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 went to those site as well just see what they were all about. I will never ever pay any for a review. There are so many bookclubs and readers that are looking to have free book to read. That's what I did. I looked around for bookclub, radio station and I got my review for free. I must say that from my reviews and my radio interview I have 80 added who bought my book and 200 hundred who got my e-book, and all from free reviewers.
That's awesome! Guerilla Marketing -- love it. I recall reading another of your posts where you mentioned communicating with book clubs and I did reach out to a few. Still waiting for responses. What I'm seeing is that indie publishing takes time and effort; one must be consistent and persistent!
As a book reviewer, I don't think you should ever pay for a book review unless you are doing a book blog tour. There are a ton of databases where you can search for reviewers to read your book for free. just do a google search for the genre your book is in and blogs should pop up and just email the blog and ask them to do a review.
Thanks! I have been emailing and getting sporadic responses. In the last couple of days, some reviewers have shown interest. For one, their availability to read my work is not open until several weeks from now. So, I wait. :-))
I think Kirkus would be worth it; it's a big name and will help you if you're trying to market your book to bookstores/libraries. I'd assume that Kirkus always charges but that with traditionally published books, the publisher absorbs that fee rather than the author. The folks at Kirkus are professional reviewers and they get more respect in the industry than bloggers.
You shouldn't pay for reviews from bloggers. We do this for fun. :)
Just make sure you find people who review books from your genre and send out some queries. Some will accept, some won't, but it'll help you get the word out about your book.
Kirkus would be awesome! But, I'm not paying for it. Clearly a move such as this (even for Kirkus) will put my integrity on the line.
Thank you for sharing your post about honest reviews. I totally get it. I will not be paying for reviews as I've stated earlier in this thread. Again, I am new and am learning day by day. Since I am not an award-winning author like you are, so I still need to communicate with bloggers to get reviews the traditional indie way. I would like to shoot for 2-5 reviews for each of my books. To me, that is acceptable and not being manipulative. As many of the other members here have expressed in this thread and other forums on BB, just to do that takes a good amount of effort at no one's cost except the writer's. I will very much be able to look in the mirror at myself after doing 100 review requests for each of my books.
Thanks Shawn & I'm following your blog as well!
In my opinion you SHOULD never pay for a book review. I think the money and efforts would be better off going towards marketing your work.
I would do this:
1. You have websites like Book Sneeze, check it out!
2. Reach out to 100 book bloggers, 10 of them will reply and provide reviews for you. See the link below for the book bloggers who will review the books for you.
3. Make sure to list the reviews of your book where ever you are selling the book.
I hope it helps!
Online book giveaways
One hundred -- great, I have a target number to shoot for. To date, I've sent out 32 review requests for Opening Up and so far 4 reviewers said they would do a review.
Thanks! Also, I'm following you on Twitter.
One more thing which just struck me, if you can get reviews for your book from famous to semi famous authors that would help you a lot! Just another suggestion!
So now I have to befriend famous authors! LOL. The life of an indie author. Thanks Vish.
I am trying to make friends online through various social media but you have to allow things to develop naturally, you know?
My name is Rachel and I have young adult book blog where I review YA books. Now I certainly cannot speak for all book bloggers out there, but I never ask for payment for my review. I believe that if you are donating the book to me then I should review it for free.
The only thing I do charge for is for organizing book blog tours, because they are a lot of work to organize, and I am only charging for my time to organize the tour. I do not charge $500 like I have seen some literary PR companies charge, my rates are pretty affordable since I mainly organize tours for self-published or Indie authors.