How To Improve Your Netgalley Feedback Ratio

April 24, 2016 Discussion, Tutorial 46


It’s been a while since we posted a super duper helpful tutorial. We really did a great job of making this a regular feature. All the applause for the immense free time we absolutely have. Haaaa

I noticed something when I was on Netgalley the other day breaking my requesting ban (I wasn’t approved for the books I requested so no harm was done). For those of you who don’t know, Netgalley is a website where reviewers can request ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) of books that are coming out. One of the main things that influences whether or not you get approved or not is the feedback ratio, which is basically a percentage that shows how many of all the books you’ve requested and downloaded you’ve left feedback for.  The ratio Netgalley advises you aim for is 80%. A number that sounds achievable but isn’t when you get excited your first time on the site and request all the things…

have it all


Many despair over low feedback rations, but it is absolutely possible to get your ratio above that 80% line. I mean, just look at mine:

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 1.17.06 PM


88%. And despite what I say, I’m not completely superhuman. Here are four easy hacks to get that feedback ratio high.

Give up all other responsibilities

As of now nothing in life matters except conquering all those Netgalley books. Who needs to cook food or work or study? Not you. All you need in life is to demolish that TBR!



Build an army of readers and reviewers

If you can’t quite shrug off real life to get through the books in a timely manner, get other people to read them for you! Build an army of readers and force them to read the books. Convince them to read all the books willingly by offering rewards you never intend to deliver. Put your name on the reviews they give you. If they’re not willing threaten them with your extreme fight skills.



Bribe some folks and/or take hostages

Are the above option too much effort? Then I hope you’re rich! Bribe those Netgalley people to lie about your ratio. If you don’t have money or the people aren’t taking bribes, just take them hostage and force them to change it.



Learn how to hack

If all else fails, you can learn some amazing technology skills and hack the website to change your ratio yourself. This is probably the fail safe option because the only person you have to worry about is yourself.



banner divide

In reality…

To improve my Netgalley feedback ratio I took the easy way out. I did a mass cull of eARCs. This meant I went through my my Netgalley shelves, decided on what books I didn’t want to read anymore, and left feedback saying as much. I literally said “Sorry for the inconvenience but I don’t have the time to read this anymore/ have lost interest in the concept” because I honestly didn’t have time to read all those review books and keep up with life. I felt really guilty at first, but also I felt it was better to be honest and get rid of those books than let them continue to sit there. Plus deleting them took a lot of pressure of me. Instead of 30+ review copies overwhelming me, I now only have about 10 still sitting there that I am genuinely interested in reading… eventually.

It wouldn’t be hard to fall into the trap of having an uncontrollable Netgalley TBR again, so to prevent such a horrible ratio happening again in the future I:

  • Avoid looking at Netgalley as much as possible. I only go on to leave feedback of other books.
  • Implemented a requesting ban. No more books until I finish the ones I already have.
  • Plan on only requesting books that I really want. That way I’ll be more likely to want to read it at some point.
  • Make an effort to read new books I’m approved for as quickly as possible. Let’s not let the backlog build up.

Another option to get yourself motivated to read all those review books is to join a Netgalley/backlog TBR reading challenge (there are a lot out there).

Actually Helpful Links

Netgalley feedback ratio tips aren’t new, so here’s a list of tips from other bloggers on this issue:

What are your tips for managing your Netgalley feedback ratio?


46 Responses to “How To Improve Your Netgalley Feedback Ratio”

    • Bec

      I’m glad :) It’s something I wish I had been told was okay when I first started, because it would have prevented a massive backlog of review books.

  1. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    LOL! Funny advice is funny X’D I love this post Bec^^ And actually, the helpful advice is quite helpful. I hardly use Netgalley anymore because I just find I never make the time to make ebooks a priority. BUT, I will go straight over now and do what you said about the books I KNOW I won’t read. My % is quite bad after I requested ALL the books when I first got into blogging. O.O
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Mistborn: Secret History

    • Bec

      Thanks :D

      I don’t go on NG very often anymore because I don’t have time to read… but I do sneak on to look every no and then ;) It’s hard to resist!

  2. Terri M

    My best NetGalley advice…don’t go looking at the site just to find books. I rely on other bloggers to share their news about approvals and if it is a book I really want to read, I’ll head over to NetGalley and submit a request.

