Monday, January 27, 2014

Is Net Galley Worth the Cost? Is There a Good Return on Audiobooks? And Trying to Find a Blog Through Google+

I had an interview on Kimberly Afe’s site this weekend, and there are prizes for commenting, including books and an Amazon card.

Today is a random questions and observations post. Feel free to leave your thoughts and suggestions.

Google+

I really noticed this after being Blitzed a couple weeks ago, but a lot of people have linked their blog profile with their Google+ profile. (I tried it a year and a half ago but switched back.) Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find someone’s blog that way. You land on the Google+ page and it’s their posts. (You can take a chance and click one of the links, but half the time it’s someone else’s blog.) So you have to go to the About page and find the blog link. Maybe there are several. Sometimes there are none!

So is it just me, or do you have a heck of a time finding a blog through Google+?

Net Galley

This is a service that offers members the opportunity to download and review books. I’d checked them out before, but Net Galley doesn’t come cheap for authors and publishers. (Around $400 to list one title for 6 months with no ads. $349 through IPBA.) There are also co-ops of authors (don’t know if there are publisher ones) who register as one entity with Net Galley and all members pay a fee for unlimited books and ads for one year. (Less than the two options above.)

My questions -

Is Net Galley worth it? Does it garner enough early reviews? Membership to download is free - are there a lot of people on there just to get free books? Are there really influential bloggers, reviewer, and media people?

Would you be interested in joining a co-op if it is a good value?

Audiobooks

I know several of you have books available on audio. Every week, Publishers Weekly shows the greatest decline in book sales to be in audio books.

Are they worth the expense? Does it depend on the book and author? Does it depend on the service?

Final thought!

Did you know that it’s a scientific fact that women’s hands and feet are 3 degrees colder than men’s?

My husband said there should be a zero after that 3...

38 comments:

M.J. Fifield said...

I have a profile there, but I still haven't used Google+ very much.

I've never heard of Net Galley and the only audio books I own are classics that I used to use in my classroom when I was teaching.

Interesting scientific fact. I think my husband would agree with yours.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Lol! Yah, I think hubs says something about icecubes but I'm not sure because I'm too busy soaking the heat from him.

I agree with you, Diane. google plus makes it very hard to find the blog. I don't like it.

Net Galley does have quite a few influential reviewers and media people. Yes, there are those that look at it as free books but they'll only have a few chances at that before they're discovered and they'll find they can't get those *free* books. You ask for a book and you're expected to produce a review.

I think Net Galley does provide good exposure but for sure, a Co-op would be smart for indie publishers/writers.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What is it with women and cold feet?
I struggle to find blogs through Google+ sometimes.

Jay Noel said...

I'm not a fan of Google+ for bloggers. Can't find the actual link to their blog most of the time, and I often forget that it even exists.

I have the same questions you have, Kimberly. Any answers you get, please share!

Karen Walker said...

I had a difficult time with Google+ until someone posted what you just shared - that you have to go to the About section and then, if you're lucky, you find the blog. It's a pain in the you-know-what.
My hands and feet are always cold but now they are like ice - my hubby is so hot-blooded and can get warm just sitting next to him.

Laura Marcella said...

I really dislike it when someone's profile is linked to Google+. It's hard to find their blog link. I don't use Google+ so I'm not familiar with it. I imagine people who have it probably have no problem, though, since they're used to it.

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm not on Google + and you're making me glad I'm not.

I didn't realize you had to pay to list your book on NetGalley. A lot of book review bloggers use it to find books they review and with less print ARCs coming out, it's probably being used more. Not sure if it would help you get your books read more or not or if they just go to the traditionally published books.

I've been using it and Edelweiss more to read the books I spotlight on my blog as print ARCs are harder to get and too much work to get.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

I'm on Google+ and have seen the problems finding blogs when going there for other people.

Interesting about decline in sales of audio books.

My husband would agree with yours about adding the zero!

Mary Montague Sikes

D.G. Hudson said...

Regarding Google +, I usually don't bother if I can't find their blog link. It's sad, when sometimes you'd like to follow the blogger, but all they have is email subs or Google +, well, sorry. Time is limited for all of us. We will do what's expedient, most of the time.

Good points, Diane.

Gossip_Grl said...

Last month I found a link to a good read about Google phasing out blogs. I thought it was a ploy to get attention to the blog, but sadly I think they were right on. So many features have changed and gadgets gone for instance the follower gadget is being replaced with the Google+ friends so that is probably why you have so many requests at the moment. The old follower gadget is still there, hidden it is now called members, but good luck getting it work. With A-Z just beginning any new blog probably won't know so they will be trying to get blog readers through the Google+.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sia, I soak up the heat from my husband, too! Although he makes me wear socks to bed. Thank you, that's good to know there are standards for Net Galley reviewers.

