An Open Letter to Netgalley and Goodreads

Many of my reviewing friends are not in the US…I’m not happy about this decision at all and I hope with some outreach and outrage it might change!


Dear Netgalley and Goodreads, 

Today I discovered that your sites will no longer be providing services (or limiting services) to international readers and I am absolutely devastated.

Contrary to popular belief, America is not the only country in the world.

For those who are unaware of what is happening, Goodreads will, from January 2018, prevent authors from creating giveaways for international readers. Basically, authors will have to pay $119 for a giveaway base package, and $599 for the premium. Previously, all authors had to pay for was shipping. Read more here.

Netgalley, on the other hand, has severely limited the amount of…

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24 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Netgalley and Goodreads

    1. They really need to appreciate you guys! They want to publish books around the world but they are limiting your access so you can spread the word! If anything, they should make it EASIER for you to get copies, not harder!
      It saddens me too, honey. I appreciate you! 😘❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  1. DL Jung

    Thanks for reposting this and putting this on my radar. I don’t review ARCs on my site, so this doesn’t really affect me in that respect, but I can still see how patently unfair and downright perplexing these moves are. It feels like international bloggers are getting bullied. As an indie author, the Goodreads changes really suck for me. Not sure yet how Netgalley’s move will affect authors but it seems downright bizarre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does! It seems totally bizarre! If you want to make a site for certain countries, at least make it so they can still request the titles we can. I know before they would list some books and they would only be for certain countries to request on Netgalley, but it never seemed unfair because the US users could request others and foreign users could still try to request what they wanted. Now I’m hearing most of the books on the new Netgalley site are Wish For It titles only. That coupled with the Goodreads decision seems like we are pushing the non-US readers away!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Legally, publishers can’t send ARCs to countries in which they don’t have publishing rights. I don’t think the NG change is about mistreating international bloggers, but rather about making it easier for publishers to follow the law. From what I’m reading, international bloggers were frequently requesting books not listed as eligible for their countries because they were hoping they’d still get the books. The fact is, they legally CANNOT receive the ARC, no matter how much the publishers would like to give it to them. Removing the request button from ineligible countries just streamlines the process for publishers who won’t have to remove ineligible entries from the pool.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s not a huge loss for me because I don’t believe in Goodreads giveaway. I’ve never seen an international blogger winning a goodreads giveaway. They’ve become greedy these days. As for the netgalley, it totally feels unfair. Getting a physical ARC is very hard for international readers because of the shipping costs but now they’re restricting ebooks too. They’re our last hope for getting ARC’s. I’m really disappointed! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have given away many copies of The Intuitives internationally through the Goodreads giveaway program. We are devastated that it will no longer be international and devastated that it will no longer be free to authors. After January 9, I just don’t see how we can do them anymore. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know: you guys are so generous and now great books like yours will be limited. This hurts the small pubs the most! I encourage you to put your books on the foreign Netgalley because they have so little choice on there now! 😣😣😣


  4. I want to start with two disclaimers. 1) I have no idea why Goodreads cares whether publishers/authors list international giveaways. 2) I totally understand that international readers can feel left out of the market, and I get that’s disappointing.

    However, so many of the conversations I have seen about these issues are ignoring the fact that frequently publishers legally cannot send books to international bloggers because they do not own the rights to distribute the books in those territories. It isn’t that they dislike or don’t value international readers; it’s that’s they may only own the right to publish in the US, or to publish in the UK, or to publish in English-speaking territories, or whatever.

    Often, the publisher (or the agent or author) may be negotiating rights with publishers in other countries. But no publisher in the Netherlands is going to buy the rights to translate the book and publish it in their country if the US publisher has already undermined the market by sending 200 ARCs to the Netherlands and having a bunch of people order the book from the US.

    A lot of people are acting as if Netgalley is “different” because “there are no shipping costs to send a digital ARC,” but this frequently is not about shipping costs and saving a few dollars; it’s about where the publisher has the right to distribute the book in any form whatsoever.

    So my real question is whether Netgalley is giving publishers the option to allow publishers to choose which countries they want to send ARCs to (based on where they own the rights to distribute) or whether Netgalley is weirdly saying “US publishers can only send ARCs to US bloggers, even if they have the rights to sell in other countries, too.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure on that one. You make excellent points as always.
      I just don’t understand why it’s a problem all of a sudden. I mean, how long have they been doing Goodreads giveaways? I know my small press friends were always including international readers and now they cannot afford this new package. I get where you are coming from, but I wish that if that is truly the issue then they say so. Because right now, it simply looks like they don’t matter. 🤷‍♀️


      1. The Goodreads thing is definitely weird. I’ve seen speculations that maybe there’s some Amazon giveaway platform they want to “encourage” people to use instead, but overall I don’t understand. Why would it matter to Goodreads whether a publisher/author wants to send a book internationally? They could charge the same price to list that giveaway and make more money than if they “banned” international giveaways, I would think….

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Right? That’s the part that bothered me the most. There’s something bigger than just regional publisher on that one. And you made a good point: that would be a creative way to change the giveaways. The timing was just weird, right?


  5. klkranesya

    Thanks for posting this valuable information. I had no idea! I’m going to make sure my publisher is aware. I would imagine they would be, but you never know. And I know authors use Goodreads giveaways so much. That’s really not very nice. Hopefully, they’ll get enough backlash that they’ll change this. There are other ways to do giveaways. People might start using them more. It could hurt Goodreads…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It could! I have heard from some people who argue the change is legit and others who are outraged. I think that it’s strange that they have gone to these paid giveaway packages – do they really need the money that bad? So now there will be less giveaways. I hope you are able to still have your books reach INTL readers!


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