I would love to hear some opinions on this question because I really struggle with whether or not to pony up the 400 smackers to have my book professionally reviewed. Let’s face it, a reputable book review source, especially for an Indie author, can be a great way to attach credibility and the promise of quality to your book that doesn’t come from your own self-serving mouth or your less-than-famous name.
A positive book review is something you can slap on all your collateral and sales material, even on the book itself.
A positive book review makes the prospective reader’s job that much easier. It allows everyone to relax because a higher power has deemed that the book you’re about to read is fine…maybe even, Saints be praised, good! And if you, as an unknown Indie author, had to pay for that review, not unlike how you had to pay to get your prose line-edited and your cover designed, well, isn’t that just the cost of doing business as an Indie? If you’re like me, I can just see you fantasizing about the 14-point bold type tripping across your book cover above the title: “Storytelling that tingles the spine and enchants the soul…” Kirkus Review. It’s a lovely dream. Except for two teeny tiny little points:
Point Number One. Kirkus Review is not a paid review service and they don’t review Indies. Kirkus Indie, on the other hand, does. The good news, is that you get the name “Kirkus” one way or the other. The bad news is that you’ll pay $425 for a review in 7-9 week and $575 for 3-4 week turnaround.
Oh, yeah. Point Number Two. There’s no guarantee the review will be positive.
If you don’t contest the benefits of positive reviews and being able to use them to promote your book, then you probably know you need to be spending more time asking for them. Whether you pay for that review and take the chance on it being favorable or not (a bad review is a painful way to spend $400) depends on the state of your checking account and how strongly you believe in your book. There are, of course, studies out there that will support the belief that even a bad review is better than no review when it comes to creating visibility for your book.
Well? Anybody who paid for a review and was happy or not happy?
Here are a few more links to check out on the subject. (BTW: When I checked out BlueInk Review, they wanted $395 for a 7-9 week response or $495 for the review in 4-5 weeks. (I don’t know about you, but if I’m paying $400, I want to be able to use the name Kirkus on my sales materials.))