Netgalley Addict – How do you exercise self control?

September 21, 2014 About Me, Discussion 54

Obviously, if you’ve been keeping up with my reviews, I haven’t had a good streak in books. And that’s because I suffer from Netgalley-want-Syndrome. You see, I just started reviewing this year. In fact, I didn’t think people actually read reviews anymore, only to join GR and find this amazing community (and now through blogging!) that really focus on the readers.

I didn’t even know Netgalley existed until April. When I joined, I literally clicked on anything and everything that sounded wonderful to read. But you know what happens when you request a shit ton of books?

You get accepted for a shit ton of books.

Not only do you feel overwhelmed by all these books, but then you read one after another only to find…that they really aren’t all that great. In fact, most of them are terrible or not really my cup of tea. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME!! I can’t begin to explain how strict I am with Netgalley now, only requesting things with good reviews from reviewers I know and trust!

But then I hit another have-to-have-syndrome that is Tabitha.

When I started blogging here there were so many books she asked me about. Books that all sounded wonderful so I got them all! Only to find that they weren’t so awesome…even though somehow I thought they would be seeing as how they were books in print. A step up from e-books in my opinion. Well that’s not true and I’ve finally learned my lesson.

My question for the blogging community is:

How do you limit the books you ask for?

Tabitha gave me a good tip: Only get the books you would go out and buy for yourself. Spending your own money gives things a better perspective, don’t you think?

54 Responses to “Netgalley Addict – How do you exercise self control?”

    • Kat

      I think that’s my problem. The blurbs sound so interesting and wonderful, but picking them without the reviews giving me hints as to what is ACTUALLY good…hard to do. That and there are so many fake high ratings out there, it’s hard to weed out the actual reviewers.

  1. Brigid

    But it’s so hard not to click that button! oh…yes. I’ve been trying to more careful which books I click on. I’m actually reading a book right now that I received from NG and it’s surprisingly good. Damn good luck, right.
    Brigid recently posted…A Bollywood Affair by Sonali DevMy Profile

    • Kat

      It is isn’t it? Especially with the beautiful covers out there!! Those are tricky. Glad that you picked a keeper, I’m oh-so-happy when that happens.

  2. Litha Nelle

    Oddly enough, I haven’t had this problem- yet. That said, I have a pile of 200 unread books in my house, and don’t like the thought of NetGalley-hoarding additional copies of books I may or may not like. I also do a lot of research about the books I request- are they part of a series?, is this a first time author?, what’s the word on Goodreads?. Generally my gut finds books I like, but I’ve run into a couple I should’ve pre-researched better- the audience the author was writing (on one) for was clearly YA, but the blurb on Netgalley didn’t say it. I’m not against YA- it’s just I often am looking for adult books to post for my blog.
    Interesting topic- I’d love to hear what other people think.
    ~Litha Nelle
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    • Kat

      Wow, seems like you already have a ton on your plate. I think that it was appealing for me because I don’t get ARCs in print (until I joined in with Tabitha, bless her for sharing) and I was so used to my kindle and just getting things at the click of a button. I enjoy it and sometimes there are gems out there. Good books! So much reading though. The part I didn’t like about NG is when they don’t tell you a book is a part of the series. When I first joined I got books that were number #2 and #3 and it was horrible. I read them anyway, but I missed out on so much.

  3. Lola

    I still remember when I first started blogging and how I said yes to almost every rveiew request and then when I found netgalley I requested quite some books as well. Luckily I also got rejected for quite some netgalley books at first, but I did end up with some reviews books that upon later consideration weren’t really my cup of tea.

    When I come across a great looking book on netgalley I always try to to goodreads first and read some reviews, especially somenegative ones and ask myself whether I really want this book. Usually reading a negative reviews helps me think, uhm let’s not request this one. And sometimes I just hit request before I have time to think about it further, it just happens, sometimes the temptation is just too big.
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    • Kat

      I used to say yes to every review request too!! Until…well I’m very picky if you couldn’t tell and I had some authors (and their troll friends) that weren’t too kind about my review. So I don’t accept them until I know that the author is cool with whatever I write.

      I usually read negative ones too, just to make sure 🙂 And your right about the temptations!! Especially when beautiful covers are involved.

    • Kat

      Do you get a lot of print books by other places? Because I can see that happening. Now I don’t request until I know it’s good or someone recommends it to me.

