Beginner’s Guide to NetGalley

Free books? Who wouldn’t want free books? Well, honestly reading does seem to be a love or hate type of thing so I guess probably 50% of the population would answer that no. If you’re reading this though, my guess is that you would be interested in free books though and that is what drew you in. I, too, wanted access to free books. Heck, if I could just read books for a living I would (as evidenced by the size of my library)! So when I found NetGalley I was thrilled to find out that I could get access to free books. It took me a bit of digging to find it so I figured it was definitely worth sharing. Here’s my beginner’s guide to NetGalley.

Make An Account

The first thing that you need to do is make a NetGalley account. This can only be done by accessing the website: There is an app but that takes you back to the website to set up the account so not worth downloading that quite yet in the process. You’ll need to put in all of the standard information- name, email, etc. However, there are questions that are more oriented towards book readers. For instance, you will need to let them know where you review your books (blog, goodreads, social media, etc). It’s important that you have some other established accounts. Thankfully, I’ve been using Goodreads for years and I also have a bookstagram (a book account on Instagram) too so this part was fairly easy. 

Make A Profile

Once you’ve gotten your initial account set up you’ll need to get your profile established. This is a pretty crucial piece. The publishers will use your profile to decide whether or not you will get access to the book that you are requesting. Plus, you can’t even request access without having your profile set up. 

There are some key things you should include in your profile:

  • Type of Reviewer- Be sure to include what type of book reviewer you are. Publishers want to understand who you are and what you can do to help them. This also means you need to make sure that you clearly state where you review books as well.
  • Relevant Facts- Are you a member of a professional association? Do you host a book club? What type of books do you review (audio, e-book, in print, etc). 
  • Favorite Authors- The publishers will be able to see what genres you are interested in (you’ll select them while you set up your account) but it can help for them to see what authors you like specifically.
  • Links- In addition to clearly stating where you review books you will want to make sure that you include links to those places as well.
  • Stats- If you are able to get the statistics for the sites where you review, you can also include those. Things like monthly pageviews and social media reach can be helpful.

On the publisher’s page you can find find more requirements to help tailor your profile accordingly. 

Request, Request, Request

Once you get everything all set up you can start requesting books! You can search through a lot to see what finds your interest. I especially love that you can search by genre or publisher. If there is a select publisher that accepts all of your requests you’ll be able to find them and gain access more quickly. The other thing that I love is that there are audiobooks. I don’t especially love that the books are all electronic access so audiobooks are my favorite on this app. I can listen to the books even while I’m working throughout the day. 

You will get an email from NetGalley on whether or not your request was accepted or denied. If it is accepted there may be more directions in there so make sure that you are paying attention to these before trashing them (like I did at first). 

Write A Review

This part is the other most important part. You have to make sure that you are reviewing the books that you read or listen to. You should be posting the reviews to all of your “regular sites” but also directly to the NetGalley website. In the email that you get from NetGalley when your request is accepted there may be a clause about when you can review a book. I didn’t realize this and I haven’t gotten in trouble yet but it is something to be aware of. For instance, once I paid attention, I found that one of the books requested that reviews only be posted within the 3 months before the book is published. 

Personally, I like to make sure that my reviews are 150-250 words each. They should be descriptive enough to give someone a good idea of the book but not so descriptive that they give everything away. If you aren’t familiar with reviewing books you can check out my bookstagram using the handle BriannasBrilliantBookshelf or my goodreads account which is just Brianna Hart. Please feel free to add me as a friend on one or both of those accounts! I don’t have many people on my goodreads so I’m always excited to have more and see what everyone else is reading. 

As a beginner on Netgalley this was one of my first audiobooks that I was able to review.
As a beginner on Netgalley this was one of my first audiobooks that I was able to review.

In Summary: Beginner’s Guide to NetGalley

Now you know everything that I know about NetGalley. No really! I wrote this beginner’s guide to NetGalley but I’m still very much a beginner myself. As I learn more of the tips and tricks that the experts have I will make sure that I share them with you too! For now, I’ve got access to around 10 books for free and that has made me the happiest gal. When you are someone who reads constantly it’s so refreshing to not have to pay an arm and a leg for them. Although, if I am buying books I prefer to get them from thriftbooks, just for reference. If you are looking for books and you’re also interested in bargains you’ve come to the right place!

Are you an avid reader too? I’d love to know what you are reading and/or what the favorite thing you’ve read lately is! In addition to that, if you have more bargain book sources we’d all love to hear about them. Please comment below or email me at

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