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Marketing Tactics > Clarion/BlueInk reviews: worth it?

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message 1: by John (new)

John Graham | 28 comments I've found a couple of Goodreads threads, as well as some external articles, on whether or not Kirkus Reviews are worth what they charge. For some authors, the answer was a clear yes, but the consensus I found is that they're overpriced, and that the reviews themselves consist mostly of rehashing the plot rather than actually reviewing the book. So as a newly self-published author I was wondering if anyone had tried or looked into getting a review from Foreword Clarion or BlueInk.

I included both because apparently they've teamed up to offer two reviews (one from each site) for the discounted price of $695. This would obviously be quite an investment, so I was hoping to get some feedback from people who've either tried this service or have alternative suggestions for getting reviews.

I would add a link directly to the webpage, but apparently links aren't allowed. Google "Foreword Clarion reviews" so you can see what I'm talking about.


message 2: by Roxanne (new)

Roxanne Bland (roxanne2) | 102 comments I bought a Foreword Clarion review, and I'd say it was worth it (and not just because it was a great review). Most of it was the reviewer's opinion, rather than rehashing the story line. Would I buy another? If I have the money, yes, I would.

There's a website called The Indie Book Reviewers List (The IndieView), that's got a giant list of people who are willing to review indie books, and what genres they're willing to review. They're mostly bloggers, and the reviews are free.

I also get reviews from Readers' Favorites. The way I understand it, their reviewers are experienced, but not "professional." I have found them useful in gauging reader reactions in other venues. Whatever score I get from them, reader reactions generally track the score my book achieves on say, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. They're also not too bad with respect to price--something like $200 for five reviews.

You also might want to try Midwest Book review. Though you can submit a print book for free, that's no guarantee it's going to be reviewed. For $50, they'll review an ebook (guaranteed). I've used them twice, and am very happy with the results (again, not just because they were great reviews).

For all of the outfits I've named, these are real reviews you can use in the editorial review section on Amazon, etc. I've also gotten some nice pull quotes out of them.

Hope this helps.


message 3: by John (new)

John Graham | 28 comments Roxanne wrote: "I bought a Foreword Clarion review, and I'd say it was worth it (and not just because it was a great review). Most of it was the reviewer's opinion, rather than rehashing the story line. Would I bu..."

Thanks!


message 4: by John (new)

John Folsom Here's the truth:

People will know that you paid for your review.

I've read paid reviews. They're boilerplate.

If you believe that you'll have more book sales, then plunk down your money and see what happens.

But, hey! It's your ego, so why not?


message 5: by John (last edited Oct 14, 2017 12:46AM) (new)

John Graham | 28 comments J.D. wrote: "Here's the truth:

People will know that you paid for your review.

I've read paid reviews. They're boilerplate.

If you believe that you'll have more book sales, then plunk down your money and see..."


Irrelevant and fatuous at the same time.

Of course people will know that you "paid for your review", that's how you get an editorial review: you HIRE a professional reviewer to critique your book. If the review is negative or so-so, you can use it as feedback, and if it's positive, you can use it as promotional material. They don't do that for free, just as editors and cover designers don't provide their respective services for free.

Obviously, not all of these services are of equal quality, which is why I posted this question in the first place: to hear from people who have actually published something and tried out these services. Judging by your profile, you know even less about book publishing and marketing than I do, which would explain the snarky, self-discrediting punchline at the end.


message 6: by Charles (new)

Charles | 148 comments I have used Blueink myself twice to review my SF novels. In one instance, a spotlight recommendation in their monthly magazine that goes out to a number of libraries resulted in over 100 paperbacks being sold to libraries. I know of other people who have used Foreword Clarion and been happy with the results.


message 7: by John (new)

John Graham | 28 comments Charles wrote: "I have used Blueink myself twice to review my SF novels. In one instance, a spotlight recommendation in their monthly magazine that goes out to a number of libraries resulted in over 100 paperbacks..."

Thanks a lot!


message 8: by John (last edited Oct 14, 2017 09:15AM) (new)

John Folsom John wrote: "J.D. wrote: "Here's the truth:

People will know that you paid for your review.

I've read paid reviews. They're boilerplate.

If you believe that you'll have more book sales, then plunk down your ..."


You are correct. I am not an author. I don't have the talent to write. My wife wrote the book and I did the marketing.

She never paid for reviews, but she got them. I went to several publications and asked if they would would review her book. My success rate was less than stellar, but I succeeded in a few instances. I was able to engage the book editor at Christian Science Monitor, but it took months and months to get a review published. The review helped a little, but not much.

Better than spending $$$ is to look for book editors near you. Local authors are of interest. Expand from there. It takes a lot of time, research and patience to find reviewers' email addresses, but you can. You will fail more than you will succeed, but you can't succeed until you try.

Writing is the easy part. It's the marketing that's the hardest and the rejections can be painful.

If you think that a paid review will help, then by all means, go for it.


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