Wednesday, 25 January 2017

I'm DONE with Netgalley


I first found Netgalley in 2013 and liked the idea but being new to blogging I was only able to request and review a total of six books. Most publishers at the time has pre-request guidelines which basically excluded me from requesting a book because I had not been a member for 2 or 3 years. There was no point in trying to apply for these and I was rejected for two others. I decided to stop looking as most of the books I knew I wanted to read, I wasn't eligible for. I did keep my account and continually updated it but preferred to concentrate on reading my own books and not thinking about ARCs. 

This week, I knew that two titles that interested me were on Netgalley so I requested and was approved for both-Christopher Golden's Ararat, and Alison Weir's Anne Boleyn. Two days later I was accepted for Demon with a Comb-Over and I was pretty pleased and got ready to read them. Well, I wish I hadn't bothered! I have had nothing but trouble all week!

First there was the ordeal of having to set up that stupid Adobe Digital Editions thing that barely works most of the time. It took all day and twenty odd attempts to get Ararat and Anne Boleyn downloaded onto it. Then there was the ordeal of it refusing to transfer to my Kobo. It took all afternoon to get it set up! So lets look at what else went wrong:

Ararat: opened the file last night on Kobo to read and guess what! Yes it's the crappy mega faint pdf edition that is so tiny you can't even read it! Hurrah! Love it! By putting on the light and squinting at it I am getting through the book but this is NOT the way to read a free copy. I'll be glad to get it done tonight.It's destroying my eyes!

Anne Boleyn: file will not open on Kobo at all beyond title page. Patience rapidly running out and ADE copy keeps freezing and sticking every few pages. The book will be archived in the time it takes to read it. Stupid thing.

Demon with a Comb-Over. Oh here comes the best bit of the saga. Yesterday I get an email from the publisher with a request that if I don't like it, don't finish it or it isn't what I expected, please don't review. Not greatly happy with that instruction but as a one-off I was prepared to overlook it and decide once I read it. Then:

 1) It would not go into ADE. At all. Ever. 46 attempts and NOPE.
 2) Would not open with any app or computer program. Useless!

Wait, thought Chuckles, I have a Kindle! I could just get it sent to my Kindle! Smugly, I sent the file to Kindle. Failed. Oh yes, haven't authorised that address on Amazon for files to be sent. OK done that and the address for the Kindle is showing on my Netgalley page. Great, thought Chuckles, sorted! Failed. You must set up WIFY to do this. WHY? I'm plugged in to the damn computer? Just download the fecking thing!!! Why do I need WIFY! I don't live in an area with good WIFY reception for  some reason and have never been able to set it up and yesterday was no exception. No Kindle version can be downloaded. Giant waste of time.

I went to my email to contact the publisher in case it was a damaged file or whatever and then I spotted this on the email they sent me: 
"By requesting a book to review, you agree that we may contact you in the future and add you to our mailing lists *and those of our related companies*
and by submitting a review you agree that *Riverdale Avenue Books* and/or
its related companies may use your review (in whole or in part) for
promotional purposes relating to its products in any and all media with
appropriate attribution."
Um, NO! I'm ok with being on the mailing list for the publisher and not bothered by the using my review for promotion purposes but I am NOT ok with being added to unknown mailing lists of 'related companies' without being asked or knowing who they are! That shit ain't gonna happen! I did contact Netgalley and they agree with me that it's not acceptable to do that and are taking the matter up.  But now it leaves me with no review copy and a headache!

GAH it's been a crap week so far!!! I'm now thinking that starting to use Netgalley again has been more trouble than it's worth! From now on, I'll grab a cheap ebook copy of decent price and quality and read at my leisure with my rules!

*grumbles*

18 comments:

  1. The publisher asked you not to review it if you don't like it?! Like, not to review it at all? Or just not to review it early? That would give me total bad vibes. Like, any time I see in the back of the book or a NG email or whatever anything that's like, "Whether you enjoyed the book or not, we'd really appreciate a review!" it gives me good vibes because I see they want honesty, you know? But a publisher who didn't want negative reviews wouldn't be one I'd want to work with. I know that wasn't the point of your post, but that was what stuck out to me.

    I can totally see why you're fed up though :-/

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    1. Basically the publisher said the author preferred me not to review it at all if I didn't like it or didn't finish it...to be honest I just planned to ignore it and review it anyway. I don't like being dictated to by authors and publishers like that! I totally agree with you. The books I did read-Ararat and currently, the Anne Boleyn one have both been good but I just feel it was too much hassle to set it up and get poor quality files!

