Thoughts

Thoughts #37: Improving my Netgalley Ratio

thoughts_16

My Netgalley ratio is something I have discussed a lot. It’s pretty much always on my mind when I think about blogging and reviewing. When I posted about it in January 2014, it looked something like this:

Pretty bad, huh? And then at the beginning of THIS January, it was at 55%, which was a nice improvement.

I was finally getting my ratio up: but I carried on requesting books. For a while, it hovered constantly between 50-60%, until I decided enough was enough. And look at it now:

Netgalley Ratio

It makes me so happy! I’m finally making progress! But I know there are plenty of other bloggers out there who also struggle with Netgalley. On one hand, you have access to all these AMAZING books, but on the other… you have to find the time to read and review them. So I wanted to share some of my tips for improving your Netgalley ratio:

  • Be truly honest with yourself. Look at the list of books you’ve been approved for, and work out if there are some you know you will never read. Maybe at the time they looked amazing, but since then your tastes have changed. Maybe you’ve read too much of that genre. Or maybe you were a Netgalley newbie and just requested EVERYTHING. Whatever the reason, click ‘Send Feedback’, and in the notes for publishers section, let them know you are no longer interested in the book. It counts as feedback, takes a weight off your shoulders, and it’s honest.
  • Look for any short story collections or novellas on your approved list. Read them first, you’ll get through them quickly and the resulting boost to your ratio will motivate you to read more.
  • Make a list of approved books and their page numbers. I actually have a spreadsheet with info on my Netgalley books, like title, author, publisher etc, but I also include page numbers. It’s a similar tactic to the short stories: quicker to get through, more for your Netgalley ratio, more motivation.
  • Find fellow bloggers who are also struggling. It helps to message each other updates and motivation! Share your progress with others.
  • And the hardest of them all… cut down on the requesting, or even try to stop requesting altogether. I used to visit Netgalley every day, and request a couple of books a week. Now I visit only very rarely: when I feel like checking for releases, if I know something is going to be up, or if I’m submitting feedback. I also stop myself before hitting that ‘Request’ button – do I really want to read this book? Have I been waiting for it? Can I make time for it? If I can’t answer yes to those questions, then I don’t request, simple as.

Now that I’ve stopped requesting so much, have worked through all of the tips above, and am actively trying to get through as many review copies as possible, I feel so much better. I only need 10% until I’m at the recommended 80% – which is still 19 more books, but I’m feeling much more positive about it now.

I hope my tips are useful, and good luck working on your ratio – do you have any Netgalley tips to share?

35 thoughts on “Thoughts #37: Improving my Netgalley Ratio”

  1. I don’t think I could ever get into ebooks precisely because I don’t think I can handle the urge to keep getting new books electronically. My stockpiling would just spiral out of control. I’m glad you give us some really concrete steps to address this issue. Good luck Rinn πŸ™‚

  2. These are great tips. I don’t even want to know what my ratio is, LOL! I have been very picky lately and I only request things I honestly plan to read. Plus I’ve noticed a huge drop in interesting titles on NetGally too. It seems there are tons of self pub titles and I just don’t read those, and it takes so long to find something I want to read that I often stop looking because I’m frustrated.

    1. I’ve noticed that too! Every time I open up recently added, it’s a load of paranormal romance stuff and that just puts me right off… kind of a good thing to be honest πŸ˜›

  3. I struggled a bit at the beginning too. But what I decided to do was be VERY picky about what I request. I always ask myself when I’m thinking of requesting something “will I read this before the release date?” and if the answer is no, probably not, or even I’m not sure, then I don’t request it. Because if I’m not that sure if I will read it before it’s released, then I can wait until it is released and get a copy from the library or by myself a copy. That has helped me so much! My feedback ration is at 70% now and that makes me so happy.

    1. I’m doing that now too. Not so much about reading it before the release date – although I have managed that with all recently requested NG books – but whether I actually really want to read it. Congrats on the ratio – it’s such a good feeling πŸ˜€

  4. I always struggle with my ratio, it’s aroudn the 60-65% at the moment. This is partly due to because when iI just started and couldn’t read the books, but did request them and partly because I just can’t stay away. I am finally getting those netgalley books read, but while I read the new ones I receive, it’s hard makign a dent in the books I received a long time ago.
    I think you listed some rgeat tips. I should probably send feedback for a few books I don’t think I will read, but then I think I might eventually read them and can’t decide. I have a goodreads shelf to keep track of which books I received through netgalley. I especially like your tip to read the shorter books first to quicker up your ratio!
    I am hoping to get my percentage up to 70% at least eventually. You really did a great job increasing your netgalley percentage like that. Great post!

    1. Mine was stuck there for so long, but somehow pushing on through to 70% made all the difference! But I agree, it’s hard to get enthusiastic about the ones I’ve had the longest :/

      If you send feedback for the ones you don’t think you’ll get to then it will take a huge weight off your shoulders – definitely recommended πŸ™‚

  5. Congrats on getting your Netgalley ratio up! πŸ™‚

    Great list πŸ™‚

    I’m (normally) quite good at not requesting Netgalley books, but during this exam season I get a bit clicky-happy (almost like window-shopping) and then a lot of publishers accepted my request, so now I’m in the low 50% range. So I really need to sort it out.