Karen, my husband is his own furnace.

Laura, I use it and still have problems.

Natalie, they charge a lot. I haven't heard about Edelweiss though.

Gossip Girl, they have hidden it well.

J.L. Campbell said...

Interesting tidbits, Diane.

No you're not the only one who finds Google+ a pain. I do too much clicking there trying to find people's blogs and get frustrated and give up.

In terms of Net Galley, I'm in one of the co-operative groups, but it's still expensive no matter how you slice it. Some writers think it's worth doing since they've had reviews out of it. I've seen the comment made that reviews tend to be harsher than on other networks.

Cold feet and hand. Yeah, that's true.

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, L. Diane,

I find Google plus a nuisance. It takes me so much longer to find a blog. I stayed with blogger for that very reason.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I agree with you on the G+ thing. It is sometimes hard to find a blog and involves an extra click.
You last thought made me laugh. Your husband might be right. At least 30 degrees at our house.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Your husband has a good sense of humor, though maybe he's being serious.

Yes! Thank you for writing what you did about Google +. It takes a lot of time, and I inevitably feel stupid, trying to find someone's blog. I wish some of my favorite bloggers weren't posting that way.

Be well, Spunk.
xoRobyn

Clarissa Draper said...

I do not like google+ for blogs. I don't post anything on google+ except my blog so I think it's easy to find my posts...I think. I just try to follow people using feedly.

I like listening to audiobooks when I'm in the car or when I'm cooking but I think they're expensive for what you get. I had a monthly account with audible.

shelly said...

My email sends me what blogs have been posted on Google. Don't think I'd spend 400 dollars for Galley Net.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Joy, that's good to know.

Michael, that's why I am staying.

Susan, good thing the guys are on the warm side.

Robyn, I almost didn't say it, but after the Blitz, it really became apparent how difficult it was to find blogs that way.

Clarissa, but you don't have it anymore.

Robin said...

I don't know anything about your second and third topic... BUT, I get so frustrated when someone leaves a comment on my blog and it takes me to their Google Plus page. Half of the time (or more) I cannot find their blog. I was hoping you would tell me what I am doing wrong. Turns out... nothing. Sometimes it just isn't listed. Hate it!!!

My hands and feet are always freezing. It has to be more than 3 degrees, so I am with your hubby.

J E Oneil said...

I'm not a fan of Google+. Like you say, it's frustrating to navigate, plus since I'm not actually on it, I can't leave comments on blogs that use it' for their comment system :(

You should ask Roland Yeomans about audiobooks. He's definitely the expert on them.

Kimberly said...

I am like you in that I have the hardest time getting to someone's blog when they have that Google plus - sometimes I spend so long trying to find their blog and eventually I just give up. :(

I've heard of Net Galley but didn't really know what they did.

Lynda R Young said...

Yep, I'm not a fan of the G+ profile being linked to the blog. It takes so many extra clicks to get to a person's blog!! And many people forget to update their links too.

I only listen to audio books when going on a driving vacation. Otherwise if I'm listening to anything it will be a podcast or music.

Medeia Sharif said...

I strongly dislike Google+ profiles. Some people don't even have links listed, so I have to dig even deeper.

I'm wondering about NetGalley as well, not as a reader, but as an author.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I really haven't bothered with Google +. It's too complex and I'm already on a number of social media sites. I'm not interesting in joining and learning yet another one.

My book was on NetGalley and it did get early reviews. I'm not sure if it would have been worth $400 if my publisher hadn't put my book up there. I received more reviews on my blog tour for a lot less.

As for audio books. I don't listen to them. My brain doesn't work that way. Mine is on Audible, but I don't know if I will sell any copies. My publisher put it on not me.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Ah, I'm so glad you said this: I have a heck of time finding people's blogs too when they link their profile to Google+. In fact, I really don't like Google+!

My publisher is a member of Netgalley so I know they gift books thru it, but it seems they think it's worth it for now.

I believe that fact about women's hands being colder! Interesting!

Tara Tyler R said...

wow! i thought i was the only one who didn't like schmoogle!! i have gotten used to finding blogs on the about section, but i hate it when my phone jumps out of the internet and into the G+ app. i recently switched because several were asking for it and said they link blog posts with G+. if i don't see that happening i may switch back. i also dont like schmoogle's determination to try to force us to change! my advice to Google - don't try to be something youre not, dont copy FB, be original! even the name is lame. (rant over =)

loved the responses to the other questions! eye opening!

and that's where they get the phrase, cold hands warm heart!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Robin, half the time I can't find a blog.

