So first off, I want to say how much I utterly love NetGalley; it’s an amazing tool for everyone involved and strikes up conversations about books prior to publication in a, largely, hassle-free manner.
But after working with it for the last month, I thought I’d put together a few, hopefully, handy tips and some advice. The aim is that this will help reviewers, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and everyone else who uses NG, understand what we, as publishers, would love to see in requests. If this helps us approve more requests, and gives you an insight into what we’re looking for, then I’ll be very happy! Thusly:
When I was first applying for my publishing internship way back when I was still in college, my cover letter was all about how much I loved books, and thus this naturally meant I was made for the world of publishing. That is, until it was pointed out to me by my lovely publishing mentor that it’s a given to all involved with books that we’re voracious readers who absolutely love everything bookish. It doesn’t mean it’s not important that you love reading, but to us, what’s more important is what you’re going to do after you read our books. Ideally I’d love to see the following in your profile:
- • Links to your blog/website/online forums where you talk books
- • Your bio as a reviewer/bookseller/librarian (from here on, NG user as I don’t want to leave anyone out!) is really important:
- • how long have you been active whether reviewing, book club recommending, or as a bookseller, librarian etc;
- • where have you reviewed in the past
- • where do you think you’ll be sending this review
- • who will you be talking to about the book ie fellow students/bloggers/librarians/booksellers/customers
- • If possible, include direct links to some sample reviews or blogs/school library sites
- • If you’re a librarian, and registered with the American Library Association, please try and register your membership number with the NG site so you have the official ALA logo beside your name. That makes a big difference! I’m not sure how you do this, and am happy to be guided, and can include a how-to here if needed.
- • For bloggers/reviewers, we absolute love to see your stats: the most useful and helpful basic site statistics are:
- • dated eg as of 17 May 2013 I have xyz followers…
- • if you have a newsletter subscription, tell us how many subscribers you have
- • Page views per day (average)
- • Unique visitors per month
- • But don’t just tell us about your site, especially if you don’t have one! If you use Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads etc and will be talking about the requested book on these sites, you can still tell us how many followers, friends, interactions you have.
- • Whenever we put a title on NG, we send out the respective group email: to the Robot Army, the Chemistry Set or the Witness Protection Programme. We always urge NG users to get requests in early, and I can’t stress that enough: there are often hundreds of requests and we cannot match that amount for each book so do get your request in as soon as possible
- • With that, please make sure you do have time to read the books you’re requesting, and that more importantly you download them as soon as possible: our books are generally only available for 4 weeks on NetGalley so if you’ve been approved, please do download the title
When you’re sending in your review, there are a few things that would really make my job easier… and also make me love you even more!
- • Please include the date the review was published especially if it’s a forthcoming review
- • If you run your own blog, or contribute to one, send us the link which the review will appear on, but also don’t forget to include the link for your Goodreads account, your Amazon reviews, twitter or basically anywhere else the review will appear. This not only makes it easier for me to remember how amazing you are, but also to help promote you and your work: if we’re not already connected on Twitter, I’ll tweet your review and link to you. We want you to get as much out of your work as we can.
Possible Reasons for Declining
First off, none of us like declining people… it makes us sad, really. We love our books, and so look forward to people reading them and sending back informed reviews, whatever way they may go. It’s the nature of the game that not all books are going to satisfy all readers, and we’re never going to decline you because you didn’t like our last book or anything silly. But it is a business, and we do need to make sure we don’t potentially undermine any book’s worth by sending out copies to everyone without seeing a value in it. So, to avoid you and I both feeling terrible, please bear in mind:
- • If your profile has no link to a blog, or any discernible outlet, but you maintain you’re a reviewer, it definitely lowers your approval chances
- • A profile with little info at all will also lower approval rates
- • If you provide a link to a website but there haven’t been any recent posts, or it doesn’t have any book reviews, that will look odd. If there’s a reason for this (you’ve been caught up in something else and are looking to get back to bloggging, for example, let us know that – add it to your bio)
- • No bio at all: unless you’re an extremely high-profile person or known to us personally, this is always worrying
I think that covers everything; if you think of anything you’d like clarification on or want to run past me/us, please comment below. I’d really love to hear from NG users as well, especially on what we could be doing to help you: this is a site that we’ll all get as much out of as we put in, so let’s start talking about how we could all do better and help each other out!
