Keynote Speakers Announced for the Inaugural Publishing Innovation Forum

Mary McAveney (Abrams), Andy Hunter (Bookshop.org), and Michael Tamblyn (Kobo) to Keynote the Inaugural PUBLISHING INNOVATION FORUM, September 24-26 in Nashville, TN

Newburyport, MA (May 15, 2024)—The Firebrand Group—a global collection of companies, including Firebrand Technologies, NetGalley, and Supadu Ltd—is excited to announce three inspiring keynote speakers for its inaugural Publishing Innovation Forum (#PubInnovation24). All members of the publishing industry are invited to join these influencers, along with more than 20 additional expert speakers, during this three-day event, September 24-26, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The three keynote speakers are:

Andy Hunter, Founder and CEO, Bookshop.org. Andy is also the co-creator and publisher of the websites Literary Hub, Crime Reads and BookMarks, and co-founder and chairman of Electric Literature. His focus is keeping literature a vital part of our culture in the digital age. His company, Bookshop.org, is an online bookstore with an explicit mission to help promote and financially support the brick-and-mortar independent bookselling community. 

Mary McAveney, President and CEO, Abrams. Mary is a publishing veteran with decades of experience and expertise in marketing, strategy, and branding. McAveney is known throughout the industry as a forward-thinking innovator who delivers success based on data-driven tactics, direct-to-consumer relationships, and digital discovery. As President and CEO of Abrams, McAveney oversees the company’s three divisions—Abrams, Abrams Children’s Books, and Abrams ComicArts—as well as the Abrams Distribution Client business.

Michael Tamblyn, CEO, Kobo. Michael combines his passion for books and reading with a deep focus on hardware and software experiences that can make reading lives better. In addition to leading Rakuten Kobo, the global digital bestseller, he is also a Senior Executive Officer of Rakuten, the Japanese ecommerce giant.

Formerly known as the Firebrand Group Industry Conference, the Publishing Innovation Forum was rebranded in May 2024 to better reflect the event’s focus on bringing the entire publishing industry together for conversations related to evolving and adapting to the book industry’s many changes. Attendees can expect to learn how their industry peers are transforming their toughest challenges into innovations and initiatives that will successfully benefit sales, rights and permissions, marketing, audiobooks, ebooks, printing, distribution, and more.

“It’s important to all of us at the Firebrand Group that the Publishing Innovation Forum is a welcoming community of book industry professionals willing to share their collective knowledge and expertise,”said Angela Bole, CEO of Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley. “We know it’s collaborative environments like this that provide the keys to solving common challenges and ensuring our industry remains strong, informed, and ready for the future. As a collection of companies, we’re committed to fostering these environments both internally and externally.”

Sessions at the Publishing Innovation Forum will cover a variety of important topics that impact the industry. Three broad tracks (Marketing, Technology, and Business), along with numerous networking and idea-sharing opportunities, will provide learning opportunities for publishing professionals at every level. 

“We’re all in this together,” said Joshua Tallent, Firebrand Technologies’ Director of Sales & Education and lead conference programmer. “That’s why it’s so important for us to gather at events like the Publishing Innovation Forum to jointly solve problems as we plan for the future.”

Early bird registration for the Publishing Innovation Forum is available through June 30, 2024. More information, including a link to register, is available at publishinginnovationforum.com.

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About the Firebrand Group
The Firebrand Group—a global collection of companies including Firebrand Technologies, NetGalley, and Supadu Ltd—offering comprehensive technology solutions to nurture book publisher success. The companies within Firebrand Group are owned by Media Do International (MD-i), the US-based subsidiary of Japan’s Media Do Co., Ltd, one of the largest ebook distribution companies in the world retaining the largest share of Japan’s ebook market. For more information on Media Do’s services and corporate divisions, visit mediado.jp/english.

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NetGalley Community Update – May 2024

NetGalley.com Growth! 🌱 600,000 Active Members + Exciting New Stats!

