Bookish ramblings part 15 – traversing the waters of Netgalley

So today i’m talking Netgalley – not in a bad way, more in a “Gaynor stumbles cluelessly into things again” kind of a way.  For a long time since I started blogging Netgalley wasn’t on my radar, but one day an author (who I had ARC reviewed for in the past) asked me to review book 2 in her trilogy and told me it was on Netgalley for request.  Off I trundled to look up Netgalley and sign up.  I requested her book only to be denied a copy by her publisher; great. Whilst her publisher were apologetic when I contacted them the damage had been done and I could no longer request a copy again.  Off to a bad start.   As I had only signed up for that book my account sat idling away for a while until another review opportunity came my way, which worked well.  Score 1.

The other week I mentioned that I would be trying to make better use of Netgalley as a review platform, and as with all things I appreciated that this would take time to build a rapport with but then I was knee jerk scare mongered by another blogger.  Apparently Netgalley had closed its doors to the smaller bloggers in their view. You could only wish for books not request them.  What I discovered however could not be further from the truth, there are still plenty of books available for request but if you’re looking for the big name, trad published new releases you’re likely to be out of luck – shocker.  So why the post today from me?  Well as a result of my knee jerk reaction I found myself desperate to be part of the Netgalley world which one blogger said I couldn’t be part of any more (Disclaimer – I may have had some wine) and I found myself amazed to find myself able to immediately be approved for a Sci-fi book from Bloomsbury Publishers – WOW I thought.  So what I ended up with was a re-release of a 1975 sci-fi novel (which was highly acclaimed at the time) which had had a revamp.  So bad restart alert; this very much read like a 1975 novel, strong female characters were no-where to be found and it was very much 1975 USA v Russia and lots of men sitting around talking and smoking cigars.  I was desperate to maintain blog integrity but had to succumb to a DNF today.  This has no doubt hurt my rating, but I continue.

After submitting my DNF review I requested again, only to (surprise) be rejected.  But this is ok, I feel it shows integrity to be honest about not liking a book but being kind with it – which I was.  Having spent years involved with Indie Publishing I know how much hard work goes into a release and how easy it is for keyboard warriors to tear that down.  I have never given a 1* review and only once given a 2* (but that was with constructive feedback).  In my view an author deserves at least 3* for going through the sweat and tears of getting to the publish point in the first place!

Going back to my first paragraph however, it seems that I could have done a lot more with Netgalley to get myself out there, for instance I hadn’t linked my blog to my account, my profile picture was blank etc so now I have tried again, and I will keep trying!   When I first became involved in the publishing world I was part of massive groups known as Street Teams but now I have branched out on my own with this blog I feel that I am feeling my way around blindly, progress is slow but I’m getting there.  I have mastered many social media platforms and I will get there with Netgalley.  Twitter however remains my nemesis……………

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