Happy Friday, everyone!
Gather round drones, and check out what has been amazing couple of weeks for all things robotic and brilliant…actually makes us a little bit less angry, but don’t worry as it won’t last. Prepare yourselves…it’s a long ‘un.
I think it’s only right that we start off with the great news from the US, that Angry Robot has been shortlisted at the Locus Awards for Best Publisher. Not only that but Madeline Ashby‘s vN has been shortlisted in the Best First Fiction category, and fellow Angry Robot author Aliette de Bodard is up for Best Novella and Best Short Story! Couldn’t be better timing with Book Two in the Machine Dynasty, iD, coming very shortly! Check out Lee’s post on this good news.
Wesley Chu continues to take the world by storm with Tao & Roen in The Lives of Tao with reviews, interviews, and blog posts popping up left, right, and centre.
• Normal in London loved the book: “There are comic moments, there are tender moments and there are moments where I wondered what I would do if I had an alien inside me, and moments where I wished I did as it might push me into doing stuff! The climax was especially strong, and somewhat unexpected. And it has left me wanting more Roen & Tao.” There’s definitely a business opportunity for Wes if he can provide aliens for all the reviewers looking for their own Tao!
• Dangerous Dan awards Tao “four easy stars” believing the “ending[...]was perfect for the story and left it open-ended enough for future adventures of Roen and Tao.”
• Always Unmended don’t just focus on the fact that “Chu’s writing is strong, and his ability to write tragic, heart-rending scenes into such a fun, easy story is proof that he’s found his calling as a writer” but also believe we can all learn something from Roen: [the book] ”contains inspirational advice that is bound to make readers reflect on their own lives. There is much about being the person you want to be and not making excuses to let yourself fail. Much as the practice of Tao is The Way of life, the character of Tao shows Roen the way to live fully. And isn’t that something we could all use a little help with?” Now. Go out there and live your live…after the pizza dinner, it is Friday evening after all.
• For a review with a spin, check out Richard’s rhyming review; I can’t even pull a line from it, it needs to be read in whole…what are you waiting for? Shooo!
• Feathers & Tea get their review off to a great start, calling Chu’s debut “another triumph from the Angry Robot publishing stable”, why thank you! It continues thusly: “Chu’s writing is sparingly skillful [and the] key premise is novel and handled deftly, the transition of Roen from bumbler to Commander is a joy to read, and the book is as laced with humour and flashes of poignancy as it is with action scenes”
• The Lives of Tao has even managed to impress the self-proclaimed cross-genre wary 42 Webs! “The Lives of Tao is one of those good books that pulls off the mash-up perfectly. We get the full sci-fi feeling combined with the spy genre without either side getting diluted or ignored. We get the full effect and in turn get a character we care about. Roen becomes the mix between James Bond and Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Assassin Creed 2, Brotherhood, Revelations).”
• “The most fun I’ve had all year” Staffer’s Book Review
• Mike over on Stuff and/or Junk calls Roen & Tao ”a sci-fi action Odd Couple” – I think the most apt description I’ve heard yet!
• Wes & the Prophus’ global domination continues with i109 proclaiming The Lives of Tao one of the Astounding Summer Reads!
• The Lives of Tao is ”top notch entertainment” and “the perfect summer read” The Eloquent Page
• The wonderful 52 Book Reviews allow no excuses for anyone not reading Chu’s amazing debut: “Chu’s cunning and hilarious mash-up of comedy, coming of age drama, espionage thriller, and science fiction has something for everyone.”
• Matthew Scott Baker is very excited about Tao! It’s “very clever with fun/deadly characters and a high-paced plot. Be ready to drop your social life for a few days, though…you will definitely want to use your free time finishing this one up!”
