Edelweiss a beginner's guide

Edelweiss: From A Beginner’s Perspective

Hi everyone!

So I noticed in the comments on my review of Furyborn by Claire Legrand last week that Edelweiss didn’t seem to be in many people’s good graces, especially in comparison to NetGalley – which I actually really understand.

When I first joined Edelweiss a few months back I hated it, so much. I didn’t understand it. It didn’t look as nice as NetGalley. It didn’t work the same way. Aesthetically, and in terms of feeding back your review, I have to say NetGalley had the edge and I didn’t get how so many bloggers used it. And more than that, I didn’t get how they liked it. But those weren’t my main issues.

I might be alone in this but if I’m honest, Edelweiss in my first experience felt too … professional? I wasn’t sure if that was the word for it but NetGalley felt like an open forum, a place all were welcome and would be considered equally. The questions and account process for Edelweiss felt like a job profile and as a brand new blogger, frankly, I felt inadequate and like I wouldn’t have a chance in a world where I was asked to list my affiliates in the publishing industry (that’s none, by the by). Something about Edelweiss made me feel like I’d walked into a black tie even in trainers that lit up when I walked.

Then, ironically, I got declined on NetGalley for a copy of – guess what? – Furyborn by Claire Legrand! (Weird, right?). I accidentally saw, during one of my fruitless and frustrating attempts at browsing Edelweiss that Furyborn was available for request on there too. Well, I’m usually okay with rejection, after all I had been declined for books before but I really wanted that one, so I resorted to my life’s motto that got me the job that funds this blog – “The worst thing they can say is ’No.’”

I tried a new tack, up to this point I had been trying to put my round NetGalley shaped peg into a square Edelweiss shaped hole and I was coming up short, but I decided to look at it again and these a few of the things I learned.

Quick disclaimer, I am by no means an expert on either Edelweiss or NetGalley.

I mean sure, my approval ratings for books I want are okay, 69% on Edelweiss & 64% on NG, but still, as a reviewer, I’m still in my infancy. These as the title suggests are my observations as a Beginner and are things I feel I would have liked to know when I first got Edelweiss and nearly dismissed it. I may very well be using it like a neanderthal for all I know.

TOP TIP: in the top left corner there is a switch that says ‘Use New Homepage’ – I keep that turned off because I like the old one better, that’s just me but it’s easy to switch between the two.

Profile is Everything

A no-brainer, I know but I think due to the ease of use of NetGalley and the fact it provides you (and publishers) with your reviewer ‘stats’ (feedback ratio, approval rating, etc.) I had underestimated the importance of my profile on that platform. As a result, I think I may have half-arsed it.

However, considering that even when my feedback ratio was at it’s all time low and I had zero track record and I was still being approved for all the hottest releases I get the idea NG publishers issuing ARCs don’t always pay attention to the profiles of their reviewers, that or they overcompensate and adjust send out hundreds.

Either way, Edelweiss doesn’t have all that – I mean I’m positive it shows publishers your statistics but you don’t see them (that I’ve been able to see), your profile is just that, it’s you, what you’re presenting and I kind of realised half-arsing was no longer an option for me.

For all their 20 questions about affiliations and publishing contacts, setting up as a small, independent Edelweiss Reviewer actually doesn’t seem like a detriment to your profile at all. Evelina @ Avalinah’s Books did this really great post with tips on improving your profile on both platforms and they’re super useful and worth looking at because if I’m honest mine is probably not up to scratch.

Edelweiss Profile

Given my limited scope of experience, my hope really was to just create a profile that reflected enough of my personality and passion to outshine my inexperience. Mine, you will also notice if you compare it to those in Evelina’s example, is much shorter. This is just my personal preference and I am a natural born waffler and I feel, if I were one of the people sifting through a mountain of requests, I would rather something short and sweet. That and I think my stats would be more of a hindrance than a help when requesting.

‘There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something …

… You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.’

This isn’t strictly perfect advice when it comes to Edelweiss, in my experience, but I like the quote. If you have heard about a particular book being available for request searching for it will get you to the right place but it’s rare I go to any ARC platform with an exact idea of what I want. Edelweiss differs slightly from NetGalley in that is shows its entire catalogue of books, ARCs and non-ARCs alike together, all jumbled up, in a mess it alone understands (well, so far as I can tell it’s organised by publisher but being the dreadful book blogger I am, I rarely remember which publisher goes with which book unless it’s a favourite). This basically means if you want to browse the ARCs you need to stick to the ‘Review Copies Page’, mess around with the filters in the left sidebar and have a good scroll.

Edelweiss 1.png

I like to just look at those available and ‘Sort’ them by date added for the most recent ones, for more popular books, Sort by ‘Reviews’ in descending order.

Edelweiss 2.png

Why, Why, Why, Delilah

When you find something you like, go ahead and click Request and the below window will pop up. I didn’t bother with this the first few times because as you know, NetGalley has those nice little tick boxes when you request a book, no writing involved. As time went on, I realised this was one of the few ways I could really differentiate myself from other requesters and really – and this was especially great – made me think about why I wanted that book.

