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kelloish
05-25-2013, 12:58 AM
Quick edit to let anyone interested know that we have just a few spots left. Please contact me here on AW if you might be interested in joining.

Checking in to see if anyone here might be interested in joining a NetGalley co-op I'm in the process of organizing.

NetGalley.com is a website used by publishers and authors to distribute digital review copies to "professional readers" which includes over 100,000 media, reviewers, librarians, book sellers and educators. If you're self publishing, this can be a massive time saver for things like blog tours and building up your reviews.

I'm already doing the administrative side for one group, and it has gone really well. We had over 2000 book requests in our first week across eighteen titles, and we're already getting a few reviews coming in. Since we had a wait list, I opted to take on a second group because I'm really enjoying the experience so far. Before we can get started though, we need to get some more authors on board.

The cost is $350, which gets you one slot in NetGalley's catalog for a year, but you can change out your title as often as you like if you have more than one book you're looking to build visibility for. If you wanted to go direct with NetGalley, it would be $400 for six months, and you can't change out your title--one and done.

For more information, you can check out this post (http://www.patchwork-press.com/patchwork-press-is-now-on-netgalley-and-you-can-be-too/) and this one (http://www.susankayequinn.com/search?q=netgalley), which has a much more indepth look at how everything works by another group's admin.

If you have any questions or are interested in getting involved, you can reach me at [email address removed by mod]

Thanks so much!

Old Hack
05-25-2013, 11:11 AM
Kelloish, I've edited your email address out of your post. You're welcome to put it back in again if you want, but you're likely to get all sorts of spammy emails if you do.

ETA: Do you have any evidence that this service is useful to self-published writers? How many reviews can be expected? How visible are those reviews? I'm not disputing NetGalley's professionalism, but $350 is a significant payment and I'm interested to know what sort of return is likely on that investment.

sarahdalton
05-25-2013, 12:53 PM
This looks really interesting. I'm definitely going to have a read on your blog posts and have a think about finances.

A large number of reviews means your book is more likely to be picked up by Bookbub or ENT for promotions, which in turn can lead to hundreds of sales in one day. That bump on Amazon's rankings can lead to very good sales sustained over a long period of time. So I can definitely see this as worthwhile for me. Of course the reviewers would need to post their reviews on Amazon for it to work. Is this likely?

kelloish
05-26-2013, 01:30 AM
No worries about taking out the email address, I can be reached either through PM here or you can find the same email address on the patchwork-press.com blog post.

How many reviews you can expect varies in a lot of the same ways it does without NetGalley, it's just amplified. Genres like romance and YA are getting a lot more review requests than horror and literary. My current groups most popular title got 250 review requests in under a week. Not all of those will turn into Goodreads/Amazon reviews as some of those requests are coming from teachers/librarians/book sellers as well, but the bulk of the requests are coming from bloggers and journalists. Erring on the side of caution, I'd expect at least fifty reviews to show up for that one title across a variety of review sites. And again, that just in less than a week.

On the lower end of things, some books have only seen about 50 requests in the first week--but elements like genre and cover art are definitely at play there.

Another big benefit that's self-pub specific is I'm seeing a lot of bloggers who don't usually take review requests from indies requesting our groups titles, which is pretty neat.

So in terms of return on investment, off the top of my head you're looking at things like money saved on blog tours, time saved on review requests, increased visibility, increased reviews.

Anyways, I think I've gushed enough for now, but if you guys have any more questions, I'm happy to answer them.

thothguard51
05-26-2013, 02:59 AM
Kelloish,

I'm aware of Net Galley and what it offers, but I have to ask...

Why should any writer pay to join your co-op, when they can join Net Galley them self and do all you suggest?

And as far as reviews go, a weeks time seems rather unbelievable. Professional reviewers and bloggers generally get dozens of ARC's a week. They can't and don't write reviews that quickly and a lot of bloggers end up not reviewing the ARC's they received for various reasons. Most have to slot the reviews in their schedules, and then their loyal followers have to find something in the review that intrigues them, before they will spend a dime. And not all readers will rush out to buy a book that quickly. So a claim of sales increase after a week of a posted review just does not wash as believable. Sorry...

