Blogging 101: Why Your Netgalley Ratio Matters

Hey readers, I hope you’re all well!

I don’t know how widely known this one is, I know for myself this was something I really only fully came to realise within the last 6 months or so as it wasn’t totally obvious to me *looks around… maybe it’s just me* – but your netgalley ratio of galleys to reviews counts quite a lot. As in, it could be stopping you from receiving galleys if your ratio isn’t high enough.

Before I go into this in more detail, I am going to take a step backwards.

What is Netgalley?

Netgalley for those of you who aren’t aware is a source that is available to bloggers. You can register for free, and essentially, they act as the provider of the service. Publishers that use Netgalley make available upcoming releases of books (ARC’s), which bloggers, librarians and educators can request to read, which the publishers will either approve or deny access to. These galleys can then be read on your computer or ereader.

Netgalley says:

“In return, you are asked to consider reviewing or recommending the books or at least providing feedback to the publisher; writing reviews is not mandatory, but publishers can see your request-to-feedback ratio, so they may be dissuaded from accepting requests from those who rarely offer feedback.”

What’s your ratio?

So your ratio is essentially the amount of galleys that you have been approved access to vs the amount of feedback (reviews) you have left for these books. I am going to be completely honest with you all right now and tell you how bad mine is…. see, I didn’t realise how important it was when I first started blogging… or even a year and a half into it. I understood there was a ratio, but as I was still being approved for books, it didn’t really seem to be a priority for me. I was being approved for books, and so I wasn’t overly selective about what I requested. Regrettably, I have only really started to understand the importance of this now.

Currently, I have had 102 galleys approved to read, and I have left feedback for only 25 of these. Eeek!! That means roughly I have a 3:1 ratio, or 25% feedback level.

This is what one of the publishers (St Martin’s Press) on Netgalley says in their own words about ratio:

“The ratio of “Requests Approved” to “Number of Reviews” is very important. We are only allowed to share a limited amount of galleys, so we want to make sure that the people we are granting requests to will read and review the book. If you want to improve your ratio, please consider submitting reviews for St. Martin’s Press titles you’ve been approved for in the past.”

I am still being approved for galleys currently, but I am actually on a bit of a self imposed hiatus from requesting books unless it’s something I desperately want, because I want to start making my ratio better instead of exacerbating it further.

How can you fix your ratio?

This one is easy. Read those galleys that you have available to you now, and review them!! Leaving feedback is super easy on Netgalley. You go to your shelf, and then I usually toggle to view my “reading list” and then there’s a green button with “start feedback” and I paste the link to the review on the site, and the review itself there, and let the publisher know.

In the next month or two, I plan on getting many of these reads completed and I will be posting my reviews on the site, but also on Netgalley, which in turn will lift my feedback amount. I am aiming for 2:1 ratio in this time.

I am hoping I am not the only one out there with a shonky Netgalley ratio! But the sooner you get control over it and try and fix it up, the more books you’re likely to be approved for in the future which of course is important as a blogger, let’s face it!

My advise to new users or those in the same situation as I am in currently is to be really selective about the books you request. Request books you know you will read or can fit into your schedule. For me, it wasn’t always lack of interest, but more so too many books to read in an unrealistic time frame, so books inevitably get left behind. Keep this in mind when you’re requesting books! And make sure when you do review books, to also leave feedback directly on Netgalley for it to count.

 

I hope this was of some help to you. If you have a question or something you want to know more about, let me know in the comments below, or email me at booknerdreviews@gmail.com and I might just answer your question in an upcoming blog. :)

What do you think?

  • This is a great article :D I didn’t realise some publishers require a certain ratio … I’ll have to look at the requirements of the ones that always reject me (although I think it also has to do with us being in Australia?)

    My own stats: 188 approvals, 100 reviews sent. I try to keep the number of reviews sent more than double of the approvals, so my review ratio is greater than 50%

    I also have adopted a policy where sometimes it’s obvious that even though I was excited about a title when it was pre-publication, 9 months on, I’m not so excited. So now every month go through and identify the books I won’t be reading/reviewing and sent a quick message to the pub, and it’s counted as reviewed on NG.

    Thanks,
    Shaheen @ Speculating on SpecFic

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Shaheen! I wasn’t sure if I was alone with this – kinda went out on a limb hoping I wasn’t alone when posting this. lol But yes, some publishers do have an expectation.

      Definitely some publishers reject us based on being in Australia – some publishers will make their books available only to those in certain countries, so it can come down to other factors too.

