NetGalley is one of the largest digital ARC distribution sites in the industry. A huge advantage of listing your title on NetGalley’s platform is access to people you might not otherwise reach, from reviewers for major publications like USA Today and Publishers Weekly to librarians and booksellers looking for new titles to purchase.
I’ve been running a NetGalley co-op for over five years. Below is some basic information about what NetGalley is and how my co-op works. If you have additional questions not covered below or you’d like to join the co-op, please drop me an email.
Some quick links with more info / reflections on being in a co-op:
Victory Editing’s NetGalley Catalog
NetGalley for Indie Authors – Part One (Susan Kaye Quinn)
NetGalley for Indie Authors – Part Deux, One Year Later (Susan Kaye Quinn)
Patchwork Press’s reflections on their co-op
I was pleasantly surprised at the number of requests from readers who seemed highly qualified. A couple of book stores said they would recommend and carry my book after reading. That made me very happy.
Anne's easy-to-follow instructions made it simple to get started and she responded quickly to the questions I had when I was getting set up. I would definitely do this again.
Q What is NetGalley?
A: In a nutshell, NetGalley is a website for publishers and authors to distribute digital advance reading copies (ARCs) to a wide variety of influential readers.
Q What kinds of readers use NetGalley? Is it only reviewers?
A: NetGalley’s members include reviewers, media professionals, educators, librarians, and booksellers. For the purposes of this FAQ, I’ll refer to them as members, unless I specifically mean reviewers.
Q Are the reviews paid?
A: Reviews are not paid for on NetGalley. We’re paying to have titles listed and distributed to NetGalley members. These members choose titles based on their own needs and interests. Members gain access to a vast catalog of ARCs and only request the ones they want. We grant access to our books in exchange for valuable feedback and prepublication reviews.
Q Who will have access to my title?
A: Members request access to read individual titles based on their interests. You can then approve or decline those requests based on your marketing strategy for a title. You should look closely at a NetGalley member’s profile when they make a request to determine whether to grant them access based on your own criteria.
Q Do reviewers have to cross-post reviews to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads, their blog, etc.?
A: Members aren’t required to cross-post their reviews, but many reviewers do. If a reviewer is active on consumer websites, it builds their own audience and improves the likelihood that they will be approved to read more titles that they request. Reviewers know that publishers and authors value reviews on multiple platforms and that building an audience means posting on multiple bookish platforms. That being said, many NetGalley members are requesting and reading titles to make purchasing decisions for a library, school, or bookstore. Those members might not leave reviews that they cross-post to consumer websites, although they can still provide valuable feedback about your title.
Q Should I keep submitting to blogs and posting to Goodreads, etc., if I am also listing my title on NetGalley?
A: If you’re seeing success by posting to Goodreads and submitting to blogs, then by all means carry on! But more and more indies are noting that it’s becoming more difficult to get reviews, especially on popular blogs, and ad money is also not going as far as it once did. With NetGalley, reviewers come to us rather than the other way around. It changes the power dynamic to have reviewers come to us asking for access to titles.
Q Will my book be reviewed on NetGalley?
A: Putting your book on NetGalley does not guarantee reviews. Instead, NetGalley is set up like a library or bookseller catalog. Members can browse by genre or publisher or search for titles directly. Great cover images and captivating descriptions will improve your chances of getting your book requested and reviewed. Certain genres fare better on NetGalley than others, following overall market trends. In my experience, Romance and YA tend to perform well on NetGalley, while Mystery, Thriller, and Fantasy geared toward male audiences haven’t seen as much activity.
Q What if I get a critical review?
A: Critical reviews are always a possibility. No one book is going to please every reader. The best that you can do is make sure that your book is as strong as it can possibly be. You can cut down on the possibility of critical reviews by managing your requests carefully. Look at the profiles of members requesting access to see if they will be an influential reader for your title. For example, did you notice they don’t like cliffhangers, which your book features? Consider declining their request. There’s nothing wrong with trying to match your book to your audience.
Q Does listing my title on NetGalley affect my copyright?
