Review Mania: Is NetGalley the Answer?

Welcome to Techie Tuesday here at More Cowbell! This is the day each week when I unleash my inner geek and we talk about some groovy piece of technology or a technical point of writing.

Today, I’m hosting Terry Kate of Paco Media Group to answer questions on NetGalley. I’ve been curious about it for a while myself and she’s a fantastic resource! Show her some love!!


Reviews are the illusive prey authors are on the hunt for. NetGalley might be the answer for you. The idea behind NetGalley is to put your book where reviewers are fishing for titles to read.

What is NetGalley, and how does it work?

NetGalley is a service for people who read and recommend books. Publishers upload their galleys, plus any marketing and promotional information; then invite contacts to view their title on NetGalley. Readers can also find new titles through NetGalley’s Public Catalog, and request to review those titles from the publisher.

Who can use NetGalley?

Any professional reader: book reviewers, journalists, librarians, professors, booksellers, bloggers, etc. Anyone who reads and recommend books can use NetGalley for free. You can register here.

The above taken from

I have my own take on what the service can do for you, and why I decided to take an account.

What better way to build a little black book? A list of emails and blog/reviewer contacts for your books’ target market can come to you out of Netgalley’s reported 56,000+ members. So I signed the deal – dotted line and all –  to have Paco Media Group listed.

Now I am on the lookout for the authors out there that might like to set themselves their books up as targets, since that can be the way it feels. Oh and remember all this has a price tag too. You need to ask youself what exposure you’re looking for? And the real discussion: What are reviews and the stress of putting yourself out there worth?

Will they like it?

How many people will request mine?

What if the reviews are bad?

I guess that is the gamble. So instead of chasing down the reviewers, they may come to you. It is scary to become the hunted… so how brave are you?

The cost? $75 a month for a title to be listed with Paco Media Group. What’s included?**

  • Booking your space on Netgalley.
  • Support, a short consult, and marketing direction.

**Remember, if you’re with a publisher, you might need permission from them before moving forward with this package.

What would your individual cost on NetGalley be? For a single title, there is a one-time listing fee of $399. Your title can be active on the site for up to 6 months.

If you want to give it a go, email me at All our NetGalley packages are listed here.

Thanks everyone! Looking forward to a lively discussion in the comments…

Terry Kate

About Terry Kate:

Terry offer author, website and PR services through Paco Media Group. Additionally she created the Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference (held every March) which is open to authors.

More about BBPOC:

Bloggers and Publishers work together so often now, it is important that we understand how the other operates. The hope is that if we educate from the top, there will be trickle down to the other bloggers and from publishers to their authors. To prepare I spent hours talking to house publicists, marketing directors, small publishers and the big boys.

How I ended up here? I desire to help people. I love books and appreciate the work that goes into writing them. Plus, I want to help the writers, and keep them from being taken advantage like I was.

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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29 Responses to Review Mania: Is NetGalley the Answer?

  1. Stacy Green says:

    Very interesting. So you’re not paying for reviews? That’s something I refuse to do. You’re just paying to have your book available?



    • Terry Kate says:

      Paying to have your book posted. Then the reviews are based on the interest your book generates. Reviewers have their choice on what to request that is a good match for their blogs.
      Terry Kate


  2. Mark Gavagan says:

    Here are the results of my Netgalley experience related to my book “Gems from Warren Buffett – Wit and Wisdom from 34 Years of Letters to Shareholders.”

    > 90 review requests, of which I accepted 65 (72%).
    > 4 reviews completed from the above pool of 65 readers (about 6% completed reviews)

    While I’m grateful to the reviewers and they enabled me to put content in the review section of the book’s website (, none of the reviewers are themselves prominent or widely read.

    Customer service at NetGalley was at times slow, but ultimately ended up being helpful and friendly.

    While the Web seems like a very efficient way to distribute advance copies of books to reviewers in an effort to build buzz, I can’t recommend NetGalley simply because of the cost and my results.

    Good luck and thanks for reading!


    • Terry Kate says:

      Hi Mark,
      As a book blogger of many years I hear what you are saying. The issue can be that reviewers are more likely to give a book a try through Netgalley, they also feel less pressure to actually review it and very few let you know they did through Netgalley itself.

