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Should you buy a review from Kirkus?

A participant in my October Book Marketing 101 e-course noted that she was going to focus on as many free book promotion tactics as possible so she would have money in her client’s book promotion budget to purchase a review if necessary.

I responded that a purchased review probably wouldn’t be necessary because the nonfiction book  should generate trade magazine reviews. In addition, those industry reviews will carry more clout with the book’s target audience than a purchased review from a generic book review publication or site.

Her thinking reflected a question I’m getting a lot from authors, but the question is usually very specific: “Should I buy a review from Kirkus?”

The answer is, “It depends.”

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Kirkus Reviews is a widely respected source of book reviews. A good review from Kirkus can help launch a book and an author’s career.

Kirkus offers two types of reviews: Kirkus traditional reviews, and Kirkus Indie reviews. The traditional reviews are available for books submitted by publishers that don’t charge authors to produce their books. There is no charge for a Kirkus traditional review, but there’s also no guarantee that a book will be reviewed or that the author will like the review. Any “traditional” review is published whether it’s flattering or not.

Unpublished and self-published authors can purchase a Kirkus Indie review for $425 ( the review is done in seven to nine weeks) or $575 for express service (the review is done in four to six weeks). The fee guarantees an honest review. In addition:

  • If you don’t like the review, nobody needs to know about it – Kirkus won’t publish it.
  • If you like it and decide to make it public, rather than private, Kirkus publishes it on its website and you can use the review in all of your marketing efforts.
  • If you like it and make it public, Kirkus also shares the review with its licensees, including Google, BN.com, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and others. In addition, Kirkus editors will consider it for publication in Kirkus Reviews magazine.

There are many stories of self-published authors who benefited from a good Kirkus Indie review. Darcie Chan, author of the highly publicized The Mill River Recluse e-book is one; the Wall Street Journal outlined how her success as a self-published author led to offers from traditional publishers. The Kirkus website quotes Chan as saying, “Kirkus’ review of The Mill River Recluse played an important role in encouraging readers to take a chance on a first novel by an unknown author.”

“It can launch a career,” says Karen Schechner, senior indie editor at Kirkus Reviews. “We’ve seen case study after case study of authors who’ve gotten a positive review and then were signed by agents and publishers; sold the foreign rights to their work; or went on to Kindle or, in at least one case, New York Times bestseller-dom.” 

How do you decide?

The risk is fairly minimal – the cost of the review, which, granted, for many, is a lot of money – but the rewards can be substantial. So how do you decide if it’s a good opportunity for you or a waste of money?

1. If the review cost will drain your marketing budget, skip it. 

“A budget of about $500 isn’t really enough to launch a full marketing campaign, but if that’s all the author is able to spend, she might want to use it for something that she doesn’t come with any surprises, e.g., promotional materials or advertising,” Schechnersays.

2. Be honest with yourself about your book’s quality.

Nobody – not Kirkus, not your cube mate, not your mother – will give you a glowing review if it’s a bad book. (Okay, maybe your mother will. Maybe.)

As Schechner puts it, “Getting a great review from Kirkus Reviews or any other publication is the easiest thing to understand and one of the hardest things to do: Write an excellent book. How? Read widely. Take the books you love and reverse engineer them to see how they’re constructed. Write often, listen to feedback, and revise. Hire an editor!”

It really is about quality. That’s why when my self-published Book Marketing 101 student Teresa Villegas asked me what I thought about paying for a Kirkus Indie review, I encouraged her to take the chance. Her children’s book about children conceived with donor help, How We Became a Family, is as good as anything you’ll see coming out of a traditional publisher.

3. Understand that there’s no formula for getting a good review.

One book category or genre isn’t likely to generate favorable reviews more than another.

“The only pattern is that reviewers appreciate books that are well-written and maintain the standards of their genre or artfully break the rules,” Schechner says. “Every genre has a fair chance at a positive review. Our reviewers choose the genres they’re familiar with and enjoy, and Indie editors carefully match books and reviewers.”

Answer these questions

Which brings us back to the title question: Should you buy a Kirkus review?

Answer these questions:

  • Can you afford to lose the fee if you don’t like your book’s review and decide not to publish it?
  • Is your book professionally edited?
  • Does your book look, feel, and read like a traditionally published book?
  • Have you had outside validation that it’s a good read?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, it could be worth the risk. If you answer “no” to most of them, I’d discourage you from spending the money until you can get more “yes” answers.

