As some of you already know, I am a very new indie author and am learning more each day. Today, I came across an interesting proposition from the publisher that I worked with to produce a children's book that I wrote with my son (The Magic Seeds).
With a straight face, the marketing person tried to sell me a package of 3 guaranteed reviews for $3,000. Then proceeded to get a 'special' price for me and came down to $1,500. What I did get out of this experience is the names of the reviewers this publisher is utilizing for these "credible" book reviews.
When I checked each site, the prices were cheaper to deal directly with each review site but the cost is still quite high. Kirkus Indie wants $425 for a review that will be ready in 7-9 weeks. BlueInk wants $395; same turnaround time. And ForeWord/Clarion wants $335 for a 6-8 week turnaround.
So, being new, I went digging for what indie insiders & others in the publishing industry say. I found here.'s article and it was not favorable towards paid reviews, no matter the review site's credibility. Read the post
But what is the consensus here on BB? I saw a post that was going on in Dec 2011 and there were mixed reviews. Please help me understand this complex topic. We need reviews for our indie books but we shouldn't pay for it because it's not honest. Yet, I've found in the last few weeks of trying to get reviews that many good bloggers and sites are at their capacity and are not reviewing books right now. And, if they are, the review turnaround time is months away (summertime).
Please help me understand. Am I missing something here?
I have found bloggers to be very responsive (a tad slow) but responsive. Even when they say no, I've experienced several bloggers referring me to other sites/bloggers for a review. Paying it forward! I love it.
Checked out your blog and am following you. Just curious. Do you do blog tours mainly for your YA base?
It's a tough subject. Ethically, I'm against paid book reviews, but if I was marketing a book I would definitely look at things from a different angle.
As a blogger, I'll never charge for reviews. My opinion is my own, it's down the line and can't be bought.
However, if I was an author I'd definitely be looking for my best ROI, and sadly I think a lot of blogs just don't give you that great a publicity boost for the time and effort it takes to find those willing to review.
Tough call - but it's all a matter of perspective. You're doing the right thing in any case - always research your options!
Matthew - Bibliofreak.net - A Book Review Blog
It is tough Matthew! But, I am finally getting reviews for my work in. Over the weekend, 3 reviews came in (one for each book!). So, yes it does take time and effort but in the end I think it's worth it.
Also, following you! Pls saunter over to my blog and see my latest.
I don't rate paid reviews. I'd much prefer to hear what a book blogger/reader has to say on a book. I don't beleive anyone should have to pay for reviews... Marketing? Yes. But not for reviews.
I'd say to use your budget (whatever that might be) to send books out to bloggers/reviewers/media to review, though I beleive most traditional publishers do this anyway. However, a lot of authors send out review copies too.
Sometimes you do need to plan in advance for sending out review copies. I know I've put my name on lists for review copies that I don't get for a few months. I'll also get review copies sent out a couple of months before release date.
There are plenty of good bloggers out there who will accept review copies and this site is definitely one that can help you find them. GoodReads.com is another... They have an option to giveaway books for their readers to review.
I have had great success over the last three years, and bloggers were the first to help me get started. I realize there might be more blogs for romance books than children's books, but regardless, you can do so much more with that kind of cash to promote yourself. I would never pay for a review, because at the end of the day, your best piece of promotion is a good book. It will sell itself if you can get it the right hands.
Have you searched for blogs that review children's books? Even if it's not a book review site, blogs about raising children etc. will often post a review if you ask them to. Like many bloggers they are looking for material for their site.
Keep at it, and you will see a return, but you can get plenty of reviews for free with a little work. Good luck!
That's another thing I'm seeing. It's not about things happening overnight. It does take time in the indie world. Time and effort. But you know what they say about things that are worth it...
Following you on Twitter via @NotebkBlogairy.
Thanks Carole! I get it now. I'm beginning to creep up on the time btwn receiving a book and getting the review out. And I just started 6 weeks ago! So, I can only imagine as time goes on and ppl start emailing you constantly. I'll email you.
I am a blogger and I do reviews, I do not charge for my reviews. To me its a hobby and charging just doesnt seem right, however, I only do Paranormal and YA but I am sure if you keep looking you should be able to find one that will work with you. As for not being able to get to it til Summer that I can relate to as I myself am also booked till July. Hope this can be of some help.
Thanks, Amber! I'm definitely learning that it takes time to develop a readership in the indie market! Read a fab article by Rachelle Gardner in PW today that totally addresses almost every concern we writers have -- indie or traditional! the 7 Bad Habits of Successful Authors. You'll laugh til you cry b/c you don't want to cry.