NetGalley and Goodreads and the unpopular decision….

So, this is old news by now, but from what I understand NetGalley and Goodreads made some unpopular choices lately, both of which hurt the international book community.

I’ve never used NetGalley. I do the occasional review, but I’m really not much of a book blogger or reviewer. But I’ve heard plenty about NetGalley, and if I were a faster reader, I’d be all in for it. Unfortunately for readers outside the US, I guess they just don’t get stuff from NetGalley like they used to. Which sucks.

Apparently Goodreads is also no longer including its non-US residents in their giveaways anymore, too, which is just double sucks for all the wonderful readers of the wider world, of whom their are plenty.

What the political, practical, and legal reasons are for this, I don’t know, other than that shipping internationally is more expensive–though, I’m sure that there’s more to it than that, especially for Goodreads, since it’s the authors who pay the shipping (unless they’ve changed that policy).

To all my non-US resident reading friends, I’m sorry. It’s really lame. Super-duper lame.

Will this affect me? No, I don’t think so. At least, not beyond hurting people that I care about, so actually yes, I will be feeling some sympathy pain for them.

But I don’t like Goodreads giveaways too much. I don’t hate them either, but I’m not enchanted by them. Now that Goodreads is making authors pay an arm and a leg just to give away a copy of their book, I don’t think I’ll be using that service anyways. Seems ridiculous to me, but I’m not going to rant.

To all book bloggers out there, Goodreads and NetGalley might be giving you the shaft, but I won’t. Anyone who wants a free e-copy of one of my books need only ask. I don’t care if you live in the US or on Mars, I’m just happy to share my work with someone.

But what do you think? Is anyone not surprised by this? Think that it’s justified? Believe that the Trump administration is secretly behind it? Share your thoughts!

20 thoughts on “NetGalley and Goodreads and the unpopular decision….”

    1. I’m sure that’s how they’ll describe 2017 in history books 20 years from now, if humanity survives that long. 😛

  1. Apparently authors outside of the US can still take part in Goodreads giveaways… For about $165. Which, for the more indie authors who like to get their names out that way, that’s quite a bit if coin. It was pretty disappointing.

    1. Yeah, I was surprised to see that they were going to charge authors so much. I’m just very unimpressed by all this, to put it mildly.

  2. I feel bad for all the international bloggers/reviewers out there. They already get left out of so many giveaways because of shipping costs, and now they’re getting left out of even more. It was also pretty crappy of GR to start charging authors to post giveaways on the site. I can’t imagine it hurts GR in any way to let giveaways be hosted there. But of course it’s all about the money. Not a good move though if it just alienates and pushes away a whole bunch of users.

    1. I completely agree. I’m sure some authors had good experiences with giveaways before, but I’m my limited experience they were already not the greatest thing for the author. You’re shelling out at least $10 in the hopes that you might get a review. Way better ways to go about it. Now that they’re charging authors to even just run a giveaway… I’ll just be surprised to see many people continue using it at such step prices.

      1. Hey Chauncey! I have heard about this and I thought it Blows! All the beginning authors and self published ones don’t have money to spend 119$ to giveaway a free book! I think it’s ridiculous and just a way for them to make money. People feature the giveaways so people can add the book to their TBR section and get the publicity. I understand Goodreads needs to make their money but they should get a pretty penny for sending me to advertisement every so often and sponsored books they show off but their prices start off at 119$ for giving away a book! That’s a bit too much! I haven’t heard about NetGalley but glad you posted this! None of these things effect me but still.. Also I really want to read Cleaving Souls! I just put 2 and 2 together. Duh Dani! Lol.

