I’m in Love With NetGalley

love readingThose who follow this blog know I read constantly–far too much, but it’s not something I can control. I curl up with a good book, start on page one (or the preface), lose track of time, and suddenly I’ve finished the book and am looking for the next. As I roll through book after book, the cost has become a big issue. I used to buy them on Kindle, but these days, they’re $9-$12 each with Indies when you can find them $2.99-$3.99. That quickly became too expensive so I switched to library books. I set up an online account at my local branch allowing me to search the virtual stacks of all county libraries. When I find a book I want, I have it delivered to my local branch and pick it up for a small service charge of $.25. There’s even a section for ‘New Titles’ so within a week of publication, I can get the latest offerings of my favorite authors. I have never exceeded the 70 book checkout limit, but regularly pick up 5-10 books at a time. The problem with this is they don’t carry all books (of course they don’t) and there are times I’ve waited months for a book to become available.

Another way I defray reading costs is through Amazon Vine. As a Vine Voice, I have a personalized online queue that provides items they think interest me. I can select up to five at a time and add more as I review them. The problem with this is, there are less and less books on my list and too many items I’m barely interested in. For example, right now my queue includes nail polish, books on art, earbuds, yogurt, placemats, dish towels and baby items. Since the law now requires they charge me (albeit at a discounted rate) for items I order, I only pick what I really want, which BTW isn’t any of the ones I listed.

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed many of the bloggers I follow review books they’ve gotten for free from NetGalley. At first, I thought the choices would be limited so it took me a while to check it out. When I did, I found a long list of books from authors I have enjoyed (LG Sellers, James Patterson, Ben Coes–NYT best-selling authors like this). All you do is set up an account and request a copy.

That sounded easy enough, so I did just that. First, I had to set up my personal writerly profile, which I did, filling in as little as possible because I’m always in a hurry. Within a few days, I got a rejection of my request, suggesting I add more detail to my profile. What they wanted me to do was sell my qualifications as a reviewer, blogger, writer. OK. Any author knows how to do that, so I spent about twenty minutes fleshing out my creds. Within a few days, I started getting approvals on almost all the books I’d selected (a few had limited availability and I was too late). Now, I have four books on my NetGalley dashboard. I can read them on my Kindle, either in the native format or as a ‘doc’ that downloads to my Kindle app. There were a few geeky steps that took me way too long and now I’m  all set up. With this collection of books, I can’t imagine running out of reading anytime soon.

How do you fill your reading queue affordably?

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy and To Hunt a Sub, her debut fiction. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her nonfiction books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.


59 thoughts on “I’m in Love With NetGalley

  1. Pingback: Why I Love Goodreads | WordDreams...

  2. Pingback: Why I Love Goodreads | Today's Author

  3. Pingback: Readers! Go check out NetGalley for free books! | JANUARY GRAY REVIEWS

  4. Jacqui I have not been to any library for so long. I love purchasing my books from my local book store and when there is a second hand book fair on in the nearest town. My pile is so high I don’t think I will ever get through it. I also borrow books from friends too. that keeps my costs down.

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  5. That’s great Jacqui. Thanks for sharing. I have no problem filling my reading list as my kindle is overflowing with books from various sources and my writing books are stacked up in print awaiting me. 🙂 (PS WordPress won’t let me comment anywhere, you’ll notice my full name here signing in with Google, hence, I probably won’t see your reply :()

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  6. I use Edelweiss for my fellow Simon & Schuster authors’ books. They gave me access without approval because I’m one of their authors. I’ve had mixed results with trying to get books from other publishers on there. I’m usually only reviewing fellow bloggers’ and S&S Aladdin authors, though…that keeps me pretty busy! I buy all you guys’ books because 1) they’re usually VERY affordable and 2) I want to support y’all. But even just getting them for free can REALLY help an author if you leave reviews, especially on Amazon. That’s usually my top priority with every book–get a review out there for my buddies!


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  7. I’ve still got an entire library to sort out at home, but I’m not as prolific as you when it comes to reading books Jacqui. At the moment I’ve gone back to one of my old favourites from Lynda La Plante and from there I’ll have a look on NetGalley because it sounds very cool indeed xxx

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  8. Hi Jacqui – I’ve way too many books here to read … I’m not a good reader – lots of other reading matter to interest me … I will make an effort over Autumn into Winter to read some and take them to charity …

    I think I’ve won a Net Galley book or two perhaps … I am vague – because I struggle to read and I must start writing reviews on bloggers’ books … those too I don’t get too far with reading.

    Still thanks for the post and info .. cheers Hilary

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  9. Ha ha ha. Funny lady, Jacqui. I don’t blame you for picking only what you wish.
    Sounds you’re on a roll.
    We have long wait-times at our libraries as well. Sometimes months and months for a popular title–not that I go to the library–I have my own I haven’t read yet. Going to the library nauseates me and I’m overwhelmed. I want to take them all home and don’t know where to start, anyway, even if I go with a list. 😀

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  10. I’m a library girl for fiction, including their book sales. I’m lucky our library is well-stocked and awesome. My husband and I also read a lot of design/tech/business books, so we have a subscription to Safari Books Online.

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  11. That sounds like a great option for you! Lately, I’ve struggled to get any page time with my kids hanging around my knees and me trying to get them taken care of. Boy, trying to read a paperback with my Babyzilla is near impossible though.

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  12. over the years i’ve given away hundreds of books i’ve read and mostly enjoyed but can no longer keep. i still don’t have an e-reader, still resent amazon’s manipulation of e-books via their kindle. but i’m also a much slower reader than you are, my huge stack of un-reads will keep me busy for a while.

    i admire how creatively you’ve solved your dilemma, jacqui.

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  13. Cost is always a problem. Sometimes I have to limit my spending because I would blow an entire wage on books! I’ve never considered things like NetGalley, but I guess I could look into it. I’m always on the look out for book sales, and I read a lot of indie stuff. Quite often I beg, steal and borrow from my sister who is also an avid reader!

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    • NetGalley includes most of the highly-popular books. You request a free copy and the publisher says yes or no. I’m about 50/50 on how many I get, but I did get Sanford’s latest Virgil Flowers book (and others). I still use the library a lot.

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  14. I read books of all genres, old classics and new, adult and children’s, fiction and non-fiction. The gym I go to has a book exchange the first of every month. I get books there. We also have a nice used book store that offers A LOT for reasonable prices. I have a ton of classics downloaded onto my Kindle from Project Gutenberg ( all free. There’s BookBub that offers free and discounted books as well… As it is, I doubt I’ll ever be able to read all the books I want to read. And now you tell me about Netgalley. I’m doomed, I tell you! Doomed!


  15. I haven’t looked back since I discovered NetGalley last year – my only problem is that I have ordered too many and since I don’t want my blog to become a book review one I haven’t been able to post them all yet! Great about the library service though, that still isn’t set up for kindle here in the UK and when I last tried it on iPad the selection was very limited. Good trials and tribulations to have though overall. A welcome discussion about book outlets, Jacqui. 😀

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    • NetGalley does favor the blogger. When they reject my request for a book, one of the reasons they mention is that they want bloggers rather than people who simply post to Amazon and Goodreads. That’s me, but doesn’t always work.

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  16. I’m only able to afford the hundreds of books I have here by purchasing them on Most everyone was about $3.59 to $5.00, plus a coupon every now and then from them and shipping free over $10,00 in books. Out of all my buys, I was only disappointed in the condition of one volume – I don’t think that’s too bad.

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  17. I love Netgalley too for the same reasons. They have excellent queue. I have to control myself from requesting too many books. After the initial euphoria, I now request one or two a month.

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