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Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: Susan Kaye Quinn on May 06, 2013, 07:33:06 am

Title: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Susan Kaye Quinn on May 06, 2013, 07:33:06 am
Inspired by Amanda Brice's post about her indie author co-op on NetGalley (https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,146361.0.html), I started my own 20 author NetGalley co-op, called All Night Reads. We're all set up, getting lots of review requests, and I can already say that it was well worth the $300 entry price (and the time to set it up) to have access to NetGalley's 120,000 reviewers.

I've blogged about the pros and cons of NetGalley for indie authors (http://www.susankayequinn.com/2013/05/netgalley-for-indie-authors.html), just so I can share the results and you can decide for yourself if this might interest you.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: jenminkman on May 06, 2013, 07:36:15 am
Read your e-mail and your blog post! I'm in :)
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Susan Kaye Quinn on May 06, 2013, 07:40:24 am
Great! I'm glad Anne had a spot for you in her co-op!
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: NathanHaleJefferson on May 06, 2013, 07:43:50 am
Email sent to your editor! :-D
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Amanda Brice on May 06, 2013, 07:58:39 am
Isn't it an awesome experience? I've been in my co-op for a little over a month now, and it's already been worth the $300, plus I have a whole 11 months to go!

I'm on my second book so far. (I've found that after a month, the requests really slow down. I was still getting requests, but MUCH slower than when my book was showing in the new-additions section of the website so I decided it was time to try another book.) I think I'll leave this one in for a month, then maybe go back to that first book, or if a new release is ready to go by then, I'll do that.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: portiadacosta on May 06, 2013, 08:02:42 am
I'm in Anne's group and hoping the Netgalley experience will work for me too. I've been desperately casting around for something to get me out of my self publishing dead zone... and fingers crossed this might be it! :)
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Susan Kaye Quinn on May 06, 2013, 08:07:49 am
Isn't it an awesome experience? I've been in my co-op for a little over a month now, and it's already been worth the $300, plus I have a whole 11 months to go!

I'm on my second book so far. (I've found that after a month, the requests really slow down. I was still getting requests, but MUCH slower than when my book was showing in the new-additions section of the website so I decided it was time to try another book.) I think I'll leave this one in for a month, then maybe go back to that first book, or if a new release is ready to go by then, I'll do that.

Thanks for inspiring me to do this, Amanda! It's truly been great so far. And I'm glad to hear you were thinking of going back to the first book - I was wondering about re-listing. I'll have to think about that as well!
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Amanda Brice on May 06, 2013, 08:13:00 am
Another interesting thing is that even though I don't have PAS DE DEATH up anymore, I'm still getting reviews for it. Basically, as long as they've downloaded it to their e-reader, they can still review it even if it isn't available for new requests.

So I'm getting some requests on my boxed set now. Maybe next month I'll go back to PAS DE DEATH. It's all an experiment!
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Susan Kaye Quinn on May 06, 2013, 08:52:55 am
Another interesting thing is that even though I don't have PAS DE DEATH up anymore, I'm still getting reviews for it. Basically, as long as they've downloaded it to their e-reader, they can still review it even if it isn't available for new requests.

So I'm getting some requests on my boxed set now. Maybe next month I'll go back to PAS DE DEATH. It's all an experiment!
Yeah, I was wondering what the lag time would be - I have 57 downloads, but only 3 reviews so far (but that's all in one week). It's a quick read, but as you say - they can review anytime after they've got it. It's sort of like filling a pipeline which slowly pays out reviews over time. #NICE
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Cherise on May 06, 2013, 09:00:52 am
"Marry Me" has had 499 views and 32 downloads but no reviews yet. I put up a new book description yesterday and got two sales, so I'm hoping the new description also brings more downloads and some new reviews. Right now, the archive date for this book is listed as June 30, but thanks, Amanda, for posting your experience. Maybe I will switch books monthly, too, among those I have up until the WIP is ready to be an advanced review copy.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Amanda Brice on May 06, 2013, 09:03:16 am
I think some NetGalley reviewers request the book and read it immediately, but I think more only go onto NetGalley once a month or so and grab a ton of books at once. I've noticed some reviewers who will literally request 15 out of 20 books in our co-op on the sale day, and it's pretty obvious they're not only requesting from our co-op, so it's possible they are grabbing 100 books that day in all, so they're obviously setting up a TBR queue.

Also, keep in mind that some people are "reviewing" it in the sense of seeing whether or not to buy a copy for their library/school or to recommend it to the customers in their store, not to actually write a review. So you might never see written reviewers from some people, but hopefully you'll see the results in increased Expanded Distribution Network sales, or whatever.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Susan Kaye Quinn on May 06, 2013, 09:32:27 am
Also, keep in mind that some people are "reviewing" it in the sense of seeing whether or not to buy a copy for their library/school or to recommend it to the customers in their store, not to actually write a review. So you might never see written reviewers from some people, but hopefully you'll see the results in increased Expanded Distribution Network sales, or whatever.

