They said “NO”! Don’t take it personally: Galleys & ARCs #BloggerConfession

Posted September 5, 2013 by Felicia S in Blogger Confession / 60 Comments


Purchased from iStockphoto

Today I am here to talk about the dreaded “no” when asking for a galley of a book we really want to get our hands on early.  I know that it is always hard to take.  It brings out our insecurities and our frowny faces. We have all been there and always think “why am I not good enough” *sigh*! The truth is there could be a 1000 reasons why a publisher or author declines your request and many of them have nothing to do with your blog at all.

  • They could tell you no because they are looking for a specific group to review the book.  EXAMPLE: It is a historical romance book and they want only blogs that mostly read/review historical romances.  They may reserve a certain number for blogs outside that initial narrowing but on a whole want a target audience.
  • They have a limited number of galleys and have hit their quota.  In other words folks, they are all gone.  They have flown the coop and there is nothing to be done.
  • They don’t feel your blog voice is a good match for their product.  This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your voice just that you aren’t a good match for them.
  • They only work with a core group of people and very seldom let new people into the fold.  This isn’t anything against you but honoring established connections.
  • They feel you are to new, don’t have the readership they are targeting, or even that to many in your blog circle already get the book so it is over saturated in your area of the blog world.  Again these are nothing against you but they are things they keep in mind while deciding who gets the ARCs and Galleys!
  • They want more stats from you.  This is up to you to share either in your profile or in an email to the publisher.  This might also be something that you don’t want to share and that is a personal decision.  Either way that might be something they need before they can say yes.
  • They put the book up to early and said no to everyone.  Yep this has totally happened before and I am guessing it could happen again.

I also want you to know that that people who have been around forever get turned down also.  The longer you are around, the more you learn to not take it personally.  I know I generally don’t share when I get turned down.  Not because I am  ashamed but because I have moved on to the next book in my list. I have also learned that you form relationships with certain authors, publishers, distributors, and blog tour coordinators.  Those relationships take the sting out the “no”s.

But just in case you need to feel better about a “no” let me tell you the story of Sourcebooks and my blog.  I am one of those people that request books based on what I want to read.  It means I review books from a bunch of different genres and often make requests through NetGalley/Edelweiss without looking who the publisher is.  So I am pretty sure the person who approves/disapproves for Sourcebooks thinks I am either persistent or annoying .  I have always, in my 5 years of blogging, been turned down by Sourcebooks for Galleys.  I have never asked why because it is their right to say “NO”.  In fact, I think it is great that they are picky about where their galleys go.  However, about once a month I will request a galley from them.  Why? I really want to read the book and think “maybe this is the one”.  Of course, it never is but I keep trying.  I did this as recently this week with “Legend of the Highland Dragon from SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca”.  I really wanted to read all about a potential kilted dragon but it wasn’t meant to be (early).  So, in general, you can keep asking and maybe one day you will make their list.  (The Highland Dragon has gone on my Discover a New Love Wishlist should it ever turn up there).

**I don’t recommend the repeat approach if you are requesting directly from the publisher, distributor, or author. NetGalley and Edelweiss are the scenarios I am referring to above.  I also wouldn’t do it on books you have been turned down for in the past through NetGalley or Edelweiss, as that probably would fall into the annoying category.

The lesson from this story is: everyone gets told no.  You just have to shrug it off and keep going. The galleys are nice but bottom line is blogging should be about the joy of sharing your love of reading with other people.  So think of the “no”s as gentle nudge to pick up a book off that every growing TBR.  Because if you are like me, then you buy enough books to run a library out of your home and you most likely have a library card.  Also, by not reading the new release early we don’t have to wait for our friends to read it so we can talk about it and we get to experience the “release day” countdown. All in all, maybe those “no”s are the best things ever!


Felicia S
Follow Me

What are your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

60 responses to “They said “NO”! Don’t take it personally: Galleys & ARCs #BloggerConfession

  1. Love this post! I’ve been denied by Sourcebooks several times too, lol.

    I used to take rejections pretty personally. I’d get upset and privately rage about my blog not being good enough.. now I just brush it off. I have tons of books to read so if I don’t get one or two here and there, it’s no big deal!