As with all businesses models, self published writers need to weigh the cost of output with returns and right now, very few self published writers are seeing returns that equal the output, compared to the number of self published works out there.

I am not saying the co-op model does not work, but right now I am not seeing anything in what you are suggesting that would entice me to go with your co-op, should I decide to self publish.

You need to give specific and verifiable example of how your co-op differs from others that folded because they could not deliver on the pyramid scheme...

Sarah,

100,000 professional listed on Net Galley does not mean your ARC's go to 100,000 professionals. And as I said above, not all professional reviews, bloggers, etc, will review a book if it is not to their liking, or it does not meet their qualifications.

While more positive reviews can increase sales, negative reviews can also damage a self published writer's success before it takes off. The coin has two sides and the writer has to be very selective in who they send an ARC to be reviewed and who their audience is. Even commercial publishers are very selective about who gets an ARC...

I am also one of those writers who wants to know who is getting an ARC, electronic or print, and what they are doing with it after they have read and reviewed the damn thing. Back when I was reviewing books on Myspace, I used to get ARC's from small Indie presses, and most of them, I never reviewed because the writing was so terrible, or the story so inconsistent that I could not give the review. I stopped reviewing self published writers because of the negative comments from the writers about the reviews. And I know I am not alone in this fact...

So, pick the reviewers and blogs you want to tour, with great care, just like the way you crafted your book...

stranger
05-26-2013, 09:13 PM
Kelloish,


Why should any writer pay to join your co-op, when they can join Net Galley them self and do all you suggest?


Co-ops work out cheaper than listing your book yourself.

Personally, I joined Netgalley in a co-op just over a week ago. In the first week, I had 80 review requests, of which 59 were accepted. I have already had 3 reviews from these requests, two 5stars and one 3star. They were all posted in personal blogs. The 3star was also posted on Goodreads, and one of the 5stars was posted on Amazon.

It's expensive but so far it seems that it's worth it for me.

shelleyo
05-26-2013, 09:35 PM
Kelloish,

I'm aware of Net Galley and what it offers, but I have to ask...

Why should any writer pay to join your co-op, when they can join Net Galley them self and do all you suggest?

The benefit is that it's a hundred dollars cheaper in a co-op of 20, you get a year instead of 6 months, and you can change out your book as many times as you want. So you could feature several books throughout the year for $300 instead of paying $400 to feature one book for 6 months.

Ann Joyce
05-26-2013, 09:46 PM
Checking in to see if anyone here might be interested in joining a NetGalley co-op I'm in the process of organizing.

The cost is $350, which gets you one slot in NetGalley's catalog for a year, but you can change out your title as often as you like if you have more than one book you're looking to build visibility for. If you wanted to go direct with NetGalley, it would be $400 for six months, and you can't change out your title--one and done.

For more information, you can check out this post (http://www.patchwork-press.com/patchwork-press-is-now-on-netgalley-and-you-can-be-too/) and this one (http://www.susankayequinn.com/search?q=netgalley), which has a much more indepth look at how everything works by another group's admin.

Thanks so much!

Hi Kelloish, I do have a question for you. You say the cost is $350., and indeed, the first post you linked to listed that as the cost as well. However, the second post you linked to quoted the cost as $300. I also saw the $300. cost elsewhere (I think when I googled Net Galley). Is the extra $50. you quote an administration cost? Thanks

AnneGlynn
05-26-2013, 09:59 PM
S., you're providing a sweeter deal as far as cash out of pocket. Unless I misunderstood (always possible), the deal as offered is $350 a year.

thothguard51
05-26-2013, 10:13 PM
Co-ops work out cheaper than listing your book yourself. Here's a blog post about a recently created co-op.

http://www.susankayequinn.com/2013/05/netgalley-for-indie-authors.html

Personally, I joined Netgalley in a co-op just over a week ago. In the first week, I had 80 review requests, of which 59 were accepted. I have already had 3 reviews from these requests, two 5stars and one 3star. They were all posted in personal blogs. The 3star was also posted on Goodreads, and one of the 5stars was posted on Amazon.

It's expensive but so far it seems that it's worth it for me.

OK, I have to ask...

Have you seen a spike in sales yet because of those 3 reviews, over your normal monthly sales? And how can you tell if those 3 reviews are the reason, versus word of mouth finally spreading?

shelleyo
05-26-2013, 10:30 PM
OK, I have to ask...

