Book reviews for self-published fiction

“But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world, as there are pretty women to deserve them.”
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park.

To paraphrase Jane Austen, there certainly are not so many book-reviewers in the world, as there are novels to deserve their attention. A lot has been written about getting reviews for self-published books. In this post I summarize what I’ve learned so far.

An overview:

IndieBookLauncher has a page, titled “Getting Your Indie Book Reviewed”, that discusses “Why Do Reviews Matter?”. It considers reputable companies, like Kirkus Indie Reviews and Blue Ink Review, that review self-published books for a fee. It also points to venues that don’t charge a fee. Under the umbrella of “Getting Reader Reviews on Book Vendor Sites”, it lists book giveaways on Goodreads (only for print books ) and on LibraryThing (both ebooks and paper books; however, not applicable for free ebooks), Shelfari’s free ebooks group, Amazon’s KDP Select Program and Kubo’s promotions. There are also links to blogs and discussion boards.

Reviews by reviewers

The Indie Reviewers List provides links to websites that review self-published books for free. The websites are listed alphabetically according to reviewer’s name. The list indicates which genres each website reviews and where the reviews are posted.

Reviews by readers

  • IndieBrag (Book Readers Appreciation Group) focuses on fiction. Self-published authors can suggest an ebook for consideration (this requires a non-refundable payment of $20.00). According to the cite, “On average, 50% of the books submitted to us fail to pass the initial screen and another 40% are subsequently rejected by our readers. Thus, only 10% of the books we consider are awarded our B.R.A.G. Medallion and are presented on our website.

  • Goodreads Authors/Readers. This big group (almost 20,000 members) of readers and Goodreads authors is divided by genres. Authors can introduce their books, ask for reviews, announce giveaways. There are also threads to book review blogs and other resources.

  • An advice by Catherine Ryan Howard, the author of Self-Printed:
    Find the book’s (that is similar to yours – TK) Goodreads page and contact the users who gave it 5* and are accepting messages. (You can send private messages to non-friends but they are limited to I think around 12 a day). Offer them a complimentary copy of your book to review.
    (See more advice here).

Reviews by other indie-authors

  • GOOD REVIEWS is a Goodreads group where authors who are looking for reviews can post their books for review.

  • Review Group is a Goodreads group where authors get reviews from other author members, and in turn give non-reciprocal reviews to other authors in their reviewing group. In each round a member reads and reviews four allocated books. Reviewers cannot choose the books they get for review. There are three types of groups. General includes all genres of fiction, “from literary works, children’s books, and poetry to horror and erotica” and all non-fiction. Clean – with absolutely NO explicit sex, NO violence. And 18, where one will predominantly be reviewing books with explicit sex and/or violence.

  • The Reviews Initiative for Indie Books is a Goodreads group open to authors willing to read and review an Indie author’s book, and post their review on Amazon and Goodreads. In return, a different author agrees to read and review your book. You can choose whether to take the current offer for review, or wait for another book, but you don’t know who is going to review your book.

  • If you know of other review sites, blogs or groups, please share the information in the comments.

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