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Top 25 Book Review Magazines & Publications

  • Bookforum Magazine
  • Asian Review of Books
  • Foreword Reviews | Book Reviews and Coverage of Indie Publishers
  • The New York Review of Books
  • London Review of Books
  • Quill and Quire » Book Review
  • Chicago Review of Books
  • Jewish Review of Books
  • The White Review
  • Booklist Online
  • Locus Online » Books
  • US Review of Books
  • Cleaver Magazine
  • America Magazine » Books
  • Foreword Reviews
  • Los Angeles Review of Books
  • American Book Review
  • Publishers Weekly PW KidsCast
  • The Horn Book » Book Reviews
  • PANK Magazine » Book Reviews

Book Review Media List

  • Book Review Magazines Newsletter

Book Review Magazines

Here are 25 Best Book Review Magazines you should follow in 2024

1. Bookforum Magazine

Bookforum Magazine

2. Asian Review of Books

Asian Review of Books

3. Foreword Reviews | Book Reviews and Coverage of Indie Publishers

Foreword Reviews | Book Reviews and Coverage of Indie Publishers

4. The New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books

5. London Review of Books

London Review of Books

6. Quill and Quire » Book Review

Quill and Quire » Book Review

7. Chicago Review of Books

Chicago Review of Books

8. Jewish Review of Books

Jewish Review of Books

9. The White Review

The White Review

10. BookTrib

BookTrib

11. Booklist Online

Booklist Online

12. Locus Online » Books

Locus Online » Books

13. US Review of Books

US Review of Books

14. Cleaver Magazine

Cleaver Magazine

15. America Magazine » Books

America Magazine » Books

16. Foreword Reviews

Foreword Reviews

17. Los Angeles Review of Books

Los Angeles Review of Books

18. American Book Review

American Book Review

19. Publishers Weekly PW KidsCast

Publishers Weekly PW KidsCast

20. The Horn Book » Book Reviews

The Horn Book » Book Reviews

21. PANK Magazine » Book Reviews

PANK Magazine » Book Reviews

  • Literary Magazines
  • Historical Fiction Magazines
  • Memoir Magazines
  • Writing Magazines
  • Library Magazines

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Thriller Book Reviews | Best Thriller Books

Professional Book Reviews: List of Paid Book Review Sites

In our latest annual publishing industry research, in which where we polled hundreds of publishers, publicists and writers, 91.2% reporting that professional book reviews are important or very important. This is no surprise, as countless studies of consumers all industries consistently show that in terms of influencing sales, reviews are as statistically powerful as recommendations from friends and families.

In an age where any reader can post amateur ratings and reviews books on sites like Amazon, GoodReads and Barnes and Noble, discerning readers still look for independent sources to make their books stand out from the rest. In an increasingly crowded marketplace, books with critical acclaim have a leg up on the competition.

How Professional Book Reviews Compare with Movie and TV Reviews 

The need for independent professional reviews is not limited to the book world. It pertains to movie marketing as well.

Professional Book Reviews - list of paid review services

In contrast, the audience scores are reflections of the opinions of the common viewer. These scores, garnered from individuals who have invested their time in viewing the film, offer a glimpse into how the movie has resonated with the public. Through the combination of both scores, Rotten Tomatoes paints a complete picture of the film’s overall reception. The result is a powerful tool for those seeking to make informed decisions about what they watch, as well as to uncover those films and TV shows that are held in high regard by critics and audiences alike.

How The Profile of Book Reviewers Has Changed

Once upon a time, every small, mid and major market newspaper, most magazines, and virtually every weekly publication had salaried book reviewers on staff. These reviewers were often journalists with journalism degrees.

That all changed with one-two punch of the digitization of media and the Great Recession. With the exception of a chosen few publications such as the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly , many professional book reviewers have been downsized or eliminated.

This dire situation has left independent authors vying for the attention of a precious few book reviewers – the same few that are already working with major publishers. And to be completely realistic, if you’re a genre writer – romance, mystery, horror, thrillers and the like – your odds of getting reviewed by mainstream publications aren’t much better than winning the lottery. For the most part, reviewers at mainstream publications prefer to take on either non-fiction or “literature” that doesn’t fit neatly into any genre.

That’s why today professional book reviewers are far less likely to work at major newspapers. While there are still journalists who work in the field, there are also many librarians and professionals with publishing industry experience or a strong passion for literature. Compared with decades past, these individuals are now more likely to write for companies that specialize in professional book reviews than newspapers or magazines.

List of Professional Book Review Outlets

To help, here’s a list of several paid book review services that work with independent authors and small publishers [full disclosure: BestThrillers.com reviews mystery and thriller books ].

1) BestThrillers.com

Professional book reviews by BestThrillers.com

Reviews are posted on BestThrillers.com, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Goodreads and distributed to our list of email subscribers.

2) Midwest Book Reviews

Midwest professional book reviews

Here is the MBR’s policy on format as of this writing: “We review audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs, but we can only accept physical review copies in CD, MP3-CD, or DVD format. We cannot accept download links, digital media, or digital media that has been “burned” to a CD.” Check with MBR on process and pricing.

3) Clarion Reviews

book review outlets

The service is clear and straightforward. As of the time of this writing, reviews cost $499 per book with an express delivery option of 4-6 weeks. Check with Clarion for the latest information on process and pricing.

4) Kirkus Reviews

Advice for authors seeking professional book reviews.

So what’s a writer who’s either independent or with a smaller publisher to do?

  • Rule #1 – Don’t send your books to mainstream reviewers and delay publication for weeks or months, hoping to get lucky. This tactic rarely favors writers without connections.
  • Rule #2 – Realize that even many well-known writers, at some point in their career, have paid for professional book reviews in one way or another. You’d be surprised at how many brand-name authors have been reviewed by BestThrillers.com or Kirkus .
  • Rule #3 – Factor a review service into your book marketing budget.
  • Rule #4 – Realize that even paid book reviews may not always be positive, so it’s wise to use more than one service.
  • Rule #5 – Make sure the professional book review service also includes distribution. If nobody sees your paid book review, its impact on sales may not be significant.

Frequently Asked Questions about Professional Book Reviews

1. What is a professional book review? A professional book review is a critical assessment of a book written by a knowledgeable reviewer who evaluates various aspects such as plot, writing style, character development, themes, and overall impact. These reviews are often written by individuals with expertise in literature, journalism, or the specific genre of the book. 2. Why are professional book reviews important? Professional book reviews offer potential readers insights into a book’s quality, themes, and overall worthiness. They can help readers make informed decisions about which books to read and also provide authors with feedback that can aid in improving their writing and storytelling skills. 3. How can authors get their books professionally reviewed? Authors can submit their books to various sources for professional reviews, such as literary magazines, newspapers, online review platforms, and reputable book bloggers. Some publishing houses also have in-house reviewers who assess books before publication. 4. Do authors have to pay for professional book reviews? Some review sources offer paid review services. Others provide non-paid reviews, but the largest typically only work with top agents and publishers, leaving out small publishers and indie authors from the equation. 5. What elements are typically covered in a professional book review? A professional book review typically covers elements like the plot summary, characterization, writing style, themes, pacing, originality, and the reviewer’s overall impression. It might also include comparisons to other works or authors within the same genre.

BestThrillers Staff

The Best Book Review Sites For Enthusiastic Readers

Join Discovery, the new community for book lovers

Trust book recommendations from real people, not robots 🤓

Blog – Posted on Friday, May 01

The best book review sites for enthusiastic readers.

The Best Book Review Sites For Enthusiastic Readers

Book lovers, stop us if you’ve heard this one before: you’ve just finished a mind-blowing book and you need to hear some discussion about it. What do you do? Dive straight into the limitless realm of the Internet and search for book review sites, of course. 

Or here’s another scenario: you’ve finished reading a novel and now you’re searching for something to fill the void. Maybe you want more of the same, or maybe something completely different to switch things up. You’ll probably also scour the Internet for ratings and trustworthy recommendations. 

Fortunately, there are endless review blogs and book review sites that you can peruse. Un fortunately, not every one of them features a wide enough variety to help you. But don’t worry: we’ve got you covered with ten of the best book review sites to satisfy the bookworm in you. If you want to cut to the chase and get a personalized pick for a book review site in 30 seconds, we first recommend taking this quick quiz:

Which review community should you join?

Find out which review community is best for your style. Takes 30 seconds!

Then read on for the full explanation of all of the best book review sites out there!

1. Goodreads 

book review outlets

It’s impossible not to mention Goodreads when discussing book communities: it’s the Facebook of book reviews — the ultimate social media platform for bibliophiles. If you’ve somehow managed to go this long without stumbling upon this omnipresent site, here’s the run-down: you can use Goodreads to organize, display, and discuss your virtual bookshelf with other users. 

Goodreads recommendations are based on your listed interests. You can follow authors and book influencers ranging from Celeste Ng to Bill Gates . This allows you to see all their reviews, which vary from compact one-liners to critical analysis, and watch the new reviews roll in. For a quick verdict, just take a look at the star rating that they give the book. 

Also if you like to browse lists, Goodreads compiles the best and most popular books for every genre. There’s also the annual Goodreads’ Choice Awards to celebrate each year’s new releases, where you can cast your vote or peruse the list of contenders to find a new book to read. It’s a site for every kind of reader, with abundant ways to comment and interact. 

2. LibraryThing

book review outlets

This is the OG of all online book catalogues and discussion boards — take a look and you’ll see that it’s an oldie but a goodie. Of course, the basic functions of LibraryThing are rather similar to Goodreads: there are millions of books that readers can add to their lists, as well as review with star ratings.

While the interface harks back to the earlier days of the world wide web, LibraryThing has a secret weapon that’ll appeal to all readers, especially modern ones: their Zeitgeist . This page displays the latest crème de la crème of the whole site, from the most popular books to the hottest reviews , which you can also write with the help of a good book review template . Just a glance shows that the readers here know how to read between the lines and wield their words!

So if you’re hoping to read or share some in-depth literary thoughts with fellow sharp-minded users , LibraryThing is the site to browse. (You can even access it without creating an account!) 

3. Reedsy Discovery 

book review outlets

Now, if you’re searching for some hidden gems to peruse, Reedsy Discovery ’s got your back. While our blog features everything from classics to contemporary hits, Discovery’s specialty is indie publications, many of which are accompanied with succinct comments from experienced reviewers . There’s no better way to broaden your horizon! 

Moreover, if casual and creative reviews are more your cup of tea, then rejoice: the burgeoning community of readers on Discovery can leave comments, one-line reviews, and video reviews (calling all Booktubers!) on just about any book. It’s a fun and interactive way to geek out over your favorite reads and discover all the coolest new titles you won’t find anywhere else.

Looking for something new to read?

Trust real people, not robots, to give you book recommendations.

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4. LoveReading 

book review outlets

Though it’s UK-based, this prolific site caters to audiences around the world. LoveReading is strictly a reviewing site, with a base of staff writers and carefully selected contributors, so you know the reviews are top-notch. The staff often give quite personal reading experiences in their reviews, which make their recommendations very endearing, like they’re from a close friend. They even offer you presents — well, if you think of giveaways as presents! 

LoveReading covers books from every genre you can think of. They also have weekly, monthly, and yearly list features to keep you up to date with the latest stellar releases, so you’ll never be in want of something to pore over. 

5. The Millions 

book review outlets

In search of reviews that really dive into the themes, metaphors, and overall executions of interesting and highbrow books? The Millions has got you covered. 

Written by a collection of seasoned critics, these reviews are speckled with memorable quotes, elegant analysis, and plentiful comparisons to other works — which means extra reading recommendations for you! If contemporary and literary fictions are your go-tos, then The Millions is the site for all your lit nerd needs. 

6. SFBook Reviews 

book review outlets

Those who think quantity and quality don’t go hand in hand, you clearly haven’t encountered SFBook Review . The five reviewers on the team here share two common and important goals: firstly, to follow the outpour of new titles in the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres every year, and secondly, to give thoughtful reviews to as many of them as possible.

This team knows their SFF niches inside out, so their verdicts are very credible. Still, their reviews are quite friendly and personal — they discuss other related books and share their reading experiences to help you make your own reading choices. 

7. Bookpage

book review outlets

Bookpage features all kinds of genres: from children’s books to nonfiction, from the works of household names to debut authors, and so much more. Their format is neat and straightforward — they bring you the volumes they think are most worthwhile, recommending them to you by summarizing and concisely commenting on the prose, the theme, and the plot of each chosen book.

In addition to this, Bookpage also features author interviews and articles that unearth the deeper themes and purposes of certain books. If you’re a true book lover seeking like-minded literary aficionados, this may be the perfect place for you.

8. Book Riot 

book review outlets

Avid readers, you’ve probably stumbled upon Book Riot more times than you can remember. While it’s not a site that individually assesses titles, it has lists for everything — from timeless literary giants to the top books in each genre. What’s more, Book Riot has lots of thinkpieces that dive deep into the way certain titles make readers feel — be it exhilarated, motivated, or enraged — and that’s really all you need to know when deciding to embark on a new reading adventure. 

Additionally, if you’d rather listen to discussions and reviews rather than read them, you'll be happy to know that Book Riot has a range of podcasts for you to choose from. 

