Sunday, March 16, 2014

Becoming a professional reader

Sophia Kramskaya Reading
 Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy  

A little while ago whilst on the hunt for new books for our library, I read a review on Goodreads and the reviewer mentioned getting an early copy of the book via Net Galley for an honest review. This piqued my interest and I investigated this secret of Net Galley and discovered something just wonderful. 

Net Galley is a place where publishers and authors place books up for review before the actual publication date. Those deemed "professional readers" are worthy of this entitlement. These PR's are stated to include booksellers, librarians, media, bloggers, reviewers and educators. There is a bit of a process and a few hoops to leap through before being approved to download a book to read but once this is done the process is quite seamless. The books are in ebook format (epub or kindle), and after approval are immediately available for download.

The requirement for this privilege is that the review needs to be made public through a blog, Goodreads, Twitter or some other way. I have a Goodreads account which is linked to my Twitter and Facebook page, so that is taken care of, and as you can see I have also added a page to my blog with book reviews on it, where I take the embed code from Goodreads and place it on this page and all the links go back to Goodreads. It does not take very long to place the review in many locations. The other advantage for these publishers is that pretty much all of the books I have read so far I will also purchase for the library. This is a great way to become aware of titles I may not have been exposed to otherwise. 

Another of the joys of being so public with my reading is making surprising connections with authors. I had read and thoroughly enjoyed "Boys Like you" by Juliana Stone, giving it 5/5 stars on Goodreads. The review was automatically tweeted and Juliana Stone read it and retweeted it with excitement. We have since gone on to have a short conversation about the story. 

I was also informed about Edelweiss, by a friend (The Styling Librarian, who BTW is a voracious reader) After joining  Edelweiss they send out periodic newsletters about  new publisher catalogs which approved customers can access and read the books available. Are there other pre-publishing sites I don't know about? How come these secret treasure places are not told about in library school? Why has it taken me so long to know they exist?

A large part of my job is knowing what my customers are reading, and being able to steer them into reading something they may be interested in. Net Galley calls people like me, "Professional readers" which this year I am taking to heart by reading 2-3 YA books a week - pre and post published, ebook and physical. Reading is  once again one of my time priorities and I am loving it!


D's Journey said...

I have problems with overcommitting to books now, which is good I suppose, focuses me in on priorities... so many fantastic treasures waiting. Glad you're sharing both with the community. I just assume most know already. :) Silly to make assumptions! (And thanks for the mention.)

Dana said...

There is also 'First To Read' by Penguin which works similarly to NetGalley.

J and M Manire said...

Are you paid for your work or do you do it for the opportunity to read books early and review them?

Dianne McKenzie said...

I do it for the opportunity to read the books earlier and review them.