      Your ratio is very nice!!!!! I really should use yours as a benchmark that I might be able to achieve someday. Unfortunately I have dug myself a bit of a hole and it’ll take some time to fix it, but I will get there.

      OH good tip as well about sending a message to the publisher, do you do this via the feedback section on Netgalley? There have been times where I’ve felt this way and not read the book, but never left a comment – perhaps I should do this?
      Melissa recently posted…Blogging 101: Why Your Netgalley Ratio MattersMy Profile

      • Yes, so in the FEEDBACK section, there are two fields, one for review and one for comments under that. If I don’t get around to a title 6 months after release, and I know I’m not going to review it, I leave the publisher a comment letting them know. NG counts that as leaving Feedback.

        The Publisher will still know you didn’t review the title, but I’ve always understood publishers get that you won’t review EVERY SINGLE BOOK. Plus the whole advantage of NG is to send out ARCs that aren’t too expensive to produce, so it’s not the equivalent of not reviewing a physical ARC, in my humble opinion!

        Awww, I feel special you’d try for a ratio like mine! Like you, I’ve had to learn slowly how to behave myself around review copies and ARCs :p It’s so tempting to request everything that looks awesome.

        • Melissa says:

          I know the one you’re talking about, yes! I never used that before, but now I will start using it. You make a very valid point, and I don’t think publishers will be upset that you don’t review every book, as it’s probably not realistic. I’ll do that for some of the outstanding ones I have for sure. Thanks for the tip, appreciate that!

          Of course, your ratio is awesome. :D Yes, live and learn I say!! x
          Melissa recently posted…Blogging 101: Why Your Netgalley Ratio MattersMy Profile

        • Julie S. says:

          So I’m still struggling with this a little, wondering how you word your replies to publishers if you didn’t get around to reading and reviewing that book, and decide you will pass. What’s a nice way to say thanks for the opportunity, sorry I didn’t get my act together? lol

          • I usually use a variation of:

            “Thank you very much for approving me for this e-galley. Although I was really looking forward to it, I unfortunately didn’t get around to reading it before it expired.

            Sorry for any inconvenience, Shaheen”

            If it’s a DNF I say that the book wasn’t holding my interest or the story wasn’t what I expected or the MC wasn’t likeable or whatever. I’m honest: even with publicists who I know and talk to regularly, I always just tell them I didn’t like something and I’ve never had them say anything except “That’s OK, sorry you didn’t like it”.

            Hope that helped!

      • Shannon says:

        Thank you so much for this tip! I have been on NG for a few years, but have a horrible ratio because I tend to get approved in batches so I often end up with more than I would like.

        I am now going through and doing this and my rating is going up again! I’m not sure that this will help me remain on the same level of approval I was getting, but it will be nice to have a higher rating. (I was in single digits!)

  • Cait D says:

    I’ve only just started reviewing via netgalley. It’s a lot of fun, but being a newbie I don’t get approved for all the books I want! So far, I’m 8/10. ^_^ I’m pretty happy with that.
    Great post! I stumbled across it via twitter and noooow, I’m following! :)

  • Rebecca says:

    Great post! I joined Netgalley last year, got accepted for a title but never read it because I didn’t know how to.access it and then it expired. Since then, I’ve requested multiple titles (only ones I NEED in my life) but have been knocked back for all them. I know it was only the one book and I’ve heard it can take a LONG time to get accepted but it makes me wonder, would it improve my case if I read the title and left feedback? It’s not one I want to read but if that’s part of the problem… Hmm. Hopefully I’ll get an email telling me I’ve been accepted rather than one of those depressing ones, knocking you back. A girl can dream :)

    • Melissa says:

      It really wouldn’t hurt if you’ve since actually read the book. You can go back to previous approvals and leave feedback for books you’ve since read, and it definitely will count on Goodreads.

      In terms of only being approved for the one book and no others, it could be a factor of other things. Publishers look for certain information in your profile, including site stats, a bit about you and the site and the books you like, and sometimes you mightn’t be approved for a range of reasons – it could be location (I get rejected a bit being in Australia alone), or it could be as simple as they’ve got a certain amount of ARC’s they can approve and they’ve allocated them all.

      Maybe try going for some good titles, but not the overly popular ones, as these will be approved more often and then you can boost your approved galleys and reviews, and get approved for more of the bigger ones?

