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The most trusted voice in book reviews since 1933Get Started
As an unpublished or self-published author, it can be a relentless struggle to attract a significant amount of attention to your book or manuscript. By purchasing a Kirkus indie review, authors can have the opportunity to build some name recognition and get noticed by agents, publishers and other industry influencers. Kirkus has been an industry-trusted source for honest and accessible reviews since 1933 and has helped countless authors build credibility in the publishing realm ever since. Browse through some of our author success stories, and get a glimpse of what exactly an indie review from Kirkus can do for you.
Our indie reviews are written by qualified professionals, such as librarians, nationally published journalists, creative executives and more. While we do not guarantee positive reviews, unfavorable reviews can be taken as valuable feedback for improvements and ultimately do not have to be published on our site. With our most popular review option priced at $450, you can receive an affordable book review that could generously boost your writing career. Get started by following the steps below:
How it works
Click the "Get Started" link above, select your review option and pay for your review. When you submit your order, you’ll get an email from the Kirkus Indie team confirming receipt of your request.2|
After you place your order, you will be directed to a page with simple instructions to send us your book or manuscript.3|
Stand by while we review your book
Upon receipt of your book or manuscript, our editor will assign your project to a qualified reviewer who will read the complete book and write a full review. Our reviewers include librarians, business executives, journalists from national publications, PhDs in religion and literature, creative executives in entertainment and publishing industries as well as other professional reviewers.4|
Kirkus Indie will email you a link to your author dashboard when your review is ready. Simply click the link and download your review directly from our site.5|
Keep your review private or publish it for free on Kirkus.com
You may choose to publish your review on KirkusReviews.com where it can be discovered by industry influencers, agents, publishers and consumers. If it is a negative review, you can request that it never see the light of day by simply not publishing it on our site.
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We've reviewed the nation's top publishers' books since 1933
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Frequently Asked Questions
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If you receive a negative review, you can choose NOT to publish your review and it will never see the light of day.
After reading your review, you will be able to publish it on Kirkus.com simply by clicking a button. At that point, the review will be considered for publication in Kirkus Reviews magazine and in our email newsletter, which is distributed to more than 50,000 consumers and industry professionals.
A Kirkus editor analyzes your book and considers elements such as content, style, genre, and sub-genre. We then match your book with a reviewer who is a content and genre expert, has experience with similar styles, and enjoys books like yours.
Kirkus Indie reviewers are experienced professionals who honestly and impartially evaluate the books they receive. The resulting reviews can be positive—even earning a Kirkus Star, one of the industry's most revered designations—negative, or anywhere in between. What we do guarantee is a fair, unbiased assessment of your work and its potential in the marketplace. No matter the outcome, you will have the option of keeping the review private and simply using the assessment as feedback to improve your craft. Otherwise, you can publish the review and use it to market your book to consumers or to catch the attention of a literary agent or publisher.
In the interest of introducing consumers and industry influencers to self-published books they might otherwise never discover, Kirkus Indie does not put any restrictions on publication dates for submissions. You may order a review for a book that's been on the market for 10 years or for a book that doesn't even have a publication date yet.
How does Kirkus decide which Indie reviews get published in the magazine and in the email newsletter? -
Our editors select about 40 reviews to feature in each issue of the magazine, which we publish twice a month. The selections are 100 percent at the editors' discretion, and they typically choose the strongest reviews in a variety of genres. They also choose one Indie review to feature in each edition of our email newsletter, which is distributed each week to more than 50,000 industry influencers and consumers.
Summary content is a fundamental element of Kirkus' reviews, because Kirkus aims to help consumers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, agents, movie producers, and other influencers discover new books and authors. To achieve that goal, we offer enough summary content to give context to our criticism and help readers decide if the book will be of interest to them. Across all sections of our magazine, our reviews include significant summary content as well as professional opinion-based analysis of the work.