•Bandelier Girl Reads Everything is short and sweet with Tao: “A nice mash-up of genres that moves the reader thru the story with humor and interesting characters. Recommend.”
• Wes has been interviewed on many a website, and get yourself over to Toonari Post, Sci-Fi Fan Letter, and Bastard Books…for a mammoth, brilliant, read which also includes a giveaway!
• Check out Stellar Four for Roen’s drink of choice, and Wes talks about Aliens on Dribble of Ink.
• Wes had a guest post with Mary Robinette Kowal which you can catch here
• Wes has also been busy with some fun & games and with the coolest cake ever, launched The Lives of Tao in Chicago. Take a look at the photos on Wes’ Facebook page
• If you’re in Chicago – or will be – on May 19, you can catch Wes on a panel at Open Books: 213 W. Institute Place Chicago, IL 60610 (1 block north of Chicago & Franklin el stop.) See the Open Books Website for further details.
• If you can’t make Chicago, Wes will be at WisCon May 24-27, on 4 panels no less, and for more info: check it out here
• And if Tao & Roen hadn’t provided Wes with enough to celebrate, didn’t he only go and win the April Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars over at The Qwillery! Thanks again to Argh! Oxford for the great cover! Here’s an interview The Qwillery also did with him.
• Adam Christopher‘s The Age Atomic has a very cool video review over on I’m Ellie Ann
• Paper Mages is putting future reading trust in the hands of Adam, a very wise move, whilst also praising Christopher’s dynamic characters!
• Listen in to Adam’s radio i/v on City FM 89 here
• And, it might be belated posting on my behalf, but check out the Bane of Kings review over on The Founding Fields: “A wonderful novel, The Age Atomic proves that Adam Christopher can write sequels just as well as anyone. The most fun read of 2013 so far, and one of the best.”
The wonderful Emma Newman has had the internet all a flutter between reviews for Between Two Thorns, advance talk on Any Other Name, the wonderful Three Wishes, and also her new podcast, Tea & Jeopardy!
Reviews for Between Two Thorns & Any Other Name:
• ”JK Rowling meets Georgette Heyer ” so say the Guardian along with praising how Emma “renders the Split Worlds with verve and an infectious sense of fun, and presents in Cathy a strong and personable heroine.” Get in, Between Two Thorns!
• “Between Two Thorns is in essence a mystery, with a dash of magic, suspense and intrigue combining with just a touch of romance, polictics and feminism to freshen it up a bit” Boy, do Vinx Books love Between Two Thorns! Vinx also highlights Em’s amazing short stories based in The Split Worlds, and the Three Wishes, thanks Vinx!
• Uncorked Thoughts give Between Two Thorns 4 out of 5 stars, and declare the ”story…an Austinesque fantasy, filling every chapter with action. I loved learning about this new world and am looking forward to sinking my teeth into the next book!” You don’t have long to wait, Leah!
• A Writer’s Sidequest is another eagerly anticipating the release of Any Other Name, having fallen in love with Between Two Thorns!
• 5 out of 5 stars. Why, thank you very much Geek Syndicate. “A word of warning, make sure it is somewhere comfortable though as once you start this magical book, you won’t be going anywhere until you finish it. Absolutely brilliant.” Just one of the many excellent proclamations from them, and rightly so!
• Here’s a review for the forthcoming Any Other Name from My Dear Bibliophage who call it “enchanting, shocking, and well-crafted”
• SQ Magazine have a great interview with our Em; find out what she thinks about the challenges facing female speculative fiction writers in today’s publishing world, amongst much more. Emma also has a short-story in SQ, here
• Keep an eye on Emma’s Split World interviews page for all her oot-and-abooot happenings!
• If you haven’t heard about Emma’s fantastic new project Three Wishes, you’re missing out on your chance to have some magical wishes come true! Get involved: make your wish but also try grant somebody else…it’s a magical Pay it Forward, and we like it! Read more here.
