NetGalley Says No!

Rejection Blues!

Several people have been owning up to their saddest NetGalley rejections recently, so I thought I’d confess to mine. I got the idea from the lovely Annie at themisstery.com, so thanks Annie!

I’ve been with NetGalley since February 2013, and in that time have been rejected 92 times! (I’ve been approved for 402 – no wonder my TBR’s in the state it’s in!) Sometimes I know why. I frequently request books from outside my geographical area on the off-chance, and while sometimes this works, it often doesn’t. I’ve also discovered that if I request a book late I’m rejected far more often than if I request it as soon as it’s listed. But sometimes the reasons for rejection are a total mystery to me – keeps me on my toes, though!

A quick look through the 92 shows me that I later acquired 20 of them, either from a different publisher or region on NetGalley, direct from the publisher, or even actually *gasps* buying them. Intriguingly when I look through the rest, very few still excite me. But here are the ones – only seven of them – that I would still like to read. The titles link through to Goodreads if you want to know more about them.

Dear Mr M by Herman Koch – Although I enjoyed The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool, I’ve a feeling Koch’s books might start to feel a bit samey after a bit, but I’d still like to read this one.

The General vs The President by HW Brands – this history of Truman, General MacArthur and the debate over using nukes during the Korean war seems to have even more relevance now than it did when I was rejected.

Dictator by Robert Harris – This is book 3 in Harris’s Cicero trilogy. Book 1 – Imperium – is on my TBR, so I’ll almost certainly get to this one at some point.

Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann – I loved Let the Great World Spin, and the premise of this one still appeals, so I guess it has to go on the wishlist.

Hide and Seek by Jane Casey – the third and final book in Casey’s Jess Tennant series. This fell off my radar when I got rejected, but I really must read it – although it’s aimed at the YA market, this crime series works fine for…ahem… OAs too.

All the Rage by AL Kennedy – I suspect I might hate this, but I feel I should read something by AL Kennedy at some point.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – almost everybody raved about this and, although the premise still doesn’t hugely appeal to me, everybody can’t be wrong. Can they?

So what about you?
If you’re a NetGalley member, what rejections do you regret?

73 thoughts on “NetGalley Says No!

  1. Not a NetGalley member (no regrets – have too many books to read as it is) but I loved Life After Life and would be interested to hear your opinion of it. It would be even better if you could read it as a ‘mystery book,’ not knowing the title, author or having heard the hype…

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    • I must admit NetGalley has given me access to zillions of good books over the years, but I’ve cut back quite a lot this year (though it may not look like it!) and will have to cut back even more if I ever want to read some of the older books on my TBR. I know – the hype is sometimes off-putting, but I’ll stick it on my wishlist and should get to it sometime this decade… or millennium…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I commented on another post of this-for some reason all the ones I get turned down are chick lit ones(sob!)! One I didn’t mention before was The Swimming Pool by Louise Candish. After everyone saying it was nearly the book of the year, I was rejected for it and as it was my first ever rejection I was gutted and was quite down thinking ‘I mustn’t blog enough, my blog doesn’t have enough followers etc), it took a while before I realised rejection is just something you have to take and you just have to move on!!!Great post btw and wow on the amount of books you’ve been approved on!!!

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    • That’s odd about the chick lit, especially if you’re in the habit of reviewing them! I find if I request a book after other people have reviewed it I frequently get turned down – I think once they’ve given out their quota, that’s it. I just wish they would remove them from the listing at that point, so we’d know. But I genuinely don’t think most of them even check who they’re giving them to – just the first so many who ask – because I was stunned by how many approvals I got even when I was just starting out. Now I can often tell even as I request them which ones I’ll probably get rejected for… Haha! I was shocked to see how many I’d been approved for – must cut back! 😉

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  3. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Life After Life too, so here’s another nudge towards that one.

    (I looked at NetGalley once and was totally confused. Just as well – I certainly couldn’t take the rejection 😀 )

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    • Ha! OK, OK, I’ve stuck it on my wishlist! On your head be it… 😉

      Ah, but the approvals are wonderful! I just wish I could exert a tad more self-control… *shakes head sadly and eats a chocolate*

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  4. I dont request anywhere near the level you do so consequently my rejections are lower. But I am still smarting at the rejection last month for the latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel by Louise Penny. Like you I dont understand the reasons for rejection at times.

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    • I’ve cut back a lot but at first I was like a kid in a sweet-shop! And now I’m addicted to all these BL crime classics and get loads of them via Poisoned Pen Press who do the Kindle versions (even though they’re listed as US). But it’s annoying when you get turned down for a real favourite – I keep getting turned down for Ian Rankin’s books, and that hurts since I always give them glowing reviews!

