As new author, I knew that sharing a Kirkus review on my memoir's book jacket could make a huge difference for my book in so many ways.
Working with Kirkus from the very beginning was both exciting and terrifying. Their procedure for requesting a book review was amazingly smooth and uncomplicated to navigate considering my initial anxiety. It took me just a few minutes to fill out the form on the Kirkus website and to send in my request for a review.
I am not a patient person, and after submitting my request I waited on pins and needles. And as I waited, I tried my very best to control the urge to send multiple emails to Kirkus, inquiring about the current status of my review. As the days passed my imagination ran rampant and I dreamed about how my review could possibly turn out.
I envisioned horribly embarrassing reviews that doomed my book to obscurity, and also highly positive reviews that catapulted my little memoir into bestseller status. I knew that the other reviews Nobody's Girl had gotten were so far actually very good, many of them five stars. Still I was scared, who knew what the Kirkus reviewers might think? This could go either way, and I told myself I had a fifty fifty chance of getting a good, maybe even a great review.
The day I saw the Kirkus email in my inbox my heart soared, then just as fast it sank and finally it leveled out to a dull roar pounding in my chest. I was terrified as I took a deep breath and opened the email. I quickly scanned the words.
"Your Kirkus review is ready!"
My hands actually shook as I clicked my way to the Kirkus dashboard and read my review. And guess what? It was good, even pretty great. A positive unbiased review from the mighty Kirkus! What a wonderful feeling.
Would I advise authors to get a book review from Kirkus? Was it all worth it? Yes, and yes.
And I say if you have any doubts, take a deep breath, cross your fingers and go for it.
Barbara Amaya is an internationally recognized advocate, speaker, and author. Her column about human trafficking appears in the Washington Times three times a week. She is the recipient of the 2014 James B. Hunter Human Rights Award.