NetGalley is proud to host our highly-engaged community of reviewers, booksellers, librarians, educators, media/journalists, and book trade professionals and to facilitate the relationship between this community and the publishers who want to reach them. It’s been two years since we introduced a re-engagement campaign with our members to give publishers better visibility into each member’s primary audience, and to provide more meaningful ways for you to find the right audience for your books. As part of that re-engagement campaign, we also began removing inactive accounts. This is both a security upgrade, as well as an assurance that the information we provide you about the size of our community is transparent. We are thrilled that, even with the cleanup of inactive accounts, the NetGalley Community has grown by close to 10% since last summer!

VIEW THE FULL REPORT

We are pleased to share this update about the NetGalley Community, and invite you to view the full report, which includes tips for engaging with specific segments of the community.

Activity on NetGalley is a funnel, which means that the more Impressions a book has, the more overall activity it will receive. Once members submit requests, it’s up to the publisher to approve requests so they can start to read. Depending on how many requests the publisher approves, a portion of them will result in Feedback. For Digital Review Copies (DRCs) we see a 36% Feedback Rate, while Audiobooks see an exceptional Feedback Rate of 58%!

NetGalley.com as a whole continues to see record-breaking activity. In Q1 2024, members submitted almost 400,000 reviews & feedback for books and audiobooks, representing 11% growth from 2023. Audiobook feedback saw a 43% increase!

There’s more! Click to view the FULL REPORT

NetGalley.com continues to see record-breaking activity. In Q1 2024, members submitted almost 400,000 reviews & feedback for books and audiobooks, representing 11% growth from 2023. Audiobook feedback saw a 43% increase!

NetGalley members read a wide variety of books, and can browse and sort the NetGalley catalog based on category, pub date, most-requested status, and more to find exactly what they’re looking for. Category or genre popularity on NetGalley closely mirrors the market as a whole. The charts below show the most popular fiction and nonfiction categories among members using NetGalley. Data includes NetGalley.com members who have indicated their interest in Categories as of April 2024.

There’s more! Click to view the FULL REPORT

Our members love to be notified about books that match their interests! 86% respondents to our Annual Member Survey indicated that NetGalley Promotions influence whether they Request or download a book or audiobook. Our popular promotions continue to deliver outstanding results while remaining at a competitive price. Learn more in our 2024 Media Kit. It includes more examples, stats, and pricing! 

There’s more! Click to view the FULL REPORT

Just as we feel privileged to work with publishers, authors, and your books, it’s also our sincere pleasure to work with our reader members! They are passionate book advocates who are excited to participate in each book’s success. As our community continues to grow and evolve, we’re committed to continuing to support them in this endeavor—while also guiding them to provide valuable reviews and feedback, all with the goal to help other readers learn about a book, and decide whether they want to read it. With this in mind, we continually provide tips and best practices like the following, which you’re welcome to share with your readers, too!

There’s more! Click to view the FULL REPORT

All stats are for NetGalley.com and are from April 2024 unless otherwise noted.

*NetGalley.com members with activity since January 1, 2021

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IBPA Publishing University, Conference Wrap Up, Part 4

Each year the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) brings together its robust membership to share knowledge and resources, discuss challenges and opportunities facing indie publishers and authors, and network with like-minded professionals. This year we met in Denver, Colorado, and even a surprise snowstorm did nothing to dampen the excitement in the room!

Katie Versluis and Kristina Radke at IBPA Publishing University in Denver

The theme of this year’s event, “Rise and Disrupt,” resonated deeply with attendees grappling with the challenges posed by consolidation in the industry, slowing sales, inflation, the rise of new AI technologies, and more. This is an event that does not shy away from the tough questions and conversations, and yet the energy is always inherently positive. This year was no different. The conference centered around the idea that innovation is inherently disruptive, energizing participants while also sparking discussions about the state of the industry.

Saturday’s keynote, “Rise and Disrupt,” featured Oriana Leckert (Kickstarter), Joe Biel (Microcosm Publishing), Dhonielle Clayton (Cake Literary & Electric Postcard Entertainment), and Brooke Warner (She Writes Press & SparkPress). Much was said about the benefits of hybrid publishing, which does not rely on the publisher to fund advances. 

