After the completion of the first and second novels of my series, I was informed by friends, as well as my editor, that I needed some reviews. I didn’t know if my story was strong enough, so needless to say, I was a bit reluctant to have my book critiqued by others. But after a few book bloggers read my story, they fell in love with it. I was excited, but my books were still not selling. My brother encouraged me to get a professional review from Kirkus, said Kirkus would provide an objective review, and noted that a positive review would lead to book sales.

So I checked into Kirkus Reviews. After I viewed their page, I read their tough and honest reviews online and was very apprehensive to submit my own book. After a few more book blogs commented that they loved my story, I bit the bullet and sent Kirkus both of my manuscripts.

The four-to-six–week wait seemed like a lifetime. I was biting my nails and anxiously checking my email every day, waiting. When the day arrived and I received their email response, all I could do was stare at it. I was very hesitant to open it. I was overwhelmed with both fear and excitement. I couldn’t do it alone, so I asked my family to come and help read my review. Clicking and opening the email, I think, was the hardest. It’s like Halloween with trick or treating; you don’t know if you’re going to be scared, laugh, or burst into tears.

After we all read it and found out that I was given a great review, I cried anyway, because of the stress of it. Now, since the review, I’m so happy to tell everyone, “Even Kirkus Reviews loves my story.” I have placed it in my query letter and in newspaper marketing ads for my books. They really provided me a solid platform for my work, and their reviews propelled me forward to continue writing.

I’m so happy I purchased the reviews and will again for my upcoming books.

Gail Parker was raised up in a small town in Louisiana. After she graduated, she worked on and off in childcare and later worked for childcare providers. She had a story in her mind for two years, until one day, she picked up a pencil and began to write her first novel.