What Is NetGalley?

Forgive me if I moved a little too quick on this topic. It became clear in recent weeks that many of you were confused about our change in process and the importance of advance reviews. I’ll summarize the FAQs here for everyone:
1. What is a galley?
No, we are not referring to a Viking longship or a kitchen on a boat. We are referring to a “galley proof” which is an old printing term. It is common lingo in the book trade, referring to a version of the book prior being publication-ready, usually given out as advanced reader copies (also known as ARCs.)
2. What is an ARC?
No, we not referring to the large boat allegedly carrying the male and female variety of every species to safety during the deluge. ARCs are Advance Reader Copies — proofs — sent out prior to publication. They are synonymous with galleys.
3. What is NetGalley?
NetGalley is an online service that facilitates the distribution of digital ARCs/galleys to readers of all stripes — media types, reporters, bloggers, journalists, reviewers, etc. The reviewers promise to post a fair review in exchange for a free copy.
4. How do I sign up for NetGalley?
You don’t have to.  We, the publisher, are paying for the service and are submitting your books for you.  We will share the results with you as they develop, including who is downloading your ARCs/galleys. You are always welcome to become a book reviewer yourself and sign up for NetGalley, but there are currently no author-specific benefits or functionality.
5. Is there anything I, the author, must do?
No. But, it is a great way to get a bunch of emails of people who are reading your work. You can add this to your email list and build your platform. It is most beneficial if you send a gentle reminder thanking them for their interest and encouraging them to post a review. You might ask for a link.  If you stumble upon a very positive review, you might ask them for permission to use it.
6. Does this mean you won’t be sending physical copies anymore?
It means we will be sending fewer physical copies. Our policy is still in effect regarding review copies. We will send them to media outlets who promise a review. We also only send these after the book is released, and as we are able. These activities are a lower priority than processing customer orders. If you are an author who wants to send a good number of review copies, and/or do not want to miss any opportunities, we suggest you first point the reviewers to NetGalley while your book is active. We are paying a pretty good sum to do this for you. For those reviewers still wanting a physical copy in a timely manner, we suggest you use your author copies. We’re happy to replace any copies for reviews that appear in major media.


NetGalley is the top online service for getting upcoming releases in front of reviewers all over the world. Publishers post ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) to be reviewed. Note that an ARC is not completely edited, but good enough for the reviewer to render an opinion.
Regarding NetGalley, this is expensive if you buy the service on an individual basis — $399 each!  Since we release 50 to 75 books a year, we opted for a subscription service that lets us keep a group of titles active. Individual ARCs remain active for a fixed period, and we are limited to how many concurrent titles we can have.
NetGalley subscribers are some of the key book reviewers in the industry. They will now be able to discover and access our galleys via their account and read (securely) a PDF, ePub, or Mobi version of the file.
Obviously, to implement this, our process must change. We will need to format the galley well in advance of release, perhaps after the first round of edits. Jen, Crystal and I will be discussing the best approach.
We will also need to manage the release schedule better in order to take full advantage of this. We will be working on this over the next month and sharing it in the next newsletter.
Some things to think about:
1) Not every book is suited for this service.
2) We have not tested the results, but so far our trial titles received dozens of review requests in the first three days.
3) We will have to decide the advantages of long lead times to releases versus short lead times.  It would seem we could easily integrate a 60 day window prior to release for most reviews.  However, a 180 day lead may not be possible or desirable.
At this point, there is nothing more for you to do as authors — and Sunbury Press will be paying for the service.