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!