Leckert shared many examples of Kickstarter campaigns (and not just the ones we all know about), focusing on what makes a good campaign: a strong project image, a compelling personal video, appealing and creative rewards at different price levels. For instance, we heard about an author who offered to kill off a character named after the fan if they supported the project for $666… or to kill them AND bring them back for $777. Additionally, Leckert emphasized that it’s always better to get the money up front to pay for things like marketing, book design, and more. She told the audience about another author who wanted pink-gilded edges on her romance novel, and found a backer who would fund it!

Dhonielle Clayton from Cake Creative discussed using her own intellectual property (IP) to fill in gaps in the industry that she sees, related to diverse story-telling. She uses her experience and knowledge to bring fully formed ideas to life by connecting with authors who will write the books based on her IP, and then sell it to publishers using data to back up that there’s an audience clamoring for it.

Joe Biel from Microcosm Publishing inspired attendees when Brooke Warner pointed out that he’s one of the only publishers she knows who has completely stopped selling books on Amazon. Biel was matter-of-fact when he expressed that this was not a moral stance, but a financial one—he had looked at what it cost to sell via Amazon, and decided to instead put that money toward their own sales and marketing efforts, with great success.

Another standout panel, “AI (Artificial Intelligence): How to Use It, and What IBPA Should Be Doing About It” highlighted the dual nature of AI as both a tool for efficiency and a potential disruptor in the industry. Thad McIlroy (The Future of Publishing) delivered a cautiously optimistic presentation, highlighting the foundational aspects of AI and emphasizing the importance of understanding its potential dangers. Torrey Sharp from Faceout Studio offered valuable insights into strategic AI utilization, emphasizing the need to define clear guidelines for its implementation within businesses. Faceout Studio’s approach, utilizing AI to analyze book content and create AI-generated mood boards, but not final book cover designs (they leave that to the humans) highlighted how AI technology and human creativity can co-exist.

Dave Davis of Calliope Networks provided a unique perspective, highlighting the potential for publishers to monetize their content by licensing it to LLMs (large language models), citing Wiley’s successful $23M content licensing deal. Overall, the consensus among panelists emphasized the need for oversight and careful integration of AI into publishing workflows.

The “Reach Your Readers” panel, moderated by Kristina Radke (VP, Business Growth & Engagement at NetGalley, far right), addressed foundational questions for emerging publishers and authors. From the importance of early reviews to leveraging international rights, the panel offered diverse perspectives on connecting with readers from (l. to r.) Juliet Wills (VP Global Sales and Rights, Galaxy Press), Kim Schutte (Director of Consumer Marketing, Ingram Content Group), thriller author Marissa Vanskike, and Roseanne Cheng (Director of Business Development, DropCap Rights Agency).

IBPA Publishing University continues to honor the spirit of resilience and adaptability within the independent publishing community by hosting programs that are both informational and actionable, and creating a community that is open to learning, collaboration, and collective growth.

NetGalley is proud to partner with the IBPA and support independent publishers. Learn more about the NetGalley Member Benefits for IBPA members!

Read more of our 2024 conference wrap ups:

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Sustainability in Book Publishing 2024

As Earth Month comes to a close, let’s all remember that meeting sustainability goals must be an ongoing effort. We’ve been excited to hear even more conversations with a focus on publishing’s impact on the environment at events around the world and, in particular, a shift toward action. 

At the London Book Fair this year, over 20 events were held in the dedicated Sustainability Hub, with topics meant to drive concrete action toward Sustainable Development Goals. Although we weren’t able to attend each session, the message was clear that publishers want to stop talking about the challenges that persist in transitioning towards greener publishing practices and start making more exponential progress.

