What is NetGalley, and how can it benefit indie and self-published authors by Kellie Sheridan
For years now, major publishers have been utilizing online catalogs to distribute review copies to “professional readers”.
It’s a great way to build buzz for upcoming titles while also cutting down on the costs that come with physical ARCs. When I first discovered NetGalley as a blogger, it was a whole lot like Christmas—a nearly endless stream of new titles to read, and all I needed to do was review them.
But the benefits as an indie author might end up being even better.
Essentially, authors/publishers upload titles to NetGalley where bloggers, media, librarians, and booksellers can request to read them. It’s entirely up to the author or publisher to choose who they want to approve, and then the reader is able to access the book themselves without any further effort required from anyone.
It’s pretty genius and has definitely played a part in revolutionizing the industry.
While NetGalley does offer an option for indie publishers ($400 to have one title up in their catalog for six months), that just isn’t something most of us can justify fitting into our limited marketing budgets.
Back at the beginning of the year, someone somewhere (I wish I knew who) came up with the idea of teaming up with other authors in order to form a publishing unit of sorts.
You can find more details on how that works in this blog post by Susan Kaye Quinn, that I recommend all the time. There’s also a lot of great information there about how NetGalley works overall.
Basically, these authors have formed co-ops, in which each author owns a spot in NetGalley’s catalog for a year ($350 for 12 months). They can change out their title as often as they want, while still managing to pay less than they would have for the one title option. This is the kind of thinking that self-publishing needs!
I definitely owe whoever came up with this idea a very big cookie! After starting up a co-op of my own, I’ve been really pleased with the results.
My novel gained more than fifty reviews, which led to my first BookBub placement. I’ve had more traffic to my website, and gained a few newsletter subscribers that I can directly connect to NetGalley.
All good things.
Not every review has been glowing, but overall the input I’ve gotten has been thoughtful and well intentioned, so I can’t complain.
A full year definitely doesn’t make sense for everyone though.
Since starting up our own group, we’ve expanded in ways we definitely didn’t imagine from the get go.
Most recently, we’ve been able to offer short-term spots—starting at $45 for one month.
The world of self-publishing is always changing, and there are constantly new avenues to explore for ways we can help get our books in front of readers.
NetGalley can’t guarantee anything, but there’s a reason why all these publishers have been using it for this long already.
If you’re looking to build up reviews, get your book read by media, or simply just get your name out there, NetGalley is worth looking into.
Have you put your book up on NetGalley? What has been your experience?
Did you see any noticeable increase in sales, reviews or media coverage?
Are you perhaps thinking about putting your book on NetGalley in the future, and have some questions for Kellie?
Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your experiences.