Why I Stopped Requesting On Netgalley

One of the most exciting things about being a bookblogger, is the ARCs. Some publishers will provide bookreviews with an Advanced Reading Copy before the book comes out, hoping to get the word out and boost the ratings ahead of the release date. Netgalley is one of the sites where you can request digital ARCs from publishers. It’s easy to sign up and very tempting to request every book available.

Don’t request every book

As a newbie to the community, I requested a few books by lesser known authors, hoping that my odds of being approved were better. They were, but now I was stuck with books that I needed to read on a deadline. I finished some on time, others were archived before I could read them. Then I learned only to request books with an archive date at least a month away. That would give me enough time to plan my reading and writing the review.

The pressure and stress went down, but I still had trouble keeping up with the deadlines. I’m an emotional reader and want to read a book that fits my mood. I missed deadlines again. My feedback rating went down, but that’s not what I cared about. It’s like taking a freebie (possibly an opportunity from someone else) for myself, just to have. I’ve never been to a bookcon where they give away ARC for upcoming releases. People line up to get a copy and never read it, while someone else is dying to read it.

That’s when I stopped requesting books. I got an invite to read the sequel to one of the books I had read, and was delighted, but chances are slim that I’ll request another book.

Setting priorities

Slowly, more indie authors found me and asked me if I wanted to review their book. I accepted most of them since they lined up with what I like (some don’t read the review policy), others I turned down for multiple reasons, and a lack of time is one of them. I love reading, but being a bookblogger isn’t what’s going to pay the bills. It’s also not the hobby that I spend most of my money on (have you seen my collection of fountain pens?).

Let’s not forget that besides the ebooks I’m offered, I still have a massive stack of physical copies to read. Even now, three years after we moved here, I have boxes filled with unread books I do want to read at some point. I feel no pressure to read the latest release, that’s not who I am as a bookblogger. I’m passionate about sharing books that I love and spreading the words on books by indie authors who don’t have the budget of big publishing houses.

What are your thoughts on Netgalley? Do you have an account there? How do you handle the pressure of deadlines?

6 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Requesting On Netgalley

  1. jennifer gaarder says:

    I’m pretty specific about what I request because I’m a genre person. Also, I do keep an eye on publishing days and try to get the review done by that day; I keep a journal of the books due and read only those. I stopped taking books out at the library because they were disappointing me,

  2. Surbhi says:

    This post resonates so much with me. It’s just too much pressure and I break under pressure, therefore now I rarely ever request a book on NetGalley. I think in the end it’s important to keep reminding oneself about what’s important, what’s not and we are blogging in the first place because of our love for books!

  3. Susan says:

    For me it is two things. I do enjoy reading books before they are published but I’m going through things in my personal life that make my blog a sense of personal pride that most people get through more normal avenues (I wish I did). Also being flat broke… the library and ARCs are my only source of reading so it is what works for me. At some point that might change but for now it is what works for me. For you, it completely makes sense and if I was in your shoes? I would probably feel the same way. I would love to just randomly walk through stores and pick books by mood. It just isn’t feasible at the moment. I will say that to your point I have gotten much better at being in tune to what I actually like rather than the hot new tittle. And that has taken a lot of pressure off.

    • Tessa Hastjarjanto says:

      I wish I could walk through a bookstore and buy whatever I want. I just have a huge selection of books that I haven’t read yet and many different genres. I also get books from the library, but any recent YA releases are always reserved by people who are on top of those (I’m not). I go for older releases.

      I think Arcs are great for people who don’t have the money to buy new releases. That’s why I feel bad if I’d take the opportunity from someone like you. Even digital arcs can have limits. I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.

  4. Debbie Burke says:

    Hi all, I’m coming from the other point of view. I’m an indie author who writes about slightly offbeat topics: jazz in fiction. I’m a jazz blogger and have just come out with my second novel. First one was about love, lust and jazz…this new one is about family legacy and a stolen song. I would love some insights into what y’all are looking for in fiction. Some works (like mine) defy strict categorization. I signed up for 6 months to offer my book to NG’s readers, librarians, booksellers and publishers, so my book is up there. It’s just a matter of waiting to see who is interested and what kind of feedback it gets in reviews. I have to say, I’m excited to see how it’s received, and I’m keeping an open mind. ~~ Debbie B. (“Icarus Flies Home”)

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