In the session “Championing Climate Action: Authors as Agents of Change”, panelists discussed the impact of individual and collective action. Children’s author Jonathan Emmett expressed his no-fly policy, opting instead for virtual readings or traveling only within distances easy to access by train. The concept of “Climate Shadow” emerged as a powerful tool for authors to influence positive change – an individual’s potential impact on the climate is more than just our carbon footprint. By leveraging personal influence through conversations, behaviors, and speaking engagements, authors can significantly impact environmental awareness and action. Emmett’s advocacy for reducing air travel resonated deeply, highlighting the potential impact of even small lifestyle changes. With one flight from NYC to London equating to 2.2 tons of carbon emissions, convincing someone to reduce their flying by just one trip can make a meaningful difference.

Learn more about the Outdoors & Nature category on NetGalley!

Novelist Yara Rodrigues Fowler stressed the importance of collective action, calling on authors to hold their publishers accountable to their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Martin Reed, Head of Communications at the Society of Authors, encouraged authors and publishers to sign Publishing Declares, a sustainability pledge launched by the Publishers Association, which now has 188 signatories. As The Guardian reports,  the pledge has sparked momentum within the industry; however, Siena Parker, social impact director at Penguin, emphasized that the next crucial step is supporting these signatories in actualizing their pledge.

By some estimates, one tree produces enough paper for only 25 books. Using that math, 3.5 million approvals means that publishers have saved about 140k trees by using NetGalley in the past year alone!

Here at NetGalley we are proud to help publishers supplement, and sometimes even fully replace, printed ARCs with a secure, digital solution. This empowers publishers to embrace sustainable practices while maintaining effective marketing and promotional strategies by minimizing paper waste and carbon emissions associated with printing and shipping. At conferences and events, we love to see publishers shifting toward a more sustainable approach by offering attendees access to their books digitally by including a QR code that allows them to Request or Read Now through NetGalley.

In the past 12 months, over 25,000 DRCs and Audiobooks were added to NetGalley, with 3.5 million requests approved. By some estimates, one tree produces enough paper for only 25 books. Using that math, 3.5 million approvals means that publishers have saved about 140,000 trees by using NetGalley in the past year alone!

We are proud that NetGalley’s climate shadow is helping the publishing industry achieve a more environmentally friendly path forward.

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London Book Fair

2024 Conference Wrap Up, Part 3

London Book Fair 2024 was the busiest in recent memory, with the floors noticeably crowded well into the traditionally much quieter Thursday. The many sessions, seminars and talks were hugely popular, often resulting in standing room only. If there were presiding concerns, they were the effect of TikTok and the phenomenon of the books it has amplified most successfully, as well as the applications, perils and possibilities of AI. 

Members of Firebrand Group (NetGalley, Firebrand Technologies, and Supadu) hosting meetings at London Book Fair

BookTok and Influencer Marketing

There were several panels specifically devoted to TikTok, and many more about the broad use of influencer campaigns, and we noticed how much TikTok-endorsed and popularized genres dominated the huge video screens of the bigger publishers. Romance, Romantasy and high concept thrillers were the dominant genres, and nonfiction was much less visible on these stands as in years before.

In the session “BookTok: Bridging Communities and Redefining Reading” presented by Esther Fung from PangoBook and Léa Crumpton, they illuminated how social media platforms are reshaping reading habits and fostering inclusivity within literary communities. With the rise of BookTok, they said readers are discovering diverse voices and narratives, transcending traditional boundaries.

Publishers received a valuable lesson on leveraging behind-the-scenes videos to provide glimpses into the fun inner workings of working in a publishing house, and the importance of collaborations with influencers was emphasized, with a reminder to allow creators the freedom to infuse their unique style into promotional content, therefore maintaining authenticity. 

This concept was reiterated again and again throughout various marketing panels. For instance, At the Byte the Book Drinks Reception, Kelly Weekes, Marketing Mentor & Author Coach, urged creators to prioritize building relationships over direct sales pitches, echoing the sentiment that social media is inherently about fostering connections. And in the session, “Spotlight on YA: Navigating a Crowded Market”, speakers emphasized the significance of genuine engagement over trend-chasing. In-person events and literary prizes emerged as potent avenues for garnering visibility and expanding readership, reaffirming the enduring value of community engagement in the publishing process.

By embracing trends and engaging with audiences consistently, publishers can forge meaningful connections in the digital sphere.