    I do wish there was a better way to SEE the books I’ve requested that I haven’t been approved for. I know I have a couple of outstanding requests, but of course I forgot to write them down and can’t remember what they are. :)
    Terri M recently posted…Scenic Sundays | Light of a New Day

    • Bec

      Definitely don’t go looking all the time. Or at least be super selective about which books you do request.

      Seeing which books you were rejected for would be interesting.

    • Bec

      Haha self control is hard to find sometimes XD

      Tips for beginners is a great post idea ;) All I can say is start reviewing books you own/ borrow from the library for a couple of months first. Once your blog is established and has a bit of a following, create an account on Netgalley and see what’s there. Don’t go overboard with it, but request some books you’re interesting and see if you’re accepted. There’s also a “Read Now” section, where anyone can download that book and review it :)

  3. Joy // Joyousreads

    I limit myself to two to three requests per month. For me, it’s pretty easy to do since I have an allergy towards ebooks. I only request books that I really want to read – which tends to be of NA or Romance persuasion.

    • Bec

      That’s a super reasonable number! I would have no self control because there would have to be some months where ALL THE GOOD BOOKS come up for request haha

  4. ShootingStarsMag

    I didn’t request that many in the past, but I currently have a lot that I really need to get too. My problem is usually that I don’t want to leave feedback until the review is live on the blog, and the book might be archived and all that by that point and it just looks like I”m not doing anything. haha I do want to slow down though and really get through the books I have now and hopefully my score will go up. I’m not sure what it’s at now. I had it at 80% but I think it’s a bit lower now.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Guess Who Is Going to BEA 2016?

    • Bec

      I don’t worry too much if the book is archived by the time I submit the review (I wait until the review is live too) because the feedback is still sent to the publisher and they can then receive a direct link.

      You can get through them!

  5. peach @ rebelle reads

    lmao I was just about to say “bribe with chocolates” actually. Mine is currently at 79% and I’m trying to get it back at 80% at the very least. I occasionally go request-crazy, but only for the YA / MG / Women’s Fiction. so pretty much all of it.
    peach @ rebelle reads recently posted…Review: The Way I Used To Be

    • Bec

      So close! You’ll be back there in a book or two :D

      Haha there are a lot of those genres on NG. They can be hard to resist.

  6. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    One time I actually did do a massive Net Galley read, where I read HEAPS of e-ARCs because my ratio was so terrible, and I felt really bad about having so many e-ARCs un-reviewed *hides* But it also meant that I didn’t really get to pick what I was reading, or read anything else during that time, so it was a bit painful. Although, it got me ratio up so :D

    I still have a few titles I haven’t reviewed, and I’m not really keen on them anymore. I kind of want to do what you did, and just flat out say that I don’t really have an interest in reading them or reviewing them anymore, but WOW. The guilt would be so heavy. And there’s only a few, so I might get around to them one day! Who knows. For now I’m above 80% and happy with it :D
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Five Things I Loved About The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

    • Bec

      The increased ratio was worth it! I was planning to do that, but the sheer number of eARCs I had combined with no time due to uni meant I decided it would be easier to do a massive clean out.

      The guilt is huge!

    • Bec

      It’s only that high because I’m on a requesting ban and did the massive cull haha. I’m sure you’ll catch up soon :D

  7. Rebecca Emin

    This is a really funny post – I did exactly what you did and went crazy requesting loads of books the first few times I visited Netgalley. I have a huge backlog but I am trying to read through it now and only request books that I would buy if I didn’t get approved for. I’m trying to alternate recent requests with really old outstanding ones to clear my list.

    • Bec

      I try XD

      That’s how I try to justify my requests now, for the most part. I’m also trying to get through them by alternating an ARC read with books I own. It adds up :)

  8. Emma

    I’m totally the same thats a given. My percentage was appalling but it’s getting much better. I think and I have to say that I do the same with the books I didn’t read or I’m not in the mood for or the fact I ask myself, why the hell did I request that! lol! Great post Bec! :)
    Emma recently posted…REVIEW – WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord

  9. Caryn

    I’ve done the same thing (re: saying I was no longer interested in a book. I add that if my tastes change and I do read it someday, I’ll be sure to review it.) I also give priority to print books, since I receive physical book shipments from time to time. The shipments are pretty unpredictable, so I can’t plan well around them. I think I will soon let editors know that I had to give priority to books that were in the printed version. In addition, I have decided to implement a three-chapter rule for myself, after trying to get through a particularly, well, not-to-my-taste book. I basically explain to the publisher that I figure they’d rather have me not review it at all than to give it a negative review, which is what this book was heading toward. I say that they can contact me if they’d like me to continue despite the negative review, but otherwise I will move on. No one has contacted me and requested that I finish yet. ;-) I don’t know if that’s considered okay, but it seems to work.