JE, I will.

Lynda, we used to listen to books on tape all the time when driving.

Medeia, you review books - you should look into it.

Stina, that's interesting that your tour got more reviews.

Jennifer, I almost didn't say it, but felt compelled!

Tara, you ranted for me.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Google+ is hard to maneuver but I still have an account there. I try to remember to "plus" my latest post so that I'm easier to find.
However, even on blogger, I find it almost impossible to find bloggers who have stopped by if they have "private" profile without their blog listed - even with a web search, it can be really tough to find people. I've thought about going to a comment system with a website slot attached.

Hope you are having a great day and keeping your hands warm. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

I know an author who is in a co-op for NetGalley. It's still expensive, and there is a lot of work involved. She got several requests and several reviews but no noticeable bump in sales.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Same here with the Google+ thing. I won't link my blogger blog to Google for that reason. I like being able to click on the blog name and go right there, not go to their Google plus account. I can't see the advantage of anything that makes it harder for people to find my blog and return a visit or a comment.

Net Galley???? No, no, a million times no. Reasons are too many to list right here. But paying too much and getting slammed by sarcastic Goodreads reviewers are my 2 top ones.

Donna Hole said...

Its a shame that audio books are not more popular; but I'd attribute that to people in general not being auditory processors as opposed to visual. Hmm, that could have been said better . .

Not sure about Net Galley; but I'd hope authors who are bloggers have the skill of social networking down enough not to have to pay a review site. Of course, I've seen some seemingly popular bloggers get little to no reviews on their books, and even some authors that get their books announced on sites like Alex Cavanaugh don't always create a deluge of purchasing or reviews. Marketing is such a weird entity, unless you have the capitol to invest. Yeah, I talked myself into a circle on that issue. Sorry.

Of course, I'm all for getting free books, but I've found a lot of self pub'd free or .99 books not worth finishing, and I won't post less than a 4 star review anymore. I've caught a lot of flack for posting things I disliked about a book/story, especially from authors who believe a fellow author should be more understanding of technical errors, formatting errors, and all the hard work that goes into completing a novel. I've come to believe reviews are not about whether the reader liked the story or not, its about helping the author make money. I'm not opposed to authors making money - I'd sure like to get a writer's payday - but the reviewing game is just another gimmick.

As for G+, I rarely take the time to hunt down a blogger's posts when they are linked to this. A couple times my search has paid off with current posts, but usually the blogger lurks and doesn't create posts of their own often. If a shy person wants to remain hidden then I don't want to disturb their privacy.

Ugh, its late and I'm not concentrating - which makes me kinda negative. Guess its past bedtime.

......dhole

Johanna Garth said...

Hah! My husband would agree. And I agree it's much harder when they're linked...although recently I've been taken straight to blogger so maybe they fixed that glitch.

M Pax said...

I think Catherine Stine actually tried Net Galley. From what I heard, but it's just heresay w/o any hard facts, it's not worth it - that reviews were just as sketchy as with the public at large. But if you get actual data, please share.

Audios don't sell great, but it's more than I sell in print. I do a 50/50 royalty split with my producers, so it doesn't cost me anything up front.

klahanie said...

Hi Diane,

The number of times I've mentioned to folks that going to try and find their blog via Google+ is magical, mystery tour. I wish folks would realise this.

I shall go check the temperature of my hands and go find a lady to check the temperature of her hands.

Gary :)

Denise Covey said...

I'm with you on the Google + profiles. It's hard, especially on the smartphone, to access a recent blog post. Now when I click on a blogger and see Google +, I'm afraid I don't bother. I'm just afraid Google will force us to do it in the future.

LD Masterson said...

Thank you! I thought I was the only one who had trouble finding people's blogs through Google+. Actually Google has been making me crazy. I have an e-mail address (not gmail) that I prefer to use for blog related email. Google will NOT let me make it my preferred address. Add it as a secondary address, yes, but not as the default primary address. Argh!

Caroline said...

I'm so glad I seen this. I was considering linking my blog with google, because I wanted to generate views. But I won't now. Thank you. :)

Milo James Fowler said...

I'm on G+ but not really a fan of blogs that are linked; I like the ol' Blogger profile. Much easier to find people's blogs that way. I haven't taken the audiobook route mainly because they're so expensive compared to Kindle titles. As a reader, I get my audiobooks from the library for free.