I can be a rather laid back person. I don't think I'm that demanding. And usually, I'm just still thrilled I can get books early and that people want me to talk about their books. It's nice to feel that important! But there are some major turn offs. Major. Turn. Offs.
Netgalley's great. Or it used to be. I have some issues with Netgalley now.
1.) Sort Your Damn Books
Netgalley has categories based on genre/age group. Except too many people just...don't use them. There are HUNDREDS of books on Netgalley and sorting them into categories - the RIGHT categories - is a HUGE help. Another reason I appreciate it is that not all books show up in the main page, or they're easy to skip. I've noticed before that I couldn't find a book on Netgalley until I specifically searched or went to the publisher. Seriously, sort your books. And remember that YA is YA, not children's on Netgalley. And vice versa. Definitely vice versa.
2.) Too. Many. Books.
For me, Netgalley became 500% less pleasant with the addition of self-pub/indie pub. Because it feels like half of them don't know what they're doing. I swear I've seen at least a couple books labeled "draft." DRAFT???? You don't put a DRAFT on Netgalley. You put something that's mostly, if not entirely, edited. It's also lead to a HUGE overload. It shouldn't take me 20 minutes to see all the books posted in a 24 hour period. That's TOO MUCH and God knows I'm still gonna miss all the books I actually want.
3.) Weird Request Approval Times
Recently, I was approved for a request for a book that came out the NEXT DAY. This is an actual thing that seems to be happening more and more often. If I request a book months in advance, maybe you shouldn't be putting out approvals less than two weeks before release? Or even after release? Because I'm not going to read it in time if it's just before and it sinks down the consideration list considerably after it's out. I'm not saying all requests should be responded to within hours, but if you're going to put a book out as an egalley 4 months in advance...maybe approve it at least 2 months in advance?
1.) Not Including a Summary
You're asking me to do something for you. Yes, you're offering something in return, but you're still asking me to dedicate several hours to read a book, format a post, probably write a review, share the review, etc. Don't also make me go see what the book is about. All your praise and telling me what you'd like done is nice and all, but I'm not gonna accept a book I know nothing about. Just copy and paste the summary into the email. It's not hard. A link is OKAY, but really. Copy. Paste. It's not like you shouldn't have this handy anyway.
I don't know why I need to even say this. You should be able to properly capitalize our blog name. "Book Blog" doesn't need to be capitalized, neither do genres. You shouldn't use words like "whilst" because this is an email, not Shakespeare. Casual is cool, but this is till a professional thing. Check what you're writing. Especially if you're an author/freelance publicist. If you're an author and can't do basic grammar in an email, what does that say about your book? And freelance publicist? Why would I want to work with you? You now look like a scam.
3.) Don't Ignore the Review Policy
I don't generally know how people pitching me found my blog. NO idea. But my general assumption is that if I've never worked with you, you had to have visited my blog before pitching me. If you're on the blog, my review policy is pretty easy to find. Take an extra 30 seconds to read it before wasting an email on me by pitching a book that's not in my genre/category. Because now I'm just annoyed and don't want to help you and there are better people you could pitch.
4.) Use My Name
I get it, you've got a lot of people to email and you're trying to make this quick. But I find it irritating if you can't get my name/my blog's name in the email SOMEWHERE. Especially if you're someone I've never worked with before. And I think this is true with a lot of bloggers. I can forgive publicists I know for it because I can still trust them. But you, a new person, I've got NO idea what to expect from you. The least you can do is attempt to make this personalized. Because personalized emails have like a 50% better chance of me accepting them.
5.) Give Me Time
Look, I got a lotta books. And I'm very much a mood reader. One week isn't enough time. Three weeks is not a long lead time. It's really best to approach 3-4 months in advance to get a better chance at a review by release. And that's STILL not a guarantee. I can't guarantee you'll ever get a review. But the less time you give me for that, the less likely it is to happen.
So, those are the peeves I can come up with off the top of my head. Do these seem unreasonable to you? Any that you share? Any peeves I didn't bring up?