Need a Review? Kirkus gives every author a chance.

It can be hard for an unknown author who is trying to break into the industry to get a review. In fact, it can seem downright impossible. However, there is a service that can makes this possible for you: Kirkus Reviews.

Many authors have built a positive career because they were proactive in getting their book reviewed by this company. Now before you write this off (pun intended): Kirkus isn't a service that lets you buy a good review, but instead allows you to ensure that you get one. You pay for an honest review from experienced professionals in the industry. Here is a little bit of information about the Kirkus Reviews and how it works.

What is a Kirkus Review?

While Kirkus started in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus, it wasn’t until 2005 that the Kirkus Indie program began. Because the self-publishing industry was really starting to see some major growth during this time, the company wanted to expand their services to these new authors, who didn't necessarily have the same connections to the industry.

They hold every book they review to the highest standards, so a positive book review from Kirkus could go a long way to get you noticed by many professionals in the publishing industry. But make no mistake: purchasing a review gives you the same chance as everyone else to land a positive, neutral, or negtive review. Kirkus is a trusted source for book reviews, and they continue to maintain their reputable name by holding all authors to their standards while still giving them the tools they need to get exposure.

How does a Kirkus Review work?

You start by requesting a review for your book that has already been self-published, or a manuscript that you are planning to publish. You can send either a print or digital copy and you can get a standard service or express service. The difference between the two is the standard service will be less expensive, but will take between 7-9 weeks, and the express service will take under 7 weeks, but cost you a little bit more.

The layout of a standard Kirkus Review

Image via Kirkus Indie

If you choose to send a printed copy of your book, you will need to send two copies of your book. Be sure to read all of the instructions when you are submitting a digital copy, so you send the correct format.

Once your review is complete, you will be notified via email and you can download your review with the link provided. Read over the review carefully and then you can choose whether to publish it, or keep it private. If you do publish the review on the Kirkus website, then the team will go to work and begin distributing it to their licensees. They will also consider it for their magazine and newsletter.

If you choose to publish it, you are able to use the review in any way that you see fit. You can use it to promote your book on your website, use it on the back of your book, distribute it in your own newsletter, and pass it on to agents when you are submitting your manuscript.

Reviews can be a powerful marketing tool for you and your future career as a writer, but for those just starting out, it can be hard to know where to begin and how to get the ball rolling. Kirkus Reviews levels the playing field by allowing self-publising authors the ability to get at least one reputable review, no matter what.

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.


I set the price, I collect the checks, and Steuben Press does all of the work. It’s a relief to know I never again have to print, package, and ship a book myself. The convenience is outweighed only by their professionalism.

– Andy Phelps, Michigan

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