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  2. Oh what a mess. I don't blame you for giving it up. I have a Kindle with wifi so downloading has always been super easy for me. I can't believe you've had to go through all of this. What a crock. And come on, people should want honest reviews. I read books with bad reviews if I think I'll like them. People shouldn't feel they have to lie!

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    1. Yeah, like I said to Kristen I was going to just ignore that. I don't like when authors want only gushing reviews of their work and are not prepared to take constructive critical comments. It's been quite a week but at least Ararat was good and I'm enjoying Anne Boleyn so far!

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  3. This reminds me why I don’t use Netgalley. Technology and I don’t get along. Also, I don’t want to be told what I can or cannot say in a review. I want all my reviews to be honest.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Technology is the bane of my life AJ! I am self taught on using a computer so problem solving is not my strength! I wasn't happy with the list of conditions for sure!

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  4. Wow, you have had some crappy luck with Netgalley. I've had some of the same issues. Now I only try to request Kindle versions. I say *try* because I have accidentally received PDF's and will never review one again. It was for a cookbook and I couldn't print the cursed recipes which was a major pain. I'm half blind and a klutz and can't leave my laptop lying open on the counter. I need a printout. So I had to jump through all kinds of hoops to figure out how to print a page. Ugh, never again. I also wondered why I get so much junky email. I think now I know :( And that publisher with the request to review only if you liked it? That book would get a big delete off my Kindle-app.

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    1. That sounds like a pdf from hell that you got! That would've drove me nuts! Y'know you could be onto something about why you received some junk email. I've been trying to find out who these 'related companies' might be but found nothing. The book in question...I contacted the publisher by email and the feedback form to say I was no longer going to look at the book. I think just buying the cheap books makes it easier than all that circus!

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  5. Sorry to hear about your troubles with NG - personally I love the service, but I can understand how the set up can be frustrating. I ran into a ton of issues in the early days as well, but the good news I haven't had any problems since. PDF format still frustrates me because I dislike using Bluefire on my tablet and prefer my Kindle, but happily most publishers now use ereader friendly formats.

    I've also never run into publishers asking me to not review if I don't like the book, and good thing too because that sounds super shady to me! Is it a smaller publisher/indie that sent you that email, because wow, that's definitely not in NetGalley's official terms, since they've always encouraged reviewers to be honest and open. Honestly, if I were you and didn't like the book, I probably would review anyway. I agree with the comment above, this publisher would be one I'd want to work with again.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. My problem is if the book doesn't work on Kobo, I'm stuck reading it on ADE on my computer in my living room each day. I get limited time to blog, review and visit while I chat to my dad and do chores so I wouldn't get much reading done each day and it could take a week to read one book! This is why I like reading upstairs at night on my ereaders which is my quality reading time-I hate trying to read on the computer! If I requested 5 books and none were Kobo compatible it would be a nightmare!

      Riverdale Avenue Books are the publisher but it seems to be a joint plan with the author to eliminate negative reviews which makes me suspect the book isn't that great! I had planned to ignore that and review anyway but the data protection issue meant I just pulled the plug on the whole deal!

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  6. That sounds like a problem I'd have lol. I can see trying to download a book and getting fed up and saying %^&* it! I've got a Netgalley account and even though I've been at this a while now I've never requested anything- I just like buying what I read. But I've been thinking of...

    I get your frustration though! Would drive me nuts... :)

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    1. Netgalley is good for getting to read books ahead of time and a reader can use it as a try before you buy thing for books they like. But I'd go mad if I had to read each one through ADE on the computer!

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  7. Uh, that sounds like way too much trouble. Very annoying..

    I have to admit though I didn't even really know what Netgalley was about.. I read the name here and there but never did any research :D

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    1. It's too much of a risk for me to keep asking for ARCs from them in case I end up having to use ADE again. I hate reading on the computer-it's uncomfortable and way too time consuming!

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  8. Holy hell what an ordeal! I don't blame u I would be done too! See... I usually don't give bad reviews but just because when I don't like a book I abandon it. So I think posting a review for a DNF isn't fair. BUT I'm like you chuckles! You ask me not to review then most likely HERE goes the review! No telling me what to do not sir! Humph

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    1. It's been quite a stressful week! Yes, we refuse to be ordered about by mere publishers and authors! Power to the Bloggers! *giggles*

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  9. Yea. I hate NetGalley because I struggle getting the books downloaded somewhere where I can read it. I don't like reading on computer because I'm on a computer all day. And I have an epub reader so that struggles for me. I finally got it on Kindle app but still... just so much work that's not worth it.

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    1. Reading on the computer really hurts my eyes and makes me too tired...plus it reduces vital blogging time! I hardly got to visit blogs this week!

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