My experience with a NetGalley co-op by Patchwork Press

If you’ve seen my Super-Duper List of Book Advertising Websites, then you may have noticed my moaning about the $399 NetGalley signup fee. That’s just so you can give your book away for free to book bloggers and other professionals, in hopes that they will post a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Needless to say, I was in no mood to take that big of a financial hit, until I came across another author mentioning Patchwork Press and the NetGalley co-op service they provide. Basically, instead of paying $399 to list one of your books for six months, you get to try the service for much, much less – in fact, a year-long listing through the co-op would cost only $360. You can try NetGalley for one month for just $50. It sounded too good to be true, but I can spare a fifty, so I was willing to try it.

I listed Shizzle, Inc for one month from late July to August. To simplify things, I’ve decided to break my review into two parts: my experience with Patchwork Press and my opinion of NetGalley.

Patchwork Press:

  1. First of all, the co-op is not a hoax! Yay! Shizzle, Inc was listed on Netgalley as promised (the listing is now archived). The reason you pay less is that (I assume), Patchwork Press (PP) pays a publisher fee and gets to list a large number of titles, at a fraction of a cost for each.
  2. PP has a responsive customer service – all my emails were answered promptly. There was a glitch when Shizzle, Inc was not posted on the day I wanted, but I got a prompt apology and the listing was extended as a bonus.
  3. Great customer service continued throughout, not just until I paid the bill – something was wrong with my epub file, but PP offered to sort it for me. I was given an option to provide a Word file, which they converted.
  4. PP did all the assessments of requests and chose who should or shouldn’t get a copy of my book. You may prefer to have control over this aspect of the service, but I was happy to let them use their experience and judgement.
  5. Every time a review was posted, I got an email from NetGalley asking if I wanted to have it added to the book’s page. I had to forward this email to PP if I wanted the review to be added, and they did so very quickly (in less than a day).
  6. There’s no option to use NetGalley’s marketing services, but I’m about to ask PP if that option exists but is not advertised by them.

NetGalley:

  1. I don’t know how many requests Shizzle, Inc had, but I got 5 reviews in the span of a month – 4 positive and 1 negative.
  2. Turns out that people have the option to vote on the cover. This was an added bonus, as I’ve designed the cover myself and continuously worry if it’s good enough. The cover got 9 “thumbs up” and 1 “thumbs down.”
  3. I can’t weigh in on the marketing option (which is an additional $200 for your book to be included in a newsletter). NetGalley claims to have 30,000 subscribers to the newsletter, so I would imagine it would be a huge difference in the number of reviews.
  4. You may choose not to add the negative reviews to your book listing (as I did). However, you can’t control what gets posted on other platforms, so I got one negative review as a result. Bummer. But I did get four positive reviews, including one after the listing was archived. That’s an average of $10 per review, via an acceptable and perfectly legal platform.

Overall, I would recommend trying a co-op service. Apparently, there are others out there, such as Victory Editing for as little as $40/month. If you know of any others, please let me know!

May the positive reviews be with you.

19 Comments

Filed under Self-publishing and marketing, Shizzle, Inc.

19 responses to “My experience with a NetGalley co-op by Patchwork Press

  1. This is interesting! I think the genre is a big part of how many requests/reviews a book gets. Rise is so far at 34 reviews (positive and negative) in a span of about 2 months, but YA is a wide audience so that could be it. I would love to see some more people weigh in on their NetGalley experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a huge number, congrats! All 34 strictly due to NetGalley? Have you done the optional inclusion in the newsletter or strictly listing and no ads?

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      • Thank you! Yes, they are thanks to NetGalley, as everyone has to state they got a free copy from there in order to post it (legally). Sadly, since it’s not out yet they can’t post the reviews on Amazon which kind of sucks, but my publisher said they will email those who gave positive reviews after it’s available. I don’t know exactly what kind of options my publisher had, but I do know they auto-approved some people and those people got emails about it. I’m a part of NetGalley as a reviewer and I never received an email from them about it, though. Sooo no idea!

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  2. Very useful information. Thanks Ana for taking the time to share it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. olivia Barrington

    Sounds like a positive experience for you. Hopefully it will led to more sales down the line for all your books. Hope your feeling much better and your writer’s block has disappeared for you. Just referred someone to your list that is an author and a blogger. Apparently she liked the list and read your book, Shizzle,Inc. Hopefully she’ll keep reading the series! Take care, feel better. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Olivia! Word of mouth is the best, so glad the list was helpful. I am making notable progress every day, although writing anything funny is still too hard. Very happy to be enjoying my days now, though, every day is less and less pain meds.

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  4. I read and review for Net Galley (I’m a writer too but have never used their services for my books) and there are quite a few things that might make a difference. Indeed we get newsletters, but we get some that are general (sometimes I might see books that sound interesting but when I check they are only available to people living in the US, for example), and others are more directed (I do get one for UK that is where my account is based). They also send newsletters about books that are ‘on their radar’ but those might not be available for request yet. And they also send messages for individual books (I think these might be at a high cost). Then they run special features at times, challenges, and sometimes include books that don’t need to be approved (and these tend to get a lot of readers). I have been contacted by publicists and publishing companies following comments about a book, so it does work both ways. It sounds like a very interesting option, but it’s true that some genres have a bigger readership, and it is also possible that people will keep reading and posting reviews later (for what you say PP were well organised, but sometimes I’ve had requests approved weeks or months after and by then they just join a big pile of books to read). Thanks, Anna and I hope everything is looking up.

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    • Thank you, Olga. Maybe I will try a full-on NetGalley service one day. Will advise if co-op provides access to newsletter ads. I’m feeling sooo much better, thank you. Have been doing two walks around the block a day for the last couple of days. Major change from barely getting off the couch.

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    • Interesting. What is ‘a book that doesn’t need to be approved’?

      As usual Ana has provided a fascinating post. I’ve spent an hour or so browsing these various sites and it seems that there is still a very high percentage of readers who download the books for free and then don’t post a review, which is sad. This fits with my experience – for my new book Broken Alibi I emailed everyone on my email list – these are people who actually like my books – offering a free copy in return for an honest review. I sent out 52 free copies and so far, 2 months later, have received 19 reviews. All good but it still means that 60% of those who specifically requested a free book didn’t bother to review it. It seems to be the same on NetGallery. That said, it still looks tempting.

      Another question – when these reviews appear on Amazon do they have to state that a free copy was received?

      Glad to hear you’re feeling better, Ana. Your covers, incidentally,, are brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wanted to use Netgallery, but the price was a little hard to swallow. It is so good to know there are options!

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  6. Thank you for sharing. Great information. Wish you positive response and reviews. 😀

    Like

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