        1. It really is strange to me. My experience with running a Goodreads giveaway was a bit lackluster. I ran one for my debut novel, Home To Roost, and it did attract some attention…but did it really? Simply showing up on people’s TBRs isn’t that big of a win in my book, especially not in a giveaway. Now, when a book is independently added to a TBR, as Cleaving Souls was to yours, then that’s a pretty good sign of genuine interest–even if the person already has hundreds of books in their Goodreads TBR (yes, Dani, I am still talking about you!)–because that hopefully means that the person read the blurb or a good review and actually wants to read it. But when they added it for a giveaway….. They could have just been scrolling down the giveaways page and applying to every single giveaway that was posted. Rumor has it that some of the giveaway applicants never even read the books, but just turn around and sell them. I couldn’t say if that’s true, but I can say with reasonable certainty that the winner of my giveaway never posted a review, which, ultimately, was what I was hoping for.
          And thanks, Dani! I’m pretty pleased with how Cleaving Souls turned out. It’s not everyone’s most favorite read ever, but I think you’ll enjoy it!

  3. I’ve been seeing this controversy everywhere now and it pains my heart. I understand why NetGalley and Goodreads might have decided to do this (or at least, the publishers did, I’m not sure whether it came from either platform) but it’s still very sad.
    Glad to hear it doesn’t affect you, though.

    1. I understand it a lot more for NetGalley, since they’re all about ARCs and there might be some legal hangups or something in shipping internationally, but for Goodreads, I just don’t get it! I’ve done one of their giveaways before. The way it worked when I did it a few months back was that I, as the author, agreed to send a paper copy to whoever won the giveaway, and I could control whether it was an international giveaway, or whether it would only be available to US residents. All Goodreads did was facilitate the giveaway, and it was my duty to take care of actually shipping the book to the winner.
      I’m sure that they didn’t change their policy just to screw over international readers, but I really wonder what the justifications were for changing the program as much as they did, not to mention charging authors now to run giveaways.

      1. NetGalley deals in digital ARCs, so there is no shipping cost. They are trying to say that it has to do with international sales rights etc, but there are plenty of the big publishing houses that have international branches, and those branches have galleys available for reviewers in that region.

        1. Well, I guess I’m mostly just stumped on this one then, because the sales rights thing seems… dubious. But, those things can be complicated. I suppose what’s done is done, and life will go on, thank goodness! 🙂

  4. I haven’t really been keeping up with the news when it comes to these two sites, but have heard the rumors. That’s really too bad. Guess it’s good sites like rafflecopter are around.

    1. Very true. Sadly, I don’t think other sites have the same popularity or offer users the ability to request a book like NetGalley does, but maybe it’s just a matter of time until something will replace those programs for international readers. One can only hope!

  5. This is such a poor way to treat international readers! They crave good literature… perhaps Netgalley is opening an international wing? Really quite inexplicable since we’re talking about ebooks. And what is up with Goodreads and all their choices?! Giveaways draw readers to using your product… it’s to goodreads benefit to host the giveaways!

    1. Yes. Probably you were already aware that their ebook giveaway setup it not great either. They were already charging authors to host ebook giveaways, which I really just don’t get but whatever….. Just would have thought that the revenue they receive from their advertising spots would be good enough.

  6. Yeah that Goodreads decision really sucks :/ But at the same time, I’ve never felt like I had much of a chance of winning (with ridiculously insane odds for those things) Fortunately Netgalley does have other parts of the site for UK (and other nationalities) but I think it is more restricted and there are fewer options. I do get why they’d be concerned about sending physical ARCs on Netgalley- but it seems a bit pointless considering it’s mostly ebooks anyway. But I’m guessing this is probably the publisher’s call, rather than Netgalley’s or the author’s. Anyway great post- good job bringing it to everyone’s attention!

    1. It’s true that it might not be so bad for the reader, but it’s really lame to do to the authors.
      The world will keep spinning, but it was just an uncool couple of policy changes. Thanks got reading!

  7. I’ve been hearing bits and pieces about the Netgalley and Goodreads news, and I’m not too familiar with the logistics of sales rights and shipping policies, but these decisions do suck for international readers. I don’t use these services too much, but I would have liked the option of using them since there are already so many restrictions for non-US residents accessing books.

    1. I don’t know all that much about it either, but I know enough to see that this sticks for international readers. Fortunately, I think that the reading community is pretty resilient and flexible, so hopefully this won’t be too hard of a thing for international readers. They’ll just need to figure out some alternative avenues, I suppose.

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