Artificial Intelligence

In terms of AI’s presence at LBF, there were many start-ups offering AI-enhanced or produced content. We observed stands that offered listening booths so attendees could hear AI voice renderings of classics like Alice in Wonderland, and heard from companies using AI to offer end-to-end advertising to aid book discoverability. 

In conversation with some of our clients, we came to understand that publishers recognize where AI can be useful (enhancing internal workflows, creating starter marketing copy to be revised by a human), and where it can be harmful – the publishers we spoke to acknowledged that their readers are against AI-generated art, including book content and cover images.

Sessions like “The Future of Audio in Publishing: Global Trends and the Impact of AI” leaned into the need for transparency with readers, especially if synthetic voices are used. As reported in PW’s London Book Fair 2024: The State of Audiobooks, From AI to Ads, Videl Bar-Kar, v-p of audio at Bookwire GmbH, stated, “There needs to be real transparency and trust. Consumers need to decide, and we talked about it as well. I think there needs to be very clear labeling on behalf of what’s going out there and presenting to consumers.”

Read more of our 2024 conference wrap ups:

And find us at the following events this spring!

  • April 12, Book Industry Study Group (BISG) Annual Meeting
  • April 12 – 14, Paris Book Festival
  • April 25 – 27, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Publishing University
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Audio Publishers Association Conference

2024 Conference Wrap Up, Part 2

This year’s Audio Publishers Association Conference (APAC) brought together audiobook-industry leaders to explore the evolving landscape of audio consumption. NetGalley was thrilled to sponsor and speak at this event. Across all sessions, attendees and presenters alike celebrated the continued growth of the audio market.

Darcy Piedmonte speaking at APAC 2024, demonstrating how NetGalley members express enthusiasm for audiobooks “out in the wild.”

Paul Abassi (Bookstat) reminded attendees of the huge growth in audiobook sales in recent years, from over $1.7 billion in 2018 to over $3 billion in 2023. Last year proved a substantial increase across both legacy and newer retailers, including publishers of all sizes and multiple genre categories.  Kristen McLain (Circana Entertainment Knowledge Group) positioned audio as a thriving market ripe for further innovation and expansion. Kristen pointed out that audio is the only category growing across all age groups, with some titles selling equal in (or more!) shares than other formats. Further, audiobook consumers are willing and ready to invest in their overall experience. 

Laura Ivy (Edison Research) shared that audiobook audiences are continuing to skew younger, supported by APAC’s own Sales & Consumer Data Survey conducted last year, which revealed: “The majority of audiobook listeners are young, with 57% being between the ages of 18 and 44, significantly higher than the 49% of the U.S. population that falls within the same age range.” Kristen McLain added, “Future listeners are living with current listeners!”

Darcy Piedmonte, Senior Sales Manager at NetGalley, joined Eric Barnett (Supporting Cast), Lizzie Breyer Bowman (Lemonada), and moderator Amy Metsch (Spiegel & Grau) on a panel titled, “Audiobooks in the Wild”, to discuss how forward-thinking approaches to audiobook and spoken word programming foster audience engagement and community. The conversation underscored the significance of dynamic content strategies in attracting and retaining listeners. Darcy delved into the thriving audiobook community facilitated by NetGalley, sharing case studies featuring an independently published audiobook side-by-side with a celebrity memoir (spoiler alert: both performed extremely well on NetGalley). She also spoke about NetGalley’s role in fostering interactions between audio publishers and enthusiastic listeners, providing updates about the NetGalley community’s growth and engagement. Be on the lookout for more about this!

A highlight of the event was Malcolm Gladwell’s keynote address emphasizing tremendous opportunities for internet-based audio. Gladwell brought attention to our collective chance to democratize production, highlight on-demand, recursive listening, and revolutionize access with few barriers to entry. However, there are significant limitations standing in the way related to fair- versus limited use, where limited use greatly sacrifices transformative experiences that can enhance listeners’ lives. Gladwell illuminated the downsides in the specific, story-driven way only he can. The audience was convinced: the industry is not currently able to exploit the full potential of the audio medium. However, as industry professionals we can band together for a “Fair Use” movement and coalition. Only then will we harness the power of our creative potential and realize the spoken word future we all want to see. 

