Two of the most exciting developments at the press in recent years were the addition of NetGalley for advanced reviews and Cision for media access. Here's an update on both:
NetGalley is used to make our titles available for review in advance of release. Users on the NetGalley platform can access or request access to titles posted by publishers. NetGalley is marketed as a way to more easily access "professional reviewers." Our experience has been a mixed bag. First of all, only about one in four reviews could be considered even close to "professional." We are finding it has become a free book grab for the Goodreads crowd and other part-time bloggers. In fact, it appears less than half the downloaded copies result in a review. So, it can be a little frustrating. We've also seen a clear delineation between fiction and nonfiction results on this platform. Simply put, only fiction gets attention here. The response to nonfiction books is minimal at best, and hardly worth the investment. We will be redirecting our attention on NetGalley to use it only for fiction titles.
Cision is an online platform that grants access to the 1.6 million people in the USA who are involved in the media industry -- television, radio, online, etc. We have enjoyed a solid response from this investment. A good number of our authors have been invited on radio or television programs and/or have been featured in articles or blogs. This is never easy, but it is much easier for us now. There are two caveats to this though. Overwhelmingly, this platform appears best for nonfiction authors. We have had numerous requests for review copies. But, fiction gets very little attention here. We are also not seeing much lift in book sales following interviews. We are a little puzzled by this, but will look for longer-term benefits as we use this platform more and more.
So, to recap, fiction authors will be directed towards the NetGalley platform while nonfiction will be primarily on Cision. Of course, there will be exceptions to this where it makes sense. For instance, a fiction author whose work is very timely regarding something contemporary or contains a nonfiction hook of interest are great candidates for Cision.