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    • Ah, was it you that started this then? Great idea – sorry for not attributing it to you! Haha – yes, I was a bit shocked when I saw how many I’d been rejected for… but just as shocked when I saw how many I’d been approved for! 😉

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  5. Oh, that’s so hard when you get a ‘no,’ FictionFan. I hope you get the Koch and the Harris at some point; I’m intrigued by both. Oh, and the Casey, too. Oh, well, my TBR doesn’t need any additions… *deep sigh.*

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    • Sometimes it’s annoying – like when I get turned down for Ian Rankin’s books, which I always do! But looking back at my rejections, there are loads of them where I’m now asking myself why I ever thought they looked interesting in the first place… 😉 But having identified these seven, I must add them to my wishlist now… just in case I ever run out of books… *sighs*

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  6. I get rejected from NetGalley and I’m always curious about why. It’s sort of like when you ask out someone and they say no. You wonder what you didn’t do right. LOL

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    • Hahaha – now I’m seriously depressed about my 92 rejections! But my 400 approvals make me look like a super-dater – I must have been going to these speed-dating events, I think… 😉

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  7. Yeah I’ve had a few of those pink slips too, but went back and looked at my bio. Added over the top stats. That helped but still rejected for one that another blogger read and reviewed–and was disappointed. Maybe saved me some time then!

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    • Yes, I think making sure your bio is up-to-date helps – I try to update it every few months. Sometimes I think they just give out their quota on a first-come-first-served basis, so if you ask late then you’re more likely to get rejected. Being obsessive, I check the new releases almost every day… *shakes head sadly* 😉

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  8. I have 31 rejections since 2012. Often they are books that will be big sellers, so I figure I’m not high profile enough. I find that a lot of the books I really want are aimed only at the UK/Australia market. I wish there was a way to have NG filter out those books that you won’t be eligible for, to reduce the pain. Looking at the list about a quarter of the books are ones I went on to buy anyway (or waited for at the library), like This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell and The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

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    • That’s pretty good! Mine are high because I ask for ones outside the UK regularly – sometimes it’s worth it and I get them but other publishers just say no. They seem to have set up new websites for some of the specific areas just this week – I’m not too keen, ‘cos I like to see what’s being offered everywhere! It’s odd how many of the ones we get rejected for we don’t go on to get elsewhere – just shows how many we ask for that we’re not really too bothered about, maybe…

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  9. I don’t get as upset about rejections as I do about those publishers who just don’t bother to get back to you at all. I have two sitting on my dashboard at the moment, one of which has been there for over a month. That is just sheer bad manners.

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    • Yes, I hate that too – and I hate when I suddenly get approved for one months after I requested it, by which time I’ll have filled all the slots on my reading schedule and will sturggle to fit it in. But overall, having had 400 freebies, the majority of which I’ve enjoyed, I guess I shouldn’t complain too much! 😉

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  10. Wow. I didn’t know how NetGalley membership works. I always learn something when I read your blog. As I writer, I do, however, know what rejection is like. Probably been rejected 200 times.

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    • It’s a great thing actually – you can request as many as you like and the only thing they ask is that you send feedback on at least 80% of them – not even reviews, necessarily. I’ve reviewed about 250, I think, but I’ve also sent feedback on loads that I didn’t get through more than the first few chapters of. And I love that they genuinely don’t seem to hold negative reviews against you – I’d soon opt out if they did. Rejection is never fun, but NG rejections are usually more to do with their quota than the reviewer so I *try not to* take it personally… 😉

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  11. Ew, the Thirteen Ways of Looking title reminded me of the horrible, cruel, humiliating book Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad. If it weren’t a library copy, I would have lit it on fire.

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  12. Well, I’m not a NetGalley member, but as a writer, I do understand rejection. It’s not fun, any way you look at it! The Snoopy cartoon says it best, I think. I can appreciate your wanting to get your hands on copies of these works — here’s hoping you can, despite that bloated TBR, ha!

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    • Rejection from NG isn’t nearly as personal though – even if it sometimes feels like it when you’re a newbie! What I find more annoying is when a direct approach to a publisher gets ignored – how hard can it be to send out a standard “sorry, we’ve issued all our review copies” email? But I guess it’s safe to say I get plenty of books to keep me occupied anyway… 😉

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  13. This may come as a shock, but I am NOT a member of Netgalley, nor do I ever intend to be. They only give out e-books, right? I just can’t stand e-readers, I’ll never use one-NEVER!!!!!

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    • What??? Oh, I couldn’t live without my Kindle – my house would be in an even worse state than it is! But I do like paper copies too, especially for serious fic or factual books – somehow the Kindle suits crime, sci-fi and horror best. (Yeah, I don’t why either… 😉 )

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    • Bravo Anne – I DO have a Kindle (lack of space, and the Galley stuff) but if I lived in a mansion I would never use it – there have even been some studies which make total biological sense to me, about sequential recall of events in fiction, ‘real’ books versus eReaders, and readers of ‘real’ score better, I think it is the subconscious awareness of neuro-muscular feedback which ‘tells’ you how much of the book you have in your left hand versus your right hand, and the subtle pressure difference in each hand, keeping the book open, plus a kind of subliminal visual awareness of the page number, and whether something is on the left page or the right. I am VERY aware that my attention is much better on a real book, and I am less likely to drift or skim. Kindle (though I appreciate the convenience of having some home space to move around in that it brings) feels like fast food reading, whereas a book feels like really paying attention and savouring each mouthful