Have you paid for a book review? Were you satisfied with the outcome?

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  1. Good thoughts. I got a Kirkus Review and it helped me land book signings and news coverage. But as Sandra Beckwith says, you should be able to answer yes to all the questions. Still it might not get a glowing review. I know of one instance where the author did not get a great review, but the reviewer offered constructive criticism on how to improve the book, and that may well have been worth the cost.

    Regarding the cost, I see it as part of my marketing budget. Necessary evil.

    1. Thanks for such helpful feedback, Larry. You make a good point about the value of that constructive criticism. And, as noted, if you don’t like your Indie review, nobody ever has to see it.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.


  2. I have been considering Kirkus Indie Reviews but when I did a search of user reviews of the service there was one complaint that came up over and over. Many people claimed it was clear from the review that the anonymous reviewer only read the fist 25-50 pages of the book. One negative commenter went so far as to show his entire back and forth email exchange, and the documents of how he got a refund from a credit card dispute because he documented that the review clearly did not match what the book was about. I have also read several positive reviews. I am wondering if a reviewer is not enjoying your book, if they stop reading and just write their review. This would seem inappropriate for a $500. charge. Any thoughts and/or other users comments on this?

    1. Larry, that’s fascinating. One of the issues with reviews is that, put simply, a lot of self-published books aren’t well-written. Because of that, a lot of self-published books are going to receive reviews that their authors don’t like, but might deserve. When you read complaints about Kirkus Indie reviews, it’s hard to know what’s legitimate and what isn’t. I think that when a book has several positive reviews from legitimate, objective reviewers (like media outlets) but gets a bad one from a source like the Kirkus Indie program, the author is in a better position to complain.

      It will be interesting to see what others have experienced. Thanks for the comment!


      1. My book The Year Winter Came Late has been self published’ve and I had positive reviews on US Review and Goodreads. I’ve also have had several offers by indie publishers to publish my book. A few tradition publishers like Pegasus, MacMillan, and Harper Collins expressed interest but wanted me have the book professionally edited. I was wondering if a Kirkus Review would reveal editorial flaws in my book and would it be worth the cost of Kirkus Review to up the sale of my book? Also, I was told by someone from Amazon the reason why my book lacks sales is lack of advertising. Would a Kirkus Review help im that regard?

        1. Michael, yes, a good reviewer will identify and call out a book’s flaws. Does this mean that you DIDN’T have it professionally edited before publication?


    2. I hear you Larry.
      My experience: I called/mailed them to be sure they had full spanish speaking reviewers. Answer was yes.
      The review: a)confused latin with italian, they corrected it after I phoned them.
      b) called my book innovative because you could read the 34 stories from begin to end or by character. I am NOT structurally inventive, the one who wrote books this way, was the great Julio Cortazar-Argentina, more than 50 years ago. I also informed them by mail about that.
      c) They resented the footnotes, which aimed at giving Spanish readers the chance to read/laugh about languages as complicated as Dutch. I should have skipped it. In my view, probably also the attention of the readers 😀
      d) My book was reviewed with the canon of ‘realism’. I write as I do, trying to depict the behaviour/language used by the characters. Reviewer possibly had not read other styles which are numerous and keep changing in Latin America.
      e) I tried to write dialogues as girls/women speak in Lima, it was stamped as ‘banal’ and too many dialogues (?)
      f) they mentioned my ‘book included music’. Fact is I included 18 songs composed/produced/performed by me with pro musicians from Europe and Latin America.
      g) my ‘book was presented adventurous by it did not much adventure’.
      In my trilogy I write about: rape at early age and the consequences in a woman’s adult life; family violence; homosexualism; AIDs; opresion of indigenous people in the amazone region, murder, suicide and academic plagiarism. The 3 characters have rather complicated lives but also a great resilience.

      I can only conclude someone read some pages of my book. He/she had not full command of the language.
      The review came 2 weeks before the announced deadline.
      Well written: I received 3 literature awards in Latin America. The 1st one when I was 10 years old, a second in Argentina, a 3rd in Chile: the Gabriela Mistral -the one an only Latinamerican woman ever to receive a Nobel-.
      I took the review with Inca Kola (local drink that defeated Coca Cola in Peru 🙂 published my work with Smashwords and I am building my readers platform.
      It is their opinions I care and take seriously to continue writing.