      Good luck!
      Melissa recently posted…Blogging 101: Why Your Netgalley Ratio MattersMy Profile

      • My experience:

        It took me a very long time to start getting approved my publishers on NG. I began by requested things from the smaller publishers, especially the ones that handle self-published authors for example, and grew from there. Same thing on Edelweiss: it took me more than a year to get my first approval, and then the book EXPIRED before I downloaded it (the pub didn’t send a confirmation email). It took another 3 months for my second approval :p

        • Melissa says:

          Yeah I agree Shaheen… it takes a while to get momentum, but it seems to happen all at once when it does. It took even longer for me to start getting approved on Edelweiss!!
          Melissa recently posted…Blogging 101: Why Your Netgalley Ratio MattersMy Profile

          • Rebecca says:

            Okay, thanks for that! I guess I’ll just keep trying and also see if I can update my profile on Netgalley anymore than I already have. The book I requested last year, I haven’t read it and I don’t want to so I think I’ll just leave it as it is. I’ll keep my eye out for ones that are on my list but are not the most popular titles but it usually happens to be that the ones I wan’t are the ones that everyone wants to read too.

  • I think it’s good that the ration is counted. That way it looks like the people requesting actually want to read the books they ask for, and that they’re dedicated to their reviews. And my ratio is probably the reason I get rejected a fair bit (that and my blog is still a baby blog)

    I have a really horrible ration as well! I’ve been approved for around 40 books and only reviews 12 or something *hides in shame* I’m trying to tackle it but school and other books keep getting in the way. Hopefully I have time to get through them over the Christmas break. In the mean time I have am on a requesting ban and basically avoid Netgalley unless I’m going there to post a review.

    Thanks for the interesting post!

    • Melissa says:

      I agree Bec, I think it’s really good that they look at ratio and count it too. I only wish I was smarter with this when I first started… haha

      Your ratio is about the same as mine is at the moment, roughly 25%. But the good thing is, that it’s relatively easy to tackle – but you’re right, you need time to actually sit down, read & review. But we’re in the same boat… we can do it! ;) Good luck with yours!
      Melissa recently posted…Blogging 101: Why Your Netgalley Ratio MattersMy Profile

  • My ratio is AWFUL. Out of all the books I’ve requested (hundreds and hundreds), I’ve only ever left feedback for 6!!! I’m a bad person I know :( aha .. I do intend on fixing this but I request way too many at a time so it’ll be a while before I make any significant progress xP Great post!!

    Laura @ What’s Hot?

  • Julie S. says:

    How do you find out what the ratio is? It isn’t on my profile, or is it hiding? I know mine will be atrocious! I started requesting galleys before I even became a blogger and haven’t been that selective over what I requested. I wonder if I’ve even reviewed 10% of what I requested previously. :(

    • Julie S. says:

      I guess as a follow up question, is there a way to tell netgalley you’ve changed your mind about reading a book? To get it off your list?

    • Julie S. says:

      I see now where the stats are. Wow I have been approved for a lot and have submitted reviews for very little. Thank you for this eye opening post!

      • Melissa says:

        Hi Julie!

        The ratio itself isn’t listed, I’ve just done the math and worked it out based on the percentage of feedback left to galleys requested.

        Shaheen commented above and actually was very helpful in answering your question about giving feedback to publishers to advise you won’t be reading their books. So in the feedback section, there’s a second field box, where you can advise a publisher you didnt get a chance to read the book – this will still count as feedback given too.

        Glad you enjoyed the post!
        Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

        • Julie S. says:

          What happens to the books once they are archived? I don’t have that many on my “shelf” but I know I have been approved for a lot more in the past. I’m wondering if they were deleted/archived and no longer show up, so I can no longer inform the publishers I will not be reading that book. I assume that still affects my stats even if the book is no longer accepting feedback.

  • Hi Melissa! Thanks for the great write up and tips! We definitely think the approval to feedback ratio is very important so thanks for explaining it further for your readers!