An excellent point and something that I was wondering about when trying to decide which requests to approve - many people list themselves as "librarians" but have no visible reviews. This makes sense to me now.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Amanda Brice on May 06, 2013, 09:39:38 am
Yes, it seems like only a few librarians, educators, or booksellers actually write reviews. Most are using it as a decision-making tool. I've been auto-approving all of these. I'll likely never see any reviews directly as a result of these requests, but they're the ones who will be doing word-of-mouth in real life (rather than online), so hopefully it will result in more sales and eventually more reviews.

I've already seen increased print sales since joining the co-op, and I'm convinced it must have been because of all the librarians and teachers.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: RuthNestvold on May 06, 2013, 09:56:17 am
How many books would you guys say an author has to have out for this to be worth it?
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Amanda Brice on May 06, 2013, 10:08:46 am
How many books would you guys say an author has to have out for this to be worth it?

I think that entirely is up to the author.

Personally, I plan to put in as many as 8 different books during my 12-month period (although two will be novellas rather than novels), but I know people who have found it to be completely worth it with just 1 book.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Susan Kaye Quinn on May 06, 2013, 12:03:41 pm
If anyone is looking to join a NetGalley co-op, I believe that Kellie Sheridan is putting one together. Tell her I sent you! Kellie Sheridan <[email protected]>
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Kellie Sheridan on May 06, 2013, 12:13:15 pm
Indeed, I am! I keep missing the groups as they form here on the boards, so would love to make this happen!
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: portiadacosta on May 06, 2013, 12:59:14 pm
I think that entirely is up to the author.

Personally, I plan to put in as many as 8 different books during my 12-month period (although two will be novellas rather than novels), but I know people who have found it to be completely worth it with just 1 book.

I'm wondering about novellas... how short would you say is too short? :)

I've got a hot menage novella that I'm very fond of... abound 33K. Too tidgy?
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Susan Kaye Quinn on May 06, 2013, 01:15:00 pm
I'm wondering about novellas... how short would you say is too short? :)

I've got a hot menage novella that I'm very fond of... abound 33K. Too tidgy?

I've got a 12k novella that's the first epiosode of my Debt Collector serial up there right now. People are requesting it - not as many as the sexy NA novels, but I imagine your erotica novella would do just fine. :)
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Kellie Sheridan on May 07, 2013, 11:17:44 am
The group I'm organizing is now half-full after only a day! If any other KBoards authors are interested, we'd love to have you.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: portiadacosta on May 07, 2013, 11:26:58 am
I've got a 12k novella that's the first epiosode of my Debt Collector serial up there right now. People are requesting it - not as many as the sexy NA novels, but I imagine your erotica novella would do just fine. :)

Thanks, Susan. I think I'll go with that novella for starters, to see how things go. Then swap it out with something else after an appropriate period. Now I think I need to come up with a super blurb... not sure the current one is snappy or enticing enough.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Kellie Sheridan on June 11, 2013, 01:39:05 pm
Hello, hello! Just wanted to jump back in here with a quick update and request. After Susan's original post, I ended up taking on admin responsibilities for a group of writers on the waiting list for another group (and then some others who joined up along the way). Things with that group have gone fantastically well so far, but we still had authors waiting to get involved. As I have really enjoyed using NetGalley from the publishers side for the first group so far, I offered to take on the second co-op as well. We're over halfway full, but things have stalled a bit and we still need a few more authors to fill our ranks and get started. So, if you or anyone you know might be interested in joining a co-op, we'd love to have you. I handle the admin side of things and most of the review requests (although everyone else is welcome to be as involved as they'd like) so it can be as simple as sending me your title information and checking in periodically for reviews.

If you're interested, feel free to contact me here on KBoards or through the contact information in this post - http://www.patchwork-press.com/patchwork-press-is-now-on-netgalley-and-you-can-be-too/ I'm also always around to answer any questions.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Susan Kaye Quinn on June 11, 2013, 01:50:19 pm
Glad it's going well, Kellie! I'll put out the word for you...
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: TexasGirl on June 11, 2013, 02:24:21 pm
You guys should do this! I'm in Kellie's first group and it's a great way to get good quality reviews. I've had a great time with it.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: penrefe on June 11, 2013, 03:12:37 pm
I'm in Kellie's new group, all sounds really easy, can't wait to get going! Let's get in, guys!
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: beccaprice on June 11, 2013, 03:42:32 pm
How does netgalley work? $300 seems an awful lot of money, and I'm not sure my genre (children's books) would have all that many takers... do I send out print copies, or are they all ebooks?
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Just Browsing on June 11, 2013, 03:51:46 pm
Where are the reviews posted?
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Chelsea Campbell on June 11, 2013, 05:31:45 pm
How does netgalley work? $300 seems an awful lot of money, and I'm not sure my genre (children's books) would have all that many takers... do I send out print copies, or are they all ebooks?