Have you seen a spike in sales yet because of those 3 reviews, over your normal monthly sales? And how can you tell if those 3 reviews are the reason, versus word of mouth finally spreading?

Hoping for that would be expecting too much within the first week of a year-long campaign. (Though you might be just curious, which I get.)

I've no idea whether it's worth the money or not. If there is value in it, it seems to be the accumulation of reviews that can help you get accepted by a site like Bookbub or ENT--both are fairly choosy about those they promote, but those promoted tend to do pretty well. And I do think that Amazon favors books in their algos that have more and better reviews than those that don't.

I would expect it's a cumulative benefit, not a spikey one like you might get with a Bookbub listing.

thothguard51
05-26-2013, 10:52 PM
Fair enough...

stranger
05-26-2013, 10:54 PM
OK, I have to ask...

Have you seen a spike in sales yet because of those 3 reviews, over your normal monthly sales? And how can you tell if those 3 reviews are the reason, versus word of mouth finally spreading?

Zero spike in sales.

As shelleyo mentioned, one of the big advantages of this is that if I get a lot of quality reviews I can go for promotions in the big reader sites.

Although I did get a request from a reviewer who sends reviews into big sites like Tor and Publisher Weekly. Fingers crossed that one ends up being good.

sarahdalton
05-26-2013, 11:01 PM
I agree with shellyo.

Ent and Bookbub only accept books with at least 25 reviews and a 4 star average. Gathering reviews takes a lot of time, not all bloggers post their reviews on Amazon.

For me--I don't know about anyone else's experience--gathering sales is all about Amazon rankings. Bookbub pushed my book up the ranks but it took months to get my reviews. Netgalley could be useful for my second novel, to save time, get a bookbub or ent promo and travel up the rankings.

The risk of bad reviews is there regardless.

It might not be useful for everyone, but for me it could work very well.

I'm typing on my phone so apologies for any typos.

stranger
05-26-2013, 11:05 PM
Hi Kelloish, I do have a question for you. You say the cost is $350., and indeed, the first post you linked to listed that as the cost as well. However, the second post you linked to quoted the cost as $300. I also saw the $300. cost elsewhere (I think when I googled Net Galley). Is the extra $50. you quote an administration cost? Thanks

For me, the cost was 350, of which 300 went to Netgalley and 50 went to the organizer. It was hard to find a co-op where the organizer didn't charge a fee because there seems to be a fair amount of work in setting it up and accepting review requests.

Ann Joyce
05-26-2013, 11:23 PM
Thanks for answering my question, stranger. I was thinking it was an administration fee, but it doesn't hurt to check.

Now I have another question. Who accepts the review requests? You or the administrator? If it's you, how do you go about deciding whether or not to accept them?

stranger
05-27-2013, 02:13 AM
Now I have another question. Who accepts the review requests? You or the administrator? If it's you, how do you go about deciding whether or not to accept them?

Basically all the co-op emails go through the administrator+administrator approved moderators. So if you get added as one of the moderators you can handle your own requests. For me, I just allow the administrator to handle it.

The netgalley reviewers generally have in their profile where they post previous reviews/their credentials. So this is briefly checked to make sure they actually write reasonable reviews or that they are librarians/other book professional before being approved (as I understand it).

thothguard51
05-27-2013, 02:53 AM
Since most libraries do not stock self published books, I am not sure how getting an e-book ARC to a librarian helps? Other than if they like, word of mouth.

Color me confused...

Ann Joyce
05-27-2013, 05:24 AM
Thanks stranger. Sounds interesting. I hope you keep checking in to let us know how it works out for you.

kelloish
05-27-2013, 06:12 AM
Thanks, stranger. This conversation blew up a little while I wasn't looking. Sorry about that.

Yes, the additional $50 is an administrative fee, although $10 of that does get eaten up by PayPal.

As for my current group, I do most of the review request approval but all the authors involved are welcome to do as much or as little as they like. A few have opted to do all themselves, some have opted for me to do all of them, and most fall somewhere in the middle. I handle all of the uploads, NetGalley troubleshooting (we had some titles that didn't run through their conversion process properly), contract stuff etc.