• Urban Fantasy Land have definitely got on board with Three Wishes and are urging everyone to be “part of something very exciting, wonderful, and of course, magical!”
Tea & Jeopardy:
The Blue Blazes:
• For something “dark, gritty and fun” Three Crow Press recommend Chuck‘s first Mookie Pearl novel, The Blue Blazes. True that.
• “Wendig has taken the cast of Goodfellas and dragged them, kicking and screaming into a fantasy reality of New York, opened up the playground and let them run loose”, so says Wilder’s Book Review, who continues: “The dialogue is crisp and flows quickly, with a dark humour which Wendig relishes throughout…It’s a style which Wendig is well-known for and as my first Chuck Wendig novel, I found it to be a real breath of fresh air in a subgenre which sometimes feels a little stuffy and manufactured.”
• Odd Engine starts a glowing 4 star review with a shout-out to Joey Hi-Fi for the amazing cover, and continues by praising the “punchy dialog, snappy prose, and a gritty narrative voice”, calling The Blue Blazes “inventive, edgy, and a joy to read”
• Elf Machines from Hyperspace (what a cool name, and you’re welcome for the ARC!) after one book has declared Chuck’s writing “imaginative, funny, profound, tough, and poetic all at once” and they ain’t wrong!
• Blackbirds is “a bit fucking wrong” (a quote courtesy of Miss BookCunt) which for PublishThings sums up the second Miriam Black novel perfectly!
• The Cheape Book links Blackbirds with the perfect director: “This book begs to be done as a movie by Tarantino if he hasn’t already” Are ya listening, Quentin?
Finally, The 52 Review has a great interview with Mr Wendig, and if you’re an aspiring writer you definitely want to check out when he says about finding your own voice
With good timing as A Discourse in Steel‘s publication date (25 June / 4 July) is fast approaching, Geeks versus Nerds are talking all things Paul S. Kemp and The Hammer and the Blade: “This book is wonderful, funny and exciting with a pinch of spine shivering evil added in for flavor.”
The beautiful story that is Cassandra Rose Clarke‘s The Mad Scientist’s Daughter has certainly made an impression on ScienceFiction.com, who call it a “fantastically written science fiction novel about love and society”.
I have some exciting news for all you bloggers: as we build up to the launch of Emma Newman‘s Any Other Name, 28 May for US and ebook and 6 June for UK, the characters of the Split Worlds are clamouring to get your attention and we want to help them talk to you!
This is your chance to ask the residents of Mundanus, Exilium, and the Nether all those burning questions you have; Emma’s characters are awaiting you! To take part in these unusual interviews, email me with your chosen character and questions, and we’ll pass these onto our magical friends.
This will be first come, first served so whether it’s Cathy, Sam, William, Max or any other character you want to talk to, get your requests in as soon as possible. Be sure to include your blog URL or where the interview will be featured, and send to me: caroline [dot] lambe [at] angryrobotbooks [dot] com.
Last night (well, last night in the UK – yesterday afternoon in the US) this year’s Locus Award finalists were announced, and we’re delighted to announce that Madeline Ashby’s vN has been shortlisted in the Best First Novel category, and Angry Robot author Aliette de Bodard has been shortlisted in both Best Novella and Best Short Story categories!
Not only that, but Angry Robot has been shortlisted for Best Publisher.
The competition in all of the categories is fierce, and the entire awards list highlights some of the amazing work being done in the SF & F genres today, and our congratulations go to Madeline and all of the other finalists. Except perhaps for those in the Best Publisher category – our cybernetic army lies in wait. Just sayin’…
At one stage or another, everyone dreams of having magical three wishes, right? Those instant fixes that will magic millions of pounds/dollars/euro/insert-local-currency-here into our bank accounts, grant loved ones good health; you know the ones… world peace, seven-figure publishing deals, seven-figure book sales, constant good weather…
Dream no more, because the wonderful Emma Newman is here to help!* To celebrate the forthcoming launch of Any Other Name, the second in the Split Worlds trilogy, Emma is aiming to, in her words, crowd-source some magic.