A: No. Neither NetGalley nor I have any claim to the copyright on your book aside from the fact that you are granting permission as the copyright holder to list your title in the NetGalley catalog. You still retain your copyright and can pull your title at any time.
Q When does the subscription run?
A: Our subscription is up for renewal in May of each year, and we commit to one year at a time. You can do less (for anyone considering doing their own co-op), but year-to-year is the best solution for me.
Pricing & Tiers:
Q How much does a NetGalley slot cost?
A: A full year of NetGalley costs $375.00. I do have a couple of “floater” spots that may be available, so do feel free to ask if you need a slot for just a month or three.
Q So-and-So is only charging XYZ.
A: There are co-ops out there that only charge the base fee. I charge a bit extra for admin stuff (signing contracts, uploading titles, handling money, liaising with NetGalley corporate, etc.)
Q Will we be billed monthly if NetGalley charges monthly?
A: No. Your fee is a once-per-year fee. It will cover twelve months (ie. June through May, not May through December).
Q Will you be holding our money?
A: No. I collect everyone’s money during “recruitment month,” and as soon as everyone pays their invoice, I hand the money for a year’s subscription over to NetGalley.
Q Can I buy multiple slots?
A: Absolutely. If you write multiple series, under multiple pen names, whatever, you may want a second slot.
Q Can I sublet my slot?
A: Sure.If you do so, you must either manage your slot still (requests, widgets, so forth) OR vouch for the person you invite into the group.
Q Can I do multiple titles throughout the year?
A: Yes. You can only have one active title at a time per slot, but you can swap titles in and out. Once a title is archived, members can’t request it or download it any longer. A title should be on NetGalley long enough to give members a chance to request, read, and review. A good general rule of thumb is one title per month.
Q How do I format my ARC?
A: NetGalley accepts PDFs, EPUBs, and MOBI files for upload to their digital catalog. Your title does not need to be a finalized copy. It’s advised to add an ARC page that typically says something like “This is an unproofed advance reading copy. It is not for resale and changes may be made between now and publication” or similar. I would recommend using an edited version that may or may not have been fully proofed.
Q Can we put up older titles or titles that have already been published?
A: You can absolutely list backlist or already-published titles on NetGalley. Even if you are listing a newly published title on NetGalley rather than an ARC, you are still listing a new release! You can also consider putting backlist titles or the first in a series on NetGalley to build buzz for a new installment or new title. Use NetGalley creatively as part of your marketing plan!
Q What information will I need?
A: Most of the info you need is standard: Title, Series Name, Author Name, Publisher, Publication Date, Retail Price, Edition Type, etc. The big thing you need: You MUST have a unique, 13-digit number (if you have an ISBN, that’s perfect). ISBNs can be acquired via Smashwords, CreateSpace, or Bowker.
Q Do I have to have an ISBN?
A: No. You can come up with a 13-digit number on your own if you so choose. There are random number generators available on the Internet. The number just has to be unique to NetGalley. NOTE: If you do not use an ISBN, some of NetGalley’s features that rely on this unique identifier will be disabled, specifically retailer links to your title.
Q How will my title be listed on NetGalley?
A: All titles in the co-op are listed under Victory Editing if you browse by publisher in the NetGalley catalog. You can still list your publisher on the Title Details page for your book.
Q Who will maintain my title on NetGalley?
A: Every author has complete control over their title. Each author will manage requests, widgets, and follow-ups with NetGalley members. This way each author is better able to control who accesses their title and is able to find the most influential readers for their specific marketing goals. I think you know your book best and should be in control of its presence on NetGalley.
Q Can I have a Member account as well as access to the co-op Publisher account?
A: Yes! In fact, I encourage you to do so. Having a member account lets you see how NetGalley works from a member perspective, including troubleshooting common issues that members run into when accessing a title.
Have other questions? Feel free to drop me an e-mail!
- $375 per year
- $40 / month if renting a short-term slot)
- Marketing extras such as newsletters, category spotlights, etc. have a $25 administration fee in addition to the cost of the promotional opportunity.
- A 5% fee will be added if you want to use a credit card or live outside the US (as opposed to PayPal balance or eCheck via PayPal).