  2. Kristilyn (Reading in Winter)

    Great post! I definitely think I fall prey to the book being put up way too early and EVERYONE is told no. Though it does suck when a book you totally want to read goes up on NetGalley and three months later you still haven’t gotten a response … I try to remind myself that I have ENOUGH books from NetGalley and it’s probably a good thing I was told no …

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • LOL Yep! I just got turned down for a Jill Shavis book I really wanted. I am reminding myself that I will buy it anyway (it is the animal series–of course I am going to buy it LOL)

  3. Being told no doesn’t affect me as much as it did when I first started reviewing. At first I was, “OMG they HATE me!!” and would run sobbing to review partner. Now, I’m all like, “The NERVE! Do you not know who I am??” lol Just Kidding.

    I am routinely turned down by 2 publishers but they are YA and I figure I may not be the platform they want to highlight their books on.

    • I think it is probably something that happens more often in the YA world since they are saturated. I only read a few YA series so when I ask for them I expect to be turned down because really my overall audience is probably not who they are trying to reach 🙂 I still give it a whirl though LOL

  4. I rarely request books but I have been turned down twice – by you guessed it – Sourcebooks lol

    I have so many books to read that I just move on. I have enough blogger friends that I can usually swap an ARC for it at some point anyway. Or I just wait and buy the book! It’s fine.

  5. I think this is a great positive way of looking at getting a no. Another reason i know I’ve been rejected is location. Some publishers only approve bloggers from a certain country.

    The only time I got cranky about a rejection is when the publisher told me on edelwiess that they’d reached their quota for the book, then itshowed up on netgalley the next week.

    • I will add to the list. I had forgotten there might be country restrictions.

      As for the second one, I actually asked one of my publishing friends about that. She said that at least for her house they do limit the number they can give through each service separately. Which just seems silly but I am sure there is a business reason behind it!

  6. Lovely post! Yes – There is absolutely no reason to get upset by the no’s! I think after a year or two of doing this most people that are still sticking around to book blog don’t take it personally. It’s harder when you are just starting out because you’re so excited and every no hits like a hammer to your heart.

    Keep your chins up sweeties! There are always endless more books to be read. And if you make friends hopefully they will send you the book if they have it. I know I send out books often to other buddies who weren’t able to get it. That’s what the community is all about SHARING your love for reading. I think some get too wrapped up thinking it’s about the prestige of getting ARCs. That is so not what this is about.

    • Very well stated! I totally agree with what you said about perception of getting ARCS. I don’t think it is at all a prestige thing and it is important for peeps to understand that 🙂 You said this so very well! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  7. This was a great post – I’m still a newbie so I actually expect to get turned down at NetGalley (I haven’t even considered contacting publishers directly). I don’t take it personally and just get excited that when I am approved. It’s still nice to know that this is something that established bloggers still have to expect though too!

  8. Thanks for the great post! I am still new to the blogging world and I got turned down a few times, based on being new with only a few followers/subscribers or that I live outside the USA, but on the other hand I have found a few publishers or authors that gave me a chance. (it only hurt when there was 1 particular book that I really wanted.. but figured I was going to buy it later anyway, so I moved on)

    • I need to add the territory thing too. I am guessing there are some rules around that. Though another person mentioned sending them an email and stating that most of your readers are from the US. You might not be able to get print copies but they might send E-Arcs. It might be worth trying 🙂

      I usually buy the ones I get turned down on because I do want to read them. Aka that Highland Dragon will be mine LOL

  9. Good post! I think we’ve all taken it personally at times, and we really shouldn’t. It’s part of the job, so to speak. These days, “No” only bothers me when I really, really want to read the book, and I know other bloggers have been approved. But I console myself with the books I have been approved for, and wait for the book I want to come out!

    Honestly, in the last several months I’ve gotten more books than I expected to. I actually haven’t had time to read some of the books I most wanted to (but didn’t get ARCs for, either because I was turned down or because they aren’t available.) So I’m trying to becoming more selective in what I request, to leave time for the other books I want to read.

    • That is the flip side! Sometimes they come in droves and we wonder what we were thinking. Especially when we aren’t sure of the yes. It can get overwhelming and then the TBR is neglected. I find I request to many when I put myself on a strict book budget LOL I think it fills my shopping need.

      Thank you so much for the great thoughts!

      • LOL! Yes, I’m in the “what on earth was I thinking to request so many” phase right now. I hadn’t thought about the book budget angle, but I think you hit the nail on the head. I’ve been buying many fewer books in the last year or two, and my library hold requests and NetGalley requests have both increased, at least partly in reaction.

  10. I got turned down a couple of times by one publisher on NetGalley. The last time they told me it was because they didn’t give ARCs to people outside the USA. It was a shame they didn’t mention that on their profile because I always read the guidelines. I’m really grateful though on the other hand as I can stop banging my head against that proverbial brick wall.

