NetGalley is a website that allows bloggers, librarians, and teachers to read various publications right before they hit the shelves. These include a variety of genres, including graphic novels, literary fiction, erotica… it has pretty much everything, really. The publishers themselves range from the tiny and obscure to Random House! It’s done completely electronically – the books can be sent to your kindle or adobe reader, and then off you go.
You don’t have to be too established a blog to be approved, either – I don’t think we had any reviews published when we applied to read books on NetGalley, and we still got approved. Smaller publishers are more likely to approve you, I’ve found, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply to the larger publishers anyway. I’ve got a copy of Simon and Schuster’s ‘Lily and the Octopus’ to read, which I’m very excited about!
The main problem that I have with NetGalley is that if it is the author’s debut novel, you have no idea whether it is good quality or not, as there are no reviews of the book online already! Sometimes you just have to hope that it’ll be good. Saying that, the vast majority of the novels that I have requested have been very interesting. For slower readers, there might be a problem with the fact that you have an average of 55 days to read each novel. However, if you keep your requests to a minimum (which I definitely have not!) this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
I would highly recommend NetGalley if you’re new to blogging in particular, as it allows you to get your foot in the door with reviewing new publications. If you’re not having any luck with requesting books straight from the publishers, this is definitely your next best option, in my opinion. As much as I love owning hardcopies of my books, this is just so practical!
(This isn’t a sponsored post, by the way, I just wanted to write down my thoughts about it for future bloggers!)