NetGalley Review: Key Aspects Of This Powerful Platform

Posted on Jan 24, 2024

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Written by Sarah Rexford

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This NetGalley review is one to read through, bookmark for the future, and even use to market your book. If you’re new to NetGalley, this is the perfect place to learn what you need to know about this crucial platform. 

Regardless of if you’ve used it before, this NetGalley review covers details you may not know. Whether you are writing a book for the first time or a reader eager for new titles, this review is for you. Let’s get straight into it.

NetGalley Review: What’s Covered 

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What Is NetGalley?

NetGalley describes itself as a place to “help book advocates and industry professionals discover and recommend books to their audiences.”

In fact, NetGalley benefits the following audiences:

  • Booksellers
  • Book trade professionals
  • Educators
  • Librarians
  • Reviewers
  • Journalists 

If you are an alpha reader, beta reader, or participate in launch teams, you may have used NetGalley in the past. Many publishers use this platform to safely share authors’ books with launch teams, prior to the book’s release. 

NetGalley targets two key audiences that engage on their platform: 

  • Readers
  • Authors/Publishers

You may want to join NetGalley as a curious reader, and stop there. However, if you are an author, you may want to take it a step further. If this is you, keep reading because this NetGalley review includes must-know details. 

Netgalley Review - Header Image With Six Books

What Does NetGalley Offer?

NetGalley offers a plethora of resources for both readers and authors/publishers. A few of the notable publishers NetGalley works with include Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Random House.

That said, NetGalley works with more than 300 publishers. These publishers are spread across North America, the UK, Australia, Germany, France, and Japan.

Can anyone join NetGalley?

Yes, anyone can create a free account on NetGalley. However, there are two ways you should approach joining this platform: become a member, or join as an author or publisher. 

NetGalley reviews can go a long way in helping an author succeed. If you enjoy supporting your favorite authors, here are four key ways you can engage with NetGalley as a reader. 

Netgalley Review - Discover New Books, Provide Feedback, Share Reviews, Book Advocates

1. Discover New Books

Looking for a new read? Searching specifically for Christian fiction books or authors? One of the best parts of this NetGalley review is discovering that you can request, for free, to read books before they are published. 

Because reviews are so crucial to both publishers and authors, NetGalley supports readers who read and review books prior to launch day.

2. Provide Feedback 

Your feedback truly does matter. NetGalley states that, “Librarians and booksellers order and recommend books to their patrons, media professionals interview authors, reviewers and bloggers write about books online and leave reviews on retail sites, and more.” You can be part of this.

3. Share Reviews

NetGalley helps streamline the reviewing process, which is an integral part to a book’s success. They not only increase the visibility of review, but make the process simpler by connecting various accounts. 

4. Book Advocates 

You can also join this platform as a way to find an empowering book community. NetGalley connects you with debut authors, books that will become bestsellers, and of course, your tried and true favorite authors.  

Members vs. Publishers

Now that you have the foundation laid in this NetGalley review, it’s time to dissect the two key audiences that NetGalley reaches: members/readers and authors/publishers. 

NetGalley for Members / Readers

Readers play a large role in the success, or lack of, books. After all, without readers there would be no need for the publishing industry. 

If you are a reader, simply create a free account and start requesting books to read. Once you make your request and are approved, you can then read the book at no cost. Be sure to leave an honest review. If you like the book, make sure you recommend it to other readers. 

To heighten your chances of an approved request, follow the below steps: 

  • Review every book you are approved to read 
  • Reveal that your reviews matter/people care about your opinion 
  • Write reviews that carry weight—be intentional in what you write 

Great reviews are detailed. For instance, explain how the author built tension in a story and how these techniques benefited the story. 

If you are also a member of verified industry organizations, be sure to link these three accounts:

  • Goodreads 
  • Social media
  • Your blog 

Once NetGalley approves you to read a specific book, you can download the app, and access your new book via the NetGalley “shelf.” 

NetGalley for Authors/Publishers 

It’s not just readers who understand the power of using NetGalley to their advantage, authors and publishers do too. Just as self-published authors use various marketing methods to spread their stories, publishers use different marketing techniques to generate buzz surrounding their authors’ books.

Today more than ever, generating buzz, collecting early reader reviews, and launching a book readers are already talking about is crucial to success. Because of this, traditional publishers use NetGalley as an aid in this process. 