Edelweiss 3

With NetGalley, I go on request spree after request spree and I end up with piles of books and I look at them when I have to read them and think – why did I request this again? (Me to Me: The cover was pretty, that’s why, idiot). Having to do this has made sure I end up with books I really want. I never write much (keeping with my short and sweet, like a biscuit theme) but a sentence or two serves me well.

I’m the King Queen of the World!

Okay, so I’m well aware as a UK based reviewer I am afforded more opportunity and luxury than many international bloggers but even we don’t get much of a look in on the US market, which is the largest and usually where most of the books I buy and read come from. With NetGalley’s new domains for different regions, getting US ARCs is nigh impossible for me and it wouldn’t be such an issue but I really love DC Comics and many other US publishers and I don’t stand a chance when I ‘Wish for it’ – I hate that stupid button.

Edelweiss changes that. In the top left corner – next to the ‘New Homepage’ switch, there is a little menu button that reads ‘[Insert Region Here] Trade (Language)’.

Edelweiss 4

Mine is almost permanently set to US because NG’s coverage of the UK is pretty sufficient – and the drop of available Review Copies when you switch to the UK Trade is insane (DRCs Available drop from 3,171 to 674) – but there are many options I’m yet to even explore – see below.

Edelweiss 5

To put it plainly, it offers opportunities hard to come by elsewhere and I suddenly realised why so many bloggers use the site, it levels the playing field more than any of the other platforms I use.

Send-to-Kindle works too!

Through sheer potluck, the first book I got was an Adobe Digital Edition, a format I have a history of issues with, but the majority of books are available as send-to-kindle documents which are my preferred format, and it set up the same way you set it up on NetGalley.

Counterintuitive as it seems …

When you’re done with your title, this button actually means write your review.

Edelweiss 6

I know, the pen makes way more sense – don’t get me started.

The review layout is a bit more convoluted than NetGalley’s, but it’s easy enough and lets you be more in depth. It also took me an embarrassingly long time to realise, submitting a review is great and all but it helps if you actually tick the box to submit it to the Publisher (right corner) and often there is a little yellow zero that when clicked produces a drop down and let you send your review to Indie Next and SIBA (I think this is the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance – but I’m not sure).

Edelweiss 7

And Finally … (see my earlier comment about waffling)

Growing A Portfolio

I like that I can submit reviews for books I didn’t even get from Edelweiss. It makes me look better and gives a better scope of what my style is like and I wish NetGalley would let you do the same.

Being honest, the layout doesn’t exactly grow on you but the range can’t be faulted and is every bit as good as NetGalley. I’ll continue to use both and hope this maybe encourages some of you to give it another try. I never stray from the Review Copies page and I don’t bother making shelves so I probably don’t get the most out of the site but these are just my experiences.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Until next time!

40 thoughts on “Edelweiss: From A Beginner’s Perspective

    • You should! Theyre very intuitive once you get into it but take a look at other book blog posts about them there are so many great tips yo get the most of what you personally want out of them, good luck! 😊

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  1. Thanks for your thoughts and tips. I actually prefer Edelweiss but I think that’s because I also use it for collection development at my day job (librarian) so I am used to using interfaces like this. I do think it is, as you said, more professional, which may be appealing for some but not for others. I think once folks get the hang of Edelweiss, it is a powerful tool and allows for lots of personalization of lists, collections, notes, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never really used Edelweiss, I have the account but I’ve always had enough to read on Netgalley that I don’t really use it. The only reason I got my account is because some of the publishers I work with send their eARCs through there. This was a lovely and informative post and most definitely helped me out to navigate it as a beginner.

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    • Thanks I’m glad it helped! I get plenty off NetGalley too I tend to use Edelweiss for the US angle since I don’t get many other places to request US books otherwise 😊

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  3. I struggle with EW – I get approved for a fraction of what I request and my ratio there is 90% as I’ve mainly used them for blog tours before I started requested on my own. I am glad to see your post as I cannot find my way through their maze…

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    • I haven’t even bothered to calculate my feedback ratio on there, I doubt it’s very good! 😂 I hope it’s helpful, I’m not an expert but I’m very well practiced in stumbling around their site lost!

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  4. Thanks for your post. I still don’t like Edelweiss. I find it just unpleasant to use. I opened an account in 2015 and think I requested one book, got accepted for one book, but I’ve never used it since. I prefer Netgalley. I’ve only ever been turned down for a book twice on Netgalley – my first two requests. After that all others have been accepted.

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    • Ah well, that’s fair enough – My approval is more consistent through NG but sometimes I like to hedge my bets and request on both – I’m glad you have a platform you love!

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  5. Thank you for sharing my post! 🙂 yeah, I think Edelweiss IS actually much more professional, because the review copies are a smaller part of it – it’s also used for ordering books and for libraries, and whatnot. So not just review copies. That’s why it’s so complicated, I believe xD that’s a good comparison about the black tie event 😀 this is a great post 🙂

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    • Thank you, for writing that post it was a huge help when I wrote my own profile. I was just seeing a lot of my own feelings when I first joined it were shared by others and thought I’d add my hat to the ring because it is worth the hassle once you get into it. Thanks, I’m glad you like it!