9. NetGalley 

book review outlets

NetGalley is another platform bringing you new and unconventional recommendations. They specialize in connecting authors who are publishing to readers who’d like to preview and put in their two cents. While the database of books available here are not the most expansive, those that are featured are certainly worth your time. 

Readers can benefit most from NetGalley via their book recommendation site, Bookish , where the staff reviewers update you with their recent reads and in-depth thoughts on those reads. Along with that, Bookish also has book club kits, equipped with comprehension questions and discussion points, to help readers explore stories mindfully. 

10. BookBub

book review outlets

While it’s very similar to Goodreads, BookBub focuses more on connecting readers to books that might suit them specifically — which is partly why you’ll see plenty of bargains and deals promoted on the site.

Because of this promotional value, BookBub has quite a strong author community. Diana Gabaldon and Gillian Flynn , for instance, are constantly recommending books on their accounts. So if you’d like to tag along with your favorite author, this is an excellent website to visit. The only drawback of BookBub is that they only have community reviews from users based in the US, and you have to sign up in order to read them. 

With these ten sites, you’ll be sure to find your little community of fellow book lovers regardless of what your interests are. Here’s to exciting TBR lists and nourished minds!

If you want to try your hand at reviewing, we’ve got a little guide to help you out ! On the other hand, if you want to plough away at your books, why not consider the Kindle Cloud Reader ?

Continue reading

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The Ultimate Guide to Getting Book Reviews

  • March 30, 2020

book review outlets

In this post, we cover:

  • The different types of review
  • How to get reviews and editorial reviews
  • How to make the most out of your reviews
  • How to deal with negative reviews

Ultimate Guide to Getting Book Reviews: Main Types of Review

There are many different kinds of book reviews and publications, each one having evolved separately from one another for different purposes and different kinds of audiences.

1. Reviews in mass media

Mass media reviews in newspapers and magazines were traditionally the only way to let people know about books and are still highly influential, especially the Review sections of major publications like the New York Times, The Guardian, for example. Also influential are radio and TV book review and interview programs, like the Oprah or Richard and Judy book clubs.

2. Reviews in book trade publications

People connected with the publishing industry read book trade publications. Publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians, marketing agencies, and book reviewers all read publications and associated websites like Publishers Weekly, Foreword Reviews, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal, among others.

3. Reviews by book bloggers

Book bloggers are avid readers who have developed often significant online followers. They can be very influential in creating fan buzz about books.

4. Reviews by readers given an advance copy for review

Advanced Reader Copy shortened to “ARCs,” describes the process of providing a copy of your book, prior to publishing, to a select group of readers with a request that they write a review once you publish. A

5. Online customer reviews

Customer reviews appear on a book’s sales page on online retailers. Readers who have purchased a book, or who might have received advance copies of the book, write online customer reviews. Reviews on sites such as Amazon, Goodreads, and Audible can be very influential. A reader can, on the spur of the moment, choose to buy or not to buy a book based on online customer reviews.

There are many good reasons why online book reviews have become front of mind:

• Research indicates they influence readers’ decisions to buy.

• They are public and perpetual: posted for all the world to see and they don’t go away (unless the online retailer decides to remove them.)

• They are relatively accessible and democratic—anyone with an account for a particular online retail store, or with their own blog, may post a review.

• More online reviews equals greater visibility within online stores and on search engines.

6. Editorial reviews (paid and unpaid)

Let’s clarify what we’re talking about when we say “editorial reviews.” Editorial reviews, also called endorsements, are those glowing comments you find on front covers, back covers, inside in the front matter, and on your book’s page with the distributor/retailer (e.g. Amazon).  These endorsements are often from people working for big-brand media outlets (New York Times Books Review, The Guardian Review); other famous, notable or clued-in authors, or others who have lots of credibility with your target reader.

Authors, both indie and traditional, can pay for editorial reviews–though you don't have to, you can also put the leg work in to build your network and reach out to influencers. It very much depends on your budget. If money is tight, there are more effective things you can do for booksales. But if time is tight and you have the money, paying for an independent review on one or more of the editorial review sites gives your book a start.

Among the most reputable fee-for-review services are ALLi Partner Members 
 Foreword's Clarion Reviews , BlueInk , Kirkus Indie Reviews , and Publishers Weekly’s BookLife .

As with every other aspect of publishing (and indeed of life) there are disreputable review services out there. For more on this, connect with ALLi Watchdog Desk. Sign into the allianceindependentauthors.org and then navigate to SERVICES > WATCHDOG DESK.

Ultimate Guide to Getting Book Reviews : The Principles

Depending on the type of review you're after, the principles of reach-out to reviewers are generally the same: research, well-structured pitch,

Principle 1: Research 

For advance reviews, customer or blogger reviews:

  • Make sure the people you're contacting do actually post reviews regularly. Are there reviews on their social media? Photos of books? Shout outs to authors?
  • Check they review in the same genre your book is in
  • Search for their name and contact details. Reviewers with websites often have quirky titles like: Books and Coffee or I Love Books.com. These regular reviewers often get swamped with requests. Most requesters won't bother searching for their name and reach out with something like this: Hey, Books and Coffee, I'm the author of… will you review my book . That's not going to work. Take the time out to find their name on their about page or social media and you're way more likely to get a response when you email them. And take time to craft a pitch that explains to them why your book is a fit for them.

Principle 2: Create a Template Email

The structure of a good endorsement review email (or letter or social media message if you are reaching out via a method other than email) goes like this:

  • subject line
  • intro tailored paragraph (Hi Mr. Tom Hanks, I know you have a keen interest in World War II history and I think you’ll be interested in a book I’ve just written titled [title]. I’m hoping you’ll agree to provide a review.)
  • what the book is about – this can be a modification of your blurb
  • links where they can access their ARC (advance review copy). Consider using a service like Prolific Works or BookFunnel and consider providing two options: an excerpt with a few sample chapters and the full manuscript. If you also have a website or webpage provide that link as well.
  • your requested deadline – this should be at least four weeks, and six to eight is probably better.
  • a line explaining that reviews received before the deadline will be considered for front or back cover treatment, and, acknowledging they are busy and that you’ll gladly accept their review even if they are unable to meet your deadline.
  • Some authors will attach their book cover too.
  • Sign off thanking them for their time

Principle 3: Be Organized

Find a method to organize the information you've collected about potential reviewers however suits you: word, excel, something more fancy like Trello or Asana. You'll want columns for name, company, email address, social media handles, mailing address, which book(s) they’ve reviewed, and a column or space to add notes about your communication. Like, when they tell you they’ll be happy to provide editorial reviews for your self-published book, and they’ll get back to you in two weeks.

Ultimate Guide to Getting Book Reviews : Influencer and Editorial Reviews

If you want review, blurb or praise quote from influencers or any kind of influential review e.g. in a mass-media newspaper or review outlet, here are some tips:

  • Leave a longer amount of time for contacting potential influencers. They have busy schedules and will likely need a longer period of time to review the book.
  • Make sure they do review books. You can always check their website to see if they have a no review policy. Also check that they review in your genre.
  • If you write nonfiction, you'll need to research influencers and leaders in your sector. Make sure whoever you're asking to review is actually relevant. Also if you've quoted an influencer in your book, consider asking them to review it. Most people are honored when they're quoted, so this is a great way in.
  • Expect a lot of no's. Influencers are busy people and will often get asked to review or praise dozens of books a week. You are not going to get 100 % yeses, but likewise, you're unlikely to get 100% nos. But when you purposefully go out and ask for editorial reviews for self-published books, good things happen. You might get an invitation to write a guest blog on a high-traffic blog site, or to be a guest on a podcast, or something else you already had on your book marketing to-do list anyway. It’s a win-win.
  • Resist the temptation to follow up with them, except perhaps once if you haven’t heard within two to three weeks. Be polite, don’t badger, never make them feel like you assume they have an obligation to do anything. A simple outreach to tell them you’re just checking to be sure they received your original message, and that’s it.

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Book Reviews : How to Get Reviews

We've already mentioned the better paid review outlets: 
 Foreword's Clarion Reviews , BlueInk , Kirkus Indie Reviews , and Publishers Weekly’s BookLife .

Do a Google for ‘ book review bloggers ‘ you'll get pages of listing and reviewers. These listings are fabulous, yes. But to actually get the reviews, you're going to have to do the work and pitch the reviewers.

Search for Book Reviewer Listings: such as this huge list of review sites from Reedsy . Or what about this one from Dave Chesson at Kindlepreneur. Check out the list by genre. One more: Top 100 Book Review blogs

Free Downloads: Over time, doing selective giveaways will increase the amount of reviews you get. Estimates reckon that for every 100 completed reads, .06 people will review. Not even one. Tough stats. Giving away copies to the right people (not willy nilly) and asking for an independent review in return will help.

Newsletter swaps: If you have a mailing list you have the ability to swap recommendations in your emails with other authors. Your mileage may vary, and always make sure the person you're asking to read and review your book is reputable and trustworthy.

Ask on social media: If someone tells you they've read your book, politely ask if they would leave a short review. You may find this uncomfortable, but it works.

Schedule messages, memes and posts: how many times have you posted on your Facebook page or instagram story asking for reviews? If you feel uncomfortable ask indirectly. Put up memes about how much they mean to an author, or how important they are in general rather than asking directly, though the latter works better! Point is, schedule a reminder in once a week for the next year and I bet you see a huge increase in reviews.

#Bookstagram: Bookstagram is a movement on Instagram uniting all book reviewers and social media users. Typically a Bookstagrammer will post a gorgeous picture of your book and / or leave reviews. Some double up as book review bloggers. This is a time-intensive method of getting reviews, but it does pay off as you often get stunning photos of your books in the process. And if you ask whether you can repost them or use them, they'll often say yes.

To find bookstagrammers:

  • Go to Instagram
  • Search for #bookstagram #booklover and or any other variation of ‘book' something in the search bar.
  • Go to each profile, and check if they have an 'email me' button OR a link to their website on their bio. If they do, bingo!

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Book Reviews: What if You Get a Negative Review?

1* symbol of a negative book review

Negative reviews – we will all get them at some point, no matter how great we think our books are. Indeed, some writers even see it as a badge of honor to get a savage 1*, because it demonstrates to the world that your reviews aren’t all from your friends. But that doesn’t stop it hurting, at least for a little while – especially if the reason for the review feels unfair.

Don't respond. Ever. Professionals don't get into public spats about things that are opinions. You'll come off looking worse and only antagonist the reviewer. walk away, get a cup of coffee, and move on with the more important things in your day (which is everything else).

Put a positive spin on it. If you've received a number of reviews all saying the same thing, such as: needed more worldbuilding. use it as a learning opportunity to develop your craft. It's a gift really, to be told where to direct your attention so you can focus your development in the right areas.

If you're getting predominantly one-star reviews, then you've either marketed to the wrong genre or the quality of your book isn't what it should be.

Remember reviews aren't for authors, they're for readers. Though it's nice to see praise of our work, reviews aren't for the author. Reviews are there to help other customers decide whether or not they would like to purchase your book. Don't be afraid of bad reviews either. If someone wrote, “didn't like it, far too Steampunk heavy” don't worry. That's going to be a steampunk lover's dream. So just as much as you might lose one reader, bad reviews help other readers buy books. If they’re a serious potential customer for your book, they won’t be put off by the odd crazy, and they’ll be smart enough to realize which reviews are credible.

Ultimately, if reading reviews—be they positive or negative— affects you or your mental health or your motivation to write in any way, then you should probably stop reading them. Lots of authors do this. The alternative response–if you can do it–is to read, learn if there's any learning in it, then forget about it. This means treating the good reviews as dispassionately as you treat the bad.

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Book Reviews:  H ow to USE Your Reviews 

Once you've got reviews, use them! So many writers secure a review and then do nothing with it. If you've managed to get ARC reviews or reviews from influencers, use them.

Great one-liners also lend themselves well to:

  • Endorsement quotes for your book covers. Have your designer add the quotes to the cover.
  • “What Readers Say” pages at the start of your books. Go to a bookstore and have a look inside the cover of a few books to see how these are styled and laid out and how many quotes you might need.
  • Information sheets  for booksellers if you're trying to sell selective rights.
  • Social media graphics for potential new customers. Here's one I've created for an upcoming release:

book review outlets

I used Canva to create the graphic and the elements in my book cover to create the background and colour scheme. Canva is a free program and you can upload your own book cover images to their site.

Two Notes of Caution

If you are in any doubt that any reviewer may not be happy to see you share their review, then ask permission first. This particularly applies to bookbloggers, who are reviewing in their own space and under their own copyright – unlike Amazon reviewers, which Amazon actively encourages you to share (though reviewers may not realise this). Alienating a bookblogger by violating their copyright is a bad idea, especially if you are hoping they will review your future books.

  • If quoting an extract  rather than the full review, the conventional – and ethical – practice is to indicate what you’ve omitted with an ellipsis […] to show that you’re quoting out of context, and alerts the reader to check the rest of the review, which may not be so flattering, if they wish to. (Most won’t.)

DON'T FORGET

How to get your first 50 book reviews: the guidebook.

