It's recommended that you keep up a ratio of 80%, meaning that you have provided reviews for 80% of the titles you've been approved for.
At first this may sound high and very unattainable but I have developed a fool-proof way to improve it.
When you just signed up for NetGalley it's super hard to even get approved for books. How do you get experience reviewing books when in order to get a track record you have to show a track record?
Easy: Read Now
Read Now is a section that I personally consider a gift from God. There are many books that are instantly accessible to anyone and everyone. You'd think that these are all terrible books that are poorly written, but no.These are all books that people want reviews for desperately and you'll even encounter the occasional well-known already published book there. CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell was in that section a while ago.
If you shy away from the vast amount of indie books that are offered there - my personal advice is to head over to the graphic novels and comic section.
But why???? I don't even like graphic novels, I'm an adult sci-fi blog, what even
Here's the thing. You can read a graphic novel or comic within an hour tops, write up a review, and you're done. You can get your approval numbers up super quickly with those read now comics and nobody cares whether you usually review a different genre.
Another pro tip would be to start reviewing picture books. They're typically 250 words maximum, you go figure how quickly you can read and review these.
See, you're not really in the position yet to be picky. You just started. You gotta take what you can get.
Ughh, how long will it take until I can start requesting books I actually want to read? Do I have to read picture books for the rest of my life?
Fear not, gentle reader. I started requesting books from major publishers at about 25 approvals. You may start earlier but I guarantee you, the big five won't even touch you if you haven't reviewed and read more than 20 books.
- Books are "archived" after a certain time, meaning you can't download them anymore then. Typically you're expected to at least send over the feedback/review before the archive date. It's no harm if you do so after it's been archived, but people won't cheer on you if you do this either.
- You can DNF a book. If you just don't like it, send over a note via the feedback option explaining why you don't want to read the book. Don't do this too often though and have valid reasons.
- For the love of all that is holy, don't request more than 20 books at once. What if you get approved for all of them and they end up being due next week? Yikes!