    • Bec

      The priority definitely are given to print review copies me too. Print ARCs and recent ARCs are higher up the list than books I received years ago.

      That sounds like a pretty solid system/ approach to it all! I know I’m guilty on pushing on with books I really should have DNFed earlier.

  10. Sarah J.

    I have just started culling my NG with sending out those e-mails of giving up those books I know I’m going to get around to. I also decided to read reviews if I saw majority of my friends’ thoughts were negative to decide if it was worth getting through and forming my own opinion. I love your opening section I definitely have multitudes of hostages reading my ARCs for me (I wish). I find that NG is such an addictive site. I’ve really had to force myself to read the summary and then go on GR and contemplate before clicking the request button (unless it’s a historical romance novel then all caution is thrown to the wind).
    Sarah J. recently posted…Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

    • Bec

      Checking friends reviews is a big part of the decision process! You can usually trust those opinions.

      Haha there are just some books no one can resist on there XD

  11. Sonia

    I love this post. Seriously, the quick tips to hack the ratio are all kinds of awesome – yep, you earned a new follower – and I also made a mental note of prepare myself to look like I’m working before checking your blog, because laughing out loud in the middle of a working open space is slightly frowned upon…

    I actually did the same a few weeks ago to my never moving NetGalley books, and the feeling terrible guilty is a reality. But it also gives a wipe the slate clean feeling and motivates us to keep on track. I also joined a netgalley challenge, so, hopefully, things will stay more or less under control. – says she while contemplating the list of yesterday’s requested books…

    Following Jeann @happy indulgence’s link was a great idea :)

    • Bec

      Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed it :D

      Having so many books looming over you really makes it difficult to get motivated at times. Good luck with your challenge!

  12. molly @ molly's book nook

    You know, I never thought about just simply leaving feedback saying I wasn’t interested anymore. Instead, I just abandoned netgalley all together and haven’t been on it in over a year because I was overwhelmed xD UGH. THE SIMPLICITY.
    molly @ molly’s book nook recently posted…I went to Yallwest!

    • Bec

      I felt bad leaving such feedback, but not saying anything would make me feel even more guilty!

  13. Inge

    I preferred the first list of tips, haha! I’ve been working on my NetGalley list for just over a month. Once I finish the book I’m currently reading, which will probably be today, I will have gone from 12 to 2 ARCs and will be balancing on a 90% ratio. Hooray me!

    The thing for me was to prioritise the ARCs (but not in a way that made me feel guilty if I wanted to read something else for a bit) and also not feel bad about DNFing stuff. If it doesn’t work for you, DNF, and on to the next one.

    And DO NOT REQUEST MORE BOOKS. This is the hardest one.
    Inge recently posted…Goodbye Bookshelf Reflections!

    • Bec

      They are much better :P

      That progress is amazing! I need to learn from you :D Not requesting more is SO DIFFICULT.

  14. Beware Of The Reader

    You made me laugh so much with your post! Yes a too long TBR can put pressure on my life too. That’s why I try to avoid requesting too much books on NetGalley. I request only those I really want to read (easier said than done as I can be greedy when it’s for books). And having a request rejected was difficult to swallow the first time but now I’m all “Well, who cares!”.
    Beware Of The Reader recently posted…Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

    • Bec

      Sometimes rejection of books hurts a lot, especially if it’s a book you REALLY want to read.

      I go on netgalley way too often. I tell myself it’s just to look, but so many books are incredibly tempting and sometimes the finger slips over the request button.

  15. Leanne

    I did a massive cull of my NetGalley ARCs and received a kind of “we are watching you” email from NetGalley. Perhaps I did too many at once? I don’t know, but I feel kind of bookishly bad for not being a good reviewer.

    • Bec

      Maybe they’ve changed things since I last did this? At least we know they’re monitoring users to make sure they’re genuine though

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