Of the five NetGalley ARCs I downloaded in the last month, three of them are PDFs. This is… disappointing. To say the least.
I know, I’m getting these books for free, so maybe I shouldn’t complain… but I don’t think this is about feeling entitled; it’s about investing my time. And I’d much rather spend my time with a book that’s not a struggle to read.
I don’t know about all of you – though I’ve had a few conversations and I know I’m not alone – but trying to read a PDF on my ereader is pretty ridiculous. Either the font is so small I can barely see it, or I’m scrolling back and forth because the full width of a line doesn’t even fit on the screen. Alternatively, I’m stuck reading it on the computer. If I had a tablet (or even a newer model ereader), it might not be as big a deal. But spending $100+ on a new device I don’t need isn’t an option. And the options I do have for reading PDFs… frankly, they suck.
After a year of using NetGalley, I’m starting to get more selective about the books I request. I do a little homework. I don’t request a book if it’s part of a series. I check ahead of time to see if I’m getting a novel or a novella. I read a sample (if I can find one) to see if the author’s style just isn’t going to work for me. It’s better to find all this out ahead of time, because even though I’ve gotten better about DNFing review copies, I’d still rather not waste the publisher’s time and resources if I can find these things out on my own.
One thing I can’t find out on my own, though, is what format the publisher is offering, and I don’t get why NetGalley can’t provide that information. How hard would it be?
(That’s not an entirely rhetorical question; I really have no idea how hard it would be. But my guess is, not very.)
Honestly, if I would have known ahead of time what I’d be getting, I wouldn’t have requested them in the first place. I love having the opportunity to get books through NetGalley. But a little transparency would go a long way in making the process even better. Because for me, PDFs just aren’t worth the inconvenience when there are so many other books that don’t give me a headache.
Are there any formats that just make it impossible for you to enjoy a story?