Our Quick & Easy Guide to getting reviews is based on the experience of ALLi members and on ALLi’s Ethical Author policy.

ALLi’s latest Quick & Easy Guidebook focusses on how to get your first 50 book reviews (available for sale on the ALLi bookshop or free to members in the Member Zone: log in –>go to Advice –>Quick & Easy Guides). This is the ultimate guide to getting book reviews.

I did pay for membership. I may have used a different email: [email protected] or [email protected]

I gave my copy of my membership to my husband, the hoarder in chief and tax accountant. We live in PR. It is cold here now. That means I can wear long pants. Donna S. Cohen RN newest book: A Nurse’s Guide to Plastic Surgery—Loving Yourself While Loving Your Wallet. I would like someone else to handle the marketing!!!!

Very comprehensive and well done article on how to get your book reviewed. Thank you. Team Golfwell are retired people in New Zealand and they do free book reviews > https://www.teamgolfwell.com/free-book-reviews.html

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book review outlets

How to Get Book Reviews (15 Places Free)

book review outlets

Whether you realize it or not, you likely use reviews in your day-to-day life. they can help you make decisions about the things you’re curious or unsure about. It’s why we listen to our friends when they recommend a movie, or why we scroll through Yelp before we try a new restaurant. Before you invest your hard-earned time and money, you want an idea of what you’re about to get yourself into. Book reviews are no different, and this is why the information we are covering here will help you find where to look.

Sure, you know your book is amazing, but what about everyone else? Readers are on the search for reliable and trustworthy people to review the books they may be interested in reading. Unfortunately, as the obviously biased author, they’re not interested in hearing from you. That means you need someone else (hint: you need a book reviewer!).

The fact is, book reviews are a necessity for every author looking for an unbiased opinion on their book baby. So, if you don’t think you need book reviews, think again. Book reviews boost the credibility of your book. Not to mention that reviews are a great way to bring in new readers through word of mouth.

Often, the success of your book will depend on the reviews you receive. Think about it: if your friends keep recommending the latest book, TV show, or movie, aren’t you more likely to check it out? That’s why you can’t afford to ignore the power of getting reviews for your book.

Table of Contents

How to Find Book Reviews

As much as we’d love for readers to come flocking to our books on their own, the reality is that usually, we have to spread the word ourselves in order to bring in new readers.   Still, don’t stress too much about finding readers! In most cases, readers are more than happy to review your book and eager to read something new.  If you scour the internet for reviewers, you will find that some of the best places to easily find book reviewers are on sites like Goodreads, Amazon, and different social media.

But here is a word of caution: most of the reviewers have stipulations when it comes to reviews so here are some dos and don’ts for you to be aware of:

Dos and Don’ts of Getting Book Reviews

There are a few rules when it comes to asking for and receiving book reviews. Think of these dos and don’ts as helpful guidelines that can make the process simpler for both the author and book reviewer.

Do understand the reviewer’s specifications. Learn what they accept and what does not interest them. This will save both you and the reviewer any future frustration. 

Don’t waste their time. Reviewers are busy people, so get straight to the point in your query message. Don’t forget to share how your book can benefit them. Do send a free book copy. It’s a courtesy to send the book to your reviewer for free!

Don’t be unprofessional. It’s okay to be friendly, but remember not to overstep your bounds. Instead, include your full name and your website and social media links.  

Do be considerate. Learn about the reviewer by reading their website or past reviews. If you want them to make time for you, it helps to know a little about them. 

Don’t request that the reviewer purchase your book. This looks bad and inconsiderate to the reviewer, who is already taking the time to read your book. 

Don’t assume a reviewer will accept your book based on a quick conversation on social media. They may have liked your Instagram or Twitter post, but that doesn’t mean they’re interested in your book. 

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a promising relationship between author and book reviewer!

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Where can i get book reviews.

A few years ago, I wrote an article, where I discuss the dos and don’ts of requesting reviews in more detail. Having written several reviews and sent many requests to reviewers, I know how hard it can be to get them.

As I worked on my first non-fiction, Book Reviews: Understanding the Psychology Behind Them and How to Get Readers to Leave a Review , I went deep to curate a list of legitimate ways to get book reviews (in the manuscript, you will get access to a bonus 200+ websites).

When researching the review outlets, I focused on places where indie publications have a voice—although this list may serve traditionally published books as well.

Some of these outlets may be familiar to you. Others may provide a broader perspective on how to approach reviews. The choices range from free editorial reviews to paid reviews and social media. Whatever the case, I hope this can be a starting point for you, indie authors, in different genres.

With that said, let’s get down to business.

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Free book review sites, affaire de coeur.

Affaire de Coeur is a bi-monthly literary magazine that has been around for 34 years. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, it reviews works from a variety of genres, including historical, contemporary, paranormal, erotica, young adults, non-fiction novels, and more.

Accepted reviews might be featured in the next available print issue based on the book release date. Keep in mind, though, that availability is limited. Here are Affaire de Coeur submission guidelines .

American Book Review

The American Book Review is a bimonthly publication that has been around for more than 30 years. It reviews disregarded works of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction from small presses. It gives strong emphasis to literary and cultural pieces. And although it critiques non-fiction pieces, it does not review self-help and how-to books. Here are ABR submission guidelines .

Booklife by Publishers Weekly

The “Booklife” is the section of Publishers Weekly dedicated to self-published authors. Submission is competitive because it evaluates submissions for traditional and self-published books following the same standards. Here are the Booklife submission guidelines .

Compulsive Reader

This is a must-check. The Compulsive Reader has been around the block since 2001 and counts on an extensive portfolio of prolific reviewers. For the most part, it emphasizes works of poetry and literary fiction but also features in-depth reviews on a variety of book genres and music. Here are Compulsive Reader submission guidelines .

Rain Taxi Review of Book

A quarterly print committed to championing high-quality literature, Rain Taxi Review of Books reviews work neglected by the main media, including fiction, poetry, nonfiction (except self-help, business), art, graphic novels, and on occasion, children, young adult, and audiobooks. This one is worth consideration. Here are RTRB submission guidelines .

Readers’ Favorite Book Review and Award Contest

Readers’ Favorite is another must-see resource. With more than 1,000 reviewers, it reviews published and unpublished books, ebooks, and other manuscripts in more than 100 genres. Once you submit your book, it is uploaded to a database where reviewers can choose what they want to read. There is no guarantee that all books will be picked for review, but for the author that needs a guarantee, it offers a service called “expedited review,”  for a fee.

Authors also have a chance to participate in the book giveaway program and other neat and exclusive features from the site.

Furthermore, different from other services, Readers’ Favorite doesn’t give reviews below 4 and 5 stars. If reviewers read a book they feel is not worth an outstanding rate, they write a constructive note to the author. The idea is to help the author improve their craft, instead of bringing down the book.

Here are Readers’ Favorite submission guidelines .

The Los Angeles Review of Books

The Los Angeles Review of Books is a non-profit organization, with a mission to recreate a new concept of book reviews for the digital era. It welcomes any long-form of authoritative, captivating writing and accepts works of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.

Here are LARB submission guidelines .

The New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books is an independent literary magazine that has been around since 1963. Highly regarded for bringing a critical and substantial perspective of the arts, the journal counts on a diversified roster of writers, and it reviews books in multiple genres.

Here are the NYRB submission guidelines .

Celebrating art and authenticity, The Rumpus showcase reviews of the most diverse genres as well as essays, interviews, music, film, and comics. It also champions the work of unknown authors or those overlooked by the mainstream media.

Here are The Rumpus submission guidelines .

Barnes & Noble Review

The Barnes & Noble Review is an online magazine that evaluates works of fiction and non-fiction and gives voice to a wide range of essays, interviews, and other topics. Here is the B&N Review information .

Paid Review Sites

Kirkus reviews.

Kirkus Reviews has been around since 1933, and it is possibly one of the most regarded review services around. This magazine covers reviews from big houses to small presses and indie authors in all genres and gets millions of impressions a month on its website.

The best about Kirkus’ process is it gives the same attention, respect, and unbiased review regardless of which way you published your book. The reviews are done by professional reviewers and writers in diverse industries including librarians, journalists, and literature experts, among others.

Reviews get an extra boost when editors choose 40 of them to be featured in the bi-monthly issue of the magazine and one to the weekly email newsletter—potentially reaching more than 50,000 readers. All of this comes at a price, though. A standard picture book review (7–9 weeks) starts at $350, a standard review (7–9 weeks) in other genres costs $425- $575, and an express review (4–6 weeks) runs between $425-$725.

Here are Kirkus submission guidelines .

YourNewBooks

YourNewBooks is a book marketing website (a network site of Choosy Bookworm), providing a range of tools for authors. Among the services, it offers a popular reading and review program that abides by Amazon review standards. The books are reviewed by readers/subscribers of  YourNewBooks.

Once you sign up, you choose between standard ($149) and premium services ($299)—the packages include advertisement space on YourNewBooks’s site and newsletter—and submit your ebook file. Depending on the package you choose, your book is submitted to a certain number of “interested readers,” who will leave their honest opinion about the material.

The program is so popular that some of the features are fully booked for months. It is worth checking out because some genres are more popular than others, so your book might have a better shot of getting a fast turnaround. Also, it accepts both published and pre-released books.

Here are the YNB submission guidelines .

Reading Deals

ReadingDeals is another popular book-promotions site, and it is operated by Book Marketing Tools. It offers a book-review service starting at $79 (Classic), going up to $129 (Featured). Both packages include promotion add-ons through social media and/or special placement. The books are reviewed by members of its Review Club, and reviews comply with Amazon and FCC guidelines.

Here are Reading Deals submission guidelines .

Enas Reviews

Enas Reviews offers a more affordable option for your review needs. For a maintenance and listing fee of $29.99, you will receive a thorough critique of 400-500 words written by professional writers. The site currently accepts all genres.

Here are  Enas submission guidelines .

Additional Book Review Outlets (Free)

Looking for Amazon Top Reviewers is a smart way to get reviews for your book. Why? Because Amazon incentivizes reviewers who write quality, helpful reviews to customers—top reviewers receive special badges and Hall of Fame placement. The higher the rank, the better for the reviewer. And this will depend on the number of “upvotes” the reviewer receives. In other words, the more quality reviews they write, the higher the chances of upvoting.

When you go to the Amazon Top Reviewers page, you scroll through the list and look for the reviewers’ requirements. Many will have their information, including email or website, and what they review on the page. Although some only review products, many review books as well. As a side note, it is beneficial to focus on genre-specific reviewers.

As I mentioned in a previous post, get familiar with their requirements and reach out. Although it might be tiresome to navigate the list, you may find people who are sincerely interested in your genre who will become a fan and be willing to review your future releases.

Who doesn’t know Goodreads? This is might be one of the most obvious places.

According to Goodreads , its mission is “to help people find and share books they love.” In other words, it is almost a social network for books. There you find many readers, book lovers, and reviewers connecting with each other (and their favorite authors) and sharing their passion for books—through reviews, discussions, polls, and blogs.

Without mentioning that as an author, you not only have a platform to build relationships with readers and fellow writers but also receive plenty of tools to revamp your book marketing strategies .

Social Media

Social media is another powerful way to get book reviews because there are all types of readers interacting and discussing the latest on their readings or favorite authors.

I particularly find LinkedIn valuable to reach out to book reviewers and receive a quick response. Maybe because of the nature of the network (business-like), the probability of finding professional reviewers increases.

At the same time, you can be successful at finding reviewers in Facebook groups. There are groups where not only writers can promote their work, but there are also readers willing to give authors feedback. The more active groups you participate in, the better.

Twitter is another helpful source. If you go to the search toolbar and enter the hashtag for #bookreview or #bookreviewer, a list of entries will come up. You click on “people” and there you can find many to choose from, according to your genre.

The same principle you used on Twitter, you apply for Instagram. The difference is that on Instagram, you will have to click on each image that pops up in order to reach the user profile.

Tiktok has proved to be another useful choice not only for reviews but also for book marketing purposes. The hashtag # booktok is very popular among writers who want to market their books and bring visibility to their work.

Writing & Book Bloggers Sites

Reaching out to book bloggers and writing services is also an excellent way to get your book reviewed. Still, keep in mind that those people also receive a lot of requests and might have limitations with time (as happened to me). So follow their requirements closely and be patient with response time.

Mommabears Book Blog

This site focuses mostly on historical fiction, contemporary fiction, paranormal, dystopian, horror, thriller, steampunk, legends & mythology, and most fantasy.

Here are Mommabears submission guidelines .

XterraWeb Books & More

It accepts most genres except comic books, graphic novels, and textbooks.

Here are XterraWeb submission guidelines .

Bonus Book Review Website

Litpick book reviews.

LitPick is one of those hot book review sites I came to know and fell in love with. That is because the platform tries to get students involved with the literary world while improving their reading and writing skills.

As part of a mentoring program, students receive free copies of the books they want to read (middle grade, teen, and young adult) and write book reviews for free. Their work is evaluated by a staff of underwriters, who provide pupils with feedback. Once everything is set and done, the review is published on the website.

While in the beginning, LitPick used to review only kid lit, now it also reviews adult literature.

Isn’t it neat?

