You may have noticed my tweets lately about NetGalley and its update.
It's been a while since they updated the site to add flags to the books and the option for publishers to add preferences. It goes like this: Members in _____ are preferred. Out-of-region requests will likely be declined due to territory rights.
The states usually mentioned are UK, US, or Australia with New Zealand. And don't get me wrong, I understand this. Mostly the books come from these states, and territory rights are a big issue here. But what if you do not live in any of these states? I usually get an email with a decline, along with a tip to try the other-country version. And I get neither. I think I requested 3 different copies of Panic by Lauren Oliver and got none.
Is there no out-of-region version? There are a LOT of users of services like NetGalley and Edelweiss for instance, that live in other states. Like the rest of Europe. Where do we fall in here? There's a lot of European bloggers, and big ones, too. And we'd love to get ARCs sometimes as well, to read something before it comes out officially.
Every time I log on NG now, I am afraid to request something because of the flags and preference wishes. Do I click UK or US version? Do I wait if another comes up? Do I try both? Do I try neither and just live with it? Do you think me greedy? Please don't. I don't request much, and only books I am really sure I'd like or ones that I have been waiting on for ages. Now I request even less because I am afraid to request. Is it even worth it? I have been declined for all the books I requested since the update.
Before the update, I got a few books. I don't get all, I don't even get many. I also started to request less because I have a lot to read, still. But sometimes a book comes on I have been waiting for for months. And I get super excited, and I wish to get it as much as everyone else. But due to being out of region, I am declined. And quite frankly, I don't find this fair. It's e-books, it costs nothing to send them. And if you wish me to hold with the review for the pub date, I will. Not a problem. But it'd be nice to even be able to get a copy. We live in 2014. Globalization is in full swing. We can share anything and everything online. Yet there are still territory restrictions.
Why were territory rights rarely an issue before? I won't name names, but I have been recently declined by a publisher that previously approved all my requests without a problem. So what changed? I haven't moved, and neither have they, yet suddenly I don't qualify anymore because of territory. Are rights really such a big issue here? Can someone explain this to me?!
Don't even get me started on 'We do not ship to Slovenia.' I live in Europe. In 2014. And I can barely get anything online. It recently happened with The Works. I love how their books are cheap and I'd like to share this joy despite living across the pond. I had my basket full of books, a promo code and everything. I was 2 steps away from buying a box of books I have been wanting for a while. Alas, nothing happened besides me disappointingly closing the page down. No shipping to Slovenia. I cannot even get some of these books in my country. And I am probably not the only one. So having an online service that would help me with that would be super helpful! Not to mention I would be paying for it. I am prepared to PAY. So where is the problem? Again. 2014, people.
I am pretty sure a lot of fellow bloggers can find themselves in this post. I really wish book world would be a bit more flexible for foreign readers. Isn't it a goal to spread the books as wide as possible? To make sure anyone anywhere can enjoy them? Sadly, we're still far from there.
I am not writing this to rage, or to point fingers and be mean. I am just pointing out how inflexible the world of books can be. We all she the love for books. So why would you 'discriminate' the majority of the world? I wrote this in hopes for a change, not to make anyone out as racist or any other silliness that might jump in people's minds at this. It's just a show of how globalization is sometimes failing miserably like we're still in 1999.
On a happier note, happy World Book Day! I hope you're reading something fabulous!