They're all ebooks, so it doesn't cost you anything to send them to bloggers who request it.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: TexasGirl on June 11, 2013, 07:13:14 pm
The book I currently have in (A new adult paranormal romance) has had in the last three weeks:

91 approved download requests (28 we declined)
38 actual downloads
5 reviews written

The reviews have been put on Goodreads and Amazon.

I still have 11 more months and many more books to put in. I am specifically doing it FOR my children's books, in hopes to get some school librarians reading and maybe suggesting my books for the AR system, which is key to getting sales.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: TiffanyTurner on June 11, 2013, 07:29:25 pm
The book I currently have in (A new adult paranormal romance) has had in the last three weeks:

91 approved download requests (28 we declined)
38 actual downloads
5 reviews written

The reviews have been put on Goodreads and Amazon.

I still have 11 more months and many more books to put in. I am specifically doing it FOR my children's books, in hopes to get some school librarians reading and maybe suggesting my books for the AR system, which is key to getting sales.

How do you get listed with children's books? I'm trying to find more ways for librarians to find my book. Is there a separate network for children's books? Or is it just a lot of books grouped together for people to choose from? Plus, it looks like on the website, it's for new books. Do they have to be before release or is newly released OK?
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Kellie Sheridan on June 11, 2013, 08:09:11 pm
Thanks to everyone who jumped in an answered questions!!

Books are grouped by categories, so those looking specifically for childrens books can find them all in one place. You can pick two categories per title.

Both ARCs and previously released titles are totally welcome.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: 56139 on June 11, 2013, 08:28:51 pm
I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade or anything, but wouldn't it be a better use of money to buy a BookBub ad for that money, then gets a crapload of sales, an amazing ranking in the bestsellers list, and get the same number of reviews out of it after the promo is over?

Netgalley is so hit or miss, and the results are so diluted over time, not to mention, it could potentially backfire on your if lots of people don't like your book. 

It does give you visibility and you might get lucky and get a well-known blogger to pick up your book, but that's slim.  Most of the big bloggers get their books via recommendation from other big bloggers.  Plus, what if the big blogger hates your  book?

I think one of the best lessons I've learned as an author is that you don't want everyone to read and review your book, you want people who think they'll love it to read and review your book.  I'm not sure that's the general consensus of Netgalley bloggers.  I think some of them are just looking for free books, they know they have to write a review to keep getting them, so they do.  But that review may or may not be helpful to the author.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: jenminkman on June 11, 2013, 10:57:42 pm
So far, I've had some really, REALLY harsh reviews on there, but also some really nice ones, and most in the middle of that for the first novella (a hard sell at any rate) I put up in our co-op group. The funny thing is that even despite the one-star reviews I was getting, I was still seeing an increase in sales and GR adds for the sci-fi/dystopian book - apparently people want to know what all the fuss is about. Having said that, I do get more selective with review requests now. If I don't get a geek-sci-fi vibe off a reviewer who requests my title, I decline :P
I can safely say it's been wel worth the money so far. I am planning to put up more titles as the year progresses and see what happens. If I keep getting the feeling people request my book even if they don't like the genre I'm writing in, I'll say goodbye next year.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: Wansit on June 12, 2013, 12:36:36 am
I like NetGalley - it's given me some really great reviews, some really bad reviews, more exposure and good critiques. Also with I don't have to worry about setting up review tours for my new books.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: David J Normoyle on June 12, 2013, 03:08:28 am

I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade or anything, but wouldn't it be a better use of money to buy a BookBub ad for that money.


I doubt it's worth doing if you already have enough reviews that you can easily buy a Bookbub ad. Getting enough reviews for the big ad sites is the main reason I'm doing it.
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: RM Prioleau on June 12, 2013, 05:06:30 am
I've been doing Netgalley for about 2 months now, and switched out books at the beginning of this month. I've gotten tons of review requests, but not one review on any of my books as of yet. I'm really hoping this will work for me, as it seems like an awesome opportunity to get your book exposed to so many potential readers. Perhaps Netgalley is a 'hit or miss' thing, but I still think it's well worth the money for the amount of exposure you get having your book sitting alongside top best-selling books from big 6 publishers.

What I've noticed is how many requests I've gotten from international readers. Maybe more international people are interested in my books than people in the US? It's mind-boggling, but I think it's cool. :)

Quote from:  JanneCO
I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade or anything, but wouldn't it be a better use of money to buy a BookBub ad for that money, then gets a crapload of sales, an amazing ranking in the bestsellers list, and get the same number of reviews out of it after the promo is over?
I can't use Bookbub because I either: A) don't have enough reviews, B) book ratings aren't high enough, or C) both A&B
Title: Re: NetGalley for Indie Authors
Post by: TexasGirl on June 12, 2013, 05:08:31 pm
I'm also using NetGalley for books that can't be on BookBub because they don't offer the category.

So far it's been a good experience. I say if you can afford to, do anything you can. I'm building up an audience one last time before issuing part 3 of a series.