Lastly, we are thrilled to congratulate this year’s Audie Award Winners! We’re honored that so many of these award-winning audiobooks were available on NetGalley.

Read more of our 2024 conference wrap ups:

And find us at the following events this spring!

  • March 12 – 14, London Book Fair
  • March 21 – 24, Leipzig Book Fair
  • April 12, Book Industry Study Group (BISG) Annual Meeting
  • April 12 – 14, Paris Book Festival
  • April 25 – 27, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Publishing University
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ABA Winter Institute

2024 Conference Wrap Up, Part 1

With over 950 booksellers in attendance, American Bookseller Association’s Winter Institute conference was filled with vibrant energy, fostering numerous opportunities for networking and collaboration both within and outside the conference sessions. Two members of the NetGalley team, Tarah Theoret (Senior Director, Community Experience) and Darcy Piedmonte (Senior Sales Manager), were in attendance to connect with our partners at ABA, as well as with booksellers, publishers, and industry professionals.

NetGalley team members, Darcy Piedmonte & Tarah Theoret

Booksellers were excited for the reminder that publishers can see that they are validated ABA members on NetGalley, ensuring quick approvals (and even auto-approvals) for their book requests. Popular formats were discussed, with comic store owners expressing gratitude for the collection of comics, graphic novels, and manga that publishers make available on NetGalley. They particularly appreciated the digital access to preview this content, as these books often lack full-color ARCs. Audiobooks garnered similar attention, and many attendees were excited to dig into NetGalley’s audiobook offerings.

We were thrilled to see more publishers using QR codes to make books available to Winter Institute attendees, especially in the Galley Room. Publishers are recognizing the benefits of offering digital copies, both in terms of the number of books they can give away and in terms of sustainability. Using QR codes, or following up with attendees to say, ‘Thank you,’ with a NetGalley pre-approval link to a popular book saves on printing, shipping, and overall carbon emissions. NetGalley is proud to be part of the solution.

Overall, Winter Institute 2024 was characterized by dynamic discussions and fruitful collaborations!

Read more of our 2024 conference wrap ups:

And find us at the following events this spring!

  • February 28, Audio Publishers Association Conference (APAC)
  • March 12 – 14, London Book Fair
  • March 21 – 24, Leipzig Book Fair
  • April 12, Book Industry Study Group (BISG) Annual Meeting
  • April 12 – 14, Paris Book Festival
  • April 25 – 27, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Publishing University
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Focus On: Indie Reads

NetGalley offers a wealth of insightful data that sheds light on the latest trends and preferences, and we’re thrilled to focus on Independent Books & Publishers this month. If you haven’t browsed these categories recently, you may be missing out! In 2023, indie publishers added nearly 2,500 new books, generating a lot of engagement and excitement from the NetGalley community.

Read on for a glimpse at some of the Most Requested and Top Performing Indie Reads

Most Requested* Indie Reads

On average, books by independent publishers receive about 280 requests and auto-approvals. This includes activity generated when a publisher invites a reader to access the book using the NetGalley widget or makes the book available to ‘Read Now’, in addition to organic requests from NetGalley members. The Feedback Ratio (amount of Feedback returned based on all types of approval) is 24%.

Most requested status changes regularly. Books listed in this article were among the most requested on December 2023.

Top Performing** Indie Reads

** “Top Performers” refers to the amount of Feedback titles received. Books listed in this article were among the Top Performers in December 2023.

Case Study: Every Day is Christmas by Karen Schaler

A beloved name in Christmas romance, Karen Schaler’s newest book is bringing joy to readers everywhere. Was Every Day is Christmas love at “frost” sight for NetGalley members too? Let’s find out! 

  • 180 Feedback as of February, 2024
  • Over 3,300 Impressions
  • 100% of approved Librarians recommend the book through Reader’s Advisory, book clubs, events.
  • 11% of all readers requested the book due to word of mouth recommendations!
  • See Karen’s previously listed books with Hawktale Publishing on NetGalley here!

