Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. This feature was previously known as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Design.
I think most bookbloggers have heard of Netgalley. Netgalley is a site where you can request review copies of books in an exchange for an honest review. And while I love netgalley there are also reasons why I dislike netgalley at times or maybe could use more restraint staying away. Those review copies certainly can be a double edged sword at times. In this post I will mention what I like and dislike about netgalley, althoguh the dislikes are not completely netgalley’s fault ;).
Why I like Netgalley
- Oportunity to request ARC’s. Netgalley offers bloggers and easy opportunity to request ARC’s and review copies. For new bloggers it can be hard to know where to start getting review copies and I think netgalley is a good site to start. And even for seasoned bloggers it’s a great site. So basically I like the concept of netgalley, having a site with a lot of possible review copies by multiple publishers to choose and request from. I still find it hard to request ARC’s from authors, so netgalley or directly from authors is the only way I receive ARC’s and I am happy that netgalley offers that opportunity.
- No contact necessary with author or publisher. Even though I have been blogger for more than two years now, the thought of directly contacting an author or publisher and asking them for a review copy is a daunting prospect. And I have to amdit I don’t think I ever requested a review copy directly through an author or publisher. I don’t like asking for things and I just can’t make myself actually contact publishers or authors. I either buy books myself or the authors approach me. So that’s one of the things I like about netgalley I don’t have to contact anyone, I just request and the request goes to the publisher and they either reject or accept my request. It also can be hard to send negative reviews to authors sometimes and that’s another reason why I like having netgalley as a sort of buffer between me and the authors/ publisher. Sure it means less personal contact with the author or publisher, but it also means it is less hard to submit negative feedback.
- Easy to request review copies. Netgalley makes it really easy tor equest review copeis, it hardly costs any time, you find the book you want and hit request, easy as that. There are no mails you have to type no stats of your blog you have to look up again. Everything they need is in my profile already. I just have to remember to update it once in a while, but as my blog doesn’t grow that fast once every few months is enough.
- Lots of variety. There are other sites who list review copies, but netgalley is one of the bigger ones which means there are lots of books on there. There are multiple genres, authors and publishers on there and lots of books. So for almost everyone there will be a book or genre that appeals to them. I like the variety of choice that netgalley offers.
- Neat and easy to navigate site. I like netgalley their site, it is easy to navigate and it all looks neat and clean. It’s one of the reasons I never got into Edelweiss as I didn’t like their site and it wasn’t intuitive. Netgalley their site is easy to navigate and I can easily find what I am looking for.
Why I dislike Netgalley
- The temptation of all the books. Sometimes it’s so hard to stay away from netgalley and the temptation of all the books on there that are calling my name and which I can request. It’s hard sometimes to have that temptation there.
- Easy to request books. While it’s also a good thing I also think that making it easy to request books can be bad thing. It only takes one click of the button and poof you requested that book. One lapse in self control and you reguested three more books while you were just there to send some feedback. And you can’t take it back after you sent the request.
- Deadline reading. While I am also happy that netgalley doesn’t really enforce deadlines. I still feel like it would be appreciated if you review the book aroudn the release date. And I often don’t manage that, although I am doing a bit better at this recently and it does make me feel good when I manage to read and review a book before or around the deadline/ release date. Although because there is no contact with the autor or publisher necessary that also means you feel this pressure less than when you had that contact and they actually mentioned the expectation of a deadline. So I usually ignore those deadlines and read the book whenever I want.
- I can’t see what type the file is before I request a book. I have a kobo e-reader and netgalley isn’t a big fan of epub files it seems, which is the only type of file my kobo likes. See we have a bit of a problem here. Before I request a book I can’t see which format they have available. Almost all books on netgalley work well on kindle, but sometimes there is a pdf and sometimes an epub or sometimes none at all. And often they are acsm files or drm protected, so I can’t convert them to epub. Nowadays I read on my ipad during breakfast which solved this issue partly. I basically read all my netgalley books on my ipad only. Which means at least I can read them now, but I still wish I could read them on my Kobo as well as I like having that choice. And a few of the older books I request I never sent to kindle, so there is no way to download and read them now.
- Unclear what to do when you don’t want to read a book anymore or didn’t download it in time. I don’t really think this is netgalley their fault, but I’ve had a few issues where I requested books I later didn’t want to read anymore. When I accept a review copy directly from the author they know that might happen, but with netgalley I am always usnure of how to proceed. I have submitted feedback a few times for those books, but it still feels wrong somehow. Or when you didn’t download it before they got archived I guess you can say that’s the reviewer his own fault, but sometimes it happens and sending feedback is the only option you have or directly contacting the publisher. And if you never submit feedback for books you can’t or don’t want to read anymore you still have that count towards your percentage.
- The pressure of 80%. My current percentage is 63% which isn’t bad, but I really feel that it would be desirable to get my percentage to 80%, also here it’s often the issue that I do read the recently requested book, but some books I requested long ago I lost interest in and I don’t read them. Or I read one book and then when I am there submitting feedback I see another book that catches my interest and I request it and my percentage goes down again. I am hoping that eventually I’ll get to that 80% though.
Most of these aren’t really dislikes with netgalley as a system, but more slightly negative results of using netgalley or having little self-control around netgalley.