Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How I got my book on Netgalley

Netgalley used to be reserved for the big players in publishing, but not any more. New plan options have opened the door to indie authors creating all kinds of new opportunities. So let's talk about this.

 

First off, if you haven't heard of Netgalley, it's a place where reviewers, book buyers and librarians can request eARCs of books in order to write a review for the book or consider purchasing it for their store or library. It's totally free for the reviewers, but publishers pay a pretty penny to get their books listed. We're talking thousands of dollars a month.

That high price tag used to mean that Indie authors were out of luck. Until Netgalley opened up options for authors to list their books directly for a reduced rate in the several hundred dollar range. Now, that's still big money in my book for a marketing effort. But, with the change in pricing, many authors are choosing to form a co-op.

And that's what I did. I am working with Patchwork Press to have Rite of Rejection listed on Netgalley for two months. I send them all the information and my files. They handle working directly with Netgalley, getting everything loaded, screening the requests and sending out the book. I get to sit back and wait for the reviews to come in.

So, is it worth it? I would have to say a resounding "YES"!

First, let me say that the folks at Patchwork Press are outstanding to work with. They answered all my questions super fast and have made the process painless. They've also done a great job keeping me updated on the progress of the book.

In the first week of being listed, Rite of Rejection was requested by over 250 reviewers. I didn't have a frame of reference for that number, but according to the super helpful folks at Patchwork Press, that's a great number. So I'm stoked about that.

A note, with these requests, bloggers see your cover and your blurb, so it is super important that you have these polished up like a professional before trying to put your book on Netgalley.

It's too early to tell how many reviews I'll get out of those requests, though I can say that my first review on Goodreads came from a reviewer that got the book off Netgalley. So that's a win.

But here's the deal. Even if I don't get a lot of reviews, I am getting a lot of exposure. People I don't know, and might not have access to, are able to see and request my book. For a debut author, the biggest obstacle is discoverability. No one knows who you are, so you have to work extra hard to get your book in front of fresh eyes. By listing Rite of Rejection on Netgalley, I'm getting all kinds of exposure that used to be reserved for only books published by the bigger houses.

So far, I haven't done any promotion of the Netgalley listing. I let the bloggers who are participating in my blog tour know about it and asked them to pass it along to any reviewers they thought might be interested. Now that I've got the cover reveal behind me, I'll probably do a little link promotion to get the word out a bit more, but I don't want to go overboard here. I'm going to be talking about the book a lot in the next month on social media and I don't want to burn folks out with references to a site that most of my followers don't use. Especially now that the book is available for pre-order.

I'll keep you posted on this as more numbers come in, but please let me know if you have any questions about how it works. Also, if you know any reviewers, librarians or book buyers who you think might enjoy the book, please let them know they can now request it on Netgalley.

4 comments:

  1. This is awesome! I've just been across to Patchwork Press and seriously, $45 for a month is not so bad, especially considering you can "lend" out time to other authors. That's $10 /week and you could easily "sell/rent/lend" a week or two and keep the rest for yourself. I'm off to send them an email about my non-fiction & my poetry chapbook - Sarah you're AMAZING!

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    1. Good luck! The folks at Patchwork are great!

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  2. I'm glad Nikola mentioned the price 'coz the "thousands" and "hundreds" scared me. I know authors who've put their books on Netgalley. Now I'm wondering how much they paid for it.

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    1. Most of the time, publishers are the ones paying to have your book posted. They pay a per month fee that allows them to post X number of books. I know that some author in the past were willing to shell out the buck to do it on their own, but I can't imagine that being a wise investment. Patchwork is $45/month and the price/month goes down as you add more months. So I went for two months at $80 that way I would have it up the month before and after the release.

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