Case Study: Avocado Magic by Taltal Levi

Beautiful illustrations, family sweetness, and learning about avocados– what’s not to love! NetGalley members praised Avocado Magic for being a heartwarming story about patience and believing in yourself.  

  • Love this book’s cover? We did too! Avocado Magic was featured on our Homepage for a full week!
  • 95% of approved Educators recommended their students read or purchase this book
  • 100% of Booksellers are likely to handsell this book
  • The book’s illustrations were by far the thing NetGalley members loved most about this book in their reviews
  • Check out NorthSouth Book’s other books on NetGalley here!

Case Study: So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan

From Booker Prize Finalist and bestselling author of Small Things Like These, NetGalley members called this book of short stories “succinct yet impactful” and “profound”. Here’s what NetGalley members thought of So Late in the Day: 

  • 369 feedback as of February, 2024
  • Over 6,700 impressions
  • 100% of Booksellers who submitted feedback suggested they would purchase this book for their stores
  • 92% of Reviewers would recommend this book/author to their audience
  • 277 four and five star reviews were generated from NetGalley members
  • Check out Grove Atlantic’s other books  here! 

Promotions for Indie Reads

Launch your frontlist or leverage your backlist! We have both on-site and email promotions for every budget, goal, and type of book. Learn more or view the full Media Kit here.

This newsletter was sent to 25,500 members who are interested in Indie Reads, and saw a 66% open rate!

Information in this article is from December 2023unless otherwise specified. Data includes details from NetGalley.com.

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Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley, LLC Welcome New Chief Technology Officer

Longstanding book publishing tech companies continue to invest in strengthening their technology team with appointment of new CTO, Tom Shawver

FOR RELEASE

Newburyport, MA (January 11, 2023)—Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley, LLC—each a strategic part of the Firebrand Group collection of companies owned by Media Do International (MD-i)—announced today the appointment of Tom Shawver in the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO). As CTO of both companies, Shawver will lead and refine the overall technology strategy, ensuring scalability, security, and efficiency across multiple product lines. Shawver’s official start date is January 16, 2024.

“I’m excited to be part of two companies so pivotal to book publishing and helping publishers reach their audiences in the growing digital space,” said Shawver. “Strengthening the way readers find and enjoy new stories, information, and perspectives is both a professional and personal passion of mine. Firebrand and NetGalley define the industry standard with a collection of tools absolutely vital to their publishing partners and distribution network, and I’m both humbled and invigorated to have the opportunity to expand and streamline that platform with such an experienced team.”

A lifelong technologist, Shawver has spent over 15 years leading companies of all sizes—ranging from seed-stage to the Fortune 500—in embracing cutting-edge solutions to drive growth. Before Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley, LLC, Shawver was the Chief Technology Officer at 360 Media Direct, working with both book and magazine publishers to drive digital content adoption among readers.

Starting at the ground level of the cloud computing boom, Shawver has specialized in building software platforms that scale globally, react quickly, and stay highly integrated with other industry-leading software. He maintains and contributes to widely used open source software products that power thousands of companies worldwide, focusing on security and customer identity. He holds a degree in Computer Science from Albright College, where he also studied in the Music and Digital Media programs.

“We’re beyond excited for Tom to join our teams as Chief Technology Officer,” said Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley, LLC CEO Angela Bole. “Our unique, community-focused approach to technology development creates an optimal atmosphere for innovation and product success. I’m certain Tom’s experience and personal aptitude will fit in perfectly and prove vital to the future of our companies as we continue to adapt to serve our clients’ needs.”

Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley, LLC are fully-virtual technology companies working in and for the book publishing industry. In partnership, the companies have been helping publishers manage their internal workflows, digital distribution, and marketing efforts for over 35 years with technology solutions that touch the lives of thousands of print, ebook, and audio professionals every day.

