I was on the NetGalley the other day just having a nose around. I like to see if anything is interesting, and I came across a book called NetGalley’s Book Advocacy Toolkit by We Are Bookish. In this e-book, they offered tips on how to best utilize NetGalley and the places where you share reviews.
As someone who has written a few blog posts like this, I was curious. What tips do they have? Is there anything new that I hadn’t really thought of? The answer to that is…not really, but it could still be somewhat useful.
A lot of the information they offer are things that you’re already told on NetGalley. That you ideally want a feedback ratio of 80% or higher. You should regularly update your bio and try not to go on any request sprees. Or at least, don’t go on them too often. Something it doesn’t warn you about is what happens if you click that you will not be giving feedback. For many, it was amazing when this option was added. It made it seem like you don’t have to review a book if you no longer wish to review it for whatever reason. Unfortunately, NetGalley still considers that book unread, so having too many books marked this way will negatively impact your feedback ratio.
You should always leave feedback on your NetGalley books. Even if it gets archived and you had no chance to read it. Leave a review explaining why you didn’t read it. That way your feedback ratio won’t be messed up.
Within this book, there are different pages for different social media. I appreciated the fact there are pages for both YouTube and TikTok. I don’t make content on either of those apps, so I can’t go into detail on this, but the tips seemed pretty basic. Still, it was nice to see them being promoted as good places to review books. The advice was also different to that for blogs and so on. So whoever wrote this does have some understanding of bookish content creation, at least.
In the Instagram section, there was a tip that I found kind of helpful. The problem with Instagram and e-books is that it can be difficult to work out how to share a photo. If you read on your phone and also use it to take photos, it can be pretty difficult. But they suggest taking a photo of a switched off e-reader – or I’m thinking someone else’s phone – and then editing the cover on using something like Canva or Photoshop. It’ll mean you can put together a photo that matches your own theme or style, whilst not having to worry about the cover looking good on the screen. Something they don’t suggest that you could also do is that rather than using an e-reader or phone, put in a placeholder book. You can still edit the new book cover over the placeholder book, but remember that this can be very obvious. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of photos done like this, but you can really take photos in your style this way.
There are also some general tips on content creation and using hashtags. Once again, these aren’t necessarily detailed. You’ll still have to do your own research for the content you want to make, but if you’re brand new then this could be a good place for you to start.
So is this book useful? If you’re a complete beginner, sure. But if you’re looking for further advice to help you along? This book won’t be any help.