Does Amazon allow paid book reviews? What is the difference between a review and a testimonial? Should self-published authors pay for book reviews? Who are the top book review companies? Read on for the answers.
There is arguably nothing more important to a book’s success than reviews. No reviews can be as bad as an average rating of 1 or 2 stars and just a single 4 or 5 star review can make all the difference in getting a shopper to pause and consider the book.
But I would argue that most of what we consider as “reviews” are nothing more than reader testimonials. Contrast a testmonial with the Wikipedia definition of a book review: “a book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit.”
How many Amazon “reviews” go this far? Not many.
You need reviews and you need them early in the book’s release. If you have the budget we recommend you select one of the companies below. They may seem expensive but they offer a recognized service with the insightful feedback that separates a review from a testimonial. They also take a lot longer, which makes sense. (There are also services that offer what I call testimonial reviews. We'll cover this in a future post.)
Each of these has their own terms and conditions and we’ve never heard of Amazon rejecting one of their reviews. Each of these has a program for self-publishers or small presses.
|Blue Ink Review||http://www.blueinkreview.com/||$395 and up|
|ForeWord Reviews||https://www.forewordreviews.com/services/book-reviews/||Clarion Reviews start at $335 and take 6-8 weeks.|
|Kirkus Reviews||https://www.kirkusreviews.com/author-services/||Begins at $425 and takes 7-9 weeks. Other services available.|
|Writer's Digest Shop||http://www.writersdigestshop.com/writing-critique-service?cid=3&gclid=CJ_12uLn3rgCFeU5Qgod-ScAsg||More of a critique service than formal reviews.|
|Your First Review||http://yourfirstreview.com/||$149 and includes a 7 point report card|
photo credit: smiteme via photopin cc