Have you ever wondered if there are any review services specifically catered to self-published authors? Well, the good news is, there are! Getting book reviews can be a vital step for self-published authors to gain exposure and credibility in the industry. However, finding reliable review services can be a daunting task. In this article, we will explore some options and resources that self-published authors can consider when seeking valuable book reviews to enhance their writing journey. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, these services can help you navigate the world of self-publishing and get the recognition your book deserves.

Why are reviews important for self-published authors?

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Increased visibility

Reviews play a crucial role in increasing the visibility of self-published authors and their books. When potential readers browse through online bookstores, they often rely on the number and quality of reviews to gauge whether a book is worth their time and money. Positive reviews can capture the attention of a wider audience and attract more readers to discover an author’s work.

Social proof

Reviews provide social proof, which is a powerful influencer when it comes to purchasing decisions. Potential readers are more likely to trust the opinions of other readers who have already read and reviewed a book. Positive reviews act as endorsements and can create a sense of credibility and trustworthiness for an author and their work.

Feedback and improvement

Reviews offer valuable feedback and insights for self-published authors. Constructive criticism from readers can help authors identify areas of improvement in their writing, plot development, or characterizations. This feedback can be used to enhance future works, ultimately leading to an improved writing craft and a more satisfying reading experience for readers.

Boost in sales

Positive reviews can directly impact sales for self-published authors. When a book has a significant number of positive reviews, potential readers perceive it as a well-received and high-quality product. This perception can drive more sales, as readers are more likely to make a purchase if they believe they will have a positive reading experience based on the reviews they’ve read.

Challenges faced by self-published authors in getting book reviews

Lack of professional network

One of the challenges faced by many self-published authors is the lack of a professional network. Unlike traditionally published authors who have established connections with literary agents, publishers, and professional reviewers, self-published authors often need to build their networks from scratch. This can make it difficult to find reviewers who are willing to read and review their books.

Limited advertising budget

Self-published authors often work with limited advertising budgets, making it challenging to promote their books effectively. Traditional review channels may require fees or advertisements to feature a book, which can be costly for authors trying to establish themselves. Limited resources can make it difficult for self-published authors to reach potential reviewers and gain valuable exposure for their books.

Skepticism from potential reviewers

Many potential reviewers, especially those associated with established review channels, may be skeptical about reviewing self-published books. Some reviewers may have experienced poorly written or unedited self-published books in the past, leading to a general bias against self-published works. Overcoming this skepticism and building trust with reviewers can be a hurdle for self-published authors.

Limited access to traditional review channels

Self-published authors often face challenges when trying to access traditional review channels such as newspapers, magazines, and mainstream bookstores. These channels are often dominated by traditionally published authors who have established relationships with the industry. As a result, self-published authors may struggle to have their books considered for reviews and miss out on valuable opportunities for exposure.

Traditional review channels for self-published authors

Book bloggers

Book bloggers are avid readers who maintain their own blogs where they review books they have read. These bloggers have their own dedicated audience and can provide a platform for self-published authors to reach potential readers. Building relationships with book bloggers and offering them review copies of books can be an effective way for self-published authors to gain exposure and receive honest feedback.

Book review websites

There are several book review websites that cater to self-published authors. These websites provide a platform for authors to submit their books for review and potentially be featured on their platforms. These websites often have dedicated sections or categories specifically for self-published works, making it easier for authors to target their desired audience.

Online book clubs

Online book clubs provide a community of readers who come together to discuss and review books they have read. These clubs often have dedicated platforms or forums where self-published authors can submit their books for consideration. Being selected by an online book club can result in exposure to a large group of enthusiastic readers who can provide valuable reviews and recommendations.

Newspapers and magazines

While newspapers and magazines may primarily focus on traditionally published authors, some publications offer review opportunities for self-published authors as well. These reviews can reach a broader audience and provide a level of credibility for self-published authors. Building relationships with journalists and editors who cover book reviews can increase the chances of getting featured in these publications.