      1. Bravo! I had a similar experience.As I read the review, I felt the reviewer had not read the entire book.One comment was that it was not believable that a tough NYC female cop would know or appreciate antiques. I thought this was prejudicial.Another was the characters fell flat. Everyone that has read my book fell in love with the characters. One other reviewer thought the characters were colorful. Confusing, yes? I should mention my book was professionally edited.

        Thanks to you and Larry I will write to them and if need be,review them accordingly.

        1. Isabel, one year has passed. In 2014 I received an honour mention in Cuba in a contest with more than 4.300 entrances. I have 4 Latinamerican literature awards 🙂

          This year, when I was at the L.A. books festival, I received great reviews from American writers. In Peru the reviews were even more positive.
          I have published 2 volumes of my trilogy and 19 short stories in Spanish, English and Dutch, thanks to Mark Coker and Smashwords.

          I have 2000 downloads/readers and 4000 hits at my webpage. My Trilogy was -originally- also professionally edited by someone from Spain, a professional with absolute command of Spanish.

          I guess Kirkus should not offer reviews in others languages than English and they should not generalize or label characters… as they did with your NYC female cop.

          Courage, Fuerza! continue writing as you do…your writers will discover you…maybe sooner than later.

  3. Sandra, I agree: “put simply, a lot of self-published books aren’t well-written.”

    My experience with Kirkus, based on a review of my book, as well as reading the reviews of other books I have read, is that the reviews are critical but honest.

  4. I can answer YES to all those questions, I sold now over 5000 copies (sold, never ran a free promo) and yet I hesitate.

    The feedback I found online is not *that* stellar to justify the costs. I can’t say anything about the kind of reviews Kirkus does for trad-pubbed work, but the more I see, the more it seems Kirkus has just opened a lucrative business to attract Indie writers in desperate need of a quick, breakthrough access to stardom. Not.

    Of course, Kirkus provides feedback from the few authors who are the happiest (I don’t need two hands to count them), but I’d like to read more the hundred thousand feedbacks of those who aren’t.


    1. Thanks, Massimo. As noted in comments already, because there are so many self-published books that don’t deserve “good” reviews, it won’t be hard to find authors who don’t like the outcome. I’m not sure what you’d learn from their feedback, though, that’s different from what Larry Hochwald shared above.

      Of course Kirkus is taking advantage of a business opportunity — and they’re smart to do so. Publisher’s Weekly has a similar, but different program now, too.

      There’s no question it’s a risk. One of the best ways to minimize it is to make sure your book is as good as anything coming out of a traditional publisher, which has more quality control steps in place.

      Thanks for stopping by!


      1. Delusionals in number are only second to the hydrogen atoms in the Universe.

        It depends on the “don’t like the outcome.” I too have heard around of Kirkus reviews of indie books and the review has little to say but the first pages of the novel. I can’t point to a specific example as these are only hearsay, thus, I’d like to have detail of those examples.

        Business opportunities need two sides to become valuable.

        If the risk was only financial, then it is a risk that can be calculated exactly. But it seems to me the risk extends to other realms, too. Is Kirkus providing the same service to trad-pubbed work to Indie novels as well? Honestly, I’ve seen nowhere but on Kirkus site that this is the case.

        Amazon started a revolution—followed by many—and it has been the greatest thing in publishing: everyone can produce a book. Amazon also gave birth to a monster and a tragedy: everyone can produce a book.

        The risk is whether what you get from a Kirkus review is valued what they’re asking for. I’ve seen free reviews in blogs that are better written, than some that appear as Kirkus reviews in certain authors’ Amazon pages. If those are $500 reviews…

        You see, if a book is so badly written that a Kirkus reviewer cannot go beyond the first 20 pages, they are operating a scam. Kirkus should provide a FREE pre-evaluation before accepting a book for reviewing.

        If BookBub does it, and has an editorial team that decides whether or not they will accept your money to promote you (and they reject the many self-published books you refer to) I can’t see why a serious organization such as Kirkus would not do the same unless they’re running after the same books BookBub instead (as an example) refuses to promote for lack of quality. As they say, pecunia non olet.

