In 2020 I started reading advanced reading copies (e-ARCs) via Edelweiss and I shared with you about my no-so-successful experience with the platform (link here). Based on the comments received from you I decided to try NetGalley as well … My conclusion after less than 2 months: NetGalley is THE place for bloggers to receive advanced reading copies!

The difference between NetGalley and Edelweiss

First of all, there is a very important difference between the two early reading platforms, NetGalley and Edelweiss:

  • NetGalley is intended for a wider public: booksellers, librarians, reviewers, and bloggers (more publicity oriented)
  • Edelweiss is intended for people within the book industry: booksellers and librarians (more sales oriented)
The difference between NetGalley and Edelweiss in a nutshell.
Illustrations: Freepik.com | Shutterstock

I first found out about this difference from a comment left by Jessica from JustReadingJess, and then I also read the same thing on a Penguin Random House post (link here).

Just knowing this fundamental difference will save you a lot of frustration and effort spent in the wrong direction. Now it makes sense why I was not receiving access to books on Edelweiss – I was not in their target group. Of course, there are also other factors such as the blog stats. But with the same stats I had a completely different experience on NetGalley.

My experience on NetGalley

In December 2020 I joined NetGalley and I had a very different experience compared to Edelweiss. In two months I asked for 9 books and here are the results: 6 approved, 1 declined, and 2 pending. And one of the approved books was previously declined on Edelweiss πŸ™‚

Pros and cons of Netgalley

NetGalley is great, but there are also some drawbacks. Here I summarize the main pros and cons of NetGalley, based on my experience so far.

(+) Very easy to request books

Just click the request button and select from a predefined list why you want the book (eg. author, cover). No need to write anything else.

(-) Too easy to request books πŸ™‚

Requesting a book is just a click away, so it is very easy to fall into the trap of requesting too many books and potentially feeling overwhelmed afterwards.

Also, the request cannot be customized – the requester does not have any space to explain why (s)he wants that book. This might be a disadvantage if you have strong reasons for requesting a certain book.

(+) NetGalley keeps the reviewers accountable for the books they receive

This might be controversial, but see it as an advantage that NetGalley openly shares the feedback ratio for each reviewer. When I receive access to an advanced reading copy I see it as a privilege, and I want to “pay” something in return. The feedback ratio is also a good lever to discourage asking for books just for the sake of it. The suggested feedback ratio is 80% – this means that for each 10 books approved you should review at least 8.

(-) No transparent feedback on declined requests

This issue is common for NetGalley and Edelweiss – the declined request message contains a general text like this: “Unfortunately, the publisher declined to allow access to the title. You may want to update your profile to provide more information to the publisher …” – this is not helpful in terms of improving your approval chances the next times.

My way forward

I will definitely continue asking for access to advanced reading copies via NetGalley, as I am happy with the experience I’ve had so far. Ever since I started using NetGalley I stopped using Edelweiss, and at the moment I do not think I’ll go back again.

And I will certainly continue reading of mix of published books and advanced reading copies – despite my perceived inconvenient that ARCs are e-books, there is a special feeling when you read a book that hasn’t yet seen the light of the day πŸ™‚

If you read advanced reading copies – what’s your main reason?

If you don’t read advanced reading copies – what stopped you from using early reading platforms, such as NetGalley and Edelweiss?

‘Till next time … happy reading!

Georgiana


Cover photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

16 thoughts on “My experience with requesting books (eARCs) on NetGalley compared to Edelweiss

    1. Thank you, ZoΓ«!
      Same here – I’m trying really hard to not ask more books than I can read, but the temptation is so high! I plan to read one ARC per month (max 2), and combine with the other books I already have at home πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Heh heh, it is TOO easy to request books on Netgalley! I wish they would show in the preview which ones are PDFs as I don’t like to read those and it’s annoying to have to click through to find out. (But better than in the past, when they did not show the format at all). Otherwise, it’s a great platform.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I did not know that some of them are pdf! I sent all of them directly to kindle and fortunately the format was correct. Reading a pdf would be very difficult on my vintage kindle, I would have to read it on the laptop – not the best experience for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do read advance copies, but I have almost completely stopped using Netgalley because I prefer reading hardcopy books. I have a few publishers that send me paperback books for review. Occasionally, I might read an advanced copy in paperback and request it in Netgalley, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s a dream-like situation! I also prefer reading physical books, but I did not have the chance to receive yet.

      Did you initiate the collaboration with the publishers? Or they got in touch with you for sending books?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I asked for them first, but now I am supposedly on a few publishers’ lists to automatically receive some review copies. I have found the British reprint publishers to be easier to get books from than American publishers of new fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely agree with you! I find Edelweiss quite difficult to use; I don’t think it’s particularly user friendly. Netgalley, though, has given me more ARCs than I can physically read…

    Liked by 1 person

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