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.

Free Art Ebooks

Here are my favorite sources for free art-related ebooks. If you know of others, please email the editor to share them.

Book Arts of Isfahan: Diversity and Identity in Seventeenth-Century PersiaGetty Publications Virtual Library

Ancient & Historic MetalsGetty Conservation Institute

Metropolitan Museum of Art

coverUniversity of California Press

Paul Klee by Paul KleeInternet Archive (main ebook page and search results for Art as subject) – the subject terms and search function here don’t work as perfectly as I’d like, but there’s gold for those who keep trying new searches)

The next two sources are less art history and criticism, more technique and how-to, and you’ll find overlap from the sources above:

Creative Illustration Link


100 Best Free Art Books from Gold Coast Art Classes

paintersFree Artist Handbooks from The Color of Art