Emma has laid out the idea and instructions over on her Split Worlds site so do go and check it out, but the gist involves people balancing their own wishes and wants with helping those of others. All you have to do is post your three wishes on your website if you have one, or on the special Split Worlds form Em has created; once your wishes have been posted, Emma will post them on this Split Worlds page so everyone can be part of the process.
If you want to make your wishes, or just as importantly can help make someone’s wish, come true, get over to the Split Worlds site and be part of something very exciting, wonderful, and of course, magical!
*Emma can of course not change the weather, give you millions of pounds, bring about world peace etc. Just in case…some people, you know?
We love chain bookstores, online bookstores, secondhand bookstores, bookstores that double up as coffee stores, bookstores with stationery in them, bookstores with DVDs in them, and bookstores with just books in them. Anywhere that sells books is a place we like to be.
As well as supporting the major High Street and online stores we have an ongoing love affair with the independents, and we know that many of you do, too.
So, to that end, we’d like to hear about your favourite independent store.
What to do
Write to us (details below) about your favourite indie bookstore. Tell us where it is (anywhere in the world), when they open, and if they have a website. Tell us what it is about this store that you love. Send us a photograph of the front of the store so others can recognise it. If you get permission, send us a photograph of the inside of the store, too. Ideally, we’d like 200-400 words on why this store is great! Feel free to ask the owner or staff for a quote. Or feel free to just gush from the heart.
What you get out of it
If we publish your recommendation on our blog we’ll send you some books to say thank you.
What the store gets out of it
Word of mouth and recommendations are the lifeblood of any local business. We’d like to help promote some deserving local stores.
What we get out of it
A warm, fuzzy feeling in our tums. We had that once before, and it turned out we’d eaten something out of date, but we’d really like to get a similar sensation for doing something nice.
Where to send your missives
Drop us an email at independents AT angryrobotbooks.com – don’t forget to include a photo or two, and try to give plenty of detail as to why your favourite store deserves some time in the limelight.
We’d like to get your recommendations as soon as possible. Shall we say: no later than the end of May?
Yes. Apparently, we shall.
Cheesy title groan.
But how and ever! April saw the release of just one Angry Robot title, and boy, do I imagine the bloggers are happy as Wesley Chu has taken over the internet with reviews, interviews and guest blogs galore, and I’m not sure there would have been time for much more Angry Robot greatness.
Are you in Chicago this weekend…or do you have your own private jet? Celebrate with Wesley in person at the NV Penthouse Lounge, where you can join Matt Forbeck and a host of other guests for an undoubtedly fantastic party!
If you’re unable to fly across the Atlantic, join us here and now to celebrate Wesley’s publication week, and the success of our Open Door scheme which you can read Wes talk about on Carrie Cuinn’s site, by checking out some of the fantastic reviews and features so far for The Lives of Tao:
• “I really enjoyed The Lives of Tao and had a hard time putting it down. It’s a great addition to the science fiction catalogue and a great read” so says Lit Nerd Around the World.
• Popcorn Reads declares Wesley has “combined a spy thriller with sci-fi, with nods to comic books and a strong dose of humour” creating “a fun thrill ride of a novel”. The “empathetic anti-hero” in Roen gets an especial nod from MK and if that’s not enough it’s recommended as a summer read…and movie material, and who are we to argue with reviewers? Popcorn Reads are also running a giveaway, so pop (sorry, it’s the looming bank holiday creating the corniness….sorry again) over to their site for the competition!
• Roen Tan is Kung Fu Panda…a perfect comparison! The brainchild of Katrina from Afterglow Book Reviews, she is not alone in finishing the book whilst “wishing you had a wise (and wise-cracking) alien like Tao in your head.” Read it for the funny, says she! Afterglow’s Bill calls The Lives of Tao ”one of the most unique spy books you will ever read in your life” and highlights the humour but also the “action when you least expect it and an ending that you would never see coming.”