As an author, if you’ve ever wondered if it’s safe to share an advanced reader copy (ARC) with a launch team, no need to worry. 

“NetGalley is an industry-standard service that delivers secure digital files to approved readers.”

As a member of various launch teams, I’ve used NetGalley numerous times in the past. This platform is a fantastic liaison between readers, publishers, and the publisher’s target audience. 

In fact, NetGalley works conjointly with publishers to market to the hundreds of thousands of members of their site. 

Publishers can create buzz via readers in two key ways: 

  • A reader can request access to a book, offering feedback in return 
  • Publishers can share a book with specific, approved readers 

This second option is particularly helpful for launch teams, discussed next. But, one final note on the publishing side of this NetGalley review. NetGalley does more than provide a platform that connects publishers and readers. 

In addition to providing this link, they also provide publishers with data drawn from the impact a publisher’s efforts have on reader engagement. This feedback helps publishers plan even more effectively for their next launch. 

This specific feedback can come through NetGalley’s Concierge Team. This team equips publishers by providing training and strategy consultations to aid in overall publicity. 

Book Launches

Netgalley Review - Book Advocates

One final gem in this NetGalley review is the positive influence it brings to book launches. When I joined my first ever book launch team, NetGalley had not been created (NetGalley was founded in 2018). I remember reading a PDF version of the book I was helping launch.

However, many of my more recent book launches have used NetGalley to their advantage. If you are an aspiring author, or planning to launch your second or third book, you may want to consider using this platform for your book launch team. 

NetGalley allows authors to safely share their manuscript(s) via the NetGalley Shelf. Rather than email a PDF version to everyone on your launch team, you can simply ask members of your team to create a free account. Then, share a pre-approved link with them so they can access your book. 


How do you get approved for NetGalley?

NetGalley is similar to social media in that your engagement on their platform heightens your chances for successful approval. 

Just as posting and engaging on your favorite social platform boosts you in the algorithm, consistent engagement on NetGalley shows publishers that you are a strong addition. 

Do you get paid to read or review books on NetGalley?

NetGalley does not pay reviewers, but the chance to read a book prior to general readers is a great incentive. When using NetGalley as a reader, you can request to read a book, and if approved, read it at zero cost. Some books don’t even require approval ahead of time; you can just download and read them at will.

This keeps you from needing to spend money on purchasing the book. While NetGalley doesn’t pay you to read, it can save you money in the long run.

How much does NetGalley cost?

NetGalley does have a cost for authors and publishers to list their books. Publishers pay a set-up fee as well as a per-month subscription. According to their site, this rate depends “on their number of active books or audiobooks on the site.”

Most will pay $550 for a 6-month digital copy listing. At sign-up, you can also bundle a “Featured on NetGalley” carousel placement for $150.

Authors and publishers can pay for additional advertising placements, features, and boosts, independently, for as much as your budget allows.

NetGalley collaborates with marketing companies, public relations firms, and a variety of teams who help with book promotions. They also provide specific packages for indie authors

Final Thoughts And Next Step

You made it to the end of this NetGalley review. What’s the verdict? Should you use it? Should you avoid it? 

Overall, NetGalley seems like a great platform for readers to access books prior to their release. It’s also a way for publishers to connect with readers, granted, for a fee. 

Based on my personal experience of using NetGalley as a book launch team member, I found the platform helpful. It’s easy to access books on my NetGalley Shelf, and I know NetGalley is an extra layer of help for authors. The Self-Publishing School team has also used NetGalley to get feedback on Chandler’s book, Published.  

Overall, it does seem like a quality investment. Not only can publishers and authors find readers, but they can also receive coaching and data from NetGalley. The social proof surrounding NetGalley speaks for itself, and is worth repeating:

Netgalley Review Publishers They Work With 1

NetGalley works with more than 300 publishers, including names such as:

  • Hachette
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Penguin Random House.

These publishers are spread across:

  • North America
  • The UK
  • Australia
  • Germany
  • France
  • Japan

Perhaps, you’ll be the next author or small publisher to join NetGalley! As plan your book launch and how NetGalley fits into all that, I’d encourage you to download this free resource. It’ll help you make sure you don’t miss anything, and ensure you have a successful book launch!

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