I have no idea as if yet what the sales results will be yet, but I'm optimistic. But for the visibility alone, it has been worth the cost for me personally. I am well aware this wont be for everyone. Once my initial group is a little further into things, I will be asking around to get a stronger feel for how authors are benefiting from this program.

At this point, our new group is about half full, so we're well on our way.

MartinD
05-30-2013, 04:17 AM
At this point, our new group is about half full, so we're well on our way.

I wondered how many writers it took to reach half-full. Thanks to your links in the initial post, I see your group needs 20 participants.

It sounds interesting. If I had more titles to promote, I think I'd throw in.

Old Hack
05-30-2013, 11:36 AM
For me, the cost was 350, of which 300 went to Netgalley and 50 went to the organizer. It was hard to find a co-op where the organizer didn't charge a fee because there seems to be a fair amount of work in setting it up and accepting review requests.

With twenty members in a coop, the organiser makes $1,000. While I don't doubt that organising the scheme involves a lot of work, that's a nice chunk of change.

MartinD
05-30-2013, 10:00 PM
Yes, the additional $50 is an administrative fee, although $10 of that does get eaten up by PayPal.

$800 after fees, if the above is right. If you offered me the job -- keeping 20 writers happy, juggling their various titles for a year, and approving reviewers -- I'd want a bigger chunk of change.

kelloish
06-03-2013, 08:46 PM
Yes, please appreciate that that's $800 spread out over an entire year of work. About $3.50 per author per month.

Ann Joyce
06-03-2013, 09:33 PM
Yes, the additional $50 is an administrative fee, although $10 of that does get eaten up by PayPal.

As for my current group, I do most of the review request approval but all the authors involved are welcome to do as much or as little as they like. A few have opted to do all themselves, some have opted for me to do all of them, and most fall somewhere in the middle. I handle all of the uploads, NetGalley troubleshooting (we had some titles that didn't run through their conversion process properly), contract stuff etc.


The administrative fee seems more than reasonable given the amount of work you do. Good luck with it.

kelloish
09-27-2013, 01:17 AM
Hi everyone! Earlier this year, I posted about the whole NetGalley co-op thing. Since then, our group has had over 100 active titles and we've learned a fair bit along the way, so I figured I'd share my analysis in case this is something anyone here has been considering. You can see the full post here (http://www.patchwork-press.com/adventures-in-digital-arcs-netgalley-co-op-analysis/).

If you have no idea what I'm on about--NetGalley is a website used by a lot of the big publishers to share digital ARCs. Books go up in their catalog for "professional readers" to look through and request, so it saves a lot of the time we usually spend emailing bloggers directly. Susan Kaye Quinn put together a fantastic post (http://www.susankayequinn.com/2013/05/netgalley-for-indie-authors.html) on the whole thing and why it's something worth looking into for indies.

Since our original group started, we've expanded quite a bit, and are actually able to offer short term options (http://www.patchwork-press.com/class-of-2013-2014/) as well now, for those who don't have the budget/number of titles to justify a years spot and $350. The short term options start at $45 for one month. We can also still work in new authors looking to get involved for the full year.

If you're looking to get involved or have any questions, you can message me here, or email me at the email address listed at the bottom of the first link posted above :) I have a limited number of spots left for October, but lots of room in November.

Katallina
09-27-2013, 05:07 AM
NetGalley is an excellent resource, and the idea of having a book available there for a couple months is extremely appealing. I'm not at that point yet, but this is something I will have to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing. :)

K.B. Parker
09-27-2013, 08:39 AM
I will have to keep this page bookmarked and get back to you in a few months.

Old Hack
09-27-2013, 11:07 AM
Hi everyone! Earlier this year, I posted about the whole NetGalley co-op thing. Since then, our group has had over 100 active titles and we've learned a fair bit along the way, so I figured I'd share my analysis in case this is something anyone here has been considering. You can see the full post here (http://www.patchwork-press.com/adventures-in-digital-arcs-netgalley-co-op-analysis/).

If you have no idea what I'm on about--NetGalley is a website used by a lot of the big publishers to share digital ARCs. Books go up in their catalog for "professional readers" to look through and request, so it saves a lot of the time we usually spend emailing bloggers directly. Susan Kaye Quinn put together a fantastic post (http://www.susankayequinn.com/2013/05/netgalley-for-indie-authors.html) on the whole thing and why it's something worth looking into for indies.

