Creating awareness for your book is the goal of every marketing effort you undertake as an independent author. Getting positive reviews from reputable sources is one way to increase your chance of discovery by retail buyers, entertainment industry insiders, literary agents and most importantly—readers.
Unfortunately, the majority of review sources that carry weight in the industry do not often cover self-published books. Review budgets are shrinking as is space allotted for book news. An extra barrier to reviewing self-published books is the lack of filter to help editors with limited time and resources decide which books to slate for review.
If reviews from outlets that matter are tough to get,
Dog Ear’s Kirkus Reviews Program might be the ticket.
Kirkus Reviews has been one of the most trusted and authoritative voices in book discovery since 1933. They’ve been covering the books published by the major houses for almost 80 years.
Since 2005, they’ve offered a review service for self-publishers, which you can purchase through Dog Ear Publishing for the same price you’d pay if you submitted your work direct. The difference is that Dog Ear Publishing manages everything for you -- including the packaging and shipping of your materials for review in the form accepted by Kirkus.
Dog Ear authors that receive positive reviews through the Dog Ear Kirkus Program have the opportunity to appear in Kirkus Reviews magazine, which is read by librarians, booksellers, publishers, agents and journalists. Your review, if selected, may also be featured in the Kirkus email newsletter – distributed to more than 50,000 industry professionals and consumers. As an added benefit, any review you receive through Dog Ear’s Kirkus Reviews Program can be added to your book’s cover and marketing materials free of charge.
Contact us to get started, your future readers are waiting. Also, review the FAQ section below.
Since I’m paying for the review, will it be positive?
Kirkus Indie reviewers are experienced professionals who give honest, impartial evaluations of the books they receive. The resulting reviews can be positive (even earning a Kirkus Star, one of the most revered designations in the industry), negative or anywhere in between. Dog Ear can guarantee that you'll receive a fair and unbiased assessment of your work and its potential in the marketplace. If the review is negative, you will have the option of keeping it private and simply using the assessment as feedback to improve your craft. If it’s positive, you will be able to use the review to market your book to consumers or to catch the attention of a literary agent or conventional publisher.
Does publication date affect my ability to get a review?
In the interest of introducing consumers and industry influencers to self-published books they may otherwise never discover, Kirkus Indie does not put any publication date restrictions on submissions. You may order a review for a book that’s been on the market for 10 years or for a book that doesn’t even have a publication date set yet.
How does Kirkus decide which Indie reviews get published in the magazine and in the email newsletter?
Kirkus editors select 17-20 reviews to feature in each issue of the magazine, which is published twice per month. The selections are 100% at their discretion, and they typically choose the strongest reviews in a variety of genres. They also choose two Indie reviews to feature in each edition of their email newsletter, which is distributed to more than 50,000 industry influencers and consumers each week.
Does Kirkus Indie review all genres?
Yes, in their Indie program, Kirkus reviews everything...poetry, fiction, religious studies, specialized how-to book, you name it!
Does Kirkus Indie review foreign language books?
They do not currently review foreign language books.
What should I include in the “Notes” section of the order form?
You should include any information you’d like the reviewer to have prior to evaluating your work.
How should I format my manuscript before submitting it?
Once my review is complete, how is it sent to me?
Via email as a PDF attachment.
Is there a maximum length for a project submitted for review?
Yes, if a project exceeds 200,000 words, contact us for a price quote and turn-around time estimate.