This is an excellent way for authors and publishers to get their books reviewed and out in the world through a wide unbiased audience—teachers and librarians also partake in the programs they offer.

LitPick Book Reviews offers packages ranging from $50-125, and some even include social media promotion. As an author of youth literature, it is so worth checking out.

Better yet, sign up to receive the newsletter and be the first to know about our updates .

Final thoughts on getting book reviews.

Please note that some of these places have distinct submission guidelines and given the high volume of requests, you might or might not get a response.

The silver lining is the selection is broad enough for every taste and some venues crave your craft.

What are your thoughts about this list? What other places do you usually get book reviews? Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram .

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The 13 Best Book Review Sites and Book Rating Sites

Knowing where to buy books can be challenging. So, here are the best book review sites to help you avoid buying books that you'll regret reading.

Nobody likes to spend money on a new book only to face that overwhelming feeling of disappointment when it doesn't live up to your expectations. The solution is to check out a few book review sites before you hit the shops. The greater the diversity of opinions you can gather, the more confidence you can have that you'll enjoy the title.

Which book review and book rating sites are worth considering? Here are the best ones.

1. Goodreads

Goodreads is arguably the leading online community for book lovers. If you want some inspiration for which novel or biography to read next, this is the book review site to visit.

There's an endless number of user-generated reading lists to explore, and Goodreads itself publishes dozens of "best of" lists across a number of categories. You can do a book search by plot or subject , or join book discussions and reading groups with thousands of members.

You can participate in the community by adding your own rankings to books you've read and leaving reviews for other people to check out. Occasionally, there are even bonus events like question and answer sessions with authors.

2. LibraryThing

LibraryThing is the self-proclaimed largest book club in the world. It has more than 2.3 million members and is one of the best social networking platforms for book lovers .

With a free account, you can add up to 200 books to your library and share them with other users. But it's in the other areas where LibraryThing can claim to be one of the best book review sites.

Naturally, there are ratings, user reviews, and tags. But be sure to click on the Zeitgeist tab at the top of the page. It contains masses of information, including the top books by rating, by the number of reviews, by authors, and loads more.

3. Book Riot

Book Riot is a blog. It publishes listicles on dozens of different topics, many of which review the best books in a certain genre. To give you an idea, some recent articles include Keeping Hoping Alive: 11 Thrilling YA Survival Stories and The Best Historical Fiction Books You’ve Never Heard Of .

Of course, there's also plenty of non-reading list content. If you have a general affinity for literature, Book Riot is definitely worth adding to the list of websites you browse every day.

Bookish is a site that all members of book clubs should know about. It helps you prep for your next meeting with discussion guides, book quizzes, and book games. There are even food and drink suggestions, as well as playlist recommendations.

But the site is more than just book club meetings. It also offers lots of editorial content. That comes in the form of author interviews, opinion essays, book reviews and recommendations, reading challenges, and giveaways.

Be sure to look at the Must-Reads section of the site regularly to get the latest book reviews. Also, it goes without saying that the people behind Bookish are book lovers, too. To get a glimpse of what they’re reading, check out their Staff Reads articles.

5. Booklist

Booklist is a print magazine that also offers an online portal. Trusted experts from the American Library Association write all the book reviews.

You can see snippets of reviews for different books. However, to read them in full, you will need to subscribe. An annual plan for this book review site costs $184.95 per year.

6. Fantasy Book Review

Fantasy Book Review should be high on the list for anyone who is a fan of fantasy works. The book review site publishes reviews for both children's books and adults' books.

It has a section on the top fantasy books of all time and a continually updated list of must-read books for each year. You can also search through the recommended books by sub-genres such as Sword and Sorcery, Parallel Worlds, and Epic Fantasy.

7. LoveReading

LoveReading is one of the most popular book review sites in the UK, but American audiences will find it to be equally useful.

The site is divided into fiction and non-fiction works. In each area, it publishes weekly staff picks, books of the month, debuts of the month, ebooks of the month, audiobooks of the month, and the nationwide bestsellers. Each book on every list has a full review that you can read for free.

Make sure you also check out their Highlights tab to get book reviews for selected titles of the month. In Collections , you'll also find themed reading lists such as World War One Literature and Green Reads .

Kirkus has been involved in producing book reviews since the 1930s. This book review site looks at the week's bestselling books, and provides lengthy critiques for each one.

As you'd expect, you'll also find dozens of "best of" lists and individual book reviews across many categories and genres.

And while you're on the site, make sure you click on the Kirkus Prize section. You can look at all the past winners and finalists, complete with the accompanying reviews of their books.

Although Reddit is a social media site, you can use it to get book reviews of famous books, or almost any other book for that matter! Reddit has a Subreddit, r/books, that is dedicated to book reviews and reading lists.

The subreddit has weekly scheduled threads about a particular topic or genre. Anyone can then chip in with their opinions about which books are recommendable. Several new threads are published every day, with people discussing their latest discovery with an accompanying book rating or review.

You'll also discover a weekly recommendation thread. Recent threads have included subjects such as Favorite Books About Climate Science , Literature of Indigenous Peoples , and Books Set in the Desert . There’s also a weekly What are you Reading? discussion and frequent AMAs.

For more social media-like platforms, check out these must-have apps for book lovers .

10. YouTube

YouTube is not the type of place that immediately springs to mind when you think of the best book review sites online.

Nonetheless, there are several engaging YouTube channels that frequently offer opinions on books they've read. You’ll easily find book reviews of famous books here.

Some of the most notable book review YouTube channels include Better Than Food: Book Reviews , Little Book Owl , PolandBananasBooks , and Rincey Reads .

Amazon is probably one of your go-to site when you want to buy something. If you don’t mind used copies, it’s also one of the best websites to buy second-hand books .

Now, to get book reviews, just search and click on a title, then scroll down to see the ratings and what others who have bought the book are saying. It’s a quick way to have an overview of the book’s rating. If you spot the words Look Inside above the book cover, it means you get to preview the first few pages of the book, too!

Regardless of the praises or criticisms you have heard from other book review sites, reading a sample is the most direct way to help you gauge the content’s potential and see whether the author’s writing style suits your tastes.

12. StoryGraph

StoryGraph is another good book review site that's worth checking out. The book rating is determined by the site's large community of readers. Key in the title of a book you're interested in and click on it in StoryGraph's search results to have an overall view of its rating.

Each book review provides information on the moods and pacing of the story. It also indicates whether the tale is plot or character-driven, what readers feel about the extent of character development, how lovable the characters generally are, and the diversity of the cast.

13. London Review of Books

The London Review of Books is a magazine that covers a range of subjects such as culture, literature, and philosophy. Part of its content includes amazingly detailed book reviews. If you feel that most modern book reviews are too brief for your liking, the London Review of Books should suit you best.

You'll gain insight into the flow and themes of the story, as well as a more thorough picture of the events taking place in the book.

Read Book Reviews Before You Buy

The book review sites we've discussed will appeal to different types of readers. Some people will be more comfortable with the easy-to-interpret book rating systems; others will prefer extensive reviews written by experienced professionals.

Although it’s easy to be tempted by a gorgeous book cover, it’s always best to have a quick look at the book reviews before actually buying a copy. This way, you can save your money and spend it on the books that you’ll be proud to display on your shelves for a long time. And check out recommendations, as well, to help you find what's worth reading.

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June 12, 2023 By Katy Hershberger

Outlets That Pay for Book Reviews

Jane Friedman

Are Paid Book Reviews Worth It?

paying for book reviews

Paying for professional book reviews is a controversial topic throughout the writing and publishing community, and it’s hard to find practical, unbiased information about the benefits. In fact, it’s not even well-known that paid book reviews exist, and even less is known about the value of such reviews.

Before I discuss the pros and cons of paid reviews, I want to define them (strictly for the purposes of this post).

  • Trade book reviews. Trade publications are those read by booksellers, librarians, and others who work inside the industry (as opposed to readers/consumers). Such publications primarily provide pre-publication reviews of traditionally published books, whether from small or large presses. Typically, these publications have been operating for a long time and have a history of serving publishing professionals. However, with the rise of self-publishing, some trade review outlets have begun paid review programs especially for self-published authors. Examples: Kirkus Reviews and Foreword Reviews .
  • Non-trade book reviews.  Because of the increased demand for professional reviews of self-published work, you can now find online publications that specialize in providing such services. These publications or websites may have some reach and visibility to the trade, or they may be reader-facing, or a mix of both. Examples: Indie Reader , Blue Ink Review , Self-Publishing Review .
  • Reader (non-professional) reviews. It’s considered unethical to pay for reader reviews posted at Amazon or other sites, and Amazon is actively trying to curb the practice.

This post is focused on the first two types of paid reviews; I recommend you stay away from the third.

Some of you reading this post may be looking for a quick and easy answer to the question of whether you should invest in a paid book review. Here’s what I think in a nutshell, although a lot of people will be unhappy with me saying so:

The majority of authors will not sufficiently benefit from paid book reviews, and should invest their time and money elsewhere.

However, this can be a more nuanced issue than this broad statement indicates. Here are three questions I ask authors when advising about the value of paid reviews:

  • Do you have a well-thought-out marketing plan that targets librarians, booksellers, or schools?
  • What is your overall marketing budget, and does it include hiring a publicist or outside help?
  • What’s your book category? Are you trying to market a children’s book?

Let discuss each issue in more detail.

1. Are you targeting the trade?

It makes little sense to pay for a trade book review if all you’re going to do is make your book available for sale on Amazon or other online retailers and consider your marketing job done. This is a huge waste of your money, yet this is what many authors do, because what they’re mainly after is validation, not a marketing tool.

Ask yourself: Do you want this review because you feel it’s part of having “real” book published—that having it gives you some additional credibility? If that’s your only motivation, you are paying to feel better about yourself and your work, not to sell books.

A better way to sell more books on Amazon, or through online retail, is to generate as many reader reviews as possible. Some might argue that having a professional review as part of the book’s description on Amazon (and elsewhere) adds a sheen of professionalism and leads to more readers taking a chance on the book. But I believe readers are generally not persuaded by one professional review when there are few reader reviews and/or a low star rating. Like it or not, purchasing behavior online is driven by quantity of reviews that help indicate a book is worth the price, assuming no prior exposure to the author.

However, if you have an outreach plan that involves approaching libraries to consider your book, or if you’re trying to reach independent booksellers, then having a positive review from a source they know can help you overcome an initial hurdle or two. It will not guarantee they will carry or buy your book, but it may help make a favorable impression. (That said, they may know your review was paid for if your book is self-published. This probably won’t matter to them as long as they trust the review source.)

Another thing to understand is that even if you pay for your trade review, that doesn’t mean it will have as much prominence or visibility as other (unpaid) reviews from that publication. Paid reviews are typically segregated and run separately from unpaid reviews, so a bookseller or librarian may have to actively seek out reviews of self-published books. How much attention these reviews receive from the trade, in aggregate, is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure: there’s a ton of competition even just among traditionally published books.

All of this assumes that the paid review you receive is positive or will make a good impression. The review may, in fact, be negative, and you won’t be able to use it. (In such cases, the trade review outlet allows you to suppress publication of the review altogether.)

If you are targeting the trade, and you’re operating on a professional level, then consider approaching trade publications just as any traditional publisher would: four to six months in advance of your book’s publication date. (Since the focus of these trade publications is on pre-publication reviews, they won’t review your book if you don’t send the copy several months in advance of your pub date.) Send an advance review copy along with a press release or information sheet about the book, and cross your fingers that your book is selected for review (for free). If not, later on you can consider paying for a review if necessary.

If you’re not targeting the trade, sometimes a paid review can still be helpful. That brings us to the second question.

2. What does your overall marketing plan look like?

If paying for a review consumes all of your marketing and publicity budget, stop. This isn’t what you should spend your money on. You’d see far more sales from spending that money on a BookBub promotion or on other types of discounts or giveaways to increase your book’s visibility.

On the other hand, if the paid review is just one piece of a larger marketing plan to gain visibility, then you’re in a better place to capitalize on a positive paid review. If you can see it as a steppingstone—as a way to get people on board quicker—that’s the right mindset. A positive review from a known or trusted source can help lead to other reviews—or interview opportunities, or other media coverage. Or you could use the review in advertisements to the trade.

With paid reviews, remember: steppingstone. It’s not paid review = book sales . A good marketer or publicist can help open doors for you, and they could have an easier time if they’re armed with some good blurbs or coverage (including that paid book review) to start.

If all you intend to do with your paid review is add it to your book cover, your website, your Amazon book description, or other online marketing copy, then it is not likely to have any noticeable effect on your sales. (And frankly, in such cases, there is no way to measure if it really did make a difference.)

3. What’s your book category?

The children’s market is one area where I think paid reviews can make the most sense, because you’re not typically marketing directly to readers (children) but to educators, librarians, and schools. The children’s market highly values trade publications such as School Library Journal  or  Publishers Weekly ; these publications help them understand what’s releasing soon and make good choices about what to buy, often on a limited budget.

Here’s the rub: you can’t buy a review in either of those publications I just mentioned. You would have to submit to them through the traditional channels at least a couple months (or more) in advance of your publication date.

