What if I don’t finish reading or listening to a book (DNF)?

Please only use Will Not Give Feedback if you didn’t finish a book for any reason and are unable to provide constructive feedback about why you stopped reading. However, please first read the information below and consider if you can submit a review instead.


Not every book is suited to every reader—and that’s OK! Even if a book didn’t fit your personal reading tastes, there’s a chance it may appeal to other readers, and your review could help them discover it. For a book that you didn’t finish, try to provide constructive feedback about why you did not finish, and/or suggest a potential audience for that book.

Before you begin writing, we recommend consulting these resources: the NetGalley Review Guidelines, how to write a critical book review, and our Anti-Harassment and Hate Speech Policy. Make sure your review includes details about why you stopped reading, and where in the book you stopped reading.

Constructive feedback should explain in detail how you felt about the content/story itself. The review should describe how you felt about different elements of the book, both positive and critical, but in a non-aggressive and useful way. Constructive feedback offers specific and actionable advice and includes specific examples, possibly with locations in the book noted.

Constructive feedback can include, but is not limited to: 

  • A short description of what the book is about (but needs to be followed by your opinions—make sure your review isn’t just a plot summary!)
  • How you felt about the character development (were there any characters you particularly liked or disliked, and why?)
  • How you felt about the pacing of the book
  • What kind of reader you think might enjoy it
  • How the setting/place/time of the story did or didn’t work for you
  • Was the book predictable, or did it keep you guessing? 

Reviews (in general) should not include:

  • Mentions of file or formatting issues (please note: many NetGalley books are pre-publication and have not yet reached their final stages of editing. Please contact NetGalley with any support-related feedback, such as file or download issues).
  • Assumptions, abuse, insults, or critiques about the author (remember, you’re rating the book, not the author!)
  • Judgemental, cruel, or unkind comments
  • Generic or general statements (ex. “This is boring”)
  • Subjective bias - just because it's not what you prefer, doesn’t mean it's wrong (ex. rating a book in a specific genre lower simply because you don’t typically like that genre)
  • Spoilers or Plagiarism

Providing constructive feedback, especially on a book you did not finish, could have a larger impact than you expect! A great example is this interview with Cynthia Shannon, the former Senior Marketing Manager of Food and Lifestyle at Chronicle Books, where she shared a story about how critical early reviews of a cookbook helped to change her team’s marketing plan. Since the DRC is not a final version of the book, your constructive feedback does have the potential to impact the finished book in a positive way. 


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