Reviews are one of the most trusted forms of marketing for any product or service, and in the world of books, they’re even more valuable. They help establish trust and authority between Author and Reader. People often decide to buy a book based on consumer reviews, editorial reviews or professional book reviews…even because of the blurb (or quote) on the back cover of a book.
What Is the Difference Between a Professional, or Editorial, Review, and a Verified Book Review?
Many people refer to the reviews one gets from a publication or book critic as editorial—or professional—reviews. These differ from the reviews one gets from a reader or consumer who purchased and read the book. Amazon calls these latter types of reviews verified reviews.
Professional reviews from publications such as The New York Times, Midwest Book Review, Kirkus, Books That Make You and other professional sources are generally done before, or shortly after, a book’s release. They are considered honest reviews from a trusted review site, and tend to carry a lot of clout. Especially in today’s saturated and competitive marketplace.
Where Do Authors and Publishers Get Advanced Editorial Book Reviews?
One sure-fire way is to go to trusted professional sites that offer reviews that authors can use in the marketing of their book.
Here is a list of suggestions for book reviews, with information about each site, costs and other features. To further emphasize: this list of book review sites is designed to help authors find book reviews to use on the back cover of their book, on an author’s website, in the book’s press release, in background materials, social media, and other marketing and promotional book materials.
- Books That Make You Reviews
If you’re looking for a reputable site that offers affordable book reviews, then Books That Make You is a great place to start. The website draws an average of 10,000 visitors per month, and features an award-winning radio show and podcast, as well as popular social media sites. The Books That Make You Instagram profile has approximately 40,000 followers, and the monthly Books That Make You newsletter goes to a list of over 20,000 readers. They also have a strong presence on Facebook and TikTok, and are renowned for their online author events such as The BookFest, the Beach-Bound Book Bash and Jingle Books.
Reviews are 500 words in length, professionally witten and optimized for SEO, and include a do-follow back link to the book page on the author’s website, or any other relevant site. Reviews are also posted on the Books That Make You website, and may be quoted from and used on a book’s back cover, on websites, or in other promotional book material.
Cost: Book Review – $375.
- Kirkus Reviews
A well-established trade book review publication, Kirkus offers reviews from librarians and journalists as well as other professional reviewers. Your book should be submitted as digital galleys or e-books at least 4-5 months before the publication date. It must also be new adult fiction, general-audience nonfiction, or a children’s and teen book.
Authors can expect to reviews to be promoted on the Kirkus website. They’re also sent out to the Kirkus email mailing list, as well as 20 licensees such Barnes & Noble and Google Books.
Cost: From $425 (standard review) to $575 (express review).
- Readers Favorite
One of the internet’s best-known book review websites, Readers Favorite offers free quality reviews and a free, feature-rich review page. They review manuscripts (published and unpublished), books, ebooks, audiobooks, poetry books, comic books, graphic novels, and short stories. The review will be posted on their site and on social media. To ensure a review, or for a faster turnaround time, Readers Favorite also offers paid reviews.
A Readers Favorite book review is placed on their website. You may also get a Five Star digital seal (if you get a 5-star review), plus publicity on their website. If your book gets a poor review, it won’t get posted and you will instead receive private constructive criticism. This means that, if the author has the time, Readers Favorite reviews are a good way to get a free evaluation of a manuscript before publication.
Cost: There are paid options as well as the free option. A free review request has a 65% chance of getting chosen after the book is submitted. The waiting time is about three months. If one does not have the time, a paid review starts at $59 – a guaranteed review in two weeks, which includes an extra Mini-Critique.
BookTrib.com is a hub for emerging and established authors to showcase their work, and to reach greater audiences. They write reviews for fiction, non-fiction, thrillers, YA, romance, audiobooks, self-help, and children’s books.
Depending on the chosen package, one gets a book review and an author profile page. There are social media and Amazon Review campaigns, too.
Cost: $375 for the Promote Your Book Program
$1,500 for the Amazon Review Campaign
- Book Life
Part of Publishers Weekly, BookLife is a site dedicated to the world of self-publishing. It has tips, reviews, profiles, and destinations for authors and readers. They accept any book in the English language as long as 150,000 words that is or will soon be commercially available in the United States.
Books receive a 300-word review that includes a variety of marketing insights and useful information, all crafted by a professional Publishers Weekly reviewer who is considered an expert in the book’s given genre or field.
- Indie Reader
Here, one can send the book before or after publication, and a team of professional reviewers will give the book constructive criticism.
Not only do you get a professional review for your book, you also get a chance to be posted on the site’s “Best Reviewed Books of the Month” feature.
Good luck in your quest for your editorial book reviews! If you find yourself in need of a larger book promotional strategy, talk to the team at Black Château about the Author Network and other retainer packages for a comprehensive strategy.