If you are a self-published author and wondering how best to get your book to readers and increase your author brand profile, book reviews are the way to go. Publishers offer book review services that go along with their publishing and marketing services in an effort to help self-published and independent authors get more publicity and awareness for their work.

What are book reviews?

But first, what is a book review? International Journal of Art and Art History gives the following definition: A book review is a description, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of a book. It is not a book report, retelling or summary but a reaction paper in which the strength and weaknesses of the book are analyzed.

A book review should address three issues, according to The Writing Studio of Colorado State University:

  1. Contents, or what is said in the book.
  2. Style, or how it is said.
  3. Assessment, or analysis of how true and significant the book is.

Book reviews, according to the Thomas Writing Program (TWP) of Duke University, both describe and evaluate a work of fiction or non-fiction. A book review describes a book’s overall purpose, its structure, and style of narration. Through a critical essay, a reviewer conveys an opinion and supports it with evidence from the book.

Book reviews tell the readers something substantial about the book. As a result of reading the review, readers may want to buy the book or check it out from the library and even recommend it to their friends and fellow booklovers. They can also choose to ignore the book if the review reveals its subject to be of no literary or artistic value or its quality to be poor.

There are many different types of book reviews published by various publications with different purposes and for a different audience. Book reviews appear in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, and specialized review publications, many of which offer paid book review services.

Self-publishing companies like ReadersMagnet that offer book review services and other book promotion services contract the services of one or many of the most trusted book review publications, which include Kirkus Reviews, BlueInk Review, Foreword Reviews, US Review of Books, Pacific Book Review, and City Book Review.

Why book reviews are important to authors?

Book review services are important in any aspect of the book world. For readers, it is important to see the reviews of any literature they plan to buy, especially if it is written by an unknown author. Literary reviews help readers know if they will get their money’s worth of their purchase.

For self-published and independent authors, book reviews mean a lot to them for the following reasons:

  • Reviews are a good indicator of a book’s quality, meaning, and significance.
  • Book reviews help spread the word and create a buzz about their book.
  • Reviews also get the word out about the author, thus encouraging readers to read more of their works.
  • Feedback from readers, be it positive or negative, five stars or one star, will motivate authors to hone their craft.
  • Good book reviews will serve as the cornerstone in an author’s career and a ticket to better standing in the book industry.
  • Book reviews, whether left by readers on Amazon, Goodreads or social media, will encourage reader interaction and engagement. Readers need to see other readers enjoying the book. Good reviews will inspire more reviews.
  • When readers leave a five-star review, authors feel appreciated and more inspired to write a better and far more engaging book.

Realizing the challenges authors face in their book marketing campaign, publishing companies offer book review services. At least, by having their book reviewed by San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review, and Seattle Book Review, authors will see that half the battle is won. Book reviews are a critical piece to a marketing campaign.