  11. Awesome post Felicity. This why I started to branch out because I can always buy the book later down the track. Another scenario to add is that for oversea peeps we are getting turned down now on net galley due to rights. However they are reconsidering with some publishers if you email them and show that you have USA based followers.

  12. Being told no used to bother me but these days I (usually) shrug it off; there have been a few I was disappointed not to get. Now those get added to my wishlist or library list. I’m also an impulse requester which is bad *hangs head* These days I review a mix of books from my TBR pile, the library, and review requests.

    Good post, thanks 🙂

  13. Great topic! It does suck getting told no but you’re right, it happens. I remember requesting books when I first started blogging and counting on the fact that some of those requests would get declined, as was usual up to that point, but suddenly, they were all approved and then I was left with A BUNCH of books that there was no way I could read and review in time! So be aware that the situation can suddenly change as your blog continues to grow. 🙂

  14. I used to get butt hurt when I would get turned down for ARCs especially when I’d see other bloggers getting approved. Now if I get turned down, I just go to Amazon and add it to my wish list. Like everyone stated, it’s a perfect time to read books from your massive TBR pile. And I tend to impulse request A LOT from NetGalley. Not so much with Edelweiss. But that rejection is a little bit of a reality check that I probably didn’t need to read that book anyway.

    • I think that is the part that usually makes the “why not me” thing. After the first few years (yep it took me years) I finally realized no was probably good. I am like you with impulse requests PLUS I am such a moody reader which is not a good combo LOL

  15. Wonderful post, just what I needed after reading a rather angry post yesterday about this >.>. I’m pretty sure that being ignored/not replied to via email means it’s okay to ask again in a couple of months, ie closer to the release date right? I’m pretty sure that I have emailed quite early and the publicist just set the email aside and didn’t respond. Then when I asked again closer to the release date, they sent me the book since they actually had copies available to send then. Sometimes there is a careful balance of early enough not to miss out on limited runs and late enough so that there is actually something to send when the publicist sees the email.

  16. Well said Felicia!

    I’ve been told no lots of time. I may have stuck my tongue out a time or two at rejection email on my computer screen but I get over it. It’s one of those things that comes with being a reviewer 🙂

  17. No totally means it is time to get those TBR shelf books out and start reading them and a I do more often than not both on my physical shelves and off my e-readers, of course prefer yes when it is the next book in a series that started reading from Netgalley but if they say no can do than no sweat it can wait. 🙂

    Oh and yes do have enough books “again” to run a library out of my home, especially on my Kindle Reader, my Kindle DX, my IPhone and my computer from all the free ebooks that have collected since 2010. 🙁

    • I totally equate No with go pick up a book off your shelf. I mean how many times have I ordered, got, checked-out a book with the total idea of reading it and then for some reason it set on the TBR forever 🙂

  18. I used to take it so personally when I get turned down for a book when I started blogging, but these days, most of the time I am relieved because usually I was impulse requesting. I know what you mean thought about certain publishers not working with new bloggers no matter how big your blog is. I can’t believe you are constantly getting turned down by Sourcebooks. I work with them on a regular basis and the people over there are really nice and easy to work with. I can certainly send you some of my contact info if you want.

    • Total relief sometimes! I am totally guilty of impulse requesting especially when I put myself on a strict book budget. I think I switch out not buying with requesting (that isn’t good either). I think the Sourcebooks thing is more on me than them. I haven’t reached out to find out why they said no. I have a feeling it has to do with my unwillingness to share stats (mostly because I don’t even look at them–I don’t like them driving my content).

  19. I love that you posted about this. I’ve had a few “nos” and I don’t take it personally. It sucks, yes.

    I’ve been bad about requesting through Netgalley and Edelweiss and then not reading the book in time before they archive it (no I don’t have a Kindle). So I’m afraid I’m going to get “black listed” one today because of it. So I’ve stopped requesting egalleys as much.

    • That might also be my problem. I am good at putting all my reviews in Edelweiss because you can do it for any book in their catalog (new, old). NetGalley on the other hand has a time limit and that means that most of the ones I review in there don’t get sent. I really also don’t like the new shelving system. It makes my eye cross!

      It isn’t going to help me in the future 🙂

  20. I feel crushed and unworthy when they say “no!” I know I shouldn’t, since I have a healthy TBR pile, but still. Like you said, why am I not good enough? *sob sob sob* The last “no” I got was accompanied by a note saying they were only looking for established book bloggers. Is three and a half years not established? *sobs again* But, it’s all good. I’ve moved on. There are others who love me, lol.