    Think I may send feedback to say I’m no longer interested in some books because of the lenght of time I’ve had them. And at the moment I’m going through the books based on page numbers to reduce the pile quicker!

    1. Thanks πŸ˜€ Haha, I feel like browsing Netgalley is a procrastination thing sometimes – maybe that’s why? πŸ˜‰

  6. I have a NetGalley account, but only request when a specific invitation from a publisher comes. (Usually Tor.) It’s probably just as well that I don’t go searching in there or my numbers would make you look like a reviewing machine-goddess.

  7. I remember when I first encountered NG, and I WANTED ALL THE TITLES! But after requesting more than I actually wanted to read, I learned my lesson. Also, forgetting to download some titles before they were archived. 😦 Now, I’m more discerning about the titles I request now, and my ratio has improved. πŸ™‚

    YAY FOR IMPROVING RATIOS!

  8. Is this a support group for NetGalleyholics? Great!

    My name is Amelyn and my NetGalley ratio is 8%. No, I did not forget the zero. It is truly 8%. My eyes are bigger than my stomach, so to speak.

    Seriously, thank you for this wonderful post. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and wondering what I could do to fix it. I’m so close to getting my other two NetGalley achievement badges (Top Reviewer and Auto-Approval) besides the first freebie for all, and I want sooooo baaaaad to get the 80% one as well.

    First step, I’ve been trying to keep up with new releases that I really care about. Then I’ve just been sorting by pub date and grabbing the oldest book for next. Then there are the books I actually BUY. When do I get to read those?

    I think I’m just going to need to take your advice and send feedback as “no longer interested in this book,” most especially on the ones I look at, scratching my head, wondering what I was thinking in requesting that…

    The struggle is real!

    1. Haha that would be so good!

      I’ve been there, with that 8%… I really want all the badges as well! But so far, I only have 1. I’m pre-approved by 3 pubs, so close on that one. 9% from 80% now… and I have no idea how many of my reviews have been on the main page – do you know how to check?

      Good luck, glad I could help πŸ˜€

      1. With the suggestions, I’ve gotten mine back up to 39%! Yay! I’m the same place you are with auto-approvals, and need just one more also for the Top Reviewer badge. Those you see on your Feedback Sent list. There’s a very obvious mark next to the title when you get your review shown on an individual book page.

        Oh my gosh! I just peeked at mine to see if I could describe it better, and I got my Top Reviewer badge TODAY!!! Okay, well, the mark next to the title is a smaller version of the pen logo that is on the Top Reviewer badge. And off I go to add that badge to my blog!

        Just keep writing reviews! The badges come! Now I’m going to work ever harder for the 80% one. Funny how it’s the only one I have control over getting, but it’s going to be my last achievement. LOL!

      2. Ahh wonderful! Is that the feedback sent on the shelf? Because I always remove books from my shelf once I’ve sent feedback, so I don’t know if I can view it 😦

        CONGRATS! πŸ˜€ How exciting!

        I’m on 72% now. 3 more reviews written since posting this, and there’ll be another one soon. So close!

  9. These tips are so helpful. Especially the first one! I’m always so worried that I’ll be rude if I’m no longer interested in a novel I requested. Thank you for giving me the confidence to be truthful. Definitely subscribing!

    1. No, I honestly think it’s better to just let them know. Better to let them know you won’t be reading it than leave the box empty. Thanks Sarah πŸ˜€

  10. I restrain myself from going to Netgalley. I only check it once in a GREAT while when I am looking for a certain book. I only allow myself to go to that certain publisher.
    But let’s be honest. I usually check out a few other ‘favorite’ publishers…I have managed a 55% ratio!! GO ME!

    1. 55% is good! πŸ˜€ If you really want to get 80%, maybe take it in chunks of 5% at a time? That’s also something I focused on that I forgot to mention, smaller and more manageable goals.

  11. Like most people, I definitely went overboard when I first started using NetGalley (only about a year ago for me!) and requested..basically everything in the SFF and YA sections. Yikes, right? Obviously I’m never going to have a perfect ratio because I was just irresponsible with requesting at first, but I’m much better about it now.

    One of the things I’ve been doing to weed through my old titles is to switch off between newer ones and the titles that have been archived – for archived books, I grab a copy from the library, r & r, then send my feedback. Then I’ll read a forthcoming title and r & r that to keep things fresh. It’s working decently so far! πŸ™‚

    1. I’m pretty sure we were all like that as new bloggers, and all regret it… πŸ˜›

      Oh that’s a good idea for ones you can’t access, especially if you’ve got a good library system! I also managed to review multiple editions of one book I’d been approved for somehow, I’m not sure if it affected my ratio though.

  12. I’m really picky when it comes to eARCs now, especially on Netgalley, just because I haven’t had much luck with the books I have been requesting hahah. But congrats on the huge increase in your feedback ratio!

  13. Commenting again with an update! Thanks to your tips, my ratio has gone from 8% to 20%, and I’m still working on it. It’s time-consuming, but it’s working!

    I’m going to stay picky and see if I can’t hit that golden 80%. πŸ™‚

    Amy

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