  4. Tammy @ Books, Bones and Buffy

    I had the same thing happen to me in the beginning, I think all bloggers do. I finally realized I was requesting books that I didn’t really want, but I just THOUGHT I wanted them. I am pretty good now. I check Goodreads to see what most opinions are and then I use a strategy that I use when buying something expensive. I wait a couple of days to see if I still want that shiny thing, and with books, usually the answer is “no.”

    Also, I try to only request books on my WoW posts, if they happen to pop up. Then I know it’s something I actually am excited about!
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    • Kat

      I think that was my problem too Tammy. I’m good with Netgalley and keeping my feedback above 80% but I think when I joined Tabitha, I went a little crazy thinking that print books were somehow “better” than ebooks as far as ARCs go. I don’t know why, but that’s what happened…

      So I went crazy again. What’s a WoW post?

  5. Molly Mortensen

    Only get books you’d buy doesn’t really help me… I might have a problem with buying books. I actually don’t have a requesting problem though, because I know I get stressed easily and those books I HAVE to review, so I only request the ones that sound REALLY good. It is hard with all of the books out there in knowing which ones only sound good and which ones will actually be good. I haven’t figured that out yet. I wish you luck with choosing books you’ll like. 🙂
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    • Kat

      Thank you Molly!! I’m not really a book buyer. I think it has to do with the amount of space I have in my home. And we’re in the military so we move every 2-3 years. I only take the stuff that I need to have…and well books take up a lot of space. That’s why I love my kindle to death. BUT, when I do go book shopping…I have to buy one. It’s like, I HAVE TO. lol.

  6. Liv_TheAbsentHistorian

    NetGalley is such a problem. I quit a while ago, and have since returned but only requesting a couple of books at a time that I am seriously interested in. I think it’s useful, but then you just think ahhh books and get a little too happy. I do not think it’s worth the stress personally!
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    • Kat

      I think that I’m okay if I just request the books I know are good already, but sometimes you can’t help it y’know? I’m good with keeping my feedback ratio above 80% so…I’m gonna stick with it until it pisses me off somehow.

  7. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I usually look to my stats – it’s a great way to stop me from requesting too much from NetGalley. NG recommends keeping them above 80%, so I don’t usually request any more until I’m comfortably above this number. Then it’s a matter of not requesting a whole bunch at once. I don’t have more than two pending requests at a time now, because if there are more than that and they all come in at once, I’m screwed! So to narrow titles down, I ask myself a lot: do I REALLY want to read this or is it just an impulse thing? 😛

    And now that I have more auto-approvals than I did when I started, that presents a whole lot of new challenges. It’s soooo hard to resist the temptation of instant gratification!
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Sunday Musings: Nothing but the RainMy Profile

    • Kat

      I didn’t think about the pending requests, but I think I’ll be more aware of that now, because I usually get bunches at a time too. I do keep mine above 80% so that I can get approved more often.

      Oh man, I don’t even know what auto-approvals are. I’ve had those emails but I don’t really know where I go to find them and they don’t show up on my shelves. Can you detail that a bit for me?

  8. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    I’ve also had a big problem in the beginning with Netgalley because I didn’t realize how frequently I would get approved. All I at one point had like 16 books pending review. Thankfully I’ve gotten it down to 4 and I think I’m going to follow Mogsy’s lead and not allow myself more then two at a time pending. And now I have a problem with Edelweiss because I have one auto approval there lol for a publisher that I rarely ever get in print, but I always forget about those.

    Personally I prefer print anyway so it’s becoming easier for me to realize that I tend to forget about the books of they assent sitting on my physical shelf staring at me.

    Oh another thing I’ve been doing is not requesting unless I want to read that book RIGHT NOW, and If i don’t then voila it doesn’t get requested.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Netgalley Addict – How do you exercise self control?My Profile

    • Kat

      Physical books staring definitely helps. I always eye the pile that I’m getting from you. It’s like AHHHHH I need to get to those. That definitely helps. I didn’t know about the pending requests too. I think I’m going to pay more attention to that.

      THE RIGHT NOW THING is brilliant!! Oh my goodness. I think you solved all my problems, I never even thought of that. There’s so many times where I’m not in the mood to read a certain book!!

