Wednesday, 5 May 2010

NetGalley, Scribd and why I may decide to change my review policy.

So, in my review policy I have stated that I don't accept eBooks for review, and this largely remains the case.  I don't have an eReader of any sort - honestly, I dont' even know much about them, nor do I have any intention of getting one.  They don't really appeal to me.  Haven't you guys noticed that I'm kind of obsessed with cover art and having lots of pretty books on my shelves!

However, in the past few days, I've actually downloaded not one, not two, but three eBooks.  Will I actually be able to sit at my computer and read them all the way through? I do not know.  I don't have a laptop, and sitting at my PC for hours to read a book on screen...I'm still not sure if it appeals to me.  But, and there is a but, there are so many good eBooks out there for free right now, that I have been very tempted by them, and I'm willing to give this a shot.  And perhaps change my review policy in the process.

The first eBook I downloaded came courtesy of a post on my friend Simay's blog Zimlicious.  We bonded over a mutual love (total obsession in her case!) of Edward Cullen a few years back, and also share a love of vampire fiction.    She did a post on Marta Acosta's  The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove which has been described as 'a modern day gothic treat for vampire fans' by, and which is available here as a free download on Scribd.  I liked the description of the book, and the cover art, and I reckon that if I'd seen this on Amazon, I would have ordered it, so I went ahead and downloaded it.

Then I received an email from author Kersten Hamilton who was doing a little research on and was emailing bloggers to gather some opinions.  She also mentioned her new book Tyger, Tyger which is available as a free download on the site.   Well, I thought this one sounded interesting too, and there's an Irish interest here, so I went ahead and downloaded it.  While I was on NetGalley, I discovered that The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette by Carolyn Meyer is also available as a download, so I signed up for that one too.  I have always been really interested in Marie-Antoinette and I really want to read this one.  I'm sure there are many great books on there available for download, but I thought that two was enough for me right now, so I stepped away from NetGalley.   It's a great service, especially for us new book bloggers who are starting out and find it difficult to come by ARC's or pre-release books for review.  Also, this is open internationally, which is great.  Sometimes our resources, as book bloggers, are very limited in comparision to our American friends.

Do you use NetGalley or any other site that offers free eBooks for review?  How do you feel about reading eBooks?  There are a lot of great resources out there now as far as eBooks go, and I'm just hoping that I can sit at my computer and read a whole book on screen.  I haven't actually tried it before!  Wish me luck!


  1. I also received an email from Kersten and checked out NetGalley. I've received her book as well as another one. I don't have an e-reader either, so I was a bit hesitant, but once I checked out how the books are formatted it's actually not that bad. There were quite a few books I want to read on there, but for now I'll start with the two I got. It's so much easier and faster receiving books.

  2. Yeah, I'm going to start with these three and see how it goes. The Adobe Digital thingy actually makes it seem like the books will be easier to read. I confess I didn't know about Adobe digital editions until today! :-/

  3. I've looked at NetGalley a little bit. I don't have a reader and am not terribly excited about the prospect of sitting at my computer to read a book. I'm interested to see how this works out for you.

  4. If it goes well, I'll have reviews of the books to post up. If it all goes badly wrong, I won't, so you'll know what the deal is! haha!

  5. I use NetGalley quite a bit and really like it. I've reviewed some great books that way like Rachel Vincent's My Soul to Keep and Allison Van Diepen's The Oracle of Dating.

  6. I JUST got an ereader - it's an "off brand" model, and I got it for my birthday - nothing fancy - but it works. I read or am reading my FIRST novel on it now, The Oracle of Dating - via Net's cool, I am enjoying it! I am loving Net Galley, it's a neat site...I would love to know if there are others like it...I also downloaded Tyger Tyger - and several other's I requested!

    I am NOT sure how well I like the ereader, it's weird holding a gadget, but it's awesome to be able to read things early this way - and it will keep down my STACKS and STACKS of books - I mean my ereader can hold HUNDREDS and with a new SD card it can hold even more!

    All in all, I am impressed - not sure I am a convert, not sure I ever will be - but I like having the option!

  7. Edward who?! =P I'm so psyched about the fact that Eclipse is gonna be in IMAX! Moving on...

    The author of "The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove" actually left a comment on my blog saying "Here's a tip: you can set the printer to print draft quality and print about twice as many pages as you would otherwise."

