As a reader, I think Net Galley is great. But I’m not sure it’s worth the money as an Indie author. I know from personal experience that Indie Authors are always on the quest for great reviews….and this website completely dedicated to offering countless “professional readers” such as book reviewers, journalists, librarians, professors, booksellers, and bloggers…advanced access to your book for the expressed purpose of getting reviews sounds like a dream come true. But let me tell you…there is a clunky-ness to NetGalley that negates some of its practicality to Indie Authors, who are trying to build their audience and develop a following.
First Issue – At best, the genre designations are not ideal. At worse, they are outdated. My Book Dominic’s Nemesis is a Paranormal Romance, in a Gothic historical setting. My preferred designation? Paranormal Romance…which is NOT available on Net Galley. There is no option for paranormal romance. No, really. Never mind that paranormal romance is a major subgenre of romance and has been for quite a few years…certainly on par with historical romance, but alas if your book falls into this category you have to list it either as just a straight “romance” or as “romance” & “sci-fi Fantasy”. And let’s face it Paranormal is NOT the same as sci-fi/Fantasy. Paranormals take place in the regular world…Sci-fi/Fantasy create a new world. The only other option is listing it by time period…Romance & Contemporary (if its set in today’s time) or Romance Historical. No option for paranormal. To me this will likely impact the interest that the listing draws… Paranormal romance is hugely popular amongst romance readers. During my GoodReads ad campaign my book Dominic’s Nemesis received much more interest once I identified it as a paranormal romance, so this is obviously a draw. A draw that that is impossible to take advantage of on Net Galley because the genre-options on there are outdated. Also, its misleading…because you potentially have sci-fi/fantasy fans lured into reading a paranormal book which makes for negative or lack-luster reviews. I got two reviews with obviously annoyed readers…who went on about world-building or the world I build…Couldn’t blame them really. I just sighed. They had a point…they were expecting one thing and received another. They wanted some kind of bizarre sci-fi explanation/resolution to the central conflict…and they got a real-world reveal. I can understand the frustration.
Second Issue – The price is prohibitive. It’s obviously designed to benefit traditionally published authors because few Indie authors whose marketing/promotional budget is self-financed with a nine-to-five job or a treasured savings account…can afford to list their books themselves…There’s no such thing as a month-to-month listing. I think it starts are 3-months. It’s something like $600 for a 3-month listing. Yeah, ok…sure. eh, Not! Indies usually have to go through a third party list-er and even then it can be pricey. And you have to depend on someone else to post your listings…and they will never be as diligent as you because they have no stake in your book. They’ve already been paid.
Random things – I also don’t like the idea of depending on someone else to do my listing. I mean, I’m a stats person. I prefer to have the ability to track the stats on a daily basis in order to do adjustments to my listing as needed…and also to screen the submissions myself and decide who was approved and not approved, but alas. There may be more NetGalley drawbacks, above are just the two issues that *I* encountered with it during my limited one-month listing. I would say, do your homework before you extend the funds. One thing I noticed, some of the third-party listers are lowering their rates so now would be the best time to get a good deal. That’s definitely why I decided to give it a try.
My Verdict – Indies should approach with caution. It wasn’t a totally negative experience, but its not nirvana on earth either.
D. Alyce Domain
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