      On the other hand you do now have a list of 90 people you can email about your next release and see if they will have you on their site if not for a review then for a guest blog or interview.

      Often a review getting posted is the slowest kind of post to come up with and often the least trafficed day on the average blog.
      I hope that is a little helpful insight.
      Terry Kate


      • Mark Gavagan says:

        Hello Terry.

        Thank you for your response.

        I wouldn’t feel right about contacting reviewers about future projects unless they specifically opted-into such emails. Is this part of the agreement they sign-up with?

        Thanks again.



        • That’s pretty much what I was wondering as well. If they know the author could contact them and they’re okay with that, then there isn’t an issue. I just think if an author truly wants unbiased reviews, they need to respect the privacy of the reviewer.


          • Terry Kate says:

            Reviewers don’t get paid – so making their job easier can be as simple as a offer to give added content. Plus if they did not want to be contacted they would leave their contact details out of their profile and off their site.
            If it is on your site you are free game.
            🙂 Terry


        • Terry Kate says:

          They give you a link to their site – contact info. That is their choice. Open the door by responding with a thank you for your request please let me know if I can provide you with any further information.

          Make their job easier and become a person. Not a random name listed on a random page. Bloggers will help people they feel care about the time they put into reading a book and working on their blog. Otherwise – well it is a free book…

          It is an interesting discussion since this is exactly why I organize the book bloggers and Publishers Online Conference. We have had hundreds of reader bloggers come and discuss these issues. Some bloggers may feel differently, but for the most part all we want is to help authors – it is just an easier job when the authors help us first.

          – Terry


        • Joanne says:

          I’m used to receiving paperback or hardcovers to review. Does This site offer free books to review? I don’t do pdf’s//////////////


          • No, NetGalley offers strictly egalleys (as far as I know, anyway, and I’ve been getting galleys there for a year and a half). Most are available in Kindle format.


  3. Most intriguing. It all sounds fine and good, but this little ditty here stops me,
    “What better way to build a little black book? A list of emails and blog/reviewer contacts for your books’ target market can come to you out of Netgalley’s reported 56,000+ members. So I signed the deal – dotted line and all – to have Paco Media Group listed.”
    Is that what NetGalley is for? For authors to go in there and get reader’s emails? That seems a little shady to me. What exactly would you do with the emails and contacts? I wouldn’t want to sign up for reviewing books if I knew my information could be taken by anyone wanting to build a little black book for their own marketing purposes. That smacks of being counter intuitive to what NetGalley is supposed to be.


    • Terry Kate says:

      You get the information on the people requesting your book. If they are blogs you are interested in working with why not save their information? Maybe theywould be interested in hearing about your next book. Hosting you on a blog tour. Allows you to find them on twitter or FB and build a relationship.

      The other way to build a black book is to go blog to blog and see who you want to work with. This way they are making the opening step by contacting you.

      As a blogger that works for me. I like when authors offer me content. So the key here also is not just to use this to contact them for reviews – go to their sites – comment – build a relationship. It is still a little black book – just what you make of it.

      Terry Kate


      • Okay, I totally get it now. You’re coming at this as a blogger who likes the author interaction for your blog. I was thinking you were approaching it as an author taking the emails for newsletters or promoting your book. It all makes sense. What you’re doing is actually a service to authors, which apparently I didn’t understand when I first read this. Thanks for the clarification!


        • Terry Kate says:

          I would be a terrible organizer for the Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference if I wasn’t a blogger. I was never a frequent reviewer myself. Though we have had 3 years worth of conferences and countless panels amongst ourselves as reader bloggers – for the most part the attendees are not authors with blogs, but readers.

          Adding to a mailing list is not so nice – though I have never thought of a black book as a mailing list. Perhaps roladex is a better word? Searching for blogs is a lot of work and finding smaller blogs that might be very interested in what you write is doubly hard. These are almost what I would call “hot leads” that take you to sites you might never have come across anyway.

