When I first joined the book blogging community, one of the first things I did, besides making my actual blog, was join both of these websites. Both websites provide free, electronic review copies in exchange for honest reviews.
I’ve since been considering my personal opinion over these websites and wanted to compare and contrast them openly.
So, first off: which website is better overall?
NetGalley’s site, in my opinion, is very user-friendly. When you log in, you immediately arrive at your “Reviewer Dashboard” [pictured below]. Everything is laid out before you, including books that might be up your alley, as well as books you recently downloaded or were approved for [below the screenshot]. Everything is more or less obviously labeled, and I can easily find my way through the website, and to the books that I want to read and review. If you don’t know what something means or how to do something, then it’s also easy to find the Help section, at the top of the page all the way to the right [circled in red].
Edelweiss recently updated to Edelweiss+, so I barely got to know the old site before it was changed [pictured below]. Both seemed to be very messy in my opinion, and I find it hard to figure out whats what. There’s different widgets you can add or takeaway [circled in red, far right], and then there are many more options for what you’re looking for, not all of them understandable. I’m not exactly sure what the Buzz selection could be, or the Event Grids [circled in red]. Because I can’t figure things out right away, I usually just stick with going to the same place every single time, and forego trying to find anything else.
Now, just because I think on is user-friendly or not doesn’t really determine if the site is good or bad for you specifically. However, what I do think is important for bloggers specifically is their selection of review copies and their review system.
Review Copy Selection & Review Systems:
I have to admit that Edelweiss and NetGalley’s selection of review copies are pretty equal. I notice a few more that I’m interested in on NG, but Edelweiss also has quite a few that aren’t on NG.
NetGalley’s review system is very simple. All you have to do to review is click “Your Shelf” at the top of the page, click “Give Feedback” on whatever book you’ve completed reading. It will then lead you to a page like this:
Below that is a space you can add your review. Everything is self explanatory, in my honest opinion.
In all honesty, after 2ish years of using Edelweiss, I still haven’t found the review system. I haven’t been approved for anything, and the only copies I’ve gotten off of it are the Download Now ones. After clicking around, I found this. From the page pictured above, click “Not Reviewed” and then click the talk bubble underneath the review copy of your choice. It will bring up something similar to this:
I only understand maybe about half of whats going on here. Where to place the review is obvious, but not a lot of space. I don’t know what the “Overall” list is all about, or what to put in the themes section. Maybe people who use it more than I do know, but the fact remains that on a first glance, I don’t know what is happening.
I may be biased, but I have to hand it to NetGalley for having a very user friendly website, and having a good review system. However, NetGalley is also shit when it comes to international bloggers. I haven’t heard about anything about how Edelweiss treats international bloggers, but I will say that what NetGalley has done is shit. I’m lucky because I live in the US, and have access to their archive, but others don’t.
So, overall, it depends on where you are, and what your preferences are. I may like NG because it’s easy for me to follow, but you may like Edelweiss+ because they actually allow you to receive review copies and you like their website.
These are all just my personal opinions, and feel free to discuss it in the comments! Also, if you have other websites that I don’t know about, add those too!
18 thoughts on “NetGalley Vs. Edelweiss”
At least from my US perspective, I find NG to be much better and quicker at approving or declining review copies. Netgalley is also a lot more obvious about it, sending out an email that notifies you for example. Edelweiss doesn’t always do this, resulting in missing review copies you were entitled to.
I haven’t experienced that before. But wow, that really isn’t well organized. The one time I said something about how hard the website was to navigate, I got an email back saying “We thank you for your opinion but we’ve just updated it and expect people to be confused.” That was a year ago and I still have no idea where to go to update my profile.
Wow, rude. If people are confused about your site update, it wasn’t a very good update, was it?
I find it kind of interesting how Edelweiss has recently updated their website and it’s still just as confusing. NG, by far, is the more simpler and well set-out website.
But I do find that Edelweiss, once you (kinda) find your way around, does offer more of a variety for review copies. I’m also curious to try out their new webinars as well (I’ve signed up for the blogger/review one which happens in March).
My biggest complaint is the lack of notification from Edelweiss (you really do need to check in to the actual sight for review copies) and the recent International limitations put in place on NG.
Great post though!
Someone else mentioned the lack of notification. So we’re supposed to check the site everyday for an update, huh?
I have no idea that had webinars, or will I even begin to try to find them in that chaotic site. I do agree with the variety of review copies, but I just find them so hard to obtain that it’s not even worth it. I think I’ve requested maybe ~100 from NG, and have been denied about 10. Edelweiss, I’ve requested 10, and have been denied 10.
I don’t know if some publishers send an email like NetGalley but the couple of requests I’ve been granted I’ve only noticed when I’ve gone back to website. Which isn’t ideal.
I found the webinars in their newsletter. I find it’s the easiest way to go through new review requests etc. But I’m with you, it took me a long time with requesting and tweaking my profile/request form to be granted some requests through EW
I still haven’t, even though there’s a small meter that says my profile is “strong”. I still don’t get it. Honestly don’t know if I ever will.
I’ve been blogging for around 2 years and I haven’t been able to even set up an account with Edelweiss, let alone get approved for a book! I find it terribly confusing.
Set up an account, but never get approved for anything. There are a few good ones that are up for download though, so I check there every once and a while.
I’ve been using Netgalley for about 6 months or more now, and recently set up on Edelweiss accunt but just couldn’t figure out how to use it! I know there are tutorial videos and stuff but I don’t really want to have to watch tutorials just to use a website when they could just make it more user friendly?…
I’m a blogger from the UK so I can’t speak for other international bloggers but I’ve been having a pretty alright time with the new UK version of Netgalley. I’ve been approved for everything I’ve requested on there including Sky in the Deep, and Starfish. I do wish we had as much choice as the US Netgalley though, and I know that other countries have even less choice than me!
You know a site is bad when you need to make a tutorial video to show others how to get around. hah!
I know a few bloggers who aren’t so lucky, and everything on NG is “Wish for It!” It’s infuriating, even hearing about it.
Yeah 🙁 I could only wish for books for ages until I swapped to the UK site, where thankfully I can request books on there. Only being able to wish for books though is absolutely awful because there’s such a low chance of actually getting the book and it’s such a shoffy way to say thanks to book reviewers who spend so much time on reviewing 🙁
I’ve been using NG since. . . mid-2015? I’ve wished for many books since then, and I’ve been granted a wish once. It wasn’t even a book that I wanted, it was a book I had completely forgotten about and had “wished” for on a complete whim. But yea, setting everything to “Wish for It” for international reviewers is basically a slap in the face.
I understand the wish frustration. But wishes vs. requests for international readers–that is set by the publisher, not NetGalley. The publisher sets who can request their title, both by country and reader type (reviewer, librarian, bookseller, etc.) If they set it so you can’t request it, you can only wish for it. Publishers can choose to randomly grant wishes. But again, that’s not a blanket NetGalley thing. Plenty of books on NetGalley should hopefully still let you request 🙂 Hope that helps!
Hi! As I understand it, all of NetGalley’s titles for non-US/UK bloggers were ALL wish for it. It’s been a while since I saw anything on this recently, but when this post was originally released, I was seeing a lot about INTL bloggers being able to request next to nothing. Thanks!
No problem! I’m not associated with NetGalley (though I do run a co-op), so I could definitely be wrong. Maybe it has to do with going in through the right domain? Like if you’re in the UK you have to go in through the NetGalley UK site? I’m not sure. It seems like it was about a year ago that they rolled out the other domains like .uk, etc. Anyway, if anyone wants to experiment, I can share a link to a title that I know has been approved for international access.
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