Since our original group started, we've expanded quite a bit, and are actually able to offer short term options (http://www.patchwork-press.com/class-of-2013-2014/) as well now, for those who don't have the budget/number of titles to justify a years spot and $350. The short term options start at $45 for one month. We can also still work in new authors looking to get involved for the full year.

If you're looking to get involved or have any questions, you can message me here, or email me at the email address listed at the bottom of the first link posted above :) I have a limited number of spots left for October, but lots of room in November.

I was going to move your thread, as your post quoted above seems to be a promotional effort for your NetGalley services. Instead I've merged it with our earlier discussion about it.

Now that your service has been running for a while, I'd appreciate a few hard numbers: how many reviews have the books you've featured attracted? Where have those reviews been? And what impact has this had on their sales?

stranger
09-27-2013, 09:01 PM
I think the $45 for a month is a good option. There are plenty of requests in the first month but they drop off quickly thereafter so unless someone has 6+books to put in Netgalley then buying the year's subscription isn't using it efficiently.

sarahdalton
09-27-2013, 09:13 PM
I think the $45 for a month is a good option. There are plenty of requests in the first month but they drop off quickly thereafter so unless someone has 6+books to put in Netgalley then buying the year's subscription isn't using it efficiently.

Yeah I'm very interested in this. But I won't have another full novel out til next year now. I'm hoping February time. So I will probably revisit this at that point.

Old Hack
09-28-2013, 11:39 AM
I think the $45 for a month is a good option. There are plenty of requests in the first month but they drop off quickly thereafter so unless someone has 6+books to put in Netgalley then buying the year's subscription isn't using it efficiently.

It's cheaper to spend $45 for a month's use, but is it really more efficient?

Here's a summary of your experiences so far:


For me, the cost was 350, of which 300 went to Netgalley and 50 went to the organizer.


In the first week, I had 80 review requests, of which 59 were accepted. I have already had 3 reviews from these requests, two 5stars and one 3star. They were all posted in personal blogs. The 3star was also posted on Goodreads, and one of the 5stars was posted on Amazon.


Zero spike in sales.

You spent $350, had 80 review requests, accepted 59 of them and got three reviews in return, but sold no books as a result of those three reviews.

I realise some time has passed since you posted these figures: can you update them, or are they still valid?

If you didn't get any sales or a reasonable number of reviews from spending your $350 for a year's worth of presence there, why would spending $45 for a single month be more efficient?


Yeah I'm very interested in this. But I won't have another full novel out til next year now. I'm hoping February time. So I will probably revisit this at that point.

If I were considering spending money on this I'd want to see better results than the ones that Stranger has reported so far. I hope that kelloish returns to update us with a few concrete numbers, as I requested, because without any good results I fail to see any value in this.

sarahdalton
09-28-2013, 01:04 PM
I wouldn't expect to see a spike in sales. I would expect it to be money efficient in terms of my time spent searching for bloggers to review my books. I can easily spend an entire day researching and contacting reviewers only to have no response at all. If I value my time then I see it worth $45.

Having a review presence on Amazon and Goodreads is essential to being accepted into the 'taste makers' of self-publishing advertisers: bookbub, ENT and POI. Speeding that process up would definitely be cost efficient for me. It took me months to get enough reviews, including paying for blog tours, with is about the same price for a week long tour with 2, maybe 3 reviews.

I am interested in further details, but it's not about direct sales for me, it's about time efficiency.

stranger
09-28-2013, 01:51 PM
It's cheaper to spend $45 for a month's use, but is it really more efficient?

I believe it's a more efficient use of Netgalley, but whether it's worthwhile is another question.

Well the 350$ is spread out over as many titles as I want to use. So I will put my 3 present titles up and hopefully have 2/3 more before the the year's subscription ends. But if I was doing this again, I wouldn't buy a year's subscription to NetGalley with only 3 titles out. But I would snap up the $45 dollars for 1 month deal.