  • Amber Stults says:

    Very solid and informative post. I am sure my NG ratio is in the pits. Most of my requested books arrived prior to the big switch they made in the interface and all my acceptances were archived. From reading the comments, it’s good to know there is a feedback feature. At least the publisher would know then why it didn’t work out.
    Amber Stults recently posted…Help Choose a ChimpMy Profile

    • Melissa says:

      And the good news is, that if you were to read any of those old titles after the fact (if you bought the book or borrowed it for example), you can always go in and leave feedback later on as well, and it will still count!
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • Awesome post! I just started blogging and had recently been asking people questions about this, and I don’t think you are alone in not being sure about this at first. I got a lot of responses from people tha have been review a while that weren’t really sure how much effect it had because they were still, like you, getting approved. I’ve been approved for 20 & currently have sent in 9 title feedbacks. I’m currently not requesting anything else until I get them all done unless its something I HAVE to have. I got a little request happy at first, I think like most beginners do, and just requested them if they looked semi good because I honestly didn’t realize how easily you can get approved on NG. Some I have I’m not really very enthusiastic about reading, but I will read them just because I want to keep a great ratio going! My main goal: one day Disney Hyperion will approve me lol They are hard!!!

    • Melissa says:

      Yeah I definitely agree that as newbie bloggers we all get a little request happy, and sometimes this is a good thing to get us started, but then sometimes we also get approved for more than we bargain for and get caught out then and there.

      Disney Hyperion ARE hard to get approved by yes! I have only been approved by them a couple of times myself, but I am hoping that a better ratio might help? I am trying!
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • I’ve always been a stickler on reviewing everything I request. I thought you really had to to keep getting accepted, much like you mention about ratio. I did, however, let my first book slip me by due to the awful reviews the book was getting. I have a couple others that will most likely expire too (I have a Nook so they expire on it after a certain amount of days, unlike the Kindle, which SUCKS). I really thought I HAD to so I feel a bit better now about letting it go if I must. I seriously had no idea people didn’t review everything! I’ve always tried to hold back on requesting b/c I’m a super slow reader for a blogger. My stats right now are like 28 approved and 27 feedback in 1.5 years of blogging. This is really great to post because I think a lot of people, myself included, really are still unfamiliar with how this all works.

    • Melissa says:

      Oh wow, that’s an impecable record you have!! I am a bit of a slow reader too, so don’t fret! Which is part of my problem really cause I get request happy, and then never find time to read and review. lol

      But no, you don’t have to read and review every book, but certainly if you have a good ratio like you do, you’re definitely more likely to be approved for the books you do want!

      I’m really glad you learnt something with this post, that’s all I ever aim to do!
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • Mine is 13 approved, 9 feedback, which isn’t great but I did just get two of them late last week. I’m also 1/1 on Edelweiss.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen the new profile they have coming out, but it says the recommended ratio is 80%.

    • Melissa says:

      I actually think this is a really good ratio – it’s almost 70%, which certainly isn’t a bad ratio to have! Especially if you did only receive 2 of them last week. Well done! :D

      Eeek 80%? Geez I need to get a wriggle on… lol
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • I recently downloaded a couple of books I need to review, so my score at the moment is 45 approved and 38 feedback :)

    I honestly never realized this, but it does make sense.. In the beginning, I went crazy with requesting and I never saw the e-ARCs as ‘real books.’ I didn’t take them seriously enough, so that was a beginners mistake. I’m now more aware of their importance and I’m happy that my ratio is good :D

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

    • Melissa says:

      Oh you have a really good percentage happening! 84% at the moment, which is an awesome effort. :D

      Yeah, so many of us do that as new bloggers – go all out and request heaps of books, but didn’t realise the importance of treating them like a physical ARC. I know this is something I did also, so you’re not alone!
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • Annie says:

    I didn’t find about this until a few months ago but not posting feedback hasn’t ever been a problem for me! I think it was understood that I would try to provide a review for every book I was accepted for when I started out on the site. But this definitely implements the importance of reviews and feedback on NetGalley even further so thanks for that!

    • Melissa says:

      That’s an excellent attitude to have Annie, I wish we were all that way! lol I always have the best of intention but not always amazing time management skills. But unfortunately it’s not gone to well for me. haha I am working on this though!
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • What a great post!! I’m a new blogger and was wondering about that myself. I over requested in my first month, but thankfully I downloaded all the books so I’m trying to make a point to get to all of them in the next few months and fix my ratio. I have 25 books approved and have only reviewed 4 – so no, you’re not alone! Thankfully I slowed down before it got horribly out of hand!

    You should check out this challenge I’m co-hosting in November called Clean out your E-reader – the focus is free & nearly free books we’ve gotten and neglected, like Netgalleys. It includes a blog hop and giveaway to motivate us all to get those books read.

