Publishing Isn’t for Sissies: Innovative Marketing and Promotion–NetGalley

My journey deeper into understanding digital publishing, marketing and promotion ramped to another level this week as Secret Legacy was introduced to the sci-fi/fantasy genre as a featured book on NetGalley. 


A site that (from their FAQ page) is a service for people who read and recommend books. Publishers upload their galleys, plus any marketing and promotional information; then invite contacts to view their title on NetGalley. Readers can also find new titles through NetGalley’s Public Catalog, and request to review those titles from the publisher.

“Is this just another way to push books that don’t have a traditional publishing path ?” you say. Browse the Buzz for NetGalley Titles link on their homepage , like I did. Look at the national media tours and blurbs and reviews of the featured books to see the projects that are generating NetGalley buzz. Traditionally marketed or not, it’s pretty impressive stuff.

“But are ‘real’ publishers using NetGalley?” Check out the Browse Catelog by Publisher link and look for the print publisher of your choice. At first glance, I see Avon, Grand Central, HarperCollins, Penquin, and William Morrow, top print publishers, all, amongst digital and eBook pioneers and leaders.

“How is this going to help you establish your series as sci-fi/fantasy?” Under Browse Catalog by Genre, choose Science Fiction & Fantasy. You’ll find Carina Press, Harlequin, Harper Collins, Red Sage (Ooo! Angela Knight, I LOVE her), and, on Page Two, me. There Secret Legacy is, waiting for anyone who loves sci-fi/fantasy to dive into and fall in love with, right next to authors from Hatchette Books, too, and Thomas Nelson, and on and on. Not bad company at all.

Secret Legacy front cover

To tell us more about what publishers are all about on the site–we have a Dorchester PR specialist with us today, the person who’s worked hard behind the scenes to position my Legacy series on NetGalley.

Everyone, welcome Hannah Wolfson to PIFS–

1) I asked Hannah to talk a little about Dorchester’s overall goals for partnering with NetGalley. And she said–

Dorchester plans to utilize NetGalley’s services to establish an environmentally friendlyand cost effective approach to galley distribution. NetGalley will enable Dorchester to share protected, searchable digital galleys with a significantly wider audience. Previously, our galley distribution was limited by cost, our printer’s stamina, and our reviewer list. NetGalleyallows us to improve upon all these aspects.

2) In response to my question about how Dorchester will use this relationship to reach and network with the reviewers and media specialists that can help their releases, Hannah said–

Dorchester titles will get the most significant exposure during our “launch week” (February 22-March 1st). Our covers are visible on NetGalley’s homepage , a newsletter/press release was sent out to NetGalley’s19,500+ members alerting them to our new partnership and available titles, and our public catalog is up-and-running and receiving piles of review requests daily.

Following launch week, our titles will be accessible through our public catalog ( ). Unfortunately members will not be notified every time a new addition is added to our catalog, although this will occasionally be the case if we are featured in NetGalley’s newsletter—keep an eye out!

NetGalley is primarily a galley distribution site so promotional opportunities are limited, but it is quickly becoming the go-to resource for reviewers because of the accessibility and exposure it provides new titles—a value in and of itself. 

Let me just interject before continuing (Hi, it’s Anna again, interrupting only briefly.) to say how thrilled I am that Dorchester chose my series as one of the books for their NetGalley launch focus. They’ve been great, working hard behind the scenes for all their authors as the house moves in this new digital direction with as much skill and planning and purpose as humanly possible. That they think enough of Secret Legacy and the world I’ve built for the first two books in the series to put this kind of push behind it… It means a lot.

Which leads into my final question for Hannah, about–

3) Whether Dorchester had specific plans for the Legacy series on NetGalley–that is, did she think a single book or author could benefit from the kind of placement they’re offering several authors on their spring schedule: And she said–

I wanted to ensure that Dark Legacy and Secret Legacy were prominently featured during our NetGalley “launch week. The Legacy series has amazing cross-genre appeal and NetGalley allows us to reach multiple audiences in great numbers.  Not only are both titles part of our first public catalog of 11 titles, the covers are featured in a feed on NetGalley’s homepage and the title information was included in a newsletter sent out to all NetGalley’s users. We’ve already received a huge influx of requests for both titles—NetGalley will certainly assist in generating reviews and exposure for the Legacy series.

Thanks, Hannah, for all your hard work for me and the other Dorchester authors, and for sharing your insight with Publishing Isn’t For Sissies

****Everyone, Hannah will be back once or twice throughout the day to answer questions.****
Let us know in the comments what you think and what you want to know more about.