I spent more than a dozen years in traditional publishing and oversaw the publication of hundreds of books. During that time, only a handful of our titles received professional trade reviews. By and large, our company did not submit books for review, and pre-publication reviews did not perceptibly affect our sales when they did appear. That’s because our books were mainly in instructional or enthusiast nonfiction categories, where sales aren’t typically driven by professional or trade reviews.

If you don’t have industry experience, it may be difficult to figure out if a paid review might make a difference for your particular book category. Here’s what I recommend: Using Amazon, find books that would be considered direct competitors to yours. Take a look at their Amazon category or genre (e.g., paranormal romance, cozy mystery, etc.), then look at the bestsellers in that category over a period of a week or two. (If you can, make sure you research a good mix of both traditionally published and self-published titles.) Read the books’ Amazon page descriptions and see what review sources are quoted. Many times, you’ll find (free) blogger reviews and a variety of (free) niche publication reviews, rather than reviews from the companies I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Taking the time to pursue free reviews or reader reviews is the preferred method of established, career indie authors; they’re rarely concerned about courting the traditional gatekeepers, unless their work is of a literary bent.

Paid Book Review Benefits That Don’t Really Mean Anything

Most paid review outlets promise that your review will be distributed to Ingram, online retail sites, and all sorts of important-sounding places. This type of review promotion doesn’t discount any of what I’ve discussed above. Again, just because the review is distributed or available doesn’t mean it will be seen or acted upon. And I don’t recommend that you pay these companies for extra promotion or advertising of your review unless you really know what you’re doing and a marketer or publicist thinks it will get your book in front of exactly the right audience. Too much of online advertising is like flushing money down the toilet—whether it’s done through these companies or not. If you’re interested in quality and targeted advertising for your book, consider  M.J. Rose’s AuthorBuzz service , but even then, make sure it’s only one part of a larger marketing plan, not the only part.

Are Paid Book Reviews Tainted?

Yes and no. As I said at the outset, this is a controversial topic, and perceptions about the practice widely vary. I’m not typically an advocate of paid reviews, because in most cases I think that authors fail to capitalize on them and also that authors can achieve much the same results if they put in the (time-consuming) effort to secure the many types of free reviews available to them. It’s not that I’m morally against paid reviews, although I do think paid review services can make it sound like all sorts of wonderful, influential people will suddenly take notice of your book when that’s seldom the case.

If professional trade reviews are very important to you or your work, I highly recommend (as suggested before) that, rather than paying for a review, you send advance review copies to trade review outlets four to six months in advance of your publication date and proceed through the process just as other publishers would. While your chances of getting a review might not be as good as the chance a recognized press would have, you still have a shot if your work appears to meet professional standards in every other way. Darcy Pattison has shown that it’s possible , and so have many others. Too many self-publishers don’t have the patience to wait, yet still want the same review consideration or coverage as traditionally published authors. Fortunately, I think many self-publishers don’t need the same kind of professional review coverage or attention that traditionally published authors receive; you have other tools at your disposal that can be just as effective in driving sales.

I’d love to hear in the comments from authors willing to share their experience with paid review services—positive, neutral, or negative.

Additionally, The Alliance of Independent Authors has posted their anecdotal findings and research into the issue in the following two posts, which have interesting comment threads. So far, they’ve only focused on Kirkus.

  • Is a Kirkus Review Worth the Price?
  • Is Kirkus Selling Dreams—Or Do They Deliver?

In October 2022, publisher and author Ian Lamont wrote about his Kirkus Indie review for the Harvard Business Review. Be sure to read it before paying for a Kirkus review.

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman has spent nearly 25 years working in the book publishing industry, with a focus on author education and trend reporting. She is the editor of The Hot Sheet , the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2023. Her latest book is The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), which received a starred review from Library Journal. In addition to serving on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund, she works with organizations such as The Authors Guild to bring transparency to the business of publishing.

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[…] The majority of authors will not benefit from paid book reviews, and should invest their time and money elsewhere. Here's why.  […]

TK Greenleaf

I bought a paid review from Kirkus for my speculative fiction novel, Duo. While the review was largely positive, so much of it was devoted to outlining the plot, I felt anyone who read it would be be deprived of enjoying the discovery of the story for themselves. And, I could be wrong, but the tone of the comments led me to believe that the reviewer had speed-read the book (which, if they’re getting paid by the review, would make sense), and that led to conclusions that none of my other reviewers, who had read the story for enjoyment, agreed with. Overall, I did get a couple of good quotes to excerpt on the book jacket, etc., so it was worth it for my marketing mix, but I think there are probably better ways to spend marketing dollars.

Jane Friedman

Much appreciate you sharing your detailed results here. Thank you!

Diane O\'Connell

One of my authors (I’m an independent editor) had the same experience with Kirkus. The review was positive, but was 90% devoted to detailing the plot, including spoiling a major plot twist. There was nothing really “quotable” in the review, so the author was unable to use it — even though he got a good review.

Jean Hoefling

TK Greenleaf, I’ve found this endless synopsis thing to be true with many of these review sites, whether paid or free, and I don’t get it. I write reviews for Blue Ink Review, and we are required to read the entire book, and I spend as little of my word count as possible on the synopsis, and always read the whole book, for better or worse. My guess is that any of the bigger review sites require the same of their reviewers, whether individual reviewers follow through or not. That client is shelling out a ton, and it’s just unethical not to respect that.

Sivuyile Daniel

Thank you for your honesty.

Marcy McKay

My novel has been all of five weeks, and I have 43 reviews…all four-and-five stars. Not one of those has been paid, and it’s fun that so many reviews came from strangers. I’m VERY proud of what I’ve accomplished, but getting those reviews has been harder than writer the book (not really, but sort of).

I’m trying to get 60 reviews and saving my money for BookBub for the very reasons you laid out. It’s interesting because my first inclination about “paid reviews” was it’s unethical, but I do respect Kirkus. Thanks for really making me think, Jane.

Cathey Nickell

43 is fantastic! I’ve only gotten 23… it is HARD WORK! You’re right.

Thanks, Cathey. I knew it’d be hard, but even so much harder than I expected. I can name 8 people who’ve read my novel and liked it (they told me through email, Facebook, Twitter) and SAID they would write review, but haven’t. Grrr.

Good luck with you and gathering reviews.

C.David Gierke

I also had multiple individuals say they really liked my book, but didn’t write a review… even after I sent them a detailed description as to how it could be done on Amazon, B & N and Goodreads!

Stanley C Straub

I’ve found the same thing. I’ve had readers tell me how good the book was, said that they would write a review, and yet they haven’t written one. I thought writing a book was hard but I think unless you’re willing to shell out lots of money for reviews, the getting of reviews is much harder. I’ve begged for reviews and I’ve only gotten one or two by begging. I’ve written to reviewers who said that they would review my book if I sent it to them. I’ve sent it to them and then waited for their review. Out of many that I wrote to, only a couple actually wrote a review. So far I’ve gotten eight reviews on my latest book in over a year of trying to get them. I write a blog, use twitter, and facebook. I’m not willing to pay for reviews and maybe that’s my problem. All of the paid review sites tell you how great they are and how well they work. However, I personally think that they only work great for them to make money. Thank you Jane for bringing up this issue. There must be a trick without spending lots of money that we’re not aware of. I hope that if anyone finds out what it is, they’ll let us know.

Bruce Hartman

Stanley, You are so right! Lots of people will promise, but it takes time. Jane’s article gives great advice, and is my go to for any self publishing advice. It is a lot like running for office, you have to all the little things, as hard as that may be.

Adam

Hey there, can you give me some advice on getting reviews? I’ve approached a metric ton of bloggers, emailed 800 top reviewers, posted on all sorts of communities asking for reviews over the last 4 weeks, and I have 5 reviews total.

C. David Gierke

My findings, exactly! Getting honest reviews is harder than the writing… by far.

Frances Caballo

I am so glad you published this post. There’s something about paying for a review that has never appealed to me. And when authors promote a Kirkus review, I tend to dismiss it. I would much rather promote my readers’ reviews than a review I had to purchase. Reader reviews are authentic, more meaningful, and, of course, provided without compensation.

Paul Ottley

Thanks for that Frances, I think I will follow your lead. I write books, and of course I also want to sell my books, to help people get inspired by what I have written for them.

Cate Baum

As an expert in paid reviews, and the COO of Self-Publishing Review, one company you linked to, I feel I need to get into this – you could have come to us, the specialists in the field for advice and comment; instead you have drawn conclusions without reliable data. I saw your post on Facebook where writers were saying paid reviews were useful to them, but I’m not seeing that here. You have not reported it. Some said it wasn’t useful as well, but this seems to be a blanket dismissal of something that works for a lot of writers, or it wouldn’t be increasingly commonplace.

To start, this paragraph doesn’t make a lot of sense:

“I believe readers are generally not persuaded by one professional review when there are few reader reviews and/or a low star rating. Like it or not, purchasing behavior online is driven by quantity of reviews that help indicate a book is worth the price, assuming no prior exposure to the author.”

People get an editorial review to put in the Editorial Reviews section on Amazon so that people might be more inclined to buy the book and add a customer review. Amazon have done this officially because expert reviews are more valued by consumers more of the time than a customer review – I have independent studies to prove this. This is because an expert reviewer can judge a book’s viability, readability, and the writer’s talent much more astutely than someone who reads a few books a year. We have scientific data on this I would have been happy to share if you had asked.

Another: “If all you intend to do with your paid review is add it to your book cover, your website, your Amazon book description, or other online marketing copy, then it is not likely to have any noticeable effect on your sales.”

You don’t understand the reason an author needs an editorial review. Reviews of any kind cause a cumulative effect and not a direct sales to review ratio. The main difference between an editorial review and a customer review is this: A customer buys the book before they write a review. The editorial review is written before a customer buys the book. So you’re working back to front if you want customer reviews to sell books.

For the vast majority of self-publishers, where KDP is their bread and butter, libraries and “the trade” aren’t important. Honestly, this seems sort of old-fashioned and print-centric for today’s industry. What authors mostly want is a review to get the ball rolling with readers directly. Authors are much more concerned with Kindle sales than library distribution, which they can get anyway with Smashwords or with KDP extended distribution. This is your core argument, but there’s a really small percentage of writers who even have a book in hard copy these days. Seems really out of touch to be talking about this as a main concern.

You’re underestimating how difficult it is to get reviews for free. If you send a query to 100 book blogs and don’t receive many responses, or get a badly written 100-word review on a low-traffic site, that does nothing for sales. Additionally, a review from a higher-profile source can help get a foot in the door with book bloggers than a book that has no reviews from other book sites. Even if you do get free reviews, again, these don’t look professional on your Editorial section, and do nothing to augment your book selling plan.

I have worked with thousands of indie authors so I know what they want – library exposure is not one of the wishlist, especially given many libraries are closing and don’t have money for trad books, let alone taking a shot on a self-publisher. Sales and ranking are the main concerns these days, both of which are helped with an editorial review. It’s about getting a manuscript critique that’s live on the site/social networks, and making an Amazon page/author site/marketing materials as enticing as possible.

We get reviews in front of nearly a quarter of a million readers when someone buys a review from us. That’s not nothing.

It’s strangely narrow minded to dissuade writers from any useful tool when bookselling is becoming increasingly more difficult. It’s highly fashionable to criticize paid reviews without really researching the plus points, but it’s really a lack of understanding of how hard it is to promote a book among the millions of titles available, and honestly, this article does not reflect your findings on Facebook, which I monitored, that were clearly as positive as they were negative, with authors reporting good sales after paid reviews – something I can corroborate.

I’m sorry you thought you had to join in the paid review bashing. Unfortunately you did not report the facts from your research correctly, and although you linked to us, did not ask us or any of the other companies listed for our opinion, comment, or advice. We have loads of facts and figures from independent studies conducted by marketing experts, universities, and even Amazon that we could have shared with you instead of your points in this post, that are honestly kind of misleading and yet again don’t give the right up-to-date information for indie authors today.

The amount of professional care and attention we give to reviews is beyond just writing a few paragraphs, and I deeply resent the myth being perpetuated by articles like this that as book professionals we don’t do everything in our power to make sure authors get the most they can out of their review package. This whole idea of rejecting book marketing experts in self-publishing has to end. It’s just silly, and smacks of being stubbornly against the tide of progress for no reason. There are going to be a lot of noses cut in spite littering the self-publishing industry floor at this rate, and a lot of disappointed writers who read articles like this and think it’s fine to scrimp on professional tools. It’s not.

Thanks for adding your perspective, Cate. If you’re willing to share links to the independent studies and scientific data here in the comment thread, I know my readers would welcome them, as would I.

I think it’s extreme to characterize my post as bashing paid reviews or rejecting book marketing experts. I stated what I believe are the limitations of paid book reviews, and clarified that some authors can benefit from them with a well-thought-out marketing plan. I’ve worked with self-published authors for a long time as well (since 2001), so I’m not without experience of my own. This is my professional opinion, not a journalistic investigation.

If anyone would like to review the full comment thread at Facebook where I asked authors to share their experiences with paid reviews, here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/jane.friedman/posts/10153906010842417?pnref=story

I wish that when bloggers blog about paid reviews they would use hard fact instead of opinion. I work with paid reviews every day for 16 hours a day. I see hundreds of authors making sales as a result. Some have even gotten trad book deals from our reviews.