  • Wow — I figured that this was important, but didn’t realize just how much! I recently cleared off my reading list by sending some feedback for books that I just couldn’t finish. Hopefully this helps my ratio, and at least lets the publishers know that I TRIED to read the books, but they just weren’t for me. And now that I’m almost caught up, hopefully I’ll get approved for some awesome titles!

    • Melissa says:

      Yeah it definitely helps with your ratio from what I have heard, as it’s still counted as feedback either way!! And sometimes you’re right, you’ve just gotta be honest. I don’t think publishers expect us to read 100% of books anyways, but it doesn’t hurt to let them know and be honest. :)
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • My request to review ratio is ICKY! HAHA! I agree with you on moderation– it would be so much more beneficial, for me and the publishers both, to just stop requesting and start reviewing for a while, just to get back on track. It will make me feel so much more productive, as well as improve my approval chance :) Great post!

    • Melissa says:

      I think as long as you’re making a conscious effort to make your ratio better – you will. :) I noticed the new version of Netgalley is out and in your profile section it’ll tell you your ratio now! More reason to work on it.
      Melissa recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #55My Profile

  • Rinn says:

    My Netgalley ratio is shameful, and I really need to work on it. I didn’t realise they could actually see that, although like you it doesn’t seem to have hindered my book requests. I’m getting much better at not requesting everything I see now though…

    • Melissa says:

      I don’t think it has ever hindered us much up until now, but now that Netgalley is making our percentages a part of our profile (as of yesterday), I have no doubt it’ll be used more as a guide for publishers to accept/deny us.
      Melissa recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #55My Profile

  • OMG Girl, I’m waaaay worse. WORST. I want to share mine, but idk, I feel embarrassed lol. When I log on NetGalley, I just check out the books, but I don’t request any (even though it’s kinda tempting..).

    -leigh

    • Melissa says:

      haha No need to feel embarrassed Leigh! It wasn’t easy for me to share mine, but I know I am not the only one with a bad ratio out there, so it’s now out in the open. I’m already improving it though since I posted this! I am sure you can improve on yours too – good luck! x
      Melissa recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #55My Profile

  • Terrific piece! I had no idea about the ratio issue until I participated in one of the “wellness” webinars that NetGalley offered earlier this year. Since then, I’ve been making sure to either review everything I get from NG — or if not, to at least send feedback saying why I didn’t or if I’ll include a mention of the book in a round-up post, etc. I still have a bunch from my earlier days that I requested and never reviewed, so maybe someday I’ll go back to those as well.

    I’ve seen a few people talk about getting turned down a lot, especially if they’re newer to NG, and my advice is to keep trying! If you get a few less requested books and post feedback regularly, it really will help you to start getting approved more often!

    Great post, Melissa! (New follower via Bloglovin’)

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Lisa, thanks for following us! Glad you got something out of this post as well!

      That’s awesome that you’re following up on your requests – it seems like you and I, there’s not been much awareness about ratio being important up until now, and so if we can help spread the word, then it can only be a good thing! haha

      Following Bookshelf Fantasies right back on Bloglovin! :)
      Melissa recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #55My Profile

  • This is super helpful!

    I though I’ve been pretty good at restraining myself with Netgalley request, but I just checked the new profile and it said that my ratio was 70%! How can that be? I only had one title awaiting my review… but I didn’t realize that e-mail “invitations”, when clicked, automatically counted as your approvals. So, lesson learned. :)

    Thanks again, for advice and help!

    • Melissa says:

      I’m happy you found this useful Victoria!

      Oh yes, your invites count as well!! I have only had 5 invites, so it didn’t affect my overalls too much. 70% is still pretty good though, a couple of reviews will bump that right back up!
      Melissa recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #55My Profile

  • […] Nerd Reviews talks about why your Netgalley ratio matters. Netgalley recommends a ratio of 80%. I have 2 invitations, 13 approved and 9 feedback left, for a […]

  • Jackie says:

    I am starting to realize that as well. However, I have only been approved for 21 books, and I have reviewed about six or seven, so I have stopped requesting books so I can read and review those books. So for everyone else, I highly highly suggest you guys read and review the books that you have been approved for before requesting other books. It will benefit you in the long run.

  • […] World admits that she’s afraid of star ratings. – Melissa @ Book Nerd Reviews explains why your Netgalley ration matters. – Christina @ Reader of Fictions discusses the moan of ARCs. – Parajunkee talks about the pressure […]

  • […] Blogging 101: Why Your Netgalley Ratio Matters | Book Nerd Reviews […]

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CommentLuv badge