In February 2021, Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley, LLC were acquired by Media Do International (MD-i), the US-based subsidiary of Japan’s Media Do Co., Ltd, one of the largest ebook distribution companies in the world retaining the largest share of Japan’s $4.5 billion ebook market. Bole, former CEO of the Independent Book Publishers Association, succeeded Fran Toolan as CEO of Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley, LLC on February 1, 2023. Toolan remains on the companies’ board.

About Firebrand Technologies

Firebrand Technologies—a strategic part of the Firebrand Group collection of companies—is dedicated to providing leading software and services to help publishers succeed. Title Management tracks titles from pre-acquisition through post-production, marketing, and sales. Eloquence on Demand is the industry gold standard for implementing ONIX and maximizing control of how data reaches the marketplace. Eloquence on Alert’s proprietary title performance monitoring service collects key, hard-to-access details about your products from major online marketplaces and review sites, and puts all of that information directly at your fingertips. Firebrand Flywheel harnesses the power of AI-supported technology to identify hidden opportunities for driving backlist sales, precisely when it matters most. For more information, visit firebrandtech.com.

About NetGalley, LLC

NetGalley helps publishers and authors promote digital review copies and audiobooks to book advocates and industry professionals. Hundreds of thousands of members rely on NetGalley’s secure, sustainable, and easy-to-use platform to discover books, share reviews, and champion literacy. The NetGalley team coordinates closely with publishers on targeted promotions, and provides training, strategy, and consultation for incorporating NetGalley into overall marketing and publicity efforts. NetGalley is a strategic part of the Firebrand Group collection of companies, which together provide leading software and services to help publishers achieve success. To learn more, visit netgalley.com/tour.

About Media Do International (MD-i)

Media Do International (MD-i) owns the Firebrand Group, a collection of companies including Firebrand Technologies, NetGalley, LLC, and Supadu Ltd. that provide leading software and services to help publishers achieve success. MD-i is itself the US-based subsidiary of Japan’s Media Do Co. Ltd, one of the largest ebook distribution companies in the world retaining the largest share of Japan’s ebook market. Media Do Co. Ltd.’s mission is to make more content available for more people. For more information, visit mediado.jp/english.

Here’s a special message from Tom!

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Focus On: Cooking, Food & Wine

NetGalley offers a wealth of insightful data that sheds light on the latest trends and preferences, and in this holiday season we’re focusing on Cooking, Food & Wine. If you haven’t browsed these categories recently, you may be missing out! In the last 12 months, publishers have added over 270 new books, generating a lot of engagement and excitement from the NetGalley community.

Read on for a glimpse at some of the Most Requested* and Top Performing** books in these categories!

Most Requested Cooking, Food & Wine

On average, books in the Cooking, Food & Wine category receive about 158 requests and auto-approvals. This includes activity generated when a publisher invites a reader to access the book using the NetGalley widget or makes the book available to ‘Read Now’, in addition to organic requests from NetGalley members. The Feedback Ratio (amount of Feedback returned based on all types of approval) is 24%.

Most requested status changes regularly. Books listed in this article were among the most requested on November 27, 2023.

Top Performing Cooking, Food & Wine

** “Top Performers” refers to the amount of Feedback titles received. Books listed in this article were among the Top Performers in September 2023.

Case Study: Wine Witch on Fire by Natalie MacLean

Hailed as a heartfelt and inspiring journey, Dundurn Press promoted what would become a National Bestseller on NetGalley pre-publication. Here’s what NetGalley members toast to about Wine Witch on Fire

  • 90 feedback as of November 2023
  • Nearly 1,600 impressions
  • 80% of Media/Journalists said they are interested in the author for interviews/events
  • 96% of Reviewers would recommend this book/author to their audience
  • 81 four and five star reviews on NetGalley

Buzz Beyond NetGalley

Promotions for Cooking, Food & Wine

Launch your frontlist or leverage your backlist! We have both on-site and email promotions for every budget, goal, and type of book. Learn more or view the full Media Kit here.

This newsletter was sent to over 24,200 members who are interested in Cooking, Food & Wine, and saw a 39% open rate!

Information in this article is from September 2023unless otherwise specified. Data includes details from NetGalley.com.

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