          And not to say I haven’t written, but I have never deemed myself an author. I am a marketer who has been published and a Reader Blogger Advocate.
          Hope that clarifies. 🙂


  4. Terry Kate says:

    Hi Ms. Jenny!
    Thank you so much for having me on. I will be here all day today to answer questions and checking in for the rest of the week. I hope this post inspires discussion!
    Terry Kate


  5. Jenny Hansen says:


    What are your two most favorite and least favorite things about NetGalley?


    • Terry Kate says:

      – Easy exposure to books in one central location as a reviewer.
      – Easy of finding new bloggers when they come to you as an author
      – It is impersonal so there is no way to know if the author even cares that we took the time to review it or even bothered to look at our blog before approving us. – which some reviewers do prefer, makes it easier to just put down the book. As a reviewer if you come to me directly it is an affirmation I am doing good work on my blog.
      – It is impersonal so it makes the reviewer less likely to finish my book vs. the direct requests they receive – as an author.
      Mixed bag.


  6. Nat says:

    I love Net Galley! I believe it’s a safe place (the files are protected) with a good exposure to connect with book bloggers and reviewers. It’s like a book fair for professional readers =)

    I wouldn’t mind if the author would contact me after I’ve written the review, I’d be happy they liked it and are interested in my blog. This is great for building a relationship with bloggers!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Nat, it’s great to meet you, and also to hear what the reviewers think of NetGalley. I keep hearing great things from the readers and reviewers. The only negative is that many wish NetGalley would amp up their searching capability.

      Thanks for taking time to comment! 🙂


  7. Hi, Terry! How fun to find you here chatting with Miz Jenny! I LOVE the book bloggers conferences! Such a great way to meet book bloggers and find out how to interact without messing things up. What surprised me the most was that both sides tend to stand in their corners and wonder, am I doing this right? I will definitely keep Paco Media in mind for my next release. I’ve long wished for an “in” to Netgalley but small publishers usually can’t afford the monthly fees. Thanks for the great info! And thank you, Miz Jenny for bringing her to your blog!


  8. How fun to find not only Terry, but Pauline Baird Jones here, too 🙂 I’ve signed up with Paco Media and it’s been fun working with Terry. I’m looking forward to learning how effective Netgalley will be for me as an author. I love the idea of getting my books into the hands of more bloggers!


  9. It’s good to read something about this side of NetGalley, as I’m considering self-publishing something in the next few months. I had no idea what was involved from the author/publishing side of things.

    On the reviewer side of things…I’ve been a member of NetGalley for over a year now, as I do book reviews for (any excuse to talk about books…). This site has allowed me to find a much broader array of books than I normally would have had easy access to. I *do* request more titles than I actually end up reviewing. Sometimes, if the writing or the story just isn’t my cup of tea, I won’t review it (sometimes I don’t even finish it). Sometimes I just have less time to read than I think I do. But sometimes–as happened recently with Shanna Swenson’s newest book–I get the chance to read and review something I’m really excited about, and help spread the word for the author (I thought Ms. Swenson’s Enchanted, Inc. series was done, after her publisher didn’t want any more titles. I was beyond excited to find out she was e-publishing books 5 & 6). But through NetGalley, I’ve discovered many more books & authors than I ever would have without it, and through it, shared them with my readers on Examiner. (Don’t get me wrong, I have only a handful of subscribers on that site, but I do like to pass the word along. Plus, my book reviews also link to my Facebook account).


    • Terry Kate says:

      I think that is awesome!
      The more the merrier on this front. As a blogger – had 5 running for a while at one time and posting daily I was always looking for new authors – sometimes I went to Netgalley not to request books but just to see what authors were floating around and that might be interested in guest posting!
      I wish I had more reading time, but just because I was busy did not mean authors couldn’t use my site to reach out.
      Thanks for sharing!


  10. Fabio Bueno says:

    Thanks, Jenny. I contacted NetGalley a couple of weeks ago and learned some of the information listed above–but not all.
    NetGalley is not an option for me at this time, but I love the concept.


    • Terry Kate says:

      Thanks for the comment Fabio. It is a very personal decision for your career as a writer.
      I look forward to hearing more feedback after the experience.


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