An Author's Guide to NetGalley

I try not to set long term goals for my publishing career, but I'm willing to state for the record that my idea of nirvana is a place where next season's galleys arrive unbidden on one's doorstep, begging to be read.

That said, the newest thing in galley land is the eGalley. Many publishing professionals and reviewers are quite happy to stop lugging 20+ pounds of books with them whenever they go out of town, finding that the Nook, Kindle & iPad have helped them cut down on money spent at the chiropractor. There's a cost savings for publishers, too. Each paper galley costs more to produce than a copy of your finished book. (If you've ever thought that your publisher was stingy with galleys, it's because they're expensive.)

eGalleys, you might imagine, could take many formats. The earliest ones were simply .pdf files. These days, many publishers have converged upon a single website for their eGalley distribution, and that place is

From NetGalley's main page: NetGalley delivers secure, digital galleys to professional readers. If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to read and request titles before they are published.

How Does NetGalley Work?

Over 100 big six imprints and smaller publishers use NetGalley to help distribute pre-publication copies to reviewers. You can see a complete list here. Titles are released to NetGalley one season at a time. At the moment, the winter lists are up there, and they will disappear soon in favor of the spring lists. Your publisher pays NetGalley a fee based upon the number of titles on the system.

When a reviewer (or librarian or bookseller) wants to read a NetGalley title, they must first register with the system. Registration involves disclosing their professional affiliations. Book bloggers must include links to their blogs, and all requesters are asked to state which genres they read. After registering, readers must request titles individually. Those requests then go directly to the publisher, usually to the publicity department, who approves or denies the request. You can read even more about the system in this Publishers Weekly article.

How does this affect you, the author? Your only job is to ask whether or not your title appears on Netgalley, so that you'll know the correct answer if a reviewer asks. You might want to take a look at your book's setup on that site. (You can look at the public catalog without registering.) It's always nice to make sure that the catalog copy you worked so hard on is the version that made it into the world. Your NetGalley requests are also just one more metric your publicist uses to gauge whether or not your book is getting the attention it deserves.



  1. Love this! I love NetGalley. I don't have a lot of room in my flat, and it is nice to be able to grab the galley's I want to read instead of getting unsolicited review copies in the mail. It's awesome!

  2. Great post!!! Can't believe my book is going to be there soon. Thanks for the walk through. (((hugs)))

  3. Amazing! Is that mostly a US thing or are English publishers drifting over?

  4. Off to check. The last I chatted with my editor, they are not doing an e-galley because of the piracy thing. But things do have a tendency to change quickly these days.

  5. Interesting, Mollie! Although I can see on one of the used book sites that two copies of my paper galley are for sale there already. I wonder which reviewer peddled her copy to the Housing Works bookstore? j