Here are the independent study links I collated into a piece 2 months back. Research comes from the UK government, several universities and well-known marketing sources used in the book industry.

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/12/how-paid-reviews-sell-books-facts-and-figures/

Henry Baum

I really think you’re looking at self-publishing through the lens of traditional publishing. Most self-publishers have very little interest in the library market – they’re interested in Kindle sales and online marketing. So, yes, a paid review won’t necessarily help you reach library buyers, but if that’s your main argument against paid reviews, it’s a very narrow lens. And then you say this:

“If the paid review is just one piece of a larger marketing plan to gain visibility, then you’re in a better place to capitalize on a positive paid review. If you can see it as a steppingstone—as a way to get people on board quicker—that’s the right mindset. A positive review from a known or trusted source can help lead to other reviews—or interview opportunities, or other media coverage. Or you could use the review in advertisements to the trade.”

Then what’s the argument against paid reviews, given that the majority of authors use a review exactly like this?

You mention in passing things like back cover copy/Amazon Editorial review/marketing materials like those are small issues – those are huge parts of a book release. I obviously have skin in the game of paid reviews, but this really isn’t looking at what paid reviews offer in the current market.

You’re conflating paid review and “professional trade review” like they’re the same thing – as if the main reason people buy paid reviews is to be recognized by mainstream publishing. It just isn’t. This is a Kindle world now – that’s where most self-publishers want to be recognized.

My opinion in this post is based mostly on these 2 things.

1. Customer reviews (quantity and star rating) matter more to a book’s visibility and sales success on a site like Amazon. This is fairly well-established in the Amazon self-publishing community and emphasized in all the how-to guides. This is why indie authors-marketers, such as Tim Grahl or Sean Platt, tell authors why and how to get as many reader reviews as possible on the first day or week of a book’s release. An example: http://timgrahl.com/amazon-reviews/

2. A broader societal trend has questioned the role and meaning of the professional review or critic in light of recommendations from non-professional sources (user-generated reviews, social media, and other word of mouth). I don’t think it’s possible to attend a publishing conference today without a panel on “Is Book Criticism Dead?” Don’t get me wrong—there IS a place for professional reviewing and criticism, but the landscape isn’t the same as it used to be, and I believe professional editorial reviews matter mainly to people in the profession. There are always exceptions, of course, which I believe are driven mainly by the category of book we’re talking about.

I don’t know whether a majority of authors use paid reviews or not (although that hasn’t been my impression). But if there is a large number of authors who use paid reviews, I don’t find that a convincing argument for their sales and marketing benefit. Indie authors often lack experience in marketing, or don’t know what to buy or what’s helpful for them. You can see this play out clearly in the types of over-priced publishing services and marketing packages that exist out there (e.g., AuthorSolutions). Just because such services get a lot of customers doesn’t mean that they sell books.

Addressing your points.

1. Editorial Reviews are listed before customer reviews on Amazon, so Amazon itself prizes them more. In the study Cate links to, it’s determined that a reviewer with an established reputation has a greater impact than customer reviews. Obviously, customer reviews are hugely important, but a good Editorial Review can help get that process started. You’re linking to Tim Grahl – someone with an established reputation and fan base. Many self-publishers do all of the things he says and come up empty. It’s the kind of thing that’s encouraging to read, but doesn’t always work in the real world.

2. I really don’t think paid reviews and “professional criticism” are nearly the same thing. In my experience – and that experience is 100 hours a week working with self-publishers – the people who care about professional criticism and “the trade” are approaching zero. This isn’t about gatekeeping, it’s about exposure. There’s more exposure on a site with good traffic. And there’s more clout with an established service than Bob’s Book Reviews.

3. If you’re conflating paid reviews with Author Solutions, that’s pretty low. To not just me, but everyone who uses the service, which comprises all types of writers. Our lowest priced review is $69 – it’s hardly a rip-off to get book cover copy, Amazon Editorial Review, social media posting, etc. I just really think you’re underestimating how hard it is for so many authors to get any sort of coverage. There are millions of books all vying for attention, so authors need every tool they can get. If having an Amazon Editorial Review is better than not having one, then you’re steering authors away from something that can help them.

Henry, I apologize if it appeared I was conflating SPR or paid reviews with AuthorSolutions. That was not my intention, and I don’t think that SPR (or paid review services) are ripping off writers. The price charged for the review is more than fair—that’s not the issue in my mind. Rather, I don’t agree with the argument that popularity of an offering equates with its usefulness or appropriateness.

I’m well aware of how difficult it is to for any author or book to get coverage, but I don’t believe paid book reviews are the best or only solution to that challenge. It’s one solution, and I’ve tried to address the limitations of it.

This IS a good point for all of us to remember, Cate, when you say, “Reviews of any kind cause a cumulative effect and not a direct sales to review ratio.” I think that’s important to remember. I just really love all the information I’m gathering here. Thanks.

Millicent Hughes

Perhaps thou doth protest too much.

Lynn

Thank you. As a self published author this comment is very helpful (and encouraging)

Thank you for all this information, Jane! What a great article. I’m an indie author of a children’s picture book, and I’ve been working hard to get free PR wherever I can. It pays off; I got a big story in our newspaper, but I just got lucky (my news release hit the right person at the right time). I’ve gently prodded my book buyers to provide free reader reviews, and it does start gradually paying off. But it’s gradual … it’s hard to get a reader to sit down and write a review. I’m now considering purchasing a Kirkus Indie review, only because it is one of the requirements for a Texas book contest I want to submit my book to (a favorable review from one of 5 outlets is required, and Kirkus is one of those; the others wouldn’t accept a self-published book). And of course, I’ll just have to hope that the review is favorable, if I do decide to pay Kirkus. It’s a gamble, but this book contest is an important part of my marketing plan — realizing of course that I might not even win. You’re so right – it’s not just about sales. It’s also about networking with libraries, schools, local bookstores, etc. I’m doing all that, and it seems to be working. Keep writing great articles like this, I appreciate it very much.

Appreciate you taking the time to share your experience here, Cathey. Best of luck with your ongoing marketing and PR push!

[…] Are Paid Book Reviews Worth It? […]

[…] Are Paid Book Reviews Worth It? (Jane Friedman) Paying for professional book reviews remains a controversial topic that very few authors have practical, unbiased information about. In fact, it’s not even well-known in the author community that paid book reviews exist, and even less is known about the value of such reviews. […]

Richard

Anyone considering paid review services should read a recent article in The Huffington Post entitled “Book Reviews: Should You Pay for Them?” which you can find here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-houghton/book-reviews-paidfor-or-n_b_7903594.html

It’s a very refreshing article that concludes that “if you have the money to pay for a review, and feel comfortable doing it, then do so. It pays to remember that getting reviews for your book is akin to getting publicity for it. Time, effort, some money spent, and being tenacious are needed.”

Self-publishing authors are at a big disadvantage over traditionally published authors. So is it any wonder they pay for book reviews to help get visibility of their books?

The reason I like the article is because it is brutally honest in admitting that authors do pay for book reviews published on Amazon, Goodreads, and in blogs.

Many authors may not like the idea of paid book reviews, but as long as they are honest, and not misleading the reader, it’s just part of modern day ebook marketing. Just like many were against shops open on a Sunday, or advertising on football shirts, it’s just the way it is right now. To ignore it, is simply to get left behind.

Authors don’t select to use paid review services because they want to cheat or mislead the reader. They do it because indie authors today play on an uneven playing field which is stacked in favor of the traditionally published author.

Unlike traditionally published authors, self-published authors have practically no presence in actual bookshops. Print distribution and lack of shelf space in bookshops and other stores is literally stacked against the self-published author. While indie authors continue to hit the bestseller lists, their presence in bookstores remains negligible if non-existent. This is a shame because it is clear that indie authors can write books as well as any traditional authors.

The second major challenge or barrier facing indie authors is the lack of traditional media coverage. Despite self-publishing authors making the big-time bestseller lists both on Amazon and the New York Times, and having lots of social media support, recognition from the traditional literary community is practically non-existent. Few, if any, top book reviewers published in the traditional newspapers and magazines will cover indie titles.

Thankfully, there are some very reputable and established review services like Kirkus and Self-Publishing Review that will support indie authors. Yes, they are paid review services, and they are honest ones with strong reputations.

So I say hallelujah to these great champions of the self-publishing world. Without them, indie authors would have very few other places to go to help them promote their books and get honest reviews.

[…] one of her regular posts for the author corps, Jane Friedman titled a Monday article Are Paid Book Reviews Worth It?. Friedman is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest and Scratch magazine. She is teaching at […]

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THE MOTHER OF ALL THINGS, by Alexis Landau

What is the source of maternal rage? The answer is as infinite as it is ancient. In 1965, the poet and essayist Adrienne Rich, with small children underfoot, captured a possible explanation for this abyss in her journal when she described it as “a sense of insufficiency to the moment and to eternity.”

But where — for moms, for women — does this nagging feeling of insufficiency come from? From the misogyny that we grow up with? From the helpless outrage we bear as our messy, gorgeous, individual maternal experiences are flattened by society into a weirdly infantilized stereotype that’s placed, like a paper doll, into a two-dimensional dollhouse called “Motherhood”? Or does it come from the profound feeling of helplessness that accompanies the ability to give life to a human being, but be unable to ensure that life’s safety?

Ava Zaretsky, the diligent heroine of Alexis Landau’s ambitious and engaging new novel, “The Mother of All Things” (her third after “Those Who Are Saved” and “The Emperor of the Senses”), simmers with a steady rage that never fully erupts toward her kids (Sam, 10, and Margot, 13, who’s at the edge of “adolescence’s dark tunnel”) or her husband, Kasper, a preoccupied Los Angeles film producer. Rather, Ava’s rage burns beneath the surface, “so white and hot it blurred the contours of her body.” She is angry that, in a marriage of supposed equals circa 2019, Kasper can relocate to Sofia, Bulgaria, for a six-month film shoot without a second thought, while her own work as an adjunct art history professor is smudged out by the needs of her family. Her fury is also embedded, we later learn, in the powerlessness that comes with profound loss.

When the family joins Kasper in Sofia for the summer, the kids enroll in a day camp, allowing Ava to wander this mysterious city. Her curiosity and creativity bubble to the surface. She begins writing about an ancient Greek woman whose life parallels and dovetails with her own, and whose narrative is interspersed throughout the pages of the novel. By coincidence, Ava also reconnects in Sofia with an intimidating former professor named Lydia Nikitas and becomes involved in a group of women who participate in re-enactments of ancient rites and rituals, most notably the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Despite some moments that feel forced and overly earnest, particularly in the ancient narrative and the Nikitas story line, Landau’s writing is accessible, specific, lush and transporting. Her research is rigorous and full of elegant effort. The great success of this novel is the author’s sustained exploration of a woman in early midlife who, seething quietly on the inside but operating gracefully on the outside, bravely re-evaluates how her life has unfolded in order to progress as a mother to herself. Renderings of Ava’s childhood — a heartbreaking recollection of a favorite red belt, memories of a father’s girlfriend entering her life and then leaving it — are especially astute and rich.

At times, the novel’s disparate parts compete with rather than complement one another; some characters seem predictable, and certain ideas redundant. When things are meant to get weird, as in the rituals, it can feel more Scooby-Doo than genuinely haunting. For this reason, more than once, I felt like shaking the book like a snow globe, as if its fascinating contents, suspended, might set free more of its wildness.

Landau’s prose can also lift off the page, as it does in a prolonged memory of Ava’s first childbirth and its aftermath. Here, Landau’s writing is intimate, tender and full of terror. The sentences breathe with the softness of shared human experience across time — absolutely sufficient to the moment, and to eternity, too.

THE MOTHER OF ALL THINGS | By Alexis Landau | Pantheon | 336 pp. | $29

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As book bans have surged in Florida, the novelist Lauren Groff has opened a bookstore called The Lynx, a hub for author readings, book club gatherings and workshops , where banned titles are prominently displayed.

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Getting the Word Out: 25 Years of Changes to Book Publicity

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For most of publishing history, there was one dominant mode of literary publicity: the book review. The major—and most prestigious—consumer book review outlets have changed little over the past hundred or so years. The Atlantic opened its doors in 1857; the Nation in 1865; the New York Times Book Review in 1896; the Times Literary Supplement in 1902; the New Republic in 1914; the New Yorker in 1925; the New York Review of Books and London Review of Books in 1963 and 1979, respectively. The vocation of book reviewing was, and in many ways still is, an ivory tower, an erudite field that was nearly impossible to break into without the proper connections or bylines.

The exclusivity of the field has long been a point of contention for authors and reviewers alike. In 1846, in the magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book , Edgar Allan Poe published a six-article series entitled “The Literati of New-York City,” in which he railed against the “literary quacks” in New York who were shaping public literary opinion. The attention of book reviews’ editors, he said, was “too often entirely engrossed by politics or other ‘business’ matter,’ ” so that unduly “favorable notices” had become common. Meanwhile, an author like Nathaniel Hawthorne was “scarcely recognised by the press.” In 1888, one PW contributor considered the “spectre of the book reviewer,” hinting at the enigmatic and inaccessible role book reviewing had taken on within the culture.

