Monday, 28 February 2011

Special Feature: NetGalley appreciation, advice on galley approval and my pick of the top titles you should request!

I've spoken for my love of NetGalley on here before, and it seems to me that the  internet's premier digital galley resource just keeps getting better, with new publishers signing up all the time, and great new galleys being added almost daily. Even though you don't need an e-reader to read the galleys featured on NetGalley, all the great titles on there actually prompted me to buy one, and I'm glad I did, as I have read some amazing titles via NetGalley.

I believe there is a problem with the Kindle feature on NetGalley right now, but they are working on sorting it out.  As for my Sony e-reader, it works like a dream with NetGalley.

There are so many good titles on NetGalley right now, and here are my picks of just some of the best. 

Adult Titles

The Raising is the new book from Laura Kasischke, author of The Life Before Her Eyes.  I've read some amazing industry reviews of this one. I've already downloaded it to my reader, and plan to get started on it soon. This one is described as a cross between Stephen King and Donna Tartt and sounds really good to me!

The Raising by Laura Kasischke
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Release date: March 15th 2011

The accident was tragic, yes. Bloody and horrific and claiming the life of a beautiful young sorority girl. NICOLE was a straight A student from a small town. Sweet-tempered, all-American, a fomer Girl Scout, and a virgin. But it was an accident. And that was last year. It’s fall again, a new semester, a fresh start.

CRAIG, who has not been charged with murder, is focusing on his classes, and also on avoiding Nicole’s sorority sisters, who seem to blame him for her death even though the police did not.

PERRY, Craig’s roommate, is working through his own grief (he grew up with Nicole, after all, and had known her since kindergarten) by auditing Professor Polson’s sociology class: Death, Dying, and the Undead.

MIRA has been so busy with her babies—two of them, twins, the most perfect boys you could imagine, but still a nearly impossible amount of work even with Clark’s help—that she can barely keep herself together to teach (Death, Dying and the Undead), let alone write the book she'll need to publish for tenure.

And SHELLY, who was the first person at the scene of the accident, has given up calling the newspapers to tell them that, despite the "lake of blood" in which they keep reporting the victim was found, the girl Shelly saw that night was not bloody, and not dead.

Before I Go to Sleep is a psychological thriller in the vein of Shutter Island and Memento, and I think it's going to be huge. This one is being published by HarperCollins (US) and Transworld (UK). I've heard the movie rights have sold too.  So far I've heard only good things about this book, and I'm looking forward to reading it soon.  

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: June 14th 2011.

 Every morning, Christine awakens beside a stranger in an unfamiliar bed. She sees a middle-aged face in the bathroom mirror that she does not recognize. And every morning, the man patiently explains that he is Ben, her husband, that she is forty-seven-years-old, and that an accident long ago damaged her ability to remember.

In place of memories Christine has a handful of pictures, a whiteboard in the kitchen, and a journal, hidden in a closet. She knows about the journal because Dr. Ed Nash, a neurologist who claims to be treating her without Ben’s knowledge, reminds her about it each day. Inside its pages, the damaged woman has begun meticulously recording her daily events—sessions with Dr. Nash, snippets of information that Ben shares, flashes of her former self that briefly, miraculously appear.

But as the pages accumulate, inconsistencies begin to emerge, raising disturbing questions that Christine is determined to find answers to. And the more she pieces together the shards of her broken life, the closer she gets to the truth . . . and the more terrifying and deadly it is.

The Twisted Thread revolves around a murder which takes place at a prestigious Academy and is recommended for fans of The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I love a good murder mystery, and this one caught my eye a few months back.

The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon
Publisher: Hyperion Voice.
Release date: June 14th 2011

Privilege exists, and sometimes it's deadly. 

 When beautiful but aloof Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room one spring morning, prestigious Armitage Academy is shaken to its core. Everyone connected to the school, and to Claire, find their lives upended, from the local police detective who has a personal history with the academy, to the various faculty and staff whose lives are immersed in the daily rituals associated with it. Everyone wants to know how Claire died, at whose hands, and more importantly, where the baby that she recently gave birth to is - a baby almost no one, except a small group of girls in her innermost cricle, knew she was carrying.

At the center of the investigation is Madeline Christopher, an intern in the English Department who is forced to exame the nature of the relationship between the school's students and the adults meant to guide them. As the case unravels, the dark intricacies of adolescent privilege at a powerful institution are exposed, and both teachers and students emerge as suspects as the novel rushes to its thrilling conclusion.

Young Adult Titles

HarperTeen always have some of the most coveted titles on Netgally, and I know that there's always a lot of excitement around the blogosphere whenever they add new titles. The latest bunch of titles from HarperTeen/Balzer & Bray is very impressive, and contains some hot summer titles.  I've already read Die for Me by Amy Plum, which I loved. Fingers crossed that I get approved when I request the other HarpterTeen titles!

While were talking about HarperTeen and galley approval, I know that a lot of people are still having their requests declined.  I've requested galleys from HarperTeen in the past, and have been approved. The only advice I can offer is to fill in all details on your profile.

Here's what HarperTeen themselves have to say:

My NetGalley profile includes my blog address, information on where my reviews will be published, my review policy, my preferred reading genres and my contact details (email address).

A good tip is to request one title and then send your review to the publishers via NetGalley before you request another. I know a lot of people are excited to see great titles on NetGalley and request them all at once, which can lead to disappointment. This is just my advice - I know that other people have different experiences with this process.