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  6. The first time I tried Edelweiss I was so overwhelmed and honestly felt so stupid. And I haven’t touched it since. But you make it sound actually quite doable and I’ll definitely try it out again. I especially like the option to specify the region (US etc)
    Thanks for this post, it was most helpful!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to hear it! I know how you felt, I’m just so used to rubbish IT systems by now I’m an expert at “just click anything and see what hsppens” – hope take 2 works out better! 😊

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  7. Thank you so much for this post! I feel the same way about Edelweiss – I have gotten some exciting approvals through them, but for the most part I feel like three kids in a trenchcoat trying to sneak into a cocktail party. I hate to admit it, but you blew my mind with the idea of posting reviews for books that I wasn’t approved for on the site. I’m going to add my other reviews now to try to improve my profile. Thanks so much!

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  8. I’ve come across many ppl saying they didn’t like Edelweiss and all the usual qualms they have about the site. On the one hand, I do agree that they’re valid issues but on the other, I actually kinda love the site. Both ARC sites have their own pros. Edelweiss appeals to me cuz they approve books that are hot in US to the intl readers, while NG only has a ‘Wish for this’ option for those same books.

    I’m writing this as I read your post , that way I don’t forget any points 😛

    I thought EW looked intimidatingly professional, too! Like I lacked the creds for requesting there, same as you 😀

    Omg, you got declined on NG and approved on EW for Furyborn TOO??! Whaaaaat.

    I actually like the new look of the site.

    I’d REALLY like to know what EW looks like to the publishers. Like you mentioned, do they see our statistics? What do they look for?

    I’ve always wanted to add someone I know here but never knew their handles on EW.

    Your profile’s not up to scratch?? o.o Mine’s even less detailed than yours!

    *Falls out of bed* Evelina’s is EVEN LONGER??!

    TBH, I found EW’s interface a little overwhelming at first(aren’t all new things like that?) but I quickly got the hang of it(could be cuz I’m natural at techie stuff).

    I agree with you on everything you said about that Request Reason box!

    Lol, same here on that pen icon!

    Well, count me in the same group, too, cuz I didn’t know you could submit your review to the publisher until you mentioned it! But what does sending it to SIBA or the other one mean? I mean, what’s it for?

    Ditto on submitting reviews for non-ARC books.

    I use the Shelves for books I wanna take a 2nd look at to see if I really want to request them and for books that I want but aren’t available for requesting yet(so I can go back and check if anything’s changed easily in one place).

    I just remembered two other points:

    1. You don’t always get an email notification for requested books so you gotta check back on EW periodically.

    2. Some books are available for downloading without needing to request on EW, while the same book on NG needs requesting or, in most cases, labeled ‘Wish For It’.

    Great and informative post, Jordanne! I hope to see you on Edelweiss ;D

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    • So I’m also reading your reply as I write:

      Good to hear I’m not the only one on so many of those points! The new site has grown on me, I use it more now and it isn’t that different. I’m going to try and find you on there as soon as I finish this. I don’t even know, I haven’t been able to figure out how to look at other people’s so I have no frame of reference. Me too on getting the hang of it, I think that’s just how it is with most things. Again, so glad it’s not just me. I don’t really know what it means to send it to them but given the opportunity to send my reviews to anyone imma do it. That’s a good use of shelving and yep, both great points. Also, Edelweiss usually gives you a publisher contact when you’re approved which is useful to have in case you ever need a contact at the publishing house for books not available on an ARC site.

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        • Email them, of course! If you know the book you want and you have the email for an ARC approver from the publisher just send them a nice email asking for the book. It’s never 100% successful everytime but there are loads of ARC request email templates online and it’s just about personalising the basic layout and selling yourself. It’s generally just outlining what book you’d like why you’d like to review it and a bit about you and your blog – the worst thing they can say is no after all.

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            • Either, why not? I end my emails with ‘Should you choose to consider me for this opportunity, I read both electronic ARCs and physical ones.’ because physical ARCs are rare and you’re more likely to be sent an e-ARC since it’s cheaper.

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              • Ok, now I get it. I’ve read about this but didn’t fully think about requesting e-ARCs this way(cuz I know physical ARCs is wishfull thinking since I’m new on the scene and mainly cuz I’m an intl reader). Thanks a bunch, Jordanne! P.S. I’ve added you on EW, although idk what you can do with being friends that you couldn’t already do before 😂 Maybe, if you have many connections or some notable connections in the publishing world it’ll look better for when you’re requesting?

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                • I think it just means the algorithm picks up what your friends are requesting and adds it to your feed, not sure though. I tried to add you but was struggling to find you 🙂 Yeah intl bloggers do struggle which is really why this is a good thing to know if platforms let you down but you do have to really have a book in mind before you reach out. I’ll drop you an email with the few I’ve picked up 🙂

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