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  14. If I’m honest I don’t remember any of the books I have been rejected for… I’m sure I have been but I don’t remember, so I’m guessing I wasn’t that desperate to read them 😛

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  15. I was rejected for Dictator too, which was frustrating as I had already posted five star reviews of Imperium and Lustrum, so the publisher would have been almost guaranteed another positive review from me. I ended up getting it from the library instead and loved it. 🙂

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    • That’s when it annoys me too, when it’s an author I’ve raved about in the past. I get most peeved when they keep turning me down for Ian Rankin’s books – I’ve been his devoted fan for decades! Somehow I feel aggrieved that I have to buy them… 😉

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    • Oh, that actually cheers me up – which is quite mean of me, I suppose,,, 😉 I’ve seen so many glowing reviews, but the blurb has never really appealed to me, so it’s kinda good to know there are people who didn’t like it too…

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  16. Ah, well as I drown under a I really need to get on and write those 10 or 12 reviews pile, (though curiously I’m still well above the suggested feedback, I kind of feel I have earned any rejection anyone from the publishers/Galley wants to cast my way. And disappointment is something I can’t linger on. I have no idea how many rejections I have (spreadsheets take up so much time when I ought to be writing reviews!) Though, like you, I do have a fairly high strike rate of requesting out of region. Why don’t I stop doing this? …Because sometimes I GET those out of region requests acknowledged. Maybe we are now being firmly routed to Netgalley UK site those rejections will be a thing of the past as we will only get to see ‘ours’

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    • Ah, you can see the number of rejections on NG under Your Shelf then Not Active. But I don’t really remember my rejections either – in fact, sometimes I breathe a sigh of relief that I’m not adding another book to the TBR! Yes, I’m not sure I like the idea of NG UK – especially since Poisoned Pen who give me all these fab British Library crime classics are actually a US publisher, as are many of the University presses I depend on for history, science, etc. I think I’ll still be sneaking into NG.com! I get enough hits from out of region publishers to make the frequent rejections worthwhile…

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  17. I often get rejected for books by well known authors. I think it’s because they have their pick of readers & go with those who work hard at being active bloggers & promotors on social media. Fair play, I get publishers want the buzz to reach a wide audience. The rejections that mystify me are new books by authors I’ve been really supportive of/given high marks to in the past. But in the end, I’m grateful for every book I do get. When your book budget is small, each one is a gift.

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    • I’ve never been able to work out just how much they check who they’re giving books out to. Sometimes I’m amazed when they give me something that’s way outside what I normally review, and other times they reject me for things that seem perfect for my profile – authors I’ve given glowing reviews to in the past, etc, as you mention. But I agree – I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to get so many books, loads of which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I also could never have afforded to buy them all, especially the expensive history books I’ve had from them.

      Thanks for popping in and commenting! 😀 Do you blog? I’m not getting a link on your name…

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  18. I’m not a NetGalley member and I think it needs to stay that way! I dread to think what would happen to my TBR otherwise *shudders*

    I feel the same way about AL Kennedy by the way – maybe we’re both wrong?

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  19. I saw Annie’s post but haven’t got around to doing my post so I’ve been rejected 37 times and I’m way behind you on approvals (although I joined about 6 months later) with just 319 approved. Having looked through the declined list I’ve also managed to acquire or buy copies of lots of them.
    Dear Mr M does have a slightly different feel than the other two by Herman Koch and I think you need to find yourself a copy – the only other one on your list that I want is Life After Life which I didn’t even request – duh!

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    • Wow, that’s a much better ratio than mine! I must admit most of mine come from the first year – I think I took a scattergun approach back then, whereas now I know there’s no point in asking for books from Aus or Canada, and I know which of the US publishers give to Brits. I requested Life After Life very late when everyone started saying how good it was so that might have been why I was declined. But I never understood why they wouldn’t give me Dear Mr M… I’m kinda in the huff about it, I think… 😭😉

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  20. I’ve had 47 approved and 5 declined; mostly out of area and all non-fiction, which is a bit weird, as I’ve been accepted for lots of non-fiction, too. I do usually reply to their emails with a request rather than doing them out of the blue just on the site, not sure what effect that would have, though.

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    • Oh, you’re so much more restrained than me! I get turned down for a disproportionately high amount of non-fiction too – perhaps they have smaller quotas for it. But I also get approved for loads – NG and publishers have been feeding my history and geekery addiction for the last few years, and that’s the bit I like best since they’re so expensive to buy.

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  21. Oh so many…. One that stands out in my mind is “The house of birds” by Morgan McCarthy. It was probably my own fault because it was out of my region – however you still can’t buy it in Kindle format in Canada and they never offered that title for my region.

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    • I hate when a book I really want is only offered in other regions. There seems to be a huge difference in publishing dates sometimes between Canada and the UK – quite often books my Canadian blog buddies are raving about aren’t available over here for ages…

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