        There’s vanity press and vanity reviews. 😉

        1. The Kirkus program for traditionally published books is described briefly in the blog post above. There’s also a link to more info about that program on the Kirkus site.

          My advice to authors is simple: If you can’t afford to lose the money you’ll spend on an Indie review, then don’t spend it.


        2. I agree with you Massimo. I think for the money there needs to be a complete, and at least possibly, constructive review, or a cheaper pre-review option. If you wrote a great book you probably will be happy, but then again, I’ve read some classics where the first 30-50 pages were pretty dry. I’d hate to think what might have happened if those were reviewed in the indie program!
          I think the Kirkus system shows possibility but I’ve found too many of the same negative comments to be comfortable. Bad reviews I can understand, and I agree with Sandy, probably the majority of self-published wouldn’t merit much better. But I think for the amount charged a more equitable system could be worked out. BUT, I don’t think the Publishers Weekly is the solution. They charge much less but only review about 25% of submissions. They don’t give you a clue how to be in that 25%. it doesn’t appear that quality is necessarily the deciding factor.
          You made a lot of good points, succinctly! That must be why your book is doing well!

  5. I take Sandy’s last comment as ‘save money for better venues’. Besides, Indie reviews should be… Indie, i.e., not a business (unless for a token fee)

    Ever heard of MidWest Book Reviews? From what I know they are highly reputed, submission is free, and you get in reviews and newsletters distributed to bookstores, libraries, agents, you name it.

    They will tell you whether your book seems ok for an evaluation (printed edition though, no ebooks).

    Did I mention it cost $500 less than Kirkus? Yes, they’re FREE to the few Indies they review (selective)

    Both my novels have been accepted, by the way.


    1. Thank you too, Massimo. In fact, I think we all owe you thanks because those are two fine referrals. I had heard of WBR and am seeking there review for my new, first, book. I did not know of the second, so, thank you again!

  6. Look also for Greenleaf Book Group, LLC

    They provide you a complete editorial review, and what you can add to sites like Amazon yourself (they will not post their reviews, it’s a service to YOU as Indie writer).

  7. On a macro level, does paying for anything reduce its legitimacy, including advice? Paid-for sex still might be really good sex (just speculating) and worth every penny. Besides, we’re all “whores” in one fashion or another.

    As my daddy used to say (I think it was he): There’s no free lunch. Book review sections in books and magazines have been reduced to the point of emaciation — and, in some cases, extinction.

    With literally 100s of thousands of new books coming out each year, it is virtually impossible for an unknown author who self-publishes to get a “free” review by one of the traditional book review organizations. These reviewers want “gatekeepers,” who by default are the traditional publishing houses, and who, at least in theory, vet and edit the books to ensure professional quality before the books are published.

    Self-pub books, for valid reasons, have a stigma, and reviewers don’t want to waste their time reading crappy books. What authors should be doing, rather than whining about book reviews, is striving for and demanding the highest quality of professional standards. Sadly, in my experience, most self-pub authors don’t even know what those standards are, let alone have the ability to achieve them on their own.

    1. Excellent summary, Larry.

      Most of the traditional media outlets that still review books won’t review anything that’s self-published for the reasons you’ve stated, but let’s be honest…if your self-pubbed book arrives with a cover that’s comparable to one you’d find on a traditionally published book and what’s between the attractive front & back covers is excellent, you might be able to trick the recipient into thinking the book isn’t self-pubbed. And… you might get a great review.

      More doors will open once a much larger percentage of self-published books are well-written and professionally edited and packaged.


  8. Sandy — exactly, which is why I formed my own publishing company, hired a professional book designer, editors, and a PR firm — all of which led to a good Kirkus review, “free” book reviews in two major newspapers, two front-page newspaper articles, book signings at prominent book sellers, the book becoming a “Hot New Release” on Amazon, and the book enjoying best-seller status on Amazon going on four months.

    1. James, I believe that happens with most Indie writers.
      Readers have no idea what a Kirkus review is, who is behind Kirkus, and when they’d decide to venture they would see: PAID REVIEW.

      Honestly, I think a Kirkus review makes sense only for traditionally published books and the publishers uses the Kirkus review to promote with other professionals. They know Kirkus, the average reader on online eretailes goes “Who’s this M. Kirkus, ah he sells reviews”.

