Editorial reviews are unbiased endorsements for a book that often come from respected review companies (also known as professional book reviews) or notable people. As an author, you can use these reviews on book covers, inside a book’s front matter, or on book pages on Amazon and other retailers. Editorial reviews provide credibility for a book, and once you have received your first review, getting more becomes easier. Collecting early reviews for your book before it is published is recommended, though you can continue soliciting editorial reviews after your book is released. You can also use professional reviews and editorial reviews on your website, social media accounts, press releases, or other marketing materials.
Professional Book Reviews
Professional book reviews lend huge credibility to your book, and even though the top review companies can be costly, they are worth getting if you can. Some professional review companies offer a free option if your book meets certain criteria and is selected.
Kirkus offers paid professional reviews to independent authors starting at $425. When your review is complete, you can decide whether to keep it private or publish it on Kirkus, where industry influencers, publishers, and readers can find it.
BlueInk Review accepts both traditionally and independently published books, as well as pre-publication manuscripts. Their standard review costs $395, and reviews are posted on their website, as well as to other places such as Ingram, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.
Booklife offers independent authors the opportunity to submit their book for a Publishers Weekly review for free. All you have to do is register your book, submit it for a review, and wait to see if you’re selected.
Foreword Reviews accepts books from independent publishers and authors. To be considered for a free review in the pages of Foreword Reviews magazine, you must submit a review copy a minimum of four months ahead of publication. If your book has already been published, they offer paid professional reviews by Clarion Reviews starting at $499. With your permission, the review will be posted on their website and shared with book wholesalers.
Chanticleer Book Reviews accepts both traditionally and independently published books as well as ARCs starting at $445. If you decide to publish the review, they will submit it to retailer sites and promote it in multiple forms.
City Book Review is the managing company for the San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review, Seattle Book Review, and more. They have a free option and will consider your book if it is within ninety days of its release date. If they deny your request for the free review, you can opt for a guaranteed paid review starting at $199. Reviews are posted on their websites.
Pacific Book Review packages start at $300, and reviews are posted on their website, distributed to news sites, and posted on major book retail websites.
Indie Reader offers professional reviews starting at $275. The reviews are featured on their website as well as Ingram’s pages which are accessible to librarians, publishers, and booksellers.
Other Paid Editorial Reviews
There are other trusted review sites that you can use to pay for unbiased editorial reviews. Many are less costly than the top professional review sites, and review options can start from as little as $50. Some of these sites also offer other promotional opportunities for indie authors.
Notable Editorial Reviews
Notable editorial reviews can come from anyone well-known or an expert in their subject, genre, or field. It does not have to be someone famous who will be impossible to reach. Aim high, but not so high that you have no responses. Credible editorial reviews could come from fellow writers, professors, industry experts, influencers, or leaders in the community.
You’ll want to create a list of people you will reach out to and keep track of their responses. It’s a good idea to build up some kind of relationship with these people before reaching out, if possible. You might follow them on social media, comment on their work, etc.
The Ask – Remember to be interested and interesting. When you reach out, whether via email or social media DM, make sure that you first show an interest in them. For example, start with something like, “I’ve always been a great admirer of your work.” Add specifics so that it is not too generic. Beginning this way shows them that you are genuine and have taken the time to get to know them. Then move on to share a little about you and your book and be interesting! Keep it short and sweet. Be sure to mention your publisher if you have one, as this increases credibility. If you have received any other editorial reviews, you’ll want to include some excerpts to show that your book has already been deemed worthy by others and is worth their time. The next step is where you will ask them if they would consider reading your book and offering some feedback in the way of a short endorsement if they are so inclined. If your book is not published yet, give them a link to your ARC (advance review copy) online, or if it is published, a link to where they can read the book for free online such as a PDF in a Google folder. You could also offer to send them a print copy if they prefer. End off by letting them know you appreciate their time and consideration. Always be courteous and respectful.
Getting professional book reviews and editorial reviews can make a big difference to your book’s credibility. They show potential book buyers that qualified, unbiased reviewers have deemed your book worthy. Booksellers and librarians also rely on professional reviews by verifiable sources they trust. So, take the time to get as many editorial reviews as possible.
Note that editorial reviews are different from regular reader reviews and don’t impact your ranking on Amazon.