by Scott Lorenz
“Reviews are a third party endorsement of your work. They give the potential buyer assurance the book they may buy is worthwhile.” Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist
“We are still trying to get reviews. It is worse than pulling teeth though. Unfortunately I used up the reviewers I could threaten bodily harm to with my first book!” Exasperated Author
One of the most difficult things to do is to get people to read and review your book to help get the buzz going. How would you like to get your book into the eager hands of reviewers, bloggers, members of the media, librarians, booksellers, and educators before it was published? Ever wonder how some books have 50 reviews the day of publishing? Want to know the tricks of the trade? One way is through NetGalley and their 450,000 readers.
NetGalley is a service that allows authors and publishers to get reviews of their work before and after it is published. Members get galleys before others, read books digitally, share feedback, and become part of a reading community. There are also built-in benefits beyond the review, including advance promotion (more about that on their website: https://www.netgalley.com/
“What an author will get from NetGalley, but may not always welcome, are reviews that are about as truly independent as can be,” said Tom Barry, author of Saving Jay and When the Siren Calls. If you can’t handle the truth or someone’s version of the truth don’t do it!
“We work with over 400 publishers, indie authors and small publishers who are incorporating NetGalley into their marketing and publicity activities,” says Kristina Radke of NetGalley. We work in all genres, and the formats we support are ePub (converted to Mobi for Kindle devices and apps) or PDF.”
The reach is often beyond the NetGalley platform. “NetGalley does encourage its reviewers to post outside NetGalley, on places such as a personal blog, Amazon or GoodReads. It does not, however, guarantee or require this to happen,” says C.E. Kilgore, a self-published author of Science Fiction, Space Opera, and Contemporary Romance.
Check out The Science Fiction Writers Association who have a special rate with Net Galley. http://www.sfwa.org/member-links/netgalley-application/
“NetGallians are not only strangers but staunch supporters of good fiction, like Templars defending a holy artifact,” says J.S. Leonard, author of Modern Rituals. “They care only to support excellent writing.” One thing Leonard discovered with NetGalley are his “superfans,” those individuals who read the book, love the book, and tell everyone they know.
“NetGalley is so huge, your books are getting listed next to some pretty big name titles, and that can sometimes do wonders at getting your book noticed. It’s a great chance to discover new authors and for authors to be discovered by new readers,” said Melissa Pearl, author of The Elements Trilogy.
“NetGalley is about marketing for authors/publishers, in addition to connecting with readers, and we have to keep in mind the game of trying to reach as many readers as possible,” said Keary Taylor, author of The Eden Trilogy, The Fall of Angels Trilogy, and What I Didn’t Say.
Corrin Foster of Greenleaf Book Group says that their publishing firm uses NetGalley for nearly every title that they publish as a way to reach active and influential reviewers. “The NetGalley community is fair and transparent with their reviews, responsive to collaboration, and an invaluable resource for generating early reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, and social media which carry a lot of weight with general consumers. We value our relationship with NetGalley and their members very highly,” says Foster.
Some authors believe NetGalley is costly, but as a book publicist, I can attest to the fact that the cost of soliciting, shipping and following-up is pretty costly in terms of money and time too. Author C.E. Kilgore is concerned that the site has little reader/reviewer vetting process. NetGalley admits this, but they believe that publishers and authors know best the readers who are most useful for them. When a reviewer requests a book, the author or publisher can accept or decline the request after reviewing their profiles. The price for a listing ranges from $399 to $599 for six months with the higher fee including a marketing boost and newsletter placement.
Want to save money? NetGalley works in partnership with the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association). They have a NetGalley program that makes it very easy for small and self-published authors to participate at a discount. Click here for more information: https://www.ibpa-online.org/page/netgalley?&hhsearchterms=%22net+and+galley%22
The Bottom Line: NetGalley is a great way to obtain pre-publish reviews and is yet another resource available to authors and publishers to reach a community of avid readers.
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.
Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com or contact Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist