Today’s post is a discussion post! I’ll be talking about why I prefer Edelweiss over NetGalley when requesting digital review copies, although both are great, and also suggesting alternative options to getting early access, even if you’re not a blogger!
If you didn’t know, NetGalley and Edelweiss are sites that allow publishers and authors to provide digital review copies to bloggers in exchange for an honest review. Both function in nearly the same way, but there are some differences that make me prefer Edelweiss over NetGalley.
When I first got into blogging, I took a little time to get settled down (aka like 5 months of no schedule and platform jumping) before I settled down where I am and made my NetGalley and Edelweiss accounts.
I joined NetGalley first and fell right into over-requesting. *awkward silence* But luckily I’m both a fast reader & I was denied a healthy number of times! Nothing like a good denial to make your day.
I’ve never missed a review deadline (though I did get pretty close on a Sunday night a couple of times) luckily, and have since learned to regulate myself from over-requesting.
Anyways, the way NetGalley works is that you look through the books available in a genre, click “request,” maybe like the cover, and then check whichever boxes apply (“What makes this book appeal to you?
☐ I keep hearing about this book!”).
And boom! Request sent and you’re ready for the waiting.
Publishers will see the profile you write (which should include a bit about you, what you blog about, your statistics, and your social links) and I think what boxes you checked as well as your feedback ratio, how many times you’ve been accepted/denied, etc. etc.
(Mind you that some of this is speculation on my part).
Now, I’ve always been honest about checking the boxes–it makes no sense to check off “Author” when you have no idea who the person is–but what does that really tell the publisher besides a couple of things about how you like to suck up & check as many boxes as you can?
It’s both in over-requesting and the impersonal features of NetGalley that make me prefer Edelweiss, as well as the recent fiasco over limiting international bloggers to “wishing” instead of requesting.
The information sent to the publisher tells next to nothing about why you want to read the book–only that you’re able to check off boxes. It makes it seem like there’s a greater importance in statistics rather than genuine desire to read the novel, which also doesn’t help smaller bloggers who are trying to grow their blog as well as help promote the novel.
On the other hand, Edelweiss, although their website is less easy to use, does better in areas NetGalley falls short in.
Edelweiss allows you to write a paragraph (or ten) about why you are requesting that title and why you want to read it, and although the publisher might not read beyond your personal description, it does provide the opportunity to emphasize why you would love to read & honestly review one of their novels.
This is what makes Edelweiss so much better in my opinion, because I can express my passion for the novel through my words in ways checking off little boxes doesn’t do on NetGalley.
The selection on Edelweiss is also superior a lot of the time (but not all), as there are more coveted titles as more major publishers use Edelweiss than NetGalley. (There are still some really great novels from MacMillan and Disney-Hyperion on NetGalley, though).
While NetGalley restricts the abilities of international bloggers, doesn’t allow for more personal and passionate requests, and enables overrequesting by bloggers, Edelweiss does the opposite and pushes you to write a well-thought out reason for requesting a novel rather than a couple of clicks.
I personally enjoy using a mix of the two and would rather use both than one over another, but I do enjoy using Edelweiss more.
But, even if you aren’t a blogger, there are other ways to request early access to books. Here are two of my favorite, one of which even lets you have a chance at physical copies!
First to Read is a program run by Penguin Random House that allows anyone to enter the raffle to read books. Although they usually have adult novels, every couple of months, YA titles will pop up; most recently Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi and Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh.
I think this is an awesome program, and although it requires a little patience and perseverance in checking your email/social channels to see what books they have available, I think this is an awesome way for non-bloggers to get access to books in exchange for a review!
BookishFirst, although relatively new, is the other request outlet that I believe is a great opportunity for non-bloggers to use. It lets you have a chance at receiving a physical ARC by entering the raffle through submitting your initial thoughts at the first few pages, and then hopefully winning the raffle.
BookishFirst, in its couple months of operation, have already featured two YA novels: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton and As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti! I personally haven’t entered any raffles yet, but I do have an account and think this is a great opportunity to check out!