• Shadowhawk on The Founding Fields: “Vividly entertaining, this is a book that looks past the lively and thrilling glamour of life as an international spy and also merges several genres together into a cohesive whole to tell a story that rocks from start to finish.” For the full rave review, and to see why he gives it 8.5/10 check out the full review and be sure to stop by at the giveaway page for your chance to win a copy.
• Untitled*United doesn’t just call The Lives of Tao ” fast, clever, and a lot of geeky fun” and “ridiculously good” but declares the “action scenes are brisk, the dialogue is genuinely funny, and there are also some touching scenes that Chu handles well. He’s adept at keeping all of those emotions carefully balanced, and moves between them deftly, making sure the humor feels organic, never forced or jarring.”
Footnotes also highlight the movie angle, and whilst readily admitting that the book is not this reviewer’s cup of tea, he still has many praises for it The Lives of Tao as “a fun journey, [where] the internal dialogue between Roen and his new teacher and partner is lightning-quick and snippy” and “well worth a read for any fan of this genre.”
• Only the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy give Wes and Tao 4 out of 5 stars: ”Great ideas mixed with great action and a non-stop pace made this book extremely hard to put down. Bravo, Mr. Chu!”
• Speculative Book Review After recommendations from Bastard Book’s Bastard and Only the Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, SBR’s Tyson is thanking the gentlemen for their advice! “full of action packed goodness and tells a intriguing story that would be a crime to miss.”
• Chuck Wendig’s brilliant Terrible Minds hosts Wesley and ten questions about The Lives of Tao; head straight over for an insight into how Wesley wrote the book, what he learned, and what’s next for him as a storyteller.
• The fabulous and fantastic Kristin on My Bookish Ways has a superb interview with Wes over on her site…off you go, fly, fly…or simply click the link here and your fandagly computer will bring it to you.
• If that’s not enough, the big beast that is John Scalzi’s Whatever featured Wes and the “Big Idea” behind Tao.
• And where better to wrap up for the weekend than with this quote from Matt Hughes at Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing: “As a novel, The Lives of Tao is a super-hero, science fiction, alien contact, and spy thriller all wrapped into one. It’s also funny and thrilling with a touch of a buddy comedy thrown in. I got hooked right away and when all was said and done, I can safely declare it as my favorite novel of 2013 so far.”
I’m going to leave you here for the long weekend, folks, and whilst it may be all from me until next Tuesday, you can be sure it’s definitely not all from Wes, Tao, and Roen. Have a great bank holiday weekend and make sure you check out our regular Robot Round-Up here next Friday!
Regular robot followers will know that we’re intent on world domination. A little under four years ago we launched Angry Robot in the UK, followed by the US and Canada a year or so later.
Last September we launched our new YA imprint, Strange Chemistry, to critical acclaim, and today sees the launch of our new Crime/Thriller imprint, Exhibit A, with the incomparable Emlyn Rees at the helm – himself a bestselling novelist.
Exhibit A’s launch titles are Scare Me by Richard Parker and Penance by Dan O’Shea, available in paperback today in the US and Canada, and in ebook worldwide. UK crime fans only have to wait until Thursday for their fix!
Head over to Exhibit A to find out more!
Today marks the launch of Wesley Chu‘s brilliant The Lives of Tao in paperback in the US and Canada, and in ebook worldwide. Somewhat unusually for Angry Robot, Tao is our only book this month – but fear not, we published three last month and we have three next month for you, so you won’t be short on your robot fix, but for now it’s all about Roen and his alien passenger, Tao.
The Lives of Tao
When out-of-shape IT technician Roen Tan woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it.
He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes.
Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…
And folk in the UK won’t have to wait long for the paperback – it’s out on Thursday (though some shops already appear to have stock)! One thing is sure, for the next month at Angry Robot, whatever day it is, it’s bound to be Chu’s Day!
“This book is high-octane spy vs spy action with a sly sense of humor. Pure pleasure from beginning to end. Highly recommended!”
- Ann Vandermeer, Hugo winning editor of Weird Tales and British Fantasy Award winning publisher of Buzzcity Press