Since I'm paying for the review, will it be positive?

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.

Does my book’s publication date affect my ability to get a review?

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.

How much summary will be in my review?

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 (traditional and Indie), our reviews include significant summary content as well as professional opinion-based analysis of the work.

How long is the review?

Reviews are approximately 250 to 300 words with a tone and style unique to Kirkus. We strongly recommend that, prior to placing an order, authors visit our website for examples of our reviews.

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.

How do I know if my book received a Kirkus Star?

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.

Can I submit an updated manuscript after I have placed my order?

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.

Who is reading my book?

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 in order to find the most appropriate reader for your work.

When will I receive my review?

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.

Does Kirkus Indie review all genres?

Yes. In our Indie program, Kirkus reviews everything from poetry and genre fiction to religious studies and specialized how-to books.

Does Kirkus Indie review audiobooks?

At this time, we do not review audiobooks in any format.

Does Kirkus Indie review foreign-language books?

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.

How should I format my manuscript before submitting it?

We will accept any format, e-book or print, 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
  • If printed: Two copies, single-sided and bound

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 always be available.

My review refers to a previous title of mine and not the work in question.

It is Kirkus’ editorial style to refer to an author's previous work.

Will you accept payment by check or money order?

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 for instructions.

I would like to have my review posted to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. How do I do it?

Reviews are posted to the Barnes & Noble website within two weeks of their publication on the Kirkus website. To post the review on Amazon, please contact an Amazon representative directly.

What outlets other than Amazon and Barnes & Noble does Kirkus have partnerships with?

In addition to providing Buy links for Amazon and Barnes & Noble, we provide Buy links for

How do I excerpt lines from my review?

According to the Excerpting Policy: all reviews acquired through the Kirkus Indie program must be published in their entirety on before any portion of the reviews are published (online or in print) for any use.


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