      1. Thanks, James. Congrats to your colleague!

        He will want to know that an immediate bump in sales as a result of a review isn’t realistic. It’s not like a large number of people all see it the same day and rush out to buy the book. Review recognition like that contributes in a more global, big picture way. It’s one of the factors that keeps a book selling steadily over time — but it’s just ONE contributing factor.


      2. Massimo, I disagree:

        1. Many readers DO recognize the Kirkus name.
        2. They aren’t going to take the trouble to research Kirkus reviews, whether they know the name or not. They just aren’t. They don’t care.
        3. Those who recognize the name don’t know that Kirkus has 2 review programs. All they know is that it’s a respected name, so if a book has a seal of approval from Kirkus, it’s probably a low-risk purchase.

        : )


  9. Late to this conversation. But I just got my Kirkus review back and I started googling whether I wasted my money or not. I know. I know I put the cart before the horse. But, I wanted to see if I should temper my enthusiasm as I rec’d a pretty good review. I’ll have to wait and see if it helps any.

      1. Thank you. I’m actually sending introduction letters to various places with a copy of the Kirkus review included. Since my book has religious undercoating, I’ve sent a letter to area churches with a copy of the Kirkus. I’ve also sent it to libraries, my alma maters (undergraduate and graduate). As an Independent author, the Kirkus gives me some confidence. Let’s face, a publishing deal gives writer’s confidence. Without that deal and without immediate sales, you got to get it elsewhere. For me, it was Kirkus, so I already feel that the money was worth it.

  10. Paying for a Kirkus review is like eating at an Ed Debevic’s restaurant–you don’t come for the food but only for the intentionally rude service and entertainment. If you want to know what the meanest reviewer on the block will say about your book, then pay for a Kirkus review, and you’ll receive a rather terse and sloppy review. Pay for Foreword by Clarion instead–they seem more fair and reasonable. Mind you, Foreword doesn’t always give wonderful reviews, but at least the criticism is fair, thoughtful, and somewhat helpful. Don’t waste your money on mean and grouchy reviewers at Kirkus.

  11. I paid for a Kirkus review. What I got was not even a review. The “reviewer” didn’t agree with something I wrote in Chapter 2 and spend 90% of the copy arguing that I was wrong.

    In contrast, all my other reviews so far have been extremely positive, even glowing. I considered writing Kirkus to complain, but figure it’s just lost money.

    1. Sounds frustrating, Yonason. Could you at least pull a phrase from the review that you could use?


  12. Thanks for the quick reply, Sandra.

    There was one tepid, conciliatory remark at the beginning, but hardly something to inspire an audience. Midwest Book Review, however, provided a review that I was able to quote from on the back cover.

    You can’t please everybody.

    1. You’ve got the right attitude, Yonason.

      Thanks for stopping by to share your experience.


  13. I answered ‘yes’ to all of the questions on debating whether or not to pay for a Kirkus indie review. My book was self-published and professionally edited by a reputable small press. I have also received 23 reviews on Amazon with a rating of 4.8/5 stars. Kirkus gave me a horrible, nasty review. Naturally, I am very disappointed.

  14. Not sure. I thought about it. There aren’t really any glowing comments. I also have to be really careful about how I splice it up, keeping with all the Kirkus excerpt rules.

    1. It doesn’t have to be a glowing comment — “. . . an interesting read” would work.


  15. The last point
    • Have you had outside validation that it’s a good read?

    should be better stated. Few reviews on Amazon don’t count as “outside validation”

    There might be a certain value in readers validation when a book has received hundreds of reviews.

    Not pointing at all at Andrea whose book might well be good, but in all cases, an outside validation cannot be “I have 10/20/30 reviews on Amazon and they are good.” It really means nothing.

      1. I would add that the ‘outside validation’ does not include reviews from readers on any website, but professional-like reviewers like Midwest Book reviews, BRAGG Medallion, AIA (Awesome Indies Association), IndiePENdents group, or at least non trivial awards like Writers’ Digest, Readers’ Favourite, etc.

        “I have 30 5-star reviews on Amazon” means nothing, unless it is a “I have over 1000 readers reviews and, say, 70% of the are 5 and 4-star” In this case, the quantity gives some depth to the statement.