  9. Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    I had this same exact problem when I started blogging and using NetGalley, and it took me months to read all the books I had been approved for. I’ve finally cleared up most of it (thank god), and now my policy is similar to Tabitha’s actually 😀 Although sometimes a book will slip past that and I end up reading a crappy book because I didn’t think before hitting request. At least it’s less often now!
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Weekly Update #45 (September 21) – I Swear I’m Not an Addict (but if I were, at least it’s not crack)My Profile

    • Kat

      We all learn our lessons I’m sure. I’m glad I’m not the only one that does the whole don’t-think-before-you-click business. Because I mean…FREE BOOKS!!


    • Kat

      Well I’m sure you get a lot of books as it is since your blog is so huge (same here with Tabitha). But me, I’m just a social groupie on Goodreads, so FREE BOOKS are hard to pass up at least since I just started reviewing this year. I do agree that time is limited. It’s definitely a hard hit at my head when I see all those books waiting to be read.

  10. Kirsty-Marie

    Ha, I did the same thing. I check Netgalley all the time but I’ve only requested two in the past month, both from two authors I’ve already read from before, so have more of a chance of liking it, even if I haven’t heard much about them yet. I also do the same thing, I check ratings and some reviews before requesting, and if there aren’t that many, I just leave it. Since I have
    so much to read already, and so many of my own books I’m getting impatient about. I’m getting better though!
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Illusions of FateMy Profile

    • Kat

      In due time, is a mantra that we should all have lol. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

  11. [email protected]

    I think it might be a good idea to set goals for yourself.

    “I’m only going to Netgalley once a month and I have a maximum of X books I can request.”

    And then really pressure yourself to stick to that rule. It might be hard in the beginning, but you will get the hang of it! I had a huge amount of books when I first started too, I think we all make that beginners mistake :p
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    • Kat

      WOW Mel, that’s actually a wonderful idea. I think I’ll do that. See how many books I can read in a week on average and maybe see how much I should request a month from there (or accept books from Tabitha). Thank you!!

  12. La Coccinelle

    I’m lucky: I usually get rejected. Most of the books I want from NetGalley these days are from publishers who don’t want non-American readers to read their ARCs. Or maybe I get rejected because I’ve had bad luck with YA lately and have given some negative reviews. I still try, anyway (and invariably get rejected). So that helps. Otherwise, I’d end up with more review books than I could handle!

    • Kat

      Well!! YAY for rejection. That happens to me often too, but usually the accepts and rejects even out and balance each other. Thanks for the feedback!!

  13. kimberlybuggie

    Such a good question! I have netgalley guilt most days – the guilt of being surrounded by review books and not having enough time to read them all or get to them quickly.
    I’ve started only requesting books for review if 1. I will read it as soon as I get it approved or 2. I love the author already and I would already buy a copy when it comes out.
    In general though, it’s hard to stick to those restrictions and I find myself honestly just not going on the sites. It’s too dangerous for me and my goal for this year was to lessen my physical book to read list. I’m going through digital books too but there are just so many….
    Sometimes I’m very overwhelmed.
    Also, i recently went through and contacted the publishers if I had no intention of reading their review book anymore (some of mine are quite old) so it got them out of my que.
    Happy Reading!
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  14. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    I had this issue initially. Now I try to keep my stats well above their recommended numbers and also look at what else I have lined up to read. I don’t read as many books as many bloggers, so I really have to watch I don’t over commit. I really don’t consider requesting many that I wouldn’t plan on buying. There are a few exceptions, but I try to keep it at that, just a few.
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    • Kat

      That’s a good way to go. I don’t like over committing either. I hate having piles and piles to read, I would feel so overwhelmed (most of the time I do).

    • Kat

      WOW I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!! (It’s hard to be in the mood for some I’m sure, I was talking to Tabitha about that earlier). Ancienty?? I usually get accepted, and now I have a nice set of auto-approvals, which are very tempting. I think comic books are the hardest to get actually.

  15. Kel @ Booked til Tuesday

    I think Tabitha’s advice is pretty sound. Of course, I have an issue buying WAY too many books (all used and cheap, though), so I constantly have tons of unread books on my shelves. Which is why a major factor in whether I request books is…gut feeling. I get a “gut feeling” on whether I’ll enjoy a book from a combo of the synopsis and cover. With a very few exceptions, this feeling is usually right. Sometimes I ignore it and request the (usually awful) book anyway, but it keeps me away from the majority of books I want to request but don’t NEED. If that makes sense?
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