NetGalley also have also provided an article on Publisher Approval Preferences which you can view here:

Other YA titles I recommend:

The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter - This one is proving to be very popular amongst book bloggers.  I've already read some glowing reviews of this modern day take on the Persephone myth. And if you haven't already seen the cover: check it out! Stunning!
The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch -  I just came by this one on NetGalley the other day, and it's gone straight onto my must read list. I've never read a YA book dealing with Voodoo before. Should be interesting!

Mercy by Rebecca Lim - This one is a very recent addition to NetGalley, and a new angel book that I'll be checking out. I've already read quite a few positive reviews of this one as it was released in the UK in 2010.


Those are my top picks from the huge choice of books NetGalley has on offer. 

If you've already read any of these, I'd love to hear what you thought of them.

If you'd like to share your experiences of NetGalley either positive or negative, leave a comment. If you have any questions regarding NetGalley, feel free to ask! I'm not an expert on NetGalley by any means, but I am a frequent user. If you're starting out and having any problems, maybe I can help.

 * Please note: Not all of these covers are final and may be subject to change. If the cover is changed, I will update with the new cover!


  1. I've requested a few of these, some auto-approved, some approved and some that hasn't been approved r not yet. I don't get declined much these days though!

  2. The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon seems great. The comparison to The Secret History, one of my favourite books,makes me even more curious about the book. Thanks for the helpful post!

  3. I want to read most of these! I especially want to read The Goddess Test, Die For Me, and Star Crossed. I just got an ARC of The Magnolia League and hope to read it soon.

    I've never had problems being accepted by Harlequin teen but HarperTeen rejected my request for Delirium. I went and looked at my profile (which I had filled out when I signed up in early 2010) and for some reason my blog info was gone and it had my country as something other than the U.S. Hopefully this time when I request a title, I will get it!

  4. Great post, I LOVE NetGalley. It's the main reason I bought a Kindle (very excited for them to get that Kindle button back =)
    Just requested those awesome titles from Harper, hope to get approved cause I am DYING to read those!

  5. @ComaCalm - I've never had a title auto-approved. Pretty cool!

    @Misha - I think The Twisted Thread sounds like something we'd both like. I'm glad I found it! :)

    @Christina & Angelique - hope you get those Harper titles. I haven't requested any of the new titles yet. I will soon, though!

  6. Oooh ~ THANKS

    This is GREAT ~ and I LOVE seeing all the adult titles. I love reading adult fiction but don't often see much of it on the blogs I follow.

    I'm not doing net galley stuff yet ~ can't commit to reading at my computer, haha ~ but I've added some titles to my wishlist :)

  7. Thank you so much for this post! I'm going to act on your tips now. I already had my blog info, but I'm going to add my review policy stuff and contact details.

    I've been approved, auto-approved, and declined in the past (though I haven't been declined since starting my blog, yet). I'm currently reading The Goddess Test now.

    The one thing that's confusing me now is that I haven't received any response from Harper Teen yet for one of my requests. I don't know if that means a decline or what? It's been almost two weeks.

  8. Great post! I liked that you included adult reads as well. I never know what would be a good title to try :)

  9. Afraid I have yet to embrace the e-reader. I took a second master completely online and had to download my books. But this is good information in case I ever bite the bullet and get a Kindle, Sony, or Nook.

  10. I love Netgalley! I am hoping to get approve. I have gotten approved in the past, but I am still crossing my fingers!!

  11. Small Review - Whenever I've requested from HarperTeen approval has only taken a couple of days. 2-3 days at most. I know people who've had emails saying they've been declined too. I'm pretty sure they send out a response letting you know, so I'm not sure what happened with yours.

    Can you request them again if you've already requested but haven't heard back?

  12. Great post! I love Netgalley! I was finally approved for the HarperTeen Arcs on Friday. They are slowly getting everyone approved. They had a LOT of requests!

  13. Netgalley sounds great but I don't have an ereader and I hate reading at my computer:P I wish I had an ereader.

  14. Thanks for the great advice, I love Netgalley but I have a really hard time reading books on my pc, I'm going to buy a Nook pretty soon. =)

  15. Yes, it looks like I can request again. I'm going to try, even though I feel like I'm nagging :)

  16. Great post Leanna, I adore NetGalley! I will love them even more when they bring the Kindle button back and I can actually read the titles they've so nicely approved for me! I can't wait to read Starcrossed, I'm dying to get into that one!

  17. Netgalley is totally awesome. I am just waiting for the Kindle button to appear again so I can download the titles I've requested :D

  18. Great post! I'm definitely requesting the ones you mentioned. They look terrific!

    As for HarperTeen, I usually received approved galleys within a couple of days. It has been a a couple of weeks. I contacted NetGalley. They said they have received TONS of requests for those galleys and are still going through approval. I probably shouldn't have requested them all at once, but wanted to request them soon. I've never received a denial. Does it show in the list of requests as denied? Mine just say new.

    Disney-Hyperion was having trouble sending me an e-mail. The galleys were approved, but the e-mail wasn't coming through. NetGalley told me to make sure the NetGalley e-mail was in my e-mail address book. So that might be an issue for people, too.

  19. I have received a galley from Netgalley but haven't been able to open it on the computer. Maybe on my kindle? It's a great idea though! :)

  20. Every single one of these books sound fantastic - special thanks for mentioning the adult titles as well. As much as I adore YA fiction, it is very nice to dip into the heart of an adult fiction novel and these listed above sound like books I'd love to read!

  21. Sweet Bonjour - You should be able to open on your computer. Do you have Adobe Digital Editions installed? You need it to view the galleys. It's a free download.

    Julie - Thanks for the HarperTeen feedback. I'm not sure if the galleys actually show up as declined. Can't answer that one.

    Tammy - once I start getting through this insane review pile I have for March (so many books releasing in March!), I plan on reading a few adult titles! :)


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