Read ahead with NetGalley (free prepub ebooks!)

A public librarian friend recently introduced me to NetGalley, “a service to promote titles to professional readers of influence. If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to request, read and provide feedback about forthcoming titles” (from the website at ). Librarians can indeed join for free and receive preview e-copies of books.

I’ve tried it out. After sign-up I looked through the listings of books available for preview (trying to be fair and keeping to titles that would be of interest to those who use my library). Some titles can be downloaded immediately, but for most one must request the title from the publisher. The publisher will look at the profile of the person requesting the title, so it’s a good idea to create a profile that will accurately represent your position and sphere of influence in reader’s advisory and purchasing for your institution.

If the publisher approves your request you’ll get an email. You go to the NetGalley website to arrange to download your book. I’ve taken to downloading them in epub rather than Kindle, after finding problems with some Kindle formatting. The e-books you receive are not as perfectly formatted or as pretty as the final version will be; it can be more like reading advance galleys in print.

After completing a book – or reading as much as you are going to – you return to NetGalley to provide feedback to the publisher. Publishers want to see feedback. You are not required to provide it, but if you don’t you may find your requests being denied.

I’ve requested about a half-dozen books so far, and finished most of them. A couple will be good selections for my library. Some that seemed like possible choices are not as good as I expected. Some I may not purchase, but will remember for reader’s advisory or reference in the future.