

  6. As a reviewer, I have used NetGalley and I love it. I've only actually been reviewing books from it for a couple of months because of a technical problem (with Adobe Digital Editions that I use to download them for my Kobo, not NetGalley) but it's been great so far.

  7. I've been getting ARCs from NetGalley for several months now and I am completely addicted. It has given me the chance to read so many new books that I might not otherwise have come across.
    Yes, many times you only get the books for a couple of months - but I've had a handful where you could keep them. It means you have to read quick, but other than that it doesn't bother me. If there is one I really liked, I'd want to get it in print later on anyway.
    It has certainly given me the chance to get to know some great authors too that I am now in touch with on Goodreads or Facebook.

  8. Okay, this sounded great until I started reading all the comments. Now I think I'll just stick to emailing pdfs.

  9. Netgalley promotes itself well, and this description sounds like a marketing pitch instead of a true understanding of how the service is perceived by the trade publishing industry. It fails to mention that trade reviewers in the publishing industry still won't review books via the Netgalley service. They prefer to have a final printed version that they can hold. In some instances, I've read that some even sell that printed copy. So who knows what they will do with the electronic version...

  10. It's new and different... I'm guessing most of the negative comments stem from the same attitude in the publishing industry overall... no, no... I don't want change! Gayle, I won't take pdfs anymore because they are simply too hard to read on a computer screen (computer scream might be a better word for my eyes) and I definitely won't print off a pdf! So the author has two options (and many people feel this way)-they can either send me a real book to read (and the big review sites might prefer this for their reader giveaways), or here at the BRP where we don't get into contests much, we'd want to get a manuscript fast and on an e-reader. NetGalley fits the bill... you'll notice that large publishers who can afford their fees are using them. Like the Hatchette Group, for example. I'm sure many people will hate that, since Hatchette give hardcovers away with reckless abandon without any vetting or follow-up! LOL.

  11. BTW, I have a follow-up post coming with a NetGalley rep who will address some of these questions.

  12. Net Galley sounds like a great resource. I hope I'll be able to take advantage of it.

    Morgan Mandel

  13. I love NetGalley. A fellow librarian mentioned it to me, and since I write book reviews and book recommendation lists I signed up. I must say it is an addiction. Ohh boy. Sometimes I request far too many that will be released and need to be read in too small of a time span. NetGalley is the addiction that my coworkers, several book bloggers, and I all enjoy having.

    Oh, and to add to my reading addiction, Simon & Schuster has a new GalleyGrab feature that is currently in testing. It offers electronic galleys, but you need a link to the available books from their newsletter, publisher or author to download the file.

  14. Sharon, thanks for the GalleyGrab tip, too. For this part of the process at least, I like that the content is available without the environmental costs of printing and mailing.

  15. "The publisher pays a setup fee that starts at around $400 and also pays a monthly subscription fee of $150 or more. Too much for an indie who only releases one title every six months or so."

    I agree...$400 and $150/mth after, are they nuts!!!

    It's like PW charging independents for their select program but not charging the majors. It's all about the money...not the books.

  16. What can possibly be wrong with reading a PDF on a computer?


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.