And finally, to sum up the possibilities for innovative digital marketing on a seemingly non-promotion site like NetGalley–

  • Take a look around the site at how many authors and publishers are taking advantage of the paper-free galley opportunity.
  • Check out at the press releases and reviews and genres and total volume of books being seen digitally, on-line, on NetGalley, in immediate, easily downloaded ways that make them more accessible to industry partners than ever before.
  • For those considering asking their publishers to investigate a similar solution, remember that timing is everything. The initial release of a “partnership” with NetGalley seems to garner the largest direct impact on a book or author’s industry exposure.
  • Remember that as a growing, go-to resource for reviewers and media specialists, even after that initial push, NetGalley placement is fast becoming a significant asset for authors and publishers.
  • Scroll back to Heather’s note about how Dorchester is driving reviewer and media interest across several genres to titles that otherwise wouldn’t receive this degree of exposure.

What that will mean for their NetGalley launch book remains to be seen.

But NegGalley is something new. Something innovative to talk about. Something powerful building momentum amongst us that might help our chaotic publishing market gain more digital traction than ever before. And Dorchester and other publishers investing in it is the sort of thing that gives hope to those of us in the trenches, watching the landscape flicker and change around the stories we’re writing.

We’re in this together, my friends. You, me, Dorchester, and every other author and publisher who’s working with the same crazy set of variables.

Let’s figure this out together…

Next week on Publishing Isn’t For Sissies, I’ll be back from the DFWCon, after spending the weekend networking and wargaming with savvy publishing professionals about this and other  digital avenues through which an eBook (or print published) author can gain online momentum.

See you then

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10 Responses to “Publishing Isn’t for Sissies: Innovative Marketing and Promotion–NetGalley”

  1. Bob Mayer says:

    The hardest thing to do these days is find readers, especially on-line. This looks like an avenue we’ll be exploring at Who Dares Wins Publishing. This is a strange world now for authors. What works, what doesn’t– it’s a guessing game as much as a research one. We just dropped priced on two of our novel, the first Atlantis book and my original release, Chasing The Ghost, in eBook to .99. I think the key is consistency. To keep plugging away, balancing writing and promoting. I actually have to use a timer to force myself to stop promoting on-line, turn off the internet and WRITE. It’s easy to get caught up in it.

    • Anna says:

      It’s easy to fall behind. It’s easy to do too much. It’s easy to stick with what you know and not venture into the unproven unknown. But like you say on your Write It Forward blog, Bob, the readers aren’t going to find you, until you put yourself out there consistantly. Still, I’m with you. The balance part of this is my greatest struggle at the moment.

  2. I’ve been using Netgalley for about a month to pull galleys for review on my blog, but at present they do not offer an option for reading on a Kindle. If they ever get that problem ironed out, I think you’ll see Netgalley really take off even more. I, for one, just won’t sit and read a 500-page book on my computer!

    • Anna says:

      I’ve heard that from a few people as well, Suzanne. The need to move the document to a portable eReader. As a writer chained to my computer for way too many hours a day already, I feal your pain.

  3. Hannah says:

    Regarding NetGalley’s Kindle option, it is only temporarily disabled. Amazon has agreed to make a secure Kindle option available (to NetGalley only, for the time being, and in beta). NetGalley users can expect to see the Kindle option restored sometime in March!

  4. Michelle says:

    As a book reviewer, I love NetGalley. I’ll love it even more when the Kindle option comes back, but in the meantime, it makes it much easier and faster for me to get books to review.

  5. Yay, Hannah! That’s great news. I’m like Anna. I spend all day at a desk, so I don’t want to do my reading there.

  6. I look forward to hearing more about NetGally and how it works. I’ve been in contact with them for Who Dares Wins Publishing and am excited to see this in action with the Secret Legacy books.

    Bob mentioned the balancing act. I find it very difficult to balance writing, promotion and all the stuff I do for WDWPUB. One thing we keep coming back to is slow and steady. Consistency is a key element and also being authentic. That is what I love about this Publishing series…you’re living this right now and are kind enough to share all that you are learning, doing and achieving with the rest of us.

    OK — must got pack my killer shoes. Leaving the ugly clogs behind….

  7. Ellen Breen says:

    There is a total paradigm shift in publishing, and we must adapt, and keep a foot in both worlds. Thank you so much for taking us along on your journey. Being educated is so important.

  8. Cheryl says:

    Thanks for the information. A great way to review!

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