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NetGalley charges for a listing of any book to get it out to institutional buyers. I understand that you can offer advance reviewer copies but you'll end up with less than 5% ultimately giving a valid review. So the first part of the question is whether there is a positive ROI?

Secondly, surely it makes sense to wait until either your title or your name is established to put it in front of these people? Does anyone have any experience of working with NetGalley paid services?

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    I realize that you want personal experiences, but it might help to rephrase the question to: which book promotion services are the most cost-effective? Apr 11 '17 at 22:54
  • Thanks for the advice. I considered a more generic question, but having asked the same advice from friends I've now been inundated with recommendations. I'm trying to deep dive on a few of them to see if there is a clear ROI.
    – Brereton
    Apr 18 '17 at 20:03
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Difficult and subjective question. I'm sure it's a good investment for some books and not for others. As head of a smaller indie press, I didn't find it to be a worthwhile value for the cost.

Alternatives include: booklife, bookreviewrequest, librarything's member giveaway and contacting reviewers directly. It MIGHT be worth paying for Kirkus or PW to do a review if you're unknown. Perhaps you could enlist a friend you can trust to write a fair review. Perhaps getting blurbs from a trusted author/colleague could be helpful too.

I've noticed that ebook publicity newsletters like bookbub require a minimum number of reviews, so if using netgalley allows you to meet this minimum threshhold, then it might be worth doing.

If you haven't developed other ways to contact reviewers or early readers, then this might be your only (but expensive) option.

Maybe the deeper question: is how much money should you/can you allocate to publicity/reviewing services (or how big of a marketing budget should you have)? The larger budget you have, the greater probability that you won't see a return on your investment.

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