When I started blogging, a friend told me about NetGalley, a website that provides free books to “professional readers.” Thousands of books in dozens of genres are available to bloggers, critics, educators, librarians and the media. It’s basically a bookworm’s crack house.
You just sign up and start shopping. See something you like? Click “request” and hope the publisher says yes. If all goes well, you get an email letting you know the title you wanted is available for download. NetGalley will even email your Kindle. You turn on your e-reader and BOOM! Books by Lisa Renee Jones, Maggie Stiefvater, and Marissa Meyer are just waiting for you. It is also a wonderful way to read books you’ve never heard of by authors you don’t know. It’s how I found Hush, Against the Ropes and Charming. I have gotten the occasional email saying my request was denied: I don’t have enough followers or my profile did not meet the publisher’s request criteria. But 98% of the time, I receive the book I request for free in exchange for honest reviews.
Confession time: I have not read or reviewed all the books I have downloaded from NetGalley. I feel guilty requesting new titles when I have plenty on my virtual shelf I need to read. trust me, I do the same with Amazon (buy more books than I read), but I have no problem piling up the books I bought. As a new blogger, I requested lots of free books from NetGalley in an attempt to produce content for this blog. Since my first post, however, I have made friends, joined blog tours and street teams… I have authors contact me for a review. I am constantly reading, but the books from NetGalley… not so much. I know I am not alone in this, but tonight I am convicted to fix my free books>feedback issue.
So… in addition to the cover reveals, book blitzes, and reviews that are on my schedule for December and January, I am going to read and review the books I have received via NetGalley. If anyone is still reading this post – thank you – but this is more about me being accountable to myself and the generous authors and publishers who make it possible for a website like NetGalley to exist. I look forward to clearing my shelf and then shopping for new books – guilt free. -kris