In 1916, under the title “Review Copies and the Trade,” PW ran a thorough and clear-eyed assessment of the influence of book reviews as a form of publicity:

“What service does the book reviewer perform in book-trade economy and for whom does he perform it?... The answer to the question is furnished by a collection of the book advertisements of such journals as the New Republic , the Nation , Scribner’s , and the Book Review , or, in fact, any other medium carrying advertising of books already published. Fully one-half of the titles will be found to be followed by one or more literary quotations from reviews.... The review may often furnish the selling slogan for the book, while even a candid and unabashed ‘slam’ may frequently contribute, or be made to contribute, to sales.”

The breadth of book publicity efforts, then, were severely limited when literary tastes and discourse were shaped by a small, elite group of reviewers at legacy media institutions. In 1911, one PW contributor complained that many U.S. cities’ local publications did not publish book reviews of their own—“They prefer to copy verbatim from the New York... papers.” And even more contemporary outlets founded with the aim of making criticism more rigorous and varied, such as the New York Review of Books and London Review of Books , continued this tradition, entrusting the powers of book publicity into the hands of the few.

Enter Digital Media

In May 2002, Newsweek published“Will the Blogs Kill Old Media?” At the time, it didn’t seem impossible. The blog (a truncation of the portmanteau weblog ) burgeoned during the turn of the century, drawing readers away from traditional outlets and toward internet personalities. 1999 marked the launch of the platforms Blogspot, Blogger, and LiveJournal, with WordPress and TypePad following in 2003.

Soon, the new medium was stratified into genres—fashion blogs, mommy blogs, travel blogs. Within the world of publishing, and specifically book publicity, the emergence of the literary blog was nothing short of revolutionary. Bookish blogs cropped up one after another— Bookslut (and, of course, Gawker ) in 2002, the Millions in 2003, HTMLGiant in 2008, the Awl and the Rumpus in 2009, Unwrapping Romance in 2011. These were outlets for voicy, literary-minded young writers eager to share their opinions. Blogging not only circumvented the “gatekeeping” power of anointed literary critics at a handful of publications; it also filled a growing void as traditional avenues of literary coverage began to narrow. The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post ended their standalone book review sections in 2008 and 2009, respectively; by 2010, the Chicago Tribune , Minneapolis Star Tribune , Boston Globe , Atlanta Journal-Constitution , and Cleveland Plain Dealer drastically reduced their book coverage.

Literary blogs quickly gained followings. Publicists took notice and began to pay as much attention to casual bloggers, most of whom didn’t yet grasp their newfound cultural cachet, as they did to Times critics. “The first time someone emailed me to ask if I wanted to see a forthcoming book,” former Millions editor Lydia Kiesling told Vulture in 2019, “I was so flattered and amazed, and I didn’t understand that it didn’t mean that I had to do something with it!”

Getting a book into the hands of a literary blogger could mean getting it in front of the eyes of countless readers who trusted that blogger’s taste. Recurring features like the Millions ’ “Most Anticipated” and “Year in Reading” lists compiled recommendations from contributors whose praises sometimes ended up as book blurbs on jacket covers. For publicists, these sites created concentrated communities of like-minded readers to market to. “Places like HTML­Giant and Bookslut serve as a sort of hub for what’s going on, and so many writers have websites and blogs,” author Shane Jones told PW in 2010. “It harbors community.”

Few literary bloggers were paid. Many were young, scrappy, and content to be compensated in “exposure” as they began their careers. With no financial interests at stake or media legacies to uphold, they could share their honest opinions and their authentic personalities. “Bloggers have helped create a new literary discourse that benefits readers, writers, and critics,” Millions founder C. Max McGee declared on the website in 2007, and “a place where reading and discussing books for pleasure can augment the sometimes joyless drudgery that newspaper criticism has become.”

But one cannot live on exposure alone. By the mid-2010s, many literary blogs were more than a decade old, and their aging writers sought financial stability elsewhere. In 2014, Sarah J. Robbins reported on the state of the “blogosphere” for PW , speaking to bloggers and publicists alike.

“Many writers with distinctive voices have gone on to pursue paid bylines, and shifted daily reflections to social media,” independent publicist Lauren Cerand told Robbins. Indeed, such bloggers as Kiesling, Jessa Crispin, and Maude Newton began writing for traditional media outlets around this time. YA author Maureen Johnson noted that, by 2014, many online writers were also shifting away from straightforward reviews and toward a more participatory model involving “discussions that begin with a new release but quickly divert into real-time political, societal, and cultural dialogue.”

This interactive style of blogging was facilitated by the dawn of “microblogging” on such platforms as Twitter and Tumblr, which launched in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Johnson told Robbins at the time that she was “almost entirely on Twitter and Tumblr.” Tracy van Straaten, then v-p of trade book publicity at Scholastic, told Robbins that publicists “now talk about the complete social media footprint,” which includes both a writer’s blog posts and social media posts. “As much as we love coverage on the site, bloggers’ social media reach is just as important or even more important,” Ecco Press marketing manager Ben Tomek told Robbins, explaining that sometimes a tweet is as good as a review where marketing is concerned.

Twitter quickly became an essential tool not only for literary critics but for authors and publishers as well. In May 2009, PW tracked Big Five publishers’ Twitter followings. (“Although everyone’s still a little unsure of just how valuable a Twitter following is... celebrities, news organizations, and entertainment conglomerates are scrambling to get more followers on the social networking site,” we wrote.) PW found that Knopf, Grand Central, and Little, Brown had 1,581, 3,726, and 5,999 followers, respectively; as of this writing, those numbers are 285,000, 76,000, and 490,000. At the time, Hachette and Macmillan did not even have Twitter accounts; as of this writing, they have 55,000 and 25,000 followers, respectively.

In 2010, PW ’s Rachel Deahl furthered this investigation with “Who’s Got Pull in the Publishing Twitterverse.” She found that, while most major imprints were finally on Twitter, “some savvy indies were more adept at using the social networking service than the big houses.” Knopf’s Twitter, which grew 15-fold between 2009 and 2010, had found special success because it wasn’t “just about book promotion” but also tried to “engage followers in a larger conversation about literature”—now a normal tactic for brand accounts in the book business. In 2012, PW published an article headlined “Publisher Twitter Followings Explode.” In it, we highlighted 16 publishers whose combined Twitter followings had grown 20 times from 2009 to 2012.

Once a social media presence became mandatory for book critics and book publishers, authors followed suit. Publicists pushed authors to establish online presences and cultivate followings—in other words, to do their own publicity. This meant not only promoting their books on social media but also crafting a public identity to attract potential readers. “Authors need to work just as hard as their publicists to promote their work,” a 2014 op-ed for PW explained. “Coverage by a wide network of bloggers, a Facebook post by a celebrity author, or a viral op-ed in Huffington Post gives you a lot of exposure and often translates to sales.” This remains true today: “A novelist friend told me that social media is pretty much mandatory these days,” wrote Julie Poole in a 2021 Soapbox for PW . “Publishers expect writers to become their own publicists and marketing team.”

Authors’ followings were soon factored into book deals. “These days,” wrote Julie McCarron and Michele Matrisciani in a 2019 PW article, “a huge following on social media... is a must for a book deal,” and the number of one’s followers prompt publishers to green-light book proposals, since a large following makes for more reliable publicity. Some publishers attempted to reverse engineer book deals by combing social media—including YouTube and Instagram, which launched in 2005 and 2010, respectively—for new projects, since established fan bases meant built-in publicity.

Readers Enter the Picture

At the same time, readers themselves became “content creators” on social media. Just as blogs self-stratified into genres, users on YouTube and Instagram created their own subcommunities. On YouTube, enthusiastic readers carved out a corner called BookTube; on Instagram, Bookstagram.

Since the advent of the internet, readers have used various websites to stay connected and talk about books. “Consumers started telling each other about books with Amazon customer reviews a decade ago,” a December 2008 PW article noted. “Now they’re doing the same at BN.com and through general-interest gathering points like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, and at a plethora of sites like LibraryThing, Shelfari, and Goodreads, dedicated to book conversation.” (Publishers now regularly arrange book giveaways through Goodreads to get books into the hands of consumer reviewers.)

But on BookTube and Bookstagram, readers cultivated their own brands and online followings, becoming what we now call “influencers.” Like the trusted and relatable literary bloggers before them, BookTubers and Bookstagrammers became a key source for book recommendations for many readers. (As of this writing, there are 78,000 videos and 8,800 channels that use the #BookTube hashtag on YouTube, 73,290,494 posts under the #Bookstagram hashtag on Instagram.)

On YouTube, BookTubers’ videos—which mostly comprise unpacking book hauls, reviewing books, and making recommendations—have such titles as “Books you NEED to Read in 2022 *my favorite books that you’ll LOVE”; “I read 13 popular books... you need to read these!!”; “The only books I have ever given 5 stars”; “Book shopping haul | new books + new reads”; “Books I’ve read recently! Review & book talk.” BookTubers might even make videos about other BookTubers, reading their favorite books or critiquing their content. Such sites as She Reads and Book Riot have published lists of the “best” BookTubers.

Bookstagram, which postdates YouTube by seven years, largely supplanted BookTube. Such outlets as Buzzfeed , PopSugar, and even the Celadon Books website have published lists of the “best” Bookstagrammers. Bookstagram content, for the most part, tends to comprise photos of books against pretty backgrounds, with captions containing the Bookstagrammers’ thoughts on said books.

This simple combination can be potent. Popular Bookstagrammers can amass tens and even hundreds of thousands of followers, and some Bookstagrammers have even used their success to break into publishing proper; Morgan Hoit (@nycbookgirl), for instance, is now a senior marketing manager at the Random House Publishing Group, while Yahdon Israel (@yahdon) is a senior editor at Simon & Schuster. And recognition for Book­sta­gram’s influence continues to grow. In 2020, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators published a guide to “Understanding Bookstagram.” Through the CreateSpace independent publishing platform, Amber Nicole Payette published the 2017 book Post Your Best Bookstagram Photos Ever: Create Unique Content and Get Noticed .

This invites the question: noticed by whom? Usually, the answer is publicists. “@flatiron_books has blessed me with what is almost definitely my most anticipated book of 2022,” recently posted one Bookstagrammer with 41,000 followers, under a photo of her hand triumphantly clutching a copy of Julia Armfield’s Our Wives Under the Sea . This sort of promotion has become a standard publicity tactic—what influencers call “PR mail.” Publicists may scroll through Instagram to identify literary influencers with followings that would complement certain titles and send them galleys. But whereas early literary bloggers were surprised to receive such offers from publicists, today’s literary influencers actively court them.

Then, in 2016, came TikTok. As of 2021, the video-sharing platform has surpassed Instagram as the most popular app among young Americans. And TikTok’s literary segment, BookTok, has garnered more influence

than BookTube and Bookstagram ever did. In 2021, this reporter wrote a story for PW entitled “How TikTok Makes Backlist Books into Bestsellers,” using Colleen Hoover’s 2016 novel It Ends with Us , published by Atria, as a case study of the app’s unprecedented bookselling power. As of this writing, videos with the #BookTok hashtag have racked up a combined 42 billion views, and videos with the hashtag #ItEndsWithUs have 10 million (most of them clips of young women crying after finishing the book).

“From a marketing and publicity perspective, we jumped on the TikTok trend as soon as possible,” says Ariel Fredman, Atria senior associate director of publicity. To leverage the app’s influence, the publicity department connects with BookTok influencers to get books into the right hands. “It’s not just about sharing books,” Fredman adds. “It’s about sharing the right books to cultivate relationships.” (“One of the fun parts of my job is scrolling through my FYP on TikTok and randomly finding someone cool to send a galley to!” a marketing coordinator at an independent publisher recently tweeted.) Fredman also tailors her publicity efforts to the Atria books that are currently trending, keeping them “top of mind when talking to media and pitching trend stories.”

In the case of It Ends with Us and other books anointed “BookTok favorites,” including many of Hoover’s backlist titles, popularity on the app directly translated to sales. The common TikTok refrain “#BookTokMadeMeReadIt” is no exaggeration: in 2021, the year It Ends with Us started circulating on the app, Hoover’s print unit sales were 693% higher than in 2020. In response to BookTok’s selling power, Barnes & Noble stores across the country have erected “BookTok shelves” for shoppers to browse the app’s most buzzed-about books. Unique to TikTok, B&N director of category management Shannon DeVito says, is “the staying power of these titles once they start trending on the app.” The bump in sales that follows a book’s popularity on BookTube or Bookstagram, on the other hand, is usually just a “flash in the pan.”