I got 80 approved requests in the end on that initial title before I swapped it out. It has resulted in 5/6 Amazon reviews. Hopefully the reviews will continue to come in (one came in 2 weeks ago)--reviewers often have large tbr piles. (Note: More popular genres like romance got multiple times more reviews/requests.)

I was about to explain why I would still spend the 45 despite the lack of direct sales, but Sarah has done that in the post above while I was writing this one. My sales page now looks much more impressive than it would have without Netgalley. I now need to get the eyeballs on the page--that's a whole new job.

LBlankenship
09-28-2013, 04:42 PM
Just a thought: if you're in need of reviews so that you might be able to get into the more selective book promotion sites (BookBub, etc.), $45 could be worth it.

Hey, a "Frugal Find of the Day" post was $50...

Caveat: no guarantee of enough reviews or good reviews, of course -- but that's a risk across the board.

kelloish
09-28-2013, 08:18 PM
Hey, sorry about the delay! Crazy week!

Most of the answers to Old Hack's questions can be found in the analysis post I linked to above, but I don't have any sales info yet. That's something I hope to survey the involved authors on eventually, once some of them reach the half a year mark. I know, for my own books, it's nearly impossible to figure out what marketing efforts my increase in sales are coming from though.

The only direct corelation I've seen personally is that I was able to get approved for a BookBub ad based on the reviews I got via NetGalley, so that was a pretty huge bonus. I've also had a few new reviewers come through my website asking to be added to my blogger mailing list, after seeing my books/Patchwork Press on NetGalley.

I definitely agree though about NetGalley not really being about increasing sales directly. I've always liked that theory about people having to see something five times before they'll purcase, and NetGalley has been a good way to gain a little more coverage for my books in that department, on top of everything else. Hopefully, the extra coverage will lead to sales, obviously, but even if the main benefit has been getting my name out there as YA author, I'm pretty happy.

Old Hack
09-28-2013, 10:01 PM
Most of the answers to Old Hack's questions can be found in the analysis post I linked to above,

Thing is, kelloish, if people here have to click onto your blog post to find out these essential points then it could be argued that you're using AW to get traffic to your blog, and that's spamming. You have to provide it here.


but I don't have any sales info yet.That's something I hope to survey the involved authors on eventually, once some of them reach the half a year mark. I know, for my own books, it's nearly impossible to figure out what marketing efforts my increase in sales are coming from though.

So you're asking people to pay you money for your services, but you can't tell us what results they might be able to expect from those services?

I know that much depends on the books being promoted and all that, and I'm not asking you to give us any protected or sensitive information. However, I do think it reasonable for you to give us the basics, which I didn't find when I skim-read your blog post. I'll ask them again.

How many review requests, on average, does each co-op member receive per period (per month, per year, per six months--break it up however you like)?

How many of those review requests result in reviews?

I know I asked for sales information but I agree it's very difficult to measure whether sales are a result of any particular promotion, as you've said: but if you could give an indication of the sort of responses you've had from your co-op members that would be useful. Because without these responses, all we're hearing is that we can pay you money to join your co-op--but then there's a silence when we ask you what's in it for us. Apart from being considerably poorer.


I definitely agree though about NetGalley not really being about increasing sales directly. I've always liked that theory about people having to see something five times before they'll purcase, and NetGalley has been a good way to gain a little more coverage for my books in that department, on top of everything else. Hopefully, the extra coverage will lead to sales, obviously, but even if the main benefit has been getting my name out there as YA author, I'm pretty happy.

Getting your name "out there" on NetGalley isn't going to increase your readership, though, is it? It's not trawled by potential readers looking for their next purchase: it's used by reviewers, who are a very different breed. Which is why I've asked you to show us the real results people can expect when paying to join your co-op: if most of your co-op members do get a significant number of reviews as a result, then that might be money well spent; if most of them give away a hundred books but only get two or three reviews as a result, then that's not so good.

Old Hack
09-29-2013, 08:21 PM
On second thoughts, as kelloish can't or won't supply the information we need to work out if her co-op is worth joining or not, I'm locking the thread.

If anyone is considering signing up to this, or any other NetGalley co-op, I strongly advise them to find out what sort of response rate they can expect in return for their money. These co-ops are not cheap to join and judging by the numbers I've seen in this thread and elsewhere I have serious doubts as to their effectiveness.