Professional book reviews for indie writers

February 15, 2017

professional book reviewsBefore writing this article, I wondered if I had better write a new book review or not. Then, I decided to write an article titled as above: professional book reviews for indie writers. They were just indie writers who inspired me this post, or rather, the dozens of book submissions I receive from them every day for reviews, press releases and so on. As many users know, this is an Italian book promotion site that offers paid book promotion services, book reviews included. Many times, indie authors submit their books for review by filling out the submission form and accepting to pay for review. However, when they receive a payment request from the online system of this website, some of them refuse to pay for review. The reason of this reaction is very common: they expect and demand free book reviews. Indeed, “free book reviews ” is the most searched key phrase on the Internet.

Professional book reviews with SEO strategies

Unfortunately, if you are an indie writer or self-published author, you should know it is very hard to get free book reviews, especially from readers. Why? Because they don’t know about your book and because you must still build your literary career. What are, indeed, the best seller books? Usually, they are the ones written by famous writers, such as John Grisham and J. K. Rowling. Just because these authors are famous, their names are by now a keyword searched on all search engines. Indeed, readers don’t search only the titles of their books, but their name. When I started this book promotion website, to help new and unknown authors in gaining exposure, I used the same strategy: a keyword in the name of the website domain: If you read carefully, this name contains a powerful keyword, namely ” books” . If you get your book reviewed on this Italian book promotion site, you’ll get two important outcomes: your book exposed to readers who search books online, and your book exposed to European and Italian readers. This website is, in fact, based in Italy and London and search engines always index websites in the countries where they are located. As a newbie of book promotion marketing, a self-published author can find hard to struggle with book promotion, SEO strategies and book marketing. For this reason, self-published authors should entrust book marketing to external sources. Instead, when most of them approach a book promoter, they frequently reply: “ I demand free book review! I’ll never pay for book reviews!”.

Free reviews Vs paid reviews

The free reviews that indie authors demand are the ones coming from readers who bought their books and wrote opinions and comments on Amazon. But this is the final stage of a self-published book. Just think about the debut novel of a new author: without reviews, this novel would remain invisible. Sure, there are friends and relatives who can review the book, but a new book must gain access in the circle of literary information to being noticed. I respect the authors who want to get free book reviews, but I feel dismayed when some of them submit a book for paid reviews and disappears soon after. At this stage, I guess when this occurs is because indie authors do not trust paid book reviews , maybe they hope to sell many books from it and consider a paid review useless for this purpose. When indie authors approach a paid review website, instead, should pose other questions: can a paid review propel my career as an author? Can a paid review give me exposure abroad? (Maybe in Italy and London, the homes of global literature). Can a paid review about my book being noticed by readers and publishers? Yes, a paid review can! When I publish my paid reviews on this literary website ( you can find this service on the submission form with the name “editorial review”), if your book is good, I suggest that publishers and movie directors release the book traditionally or make a movie from it.

How much is a paid book review?

Traditional publishers and screenwriters search information on book promotion and review websites to find new interesting books to release and make movies! Now, I suppose you are also wondering if at this stage it is ethical to pay for review. I always reply: yes, it is ethical, provided that you hires a professional book reviewer who does an honest and unbiased review! This is also the rule followed by Kirkus Indie, the branch of Kirkus Reviews dedicated to self-published books. Kirkus is an established and famous company and literary magazine, sure, but their price for review is incredibly expensive: about 450 dollars! There are other more expensive paid book review magazines. You can find a list on this website: The latter also reveals that many famous authors started their literary career thanks to paid book reviews! I don’t’ know how many indie writers get in touch with websites for paid reviews. On, the price of a paid review is 50 euros, only, but with a further rule. If the review is negative, the author has two options: not to get the review published and receive it by email or not receive the review and being refunded! Despite this, many authors submit books with an only expectation: to get reviewed for free, also at a cost to do spam against paid book review websites. But this is not the right strategy to promote a new book.

 To promote indie authors, the right strategy is a professional book review

A book is a product with a price, an indie author is as an entrepreneur who must invest to promote and sell his own product. You can’t demand to being an indie author and ask for free services. This is the great difference between professional indie writers and those who write books as a hobby. Nowadays, with traditional publishers offside, writers and authors are more and more protagonists of book marketing. From their side, book reviewers and book promoters are more and more engaged to read good and bad books, to give their advice, write, publish and share their professional reviews, to manage literary blogs with features which come from paid services: plug-in, theme, hosting services, advertising. They are not a plague to avoid, but an important source to support authors and books in the hard world of modern book publishing.


I am sure you wrote a wonderful book, because I really believe that your book is the best the fruit of your soul. However, if I should read books for free reviews, I’ll surely end up enslaved by this activity. I am sure you would have preferred reading articles how to market and sell books instead of this. I discussed these topics in my previous articles, but there are similar articles about these topics on the web and social networks. Unfortunately, all of them ignore an important detail: to bring books to success, tricks and strategies are okay, but a professional book review is the first important step of this strategy. You can read tons of articles written about book marketing, but the big truth is that to market a book really, readers must know it, namely they must read a review, at least, and hence, the book must be evaluated and reviewed, first! For this reason, I prefer reading a fair number of books, but with all of my engagement to evaluate if they are good or bad, instead of reading tons of books for free without spare time to write my reviews for you. Recently, I refused to review a couple of books because they were really bad. I am not an opportunist, but only an Italian who does her job: promote, review and translate books to make them known in Italy and Europe. You can see my profile on the social networks and here. Furthermore, with my authors and customers I established strong and long-lasting friendships and I am always available to give them free tips and advice. I really thank all this authors from the bottom of my heart for using the book promotion services of Without them, this Italian book promotion site couldn’t exist!

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