So you want to be a professional reader; that’s great. Just understand that its usually an unpaid position, and you will have to work hard to even get your first galley. But it’s not impossible. Follow these steps and learn the terminology and you will be on your way.
What is a Galley?
Essentially, a galley is a review copy of a book that either, has not been published yet or has, and is requested by a book reviewer and approved for release by the publisher.
In this scenario, the reader will read the book and write a review about it, however, publishers will not just give out galleys to anyone. I personally worked very hard for the current two I am reading, Rome’s Revolution and Stargazers, which were approved by Oxford University Press and Lion Hudson respectively.
How to Attract Publishers
Publishers just aren’t willing to hand out copies of their books to just anyone; you’ll have to show them that you have multiple viable avenues on which to place your book reviews. Galleys, of course, are usually requested by the reviewer, and publishers want to see that you are serious about reading, not just their book, but many books and not just looking to get free books to read just because you can. So establishing a good following and remaining consistent is key.
What are Publishers Looking for?
First, publishers do not want to waste any time, so make sure you have a VISIBLE email address on any of your social profiles or website. They are not looking to call and talk to you; they usually only want to communicate via email most of the time or need to have a contact email for their rosters.
Second, you will need to have at least either a Twitter account or a Facebook account, to which you can post your updates and publicize your content.
Sign up for book-related social networks such as GoodReads and BookLikes. Place your profile information on your website so that publishers know your reviews will be spread across many avenues and will get more attention drawn to their book.
Finally, be active on these networks. Publishers want to see a steady, lively flow of activity, which suggests you are an interesting candidate. The more activity you put out, the larger your following and your attractiveness.
Follow these steps and you will be sure to land a galley from a reputable publisher and hopefully make some connections along the way.
© C. J. Leger February 20, 2014