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Kirkus will provide a review of an indie book for $425. Any thoughts?

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Interestingly, those 'free' reviews from places such as Kirkus really aren't free.  Publishers pay for them by buying advertising.  No ad, no review.  Otherwise, they couldn't afford to review books.

No doubt.  In the same way in which publishers pay for shelf space in stores.  It's the way they do business.  But the situation changes when it's the author who pays for the reviews or who gets family and friends to post 5-star reviews on Amazon.  You don't get honest feedback that way. For that matter, all the trade publications are capable of writing scathing reviews in spite of the publishers having bought ads.  Kirkus has the reputation of being particularly nasty.

Being new to self-publishing I purchased a Kirkus Indie review before I should have.  First I should have given my book to a dozen people and received reader feedback, after which I would have tweaked the book and sent it for a review.  I wrote a first book in a series and did not make it initially clear it was a series.  My reviewer said the ending felt incomplete.  Which was true, but unusable in a review.  Getting anyone to review a book is tough.  You may be paying for Kirkus, but it is a known publication and if you receive a good review it has value on your book jacket.  However paying for a review in no way means getting a good review.  If you pay for a review and it is negative you will second guess yourself and the book.  

My advise is to first solicit professional and personal (friends) reviews you will trust.  

Good Luck.

Oh, certainly.  That's a given.


But again, there are two different sets of Kirkus reviews here.  If you use the paid-for version, you need to make it clear that it isn't the other trade review Kirkus.

Still this illustrates that all Kirkus reviews, even if not solicited and paid for, are no longer reliable.

You are correct, I.J. and Kirkus makes this very clear in the agreement they send to author. And when I quote the review I always attribute it to "Kirkus Discoveries" because that's what they called it then.

I can think of a lot better ways to spend $425. If you spent it on hookers and blow, for instance, you'd have a great time AND you'd be able to write about it afterwards. Or you could fly to Vegas and buy into a Hold 'Em tournament--at least then you'd have a chance of winning your money back.

Umm, would those be MALE hookers Jon?

No author should ever pay for a review.

Can you expand on this?

What's to expand on? It's just my opinion. I feel like paying for a review makes it worthless. You want a review done on its own merit and you shouldn't have to pay as an author.

Stacy, Where have your books been reviewed?

Susan,all types of places. It would take forever for me to name all those places from all the years I've had reviews, LOL! But I am all over Google so it's easy to find out. I am not self-published and never have been so I do admit it's been easier to get reviews in more places than SP authors.  I've had reviews done by magazines, bloggers, book clubs, etc. I am a black author so I also have had tons of reviews and promotion done by black reviewers and black promotion people that are geared toward black readers that unless you're familiar with that part of the industry, might not know of the movers and shakers.

I was with Simon and Schuster for a while and now I am with a small house but still have access to more reviewers than I would if I'd self-published. But don't think they got me all my reviews. They helped a bit but I still went out there and got a lot of reviews set up and I know it would've been hard to do that being self-published.

 I feel that no author should have to pay. If they want to, that's their choice but when places charge SP authors for reviews it's nothing more than these places trying to take advantage. If I was a SP author, I wouldn't wanna have to pay for a review because it says, "Well we don't value you enough as an author to offer you a review like the commercial published authors." It's disrespectful in my opinion and I'd think SP authors would want more respect from reviewers.

But that's just my opinion...


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