Beyond the designated BookTok section, many B&N stores also group and display books that are emblazoned with stickers from celebrity book clubs. Book clubs have been around for decades, but today’s major book clubs are a far cry from the pay-to-play model of the Book of the Month club and other subscription programs, although those continue to find success. Instead, in the wake of Oprah Winfrey’s staggeringly successful Oprah’s Book Club—a club that has taken several forms over the years, including its latest, paired with a streaming talk show on Apple TV+—there are more celebrity book clubs than one can count. These include Reese With­erspoon’s Reese’s Book Club, Jenna Hager Bush’s Read with Jenna, and Sarah Jessica Parker’s Book Club Central—all major sales drivers—in addition to clubs led by young, digitally savvy actors Emma Watson, Emma Roberts, and Kaia Gerber. “There’s something beautiful about a celebrity book club that allows us to imagine having a conversation with Oprah, Jessica Pressman, author of Bookishness: Loving Books in a Digital Age , told PW in April 2021.

Of course book clubs are nothing new. “Publishers have nothing to fear, but much to gain from the multiplication of book clubs,” PW declared in 1879. “There are thousands and thousands of persons who through the agency of book clubs might be made cooperative purchasers of books, who now never enter the market at all.” But celebrity book clubs, which are largely hosted digitally, transcend geography to bring books to the attention of readers and reviewers across the country.

In 2019, Vox deemed Reese’s Book Club “publishing’s secret weapon,” after its selection of Where the Crawdads Sing led to an astronomical bump in sales; that same year, PW selected Witherspoon as a PW Notable. Witherspoon picks one book each month, posts it to the @reesesbookclub account (which as of this writing has 2.2 million followers), and promotes it for the rest of that month, which includes getting a yellow sticker slapped on the book’s cover. “While a Witherspoon selection doesn’t necessarily mean a title will become an immediate bestseller,” PW wrote, “it does mean a jump in sales, and a selection often provides a spark that can drive future sales.” Even the simple act of posting about a title can have a tangible impact. “One of the biggest things for a single book can be a major celebrity posting about it on social media,” Morgan Hoit, then associate marketing manager of Avid Reader Press, told PW in April 2021.

Despite the newfound power of celebrity within book publicity—that a single Instagram post from the right person can bump book sales, for instance—the practice of book reviewing, which also influences literary consumption, has been largely democratized. Publicists are eager to connect with readers and writers—as well as podcasters, You­Tubers, Instagrammers, and Tik­Tokkers—outside of establishment media, who now wield considerable power of their own. This is largely thanks to the book blogs that blazed a trail for nonestablishment reviewing in the internet’s earliest days.

Today, most of the influential literary blogs of the 2000s are defunct; their home pages look as if petrified in amber. When Bookslut shut down in 2016, founder Jessa Crispin wrote in the Guardian expressing nostalgia for “the early days before money invaded the internet—the early 2000s in particular.” She recalled a time when the nascent internet allowed writers more freedom, and “the online book culture was run mostly by enthusiasts and amateurs, people who were creating blogs and webzines simply for the pleasure of it, rather than to build a brand.”

The concept of the “brand,” however, is not going anywhere, especially when it comes to book publicity. At every level of the publishing industry, brands must be cultivated—by publishers, authors, critics, bloggers, and influencers alike. Moreover, as the internet becomes increasingly participatory, consumer-driven book promotion looks to be the future. Readers are looking for genuine recommendations from other readers, which is the kind of publicity that money can’t buy. Of course, this kind of publicity can be engineered—strategically putting books into the hands of celebrities, influencers, and consumer reviewers—but organic word-of-mouth is still a powerful force.

It is worth noting, however, that this more democratic mode of book publicity is not all good news for publishers’ publicity departments. Without a small, elite group of reviewers single-handedly shaping book coverage, responses to books have become more diffuse, therefore harder to control. The “literary quacks” Poe bemoaned for being too caught up in politics and business at the expense of hard-hitting criticism—they no longer hold all the cards. While publicists can place books into the hands of influencers, they cannot necessarily control their responses to books—or, for that matter, the responses of other readers with Twitter accounts. A book can earn praise in a major publication or receive a celebrity book club’s seal of approval but generate a groundswell of negative criticism online, as we saw with the 2018 novel American Dirt (the book was lauded by the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times and selected for Oprah’s Book Club, but attracted widespread accusations of racism on Twitter and in other publications). A publicity department can no longer shape a book’s narrative when that narrative is in the hands of countless readers and writers with online platforms.

With the proliferation of publicity channels—legacy media and grassroots digital publications; major celebrities and niche influencers; professional book reviewers and amateur Goodreads reviewers—promoting books has never been so multifaceted, so far-reaching, and so out of publishers’ hands.

book review outlets

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Now That's Thrifty!

Making life more affordable, book outlet review: the best place to buy new books.

Book Outlet Review

I’m not sure why I didn’t know about Book Outlet before last year, but they are my favorite website to buy new books.

Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links . This just means that we make a little money if you buy something through one of our links. It does not cost you any more to purchase an item through our links. It just helps support this blog so we can continue to bring you more content like this. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.

Get $5 off your first order of $25 or more from Book Outlet!

What is the quality of their books?

The books that you can buy from Book Outlet are greatly reduced in price because they are purchased directly from publishers. Publishers often have excess inventory or books that have been returned. The quality of the books are still new, but Book Outlet is able to purchase them for a discounted price and then sell them for low prices to their customers.

Book Outlet has three different types of books that they offer: bargain books, scratch & dent books, & specialty products.

The type of book you purchase is stated before you buy it, so make sure you read the description.

Bargain Books

These are new books purchased from publishers that look new or almost new. You will typically find a small mark on the end of the book that marks it as excess inventory for a publisher (see the following picture for an example).

book ends

Sometimes they are hardcovers and sometimes they are paperbacks (they will specify which one).

They are 50% to 90% off the publisher’s price. For example, one of the books on my wish list is normally $18.99 because it is a newer hardcover book. On Book Outlet, it is marked down to $7.38.

Scratch & Dent Books

These are still new books, but they have a lot more wear on them and can be missing dust jackets. These books are purchased from publishers as they are typically excess inventory or store returns.

While there is more cosmetic damage, they are structurally sound, so they still make great reading.

These books are sold as is and cannot be returned.

Specialty Product Books

While these books are not as cheap as bargain books or scratch & dent books, they also are brand new with no marks on the ends.

These books are still offered at a reduced price. For example, they currently have some special editions of classics that are marked down from $17.99 to $7.38.

My experience with Book Outlet

I wanted to write this Book Outlet review because of how much I like them.

My first purchase

books

Last year I discovered them a couple weeks before Black Friday. I saw that they were having a big sale, so I decided to buy a bunch of books from them.

My purchase included 16 bargain books, and it only cost me $38.26. If you purchase $35+, you get free shipping, so that’s what I did. This made my books approximately $2.39 each, and they are all brand new and in great condition. A few were even hardcovers with nice dust jackets.

Quarantine buys

books

The second time I ordered books from Book Outlet was during quarantine. I purchased four books, and it cost $16.28. I had a $5 off coupon, so that basically paid for the shipping.

They weren’t quite as cheap as the ones from the Black Friday Sale, but they are still a great bargain for being new books.

How to save even more money

Besides Book Outlet’s low prices, there are ways to save even more money.

Markdowns & Clearance

They constantly mark down their book prices and have clearance books that you can buy.

One of the books I bought during the Black Friday sale was only $0.69 because it was on clearance!

Look out for their sales as well because you can save quite a bit with them. For the Black Friday Sale, it was 30% off your total order! They have been having 15% your order for the last few months, so now is a great time to check them out.

One easy way to save money at Book Outlet is to earn rewards points and redeem coupons.

For every 100 points you have, you can get a $5 off coupon. There are several easy ways to earn these points:

  • Buy books—for every $2 spent, you earn 1 point
  • Take monthly loyalty quiz—every month you can earn 10 points for taking a short quiz
  • Refer a friend—you can earn 100 points every time you refer a new friend, and they purchase $25 or more (they also get a $5 coupon when using your link)
  • Sign up bonuses—there are a few things you can earn extra points for when you first sign up such as signing up for their newsletter and visiting their social media pages

If you haven’t shopped at Book Outlet before, you can use our link to get $5 off your first order of $25 or more.

What kinds of books can you find on Book Outlet?

Book Outlet is consistently adding new books to their website, so you should check back often. You can also get notified of books on your wish list coming in stock.

There are so many different kinds of books that you can buy on Book Outlet including adult, young adult, and children’s. There are many popular books on there, and you can even find box sets of books.

You can easily sort by author, genre, topic, price, arrival date, and more.

Have you ever ordered from Book Outlet?

If you haven’t looked at their website for a while, you should look to see what new books they have!

Related posts:

Where to Buy Cheap Books

12 Book Apps You Should Get for Your Phone

Scribd Review: Best Way to Read Books Online

where to buy cheap books online

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  1. Book Outlet Review: The Best Place to Buy New Books

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COMMENTS

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    7. Women's Review of Books. 💸 Pay: $100 per review. 👀 More information: Check here. Women's Review of Books is a long-running, highly-respected print publication that's a part of Wellesley Centers for Women. This feminist magazine has been published for 36 years and is looking for more book reviewers to join their force.

  3. Top 25 Book Review Magazines & Publications

    Here are 25 Best Book Review Magazines you should follow in 2024. 1. Bookforum Magazine. A sister publication of Artforum, Bookforum brings incisive reviews of the latest titles, author interviews, and commentary about current and coming trends and ideas being debated by some of the most interesting writers of our time. bookforum.com.

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    Send book review to book reviews editor Rob Vollmar at [email protected]. A few outlets that focus on reviewing fiction. Fiction Southeast: Online. Accepts reviews of short story collections (preferably collections of flash or micro shorts). Also likes interviews with authors of short story collections. Submittable.

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    However I've seen many mixed reviews about book outlet. I've seen lots of reviews about people saying they bought a scratch and dent copy and having their books be damaged when they show up and it makes me unsure if I want to try to order from them or not. I'm not against normal wear and tear but they make I sound like the books are ...

  6. Literary Magazines

    Book Review Outlets. Research newspapers, magazines, websites, and other publications that consistently publish book reviews using the Review Outlets database, which includes information about publishing schedules, submission guidelines, fees, and more. More. Poets & Writers Directory.

  7. Professional Book Reviews: List of Paid Book Review Sites

    List of Professional Book Review Outlets. To help, here's a list of several paid book review services that work with independent authors and small publishers [full disclosure: BestThrillers.com reviews mystery and thriller books]. 1) BestThrillers.com. Publishing since 2010, BestThrillers.com is solely focused on the mystery and thriller genres.

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    Then read on for the full explanation of all of the best book review sites out there! 1. Goodreads. Review styles: star rating, community reviews. It's impossible not to mention Goodreads when discussing book communities: it's the Facebook of book reviews — the ultimate social media platform for bibliophiles.

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    6. Editorial reviews (paid and unpaid) Let's clarify what we're talking about when we say "editorial reviews.". Editorial reviews, also called endorsements, are those glowing comments you find on front covers, back covers, inside in the front matter, and on your book's page with the distributor/retailer (e.g. Amazon).

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    Additional Book Review Outlets (Free) Amazon. Looking for Amazon Top Reviewers is a smart way to get reviews for your book. Why? Because Amazon incentivizes reviewers who write quality, helpful reviews to customers—top reviewers receive special badges and Hall of Fame placement. The higher the rank, the better for the reviewer.

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    Book Riot is a blog. It publishes listicles on dozens of different topics, many of which review the best books in a certain genre. To give you an idea, some recent articles include Keeping Hoping Alive: 11 Thrilling YA Survival Stories and The Best Historical Fiction Books You've Never Heard Of.. Of course, there's also plenty of non-reading list content.

  13. Outlets That Pay for Book Reviews

    Outlets That Pay for Book Reviews. June 12, 2023. By Katy Hershberger. Further to our reporting last fall on compensation for book critics and rates at various outlets, book critics Adam Morgan and Chelsea Leu have compiled an extensive list of publications that pay for books coverage. At the National Book Critics Circle site, their list ...

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    Typically, these publications have been operating for a long time and have a history of serving publishing professionals. However, with the rise of self-publishing, some trade review outlets have begun paid review programs especially for self-published authors. Examples: Kirkus Reviews and Foreword Reviews. Non-trade book reviews.

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    Book Review Outlets Research newspapers, magazines, websites, and other publications that consistently publish book reviews using the Review Outlets database, which includes information about publishing schedules, submission guidelines, fees, and more.

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    Book Outlet has a rating of 4.3 stars from 1,743 reviews, indicating that most customers are generally satisfied with their purchases. Reviewers satisfied with Book Outlet most frequently mention great prices, customer service, and new books. Book Outlet ranks 6th among Books sites. Service 289. Value 1577. Shipping 1577. Returns 41. Quality 1594.

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    A Modern Mom Finds an Ancient Outlet for Feminist Rage. In Alexis Landau's ambitious new novel, "The Mother of All Things," the frustrations of modern parenting echo through the ages. Eliza ...

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    The major—and most prestigious—consumer book review outlets have changed little over the past hundred or so years. The Atlantic opened its doors in 1857; the Nation in 1865; the New York Times ...

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  21. Book Outlet Review: The Best Place to Buy New Books

    Quarantine buys. The second time I ordered books from Book Outlet was during quarantine. I purchased four books, and it cost $16.28. I had a $5 off coupon, so that basically paid for the shipping. They weren't quite as cheap as the ones from the Black Friday Sale, but they are still a great bargain for being new books.

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