        I know I have not provided you with much help 😉

        1. I know that you know that your definition of outside validation isn’t realistic for most authors, but thanks for giving it thought.


  16. I was a part of this thread at the very beginning. It’s disheartening to read the many comments since, as most are not pleasant—most, but not all.
    I, and others, didn’t go with Kirkus—but not because we were afraid of a bad review. Even well reviewed books, and books beloved on Amazon, can not strike a particular reviewer as ‘good’. The issue was that I found a general consensus online that the reviews weren’t fair. That often they picked apart something at the very beginning and then it was clear from the review that they stopped reading at that point. Or they harped on minor points and never addressed the overall book. Or that perhaps the chosen reviewer didn’t understand the genre because they attacked issues of plot or pacing that were usual for that particular area.
    As independent publishers we are put into a system at Kirkus and PW where we have to pay for a review. It does not guarantee a good one. But paying for it should definitely get us a fair one: where they read the entire book, they understand and appreciate the genre, and where they can even point out foibles but still point out the redeeming factors (if any) as well. These areas are where I think the Kirkus reviews fall short from the many comments I see online.
    This is not only a problem with Kirkus, but with some online sources who hold themselves out as professional reviewers but then come across with clear and present biases. That’s the risk we take out there. But it certainly shouldn’t be so with a name like Kirkus, and definitely not when we have to pay for the privilege.

    1. I agree, Larry. The problem is not ‘bad’ or ‘good’ in the sense of negative or positive, but it looks like reviews for Independent books in Kirkus are done by junior high readers or trainees at best 😉

      1. Besides, I was asked if I wanted to be a reviewer for independent books in Kirkus. It is a commission based system, so the faster I am in “reviewing” the more money I get. That is, if I want to make money I would read the blurb, maybe the synopsis, read some 50 pages at random, and spout out a “review.” Rinse, repeat, next indie! next $.

        Thanks, but no thanks. I’m a professional.

        1. Blue Ink Reviews pays reviewers $75 for 250-300 words. Considering how long it takes to read a book and then write a review, if you’re doing this to help pay the bills, there’s no way you can read the entire book for that fee. Reviewing has to be either a hobby, or you’re just skimming, as suggested.


          1. Exactly. Another thing is if the review request is coming from a Publisher. There, there’s no way a quickly assembled review would be acceptable for any of them.

            The independent author has very little to gain from the money spent on those review sites.

          2. Why is that? Because a disgruntled Publisher hurts: they will no more request reviews, and that will hurt the business.

            A disgruntled independent author who had spent $500 is no harm. What’s the loss. Maybe another review request in one, two years? Pffff. End result? Reviews for individuals will be meaningless, devoid of any meaning, and generated one every hour (from the same reviewer).

            RUn, and save you pr money for more meaningful marketing opportunities. Pay for a BookBub promotion, not for Kirkus (or PW, Clarion, any other professional review businesses).

  17. Thank you for all of your comments. I am not afraid of constructive criticism by any means. I agree that the review seemed to read more like a high school book report (focusing mainly on the plot, and nit-picking about the details of foreign cities, etc., which by the way I had visited). I wonder if the reviewer had traveled across the pond? I expected a fair review with more insight — not a snotty review. I recently received a wonderful review from Readers’ Favourite. I will focus on the good, and try to keep my money in my pocket for worthy marketing/promotion opportunities. Cheers!

  18. I did manage to use this excerpt from the Kirkus review: “Raine handles a long list of characters with dexterity, offering credible emotional histories.” — Kirkus Reviews

      1. Thank you so much, Sandra. It took me a few days to bring that part out as a ‘diamond in the rough’, and get past the rest of it. I really appreciate your support on this forum.

        I’m sending best wishes for a great review, Massimo! Oh, to have a traditional publisher… I hope to get there one day, as well. 🙂

        Cheers, Andrea

        1. It’s a one-step-at-the-time journey.

          Andrea, I’d get disheartened if I were to look only at the distance covered with one step forward, but I always glance back to look at the path covered so far with thousands past steps and get the courage to push ahead with one step further.

  19. Spent $375 for the review and then they wanted an additional $299 so that the review would get to the people they advertised you would receive by getting the review. They want $674 to complete the waste of money I would not spend. The reviewer gave me decent review except he didn’t read the entire book. When it comes to being a new author, especially inde author, the thieves come out in droves.

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