There was a conversation in a group I am in on Facebook recently about individual stats on Netgalley. And that made me realize, I had no idea what mine were! So I decided to log in and look them up. Now, let me preface this by saying, I actually don’t use Netgalley that much, as you will see below. Edelweiss is more my cuppa, because Netgalley has started catering to indies and romance. Don’t get me wrong, there are still great books on Netgalley, but I find more books I like on Edelweiss. So I logged in to check it out. I was originally at 87% feedback (not bad, Jenn! *backpat*) but DNF’d a few books that have been on my shelf for two+ years, which bumped me up to 91%! (I swear, I did try to read them, I just wasn’t into it.)
6 invitations 44 approvals 49 feedback Ratio: 91%
I’m assuming the feedback having a higher number than approvals has something to do with their website change a couple of years ago, but if someone has more info on that, let me know in the comments! And I don’t think I’ve accepted 6 invitations…I hardly ever accept Netgalley invitations, because I’m such a choosey, moody reader.* *I probably accepted them by accident via email. More on that below.
Advice for using Netgalley
I see so many bloggers that feel like they are in over their heads with Netgalley (and Edelweiss). So here are some tips to get that ratio up!
- Only request one or two books at a time. In doing this, you are making choices about which books you want to read most, and you will leave less unfinished. You should also be aware that the more titles you request, the lower your ratio will be UNTIL you provide feedback. Netgalley’s ratio is actually pretty easy to understand, because it’s using a fraction-based algorithm. Let’s say you already have 10 books you have requested and given feedback (100% feedback), and then you request 10 more. When you request them, your 100% feedback automatically drops to 50%, until you give that feedback for the new books.
- Request books closer to their release dates. Not only do publishers have review guidelines they would like you to follow (for instance, reviews posted one month or less before the release date), but you will also be more likely to read and review it, because you won’t have forgotten about it/changed your mood/etc.
- Write your reviews right away (or at least relatively soon after finishing the book), even if you aren’t going to post them immediately. Not only will you write a more detailed review while it is still fresh in your brain, but you can provide that feedback to the publisher quickly and get it off the list.
- Don’t go on Netgalley every day, or even every week! The less you are on, the less tempted you will be to request or download ARCs.
- Don’t automatically click the invitation for a title you receive in your email. Netgalley includes invitations in your stats once you click from email, even if you opt not to read them. Instead, read the synopsis included in the email widget and if it’s not something you like, simply delete it from your email. Remove the temptation! And lastly…
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO DNF. There, I said it. I know, I know, you may feel guilty for not finishing a book that was provided to you solely for the purpose of feedback, but life is too short to read bad books! And even a short DNF note to the publisher in your Netgalley feedback will still count as “feedback” and help your ratio, and then you can move on to a book you might enjoy. In fact, if you have books on your Netgalley shelf that have been sitting there for awhile, DNF those bad boys and move on. I just DNF’d two or three books that had been on my shelf for more than a year.
And that’s it! Even though I don’t use it much, I’m super stoked my Netgalley stats are pretty decent. Now if only there was a way to see what they are on Edelweiss… UPDATE 3/3/2015: Brittany at the Crafty Engineer’s Bookshelf mentioned in comments that you can leave feedback for old, archived books. Perhaps you didn’t download them in time, or they accidentally disappeared from your shelf! Click on Activity (under your little icon/picture), then select Archived from the drop down on the right above your reading list. From there, you can leave feedback and it DOES improve your ratio. Additionally, that is the drop down where you can also find the requests you were declined. I have left feedback for 54 books, and I’ve been declined for 11. That’s approximately a 20% decline rate, although the number is a little skewed from accidental invitations I’ve accepted (so, not requested).