Netgalley is certainly not a household name, but it’s a company that specializes in providing their members with thousands of free e-books before they are officially released. They do this because authors and publishers want feedback if the digital title has any content errors, additionally they hope you will write a review and hype the title in advance.
Joining Netgalley is free and most of their e-book titles can be automatically downloaded as soon as you register. Select titles from major publishers have an approval process, but most casual readers who just want to download stuff for free are often never denied.
Once you register and make an account you can browse by genres or by assembled book lists by the editors. You can save your favorite authors or publishers and automatically get notified when they submit a new title.
One of the biggest changes the company recently made was developing a digital watermarking system that publishers and indie authors can opt into. This will allow you to download an e-book and load it on your e-reader, smartphone or tablet without the need of external programs.
If you have never heard of the term before, a watermark or social DRM is imperceptible to the average book reader because the underlying technology is invisible to the naked eye. The way it handles data can take two distinctive forms: personal information about the user who purchased the eBook (such as an email address) or an ID number that the distributor can use to look up the user or transaction in a database and is otherwise meaningless.
Many people get free e-books from Amazon, the library or other sources online. Netgalley offers a legitimate way for you to download all of the e-books you want, with the understanding that you will write a review. Not everyone does this of course, but I wanted to let you all know about a tremendously viable alternative to downloading pirated e-books.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.