Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Michel Sauret – Kirkus Reviews: Is it worth the money?

Kirkus Reviews: Is it worth the money?

The moment your book hits the market, you have to switch gears from writer to book promoter. From artist to business man. As a business man, you’ll have to spend money to market and promote your book, which is no longer a book, but a “product” for public consumption.

That’s a cold way of looking at things, but that’s (unfortunately) how publishers look at the books they release to determine the perfect equation for profit.

When I released “Amidst Traffic,” I became starry-eyed and giddy by the idea of getting my book reviewed by Kirkus, one of the major book reviewers in the industry. I thought for sure that Kirkus would love the book, pick it for Editor’s choice, show it off to hundreds of thousands of unique web visitors, and I’d make a killing.

Heck, I might even score a starred review, I was so confident.

Not only was I starry-eyed, but I was also impatient. Instead of paying $425.00 for a review that might take 9 weeks, I decided to fork over the extra money and paid $575.00 for the 4-6 week review.

Once the review was published, however, nobody saw it. It got tucked away three or four layers deep into the Kirkus labyrinth of thousands of reviews, and you wouldn’t find it unless you searched for it specifically.

I thought that by getting my book reviewed by Kirkus, I’d get immediate coverage and exposure.


Only an extreme select few books get selected by their editors for a featured review, and even fewer (literary greats) actually get a star. They don’t give those things out like kindergarten teachers, you know.

Before I go further, please know that this article is not a criticism of Kirkus or their reviewing system. I think they’re extremely fair and objective, and that’s what they OUGHT to be.

My point is that if you’re an indie author, their review is not worth investing your money. You have to invest the finances you have like a business man, and in this case, Kirkus Reviews is a poor investment. That is, unless, you’ve been reviewed so many times and by so many objective reviewers that you KNOW Kirkus will love your book (and therefore feature it to their massive audience).

How to better spend that money:

With a little bit of patience and wise discernment, I could have spent that same $575.00 and gotten a lot more out of it.

Here are some objective book reviewing companies that charge a lot less:

ForeWord Book Review: $129.00 (Unknown turn-around time)

San Francisco Book Review: $125.00 (6-10 weeks)

Portland Book Review: $99.00 when added to San Francisco Book Review (6-10 weeks)

Reader Views: $119.00 (2 weeks)

Indie Reader (Discovery Awards): $150.00 – provides a book review AND enters your book in their award competition (2 weeks)

The grand total for all five of those reviews combined would be $622.00 AND you get a heck of a lot more exposure from the added sum of those reviews. Some of those review companies will re-post your review on multiple sites, therefore increasing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) back to your website.

You do the math: $575.00 for one review that nobody will ever really see or $622.00 for five reviews that you can add to your book cover and link back to your website?

What about you?

Where have you submitted your book for reviews? What type of results and sales did those reviews generate?

“Amidst Traffic” is a collection of high-caliber, interconnected short stories with a literary flair:

A short-order cook digs a hole in his back yard to escape nightmares of mutilated children; A woman covers her body in tattoos to hold on to emotions that continue to slip away; A soldier who returns home from Iraq struggles with the idea of gratitude, which, if resolved, may save his marriage; A man begins a game of watching strangers to see what it feels like to play God.

All of these stories, and others, are linked somehow. With each tale, more lines and connections begin to form. What initially feels like chaos, gradually begins to take order. A purpose exists that is unveiled by the end.

Every story is crafted with a sense of compassion for the human spirit, while seeking answers about the conflicts we live through in everyday life. The characters in these stories will make you care about their struggles and hope for their redemption.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Short Stories / Literary Fiction

Rating – PG13

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