Paid or Free Book Reviews

Launching our book, Two Wins for Wiley, this week was an awesome experience. It is also a little scary when you put your book out in the world. We naturally want everyone to love our book, but realistically we know that not everyone will. Reviews are essential, but when you receive 8 requests to review your book in one week, each with a different price tag attached, you begin to wonder are paid or free book reviews worth it?

Whether you realize it or not, you use reviews in your every day life. They help you make decisions about the things you’re unsure about. It is the same for book reviews. Paid or free book reviews might boost your book sales. Think about it–when you go to buy a book, what is the first thing you do? Read the reviews.

Paid Book Reviews

Trade publications are read by booksellers, librarians, and others who work inside the industry and provide pre-publication reviews of traditionally published books. With the increase of self-publishing, some trade publications have started paid review programs for self-published authors. A professional example would be Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus is a credible, industry-recognized resource among authors, publishers, the media, libraries, booksellers, and readers.  It costs $425 for a review in 7-9 weeks, or $575 for an expedited turnaround of 4-6 weeks. For that, you get a review of between 250 and 300 words, without any guarantee it will be positive. Kirkus reviews are in high demand, prestigious, and rare. They are definitely worth bragging about.

Does it make sense for us to pay for a trade book review? Our answer was no. Our book, Two Wins for Wiley is available on Amazon. A better way to sell more books on Amazon, or through online retail, is to generate as many reader reviews as possible.

Reader (non-professional) reviews. I understand and respect those who make a living as paid book reviewers, it’s considered unethical to pay for reader reviews posted on Amazon or other sites.

Free Book Reviews

The easiest way to get book reviews is to ask for them. Few people realize how important book reviews are to authors. There are probably many people who enjoyed your book and would be willing to write about it if you ask them. We asked our launch team members to post a review.

GoodReads is a social media site for book lovers. Their book giveaways are a good way to increase exposure and create hype. Goodreads requires participants to add the book to their wish list, and they also remind winners to leave reviews. They offer several packages at different price points, depending on how many promotional options you want.

Social Media

Social media is a great way to remind your followers that your book is ready for reviews. Use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or whatever social media assets you have to keep your book present in people’s minds. You can try these:

Add the book to your email signature

Pin a tweet requesting reviews at the top of your Twitter feed

Put your book in the header of your Facebook and Twitter profiles

I hope this information will help you in deciding whether paid or free book reviews are best for your book!

Requests …

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One last request …

If you were able to look at the book and enjoyed it, can you leave a short review?

Reviews should only be 1-2 sentences and should take about 30 seconds to leave and would make a huge difference for me. Need help? Click here.

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