Will it hurt my chances of getting a positive review if I publish exclusively in e-book format? Also, will a cover design, marketing plan, or any other collateral information affect my review? -
No. Our professional reviewers assess merit based on the value of the content and reading experience alone.
If you choose to publish your review on the Kirkus website, you will see whether your book earned a Kirkus Star. If your book does receive a Star, it will immediately be eligible for the Kirkus Prize.
Please submit a final version of your manuscript when placing your order. We will not be able to accommodate any manuscript changes once the book has been submitted.
My book is intended for a niche audience. Will that affect my chance of getting a positive review? -
No. We will assign your book to a qualified, professional reviewer who will assess the work's value to an audience who may be interested in reading your particular type of book. Our editors go to great lengths to match each submission with a reviewer who has deep experience or expertise with the book's genre.
Kirkus Indie works with approximately 200 reviewers. They include experienced professional writers, journalists, and academics in a variety of fields. Our editors assign titles based on a reviewer's professional experience, expertise, and reading interests, and they also consider elements such as content, style, genre, and sub-genre. We then match your book with a reviewer who is a content and genre expert, has experience with similar styles, and enjoys books like yours.
We calculate our due dates based on the date we receive your submission. If you order standard service, the review will be returned within 7-9 weeks of the date we receive your submission. If you order express service, you will receive the review within 4-6 weeks of the date we receive your submission. After we receive your submission, we will email you to confirm receipt and confirm your due date.
In our Indie program, Kirkus reviews everything from poetry and genre fiction to religious studies and specialized how-to books. We will assign your book to a qualified, professional reviewer who will assess the work's value to an audience who may be interested in reading your particular type of book. Our editors go to great lengths to match each submission with a reviewer who has deep experience or expertise with the book's genre.
Our professional reviewers assess merit based on the value of the content and reading experience alone, so we do accept books in e-book format. However, we do not review audiobooks in any format at this time.
We review Spanish-language books, but we do not offer reviews of books in other languages at this time.
I'm not self-published, but my book did not get reviewed by Kirkus prior to publication. May I purchase a review through the Indie program? -
Yes. Even if you are not self-published, you may order a review through the Indie program. This is common for authors whose publishers missed the galley submission deadline, whose books did not fall into the categories reviewed through our traditional program, or whose books simply weren't slated for review due to the volume of submissions our editors receive.
We will accept PDF and Word documents with any formatting. Formatting does not affect the result of the review, but here are our preferences:
- Font: 12-point Times New Roman
- Margins: 1 inch all around
- Spacing: 1.5- or double-spaced
- Page numbers: Bottom of page, centered
Please be sure to submit a polished, final version of your book (including illustrations, if applicable). Our reviewers will treat any title they receive as a finished work.
I have a series of books. Should I start by having the first book in the series reviewed, even if it is not my most recent title? -
We strongly recommend that authors submit the first title in a given series so that our Indie reviewers can have the full context for the story or subject matter.
I want to place an order for a second review. Can I request to have the same reviewer read my second book? -
Yes. If you were pleased with your first review, you may request to have the same reviewer read your next book. However, we can't guarantee that the same reviewer will be available.
It is Kirkus’ editorial style to refer to an author's previous work. We include this information to give readers additional context.
This site is secure for credit card payments. We prefer to process orders online to support an efficient workflow process. If you must pay by check or money order, however, you may email email@example.com for instructions.
It will also be included in our content feeds, which are sent to more than 20 licensees, such as BN.com, Google Books, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and more. (Please note that the review will only appear on sites where your book is available.) Reviews are sent to the BN.com within two weeks of their publication on the Kirkus website; however, BN.com controls exactly when and if the review is published on their site. To post the review on Amazon, please contact an Amazon representative directly.
According to the Excerpting Policy: all reviews acquired through the Kirkus Indie program must be published in their entirety on Kirkus.com before any portion of the reviews are published (online or in print) for any use. For a full list of our excerpting guidelines, click here.