    I have a few eBooks that I've gathered from friends and such. I've only tried to read one so far (I'm With The Band), which is a book I've really been wanting to check out, but after 20-or-so pages, it was impossible to go on reading on my computer screen.

    I will however check out that website because due to my location and currency, it'd be cheaper to get them printed. Yet, nothing is like cracking the spine of a real book. I'm such a dork that I even love the smell of books, lol!

  8. I am not a fan of the whole eReader craze. I find that my eyes get tired quickly just from reading blogs on computer screens, let alone a full book. This is why I never got into reading the news online. I don't knock people for liking them, they're just not my thing.

  9. I also got an email from Kerstin and looked up Tyger Tyger. It looks good but I have already got two books from netgalley I need to read. And I don't like reading on my computer either. I read The Iron Daughter because I was desperate to read it, and it was good enough that I DID read it on the computer, but it is still not my favorite thing to do. If I had a reader then it would be better, but I don't and I won't buy one because I would rather buy books (at this time anyway). I prefer my beautiful books that I can display on my shelves and share with my friends and family. But NetGalley is still a great idea, I will just always try to get a paper copy of a book before I get an ebook.

  10. I got an email from Kerstin as well. I don't have an e-reader. I am pretty much old school and I can't read a book from my computer either. Maybe I'll get an ereader this summer, but I def. prefer books! NetGalley is amazing though- just wish I had a Kindle!

  11. I don't mind eBooks and download free ones from Amazon. I will always prefer reading the real thing more though :)

  12. I too got an email from Kerstin!

    I just started using netgallery... I don't really know how to navigate my way through the site. I was hoping to get better acquainted with it over the weekend when I have time to.

    I LOVE BOOKS. I don't have any intention of getting an e-reader. But I do have the Kindle on my PC, I've read a few snips of novel samples from Amazon on it... I don't really think I could sit and read an entire novel on my PC though. I can barely do my homework on my PC without getting distracted!

  13. I think Netgalley is a great site. I really wish I had a Kindle or something, although I do love the feel of a real book in my hands.

  14. Hi, guys! I have collected a *lot* of good information from the bloggers who were kind enough to reply to my email (Thank you! and thank you to everyone who requested Tyger Tyger).

    I have to check my numbers, but it seems that fewer than 10% of book bloggers currently own an e-reader, so NetGalley may be a little ahead of its time.

    However, about a quarter of those who responded say they are planing on buying one in the next year.

    I am hoping that the rest of the 'big six' publishers jump on board—and that someone comes up with an affordable e-reader.

    Because this is a great idea, if only people could read the galleys without their eyeballs falling out!


  15. I think with all the great ebooks that are out there now, if Kindle's weren't so expensive, I might invest in one. Now I look at them and just think of all the great books I can buy with that money. I'm pretty much old school too, and I love having crammed bookshelves!

    @Simay - you must read "I'm with the band" - it's one of my favourite books. Also, I can't print at all at home. My printer gave up on me.

    @Diane - I didn't know you could download free ebooks from Amazon. I must look into it.

    Very interesting responses everyone!

  16. I have downloaded about 4 books from NetGalley so far (Tyger, Tyger was one of them!). I end up having to read them on my laptop or my iphone, neither of which is ideal so I try not to get too many ebooks. I would LOVE to get an ereader, while I don't think they will ever replace the lovely, shiny books...i think they will be handy to take places and have a selection to read. I am still trying to decide which ereader I want, money aside I think I would pick Kindle...but I have a hard time spending that kind of money! I need to look into the cheaper ones and check reviews.

  17. I received an email from Kersten as well. I'm like you and don't have an ereader, I love reading books! I haven't used netgalley b/c I don't want to read a book on my computer. I'm anxious to see how this works out for you :)

  18. I also received an email from Kerstin, but that was after I have sing up for Netgalley.

    I don't have problems reading e-books. Of course I still prefer to read book, but for me its a great opportunity to read book that libraries in my country will never sell.

    So that is why I am really happy about Netgalley. I have already received a lot of e-books for review :D (including Tyger Tyger, hehe). OF course it will be better if I had an E-book reader, but its way too expensive. Maybe in a few months.... u_u


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