One of the quickest ways to get word out about your book is through word of mouth. But unless you have a street team or a line of fans who are dying to get their hands on your book, trying to get reviewers can seem daunting. NetGalley.com offers a solution. They have a database of book lovers who want Advance Reader Copies in order to blog about them. By signing up with NetGalley, your book could get into the hands of a lot of reviewers. But it is expensive.
The downside is unless your publisher already has a subscription to use the service, it’s almost out of the question for a single author to pay to be on NetGalley.
CON: $399 listing fee unless you’re going through the Independent Book Publishers of America and then it is $350.
However, if you can get into a co-op with a few more authors, there is a subscription service. It’s still the $399 set up fee, but there is a $150 a month charge. Split between a large group of authors, it might work out to be more cost effective, depending on how many books are going up in that time frame.
The upside is NetGalley has a tremendous reach of potential reviewers. They also send out targeted newsletters throughout the year.
PRO: 80,000 professional readers. 1 million page views a month. Heavy social media traffic on Facebook and Twitter.
But not all those readers are going to be a good fit for your genre. Anyone can request a review copy, but if my book is erotica and the reader has never read an erotic title, there’s quite a learning curve. The best case scenario is they love it. The worst case scenario is they leave a nasty review because it wasn’t what they expected or liked to read.
CON: Forest Gump approach to reviewing. “Reviews are like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get”
However, there’s some evidence that even a negative review will build a readership and perhaps even get the book into Amazon’s algorithms.
PRO: Sometimes there’s strength in numbers.
I think NetGalley is worth a try – if you have a publisher who can put your book up there. At this time, I don’t think the high cost of the listing fee is worth it if you’re going alone. But if it fits in your budget, there are worse ways to spend your marketing dollars.
Lissa Trevor has her stilettos firmly entrenched in the romance community. Spank Me Mr. Darcy, an erotic mash-up of Pride & Prejudice is her debut novel from Riverdale Avenue Books. She is a frequent reader at Manhattan's Between The Covers events, where her novellas Wild Oats and Timelash from Coliloquy’s Entwined volumes 1 & 2 have been very popular. You can find her at http://lissatrevor.wordpress.com/