Review services specifically designed for self-published authors

Book Review Targeter

Book Review Targeter is a review service that connects self-published authors with targeted reviewers who are interested in specific genres or topics. They provide access to a database of reviewers, making it easier for authors to find potential reviewers who are interested in their niche. Book Review Targeter also offers a range of tools and resources to help authors navigate the review process effectively.

Reader’s Favorite

Reader’s Favorite is a review service that provides professional and unbiased book reviews for authors. They have a team of expert reviewers who evaluate books across various genres. In addition to reviews, Reader’s Favorite also hosts an annual book award contest, offering authors an opportunity to gain recognition and exposure.


IndieReader offers a range of services for self-published authors, including professional book reviews. They have a team of reviewers who provide detailed and honest feedback on the quality and marketability of books. IndieReader also offers marketing and promotional services to help authors boost their visibility and reach a wider audience.


NetGalley is a popular platform where authors can provide digital review copies of their books to a community of professional readers, such as librarians, booksellers, and media professionals. Authors can receive reviews and feedback from these professionals, gaining exposure and potentially generating buzz around their books.

Choosy Bookworm

Choosy Bookworm offers review services for self-published authors, with a focus on promoting books through their newsletter and website. They have a community of book lovers who receive regular updates on new releases and discounted books. Authors can submit their books for review and potential promotion through Choosy Bookworm’s channels.


BookSirens provides review services for self-published authors, connecting them with vetted reviewers who are interested in specific genres. Authors can submit their books for review consideration and receive honest and unbiased feedback. BookSirens also offers a range of promotional services to help authors increase their visibility and reach a wider audience.

Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems offers a review service specifically designed for self-published authors. They have a team of reviewers who provide honest and detailed feedback on books across various genres. Authors can submit their books for consideration and receive professional reviews.


BookTasters is a platform that connects self-published authors with potential reviewers who are interested in specific genres. Authors can submit their books for review and receive detailed feedback from reviewers. BookTasters also offers promotional services to help authors increase their exposure and gain more reviews.

The Book Review Directory

The Book Review Directory is a website that features reviews of self-published books across various genres. Authors can submit their books for review consideration and potentially be featured on their platform. The Book Review Directory also provides resources and information to help authors navigate the world of self-publishing.


OnlineBookClub.org is an online community of readers who review books across various genres. They offer a range of opportunities for self-published authors, including book reviews and author interviews. Building a presence on OnlineBookClub.org can provide exposure to a large and active community of readers.

Criteria to consider when choosing a review service


Consider the cost associated with each review service. Some services may charge a fee for reviewing books or providing promotional opportunities. It’s essential to assess the value provided by the service in relation to the cost and determine if it fits within your budget.

Target audience

Review services may cater to different genres or target specific types of readers. It’s important to choose a service that aligns with your book’s target audience to maximize the chances of receiving relevant reviews and reaching potential readers who are more likely to enjoy your book.

Reviewers’ expertise

Review services may have reviewers with varying levels of expertise and qualifications. Assess the credentials and experience of the reviewers associated with the service to ensure they have a good understanding of your genre and can provide valuable insights and feedback.

Review distribution

Consider how the reviews will be distributed. Some services may offer distribution through their own platforms, newsletters, or social media channels, while others may provide opportunities to connect with influential reviewers or feature reviews on popular websites. Assess the potential reach and exposure provided by the service.

Turnaround time

Review services may have different turnaround times for providing reviews. It’s important to consider how quickly you need the reviews and choose a service that can meet your timeline. Keep in mind that some services may have longer waiting periods due to high demand or a large volume of submissions.

Benefits of using review services for self-published authors

Access to a wider audience

Review services can help self-published authors reach a wider audience by connecting them with reviewers, book bloggers, and book clubs that have an existing audience and following. By leveraging these platforms, authors can increase their visibility and attract readers who may not have discovered their books otherwise.

Increased chances of receiving reviews

Review services increase the chances of receiving reviews by providing a platform for authors to connect with reviewers who are actively seeking new books to read and review. These services can help self-published authors bypass the challenges of locating and convincing reviewers individually, increasing the likelihood of receiving valuable feedback and reviews.

Professional and unbiased feedback

Review services often provide professional and unbiased feedback, giving authors a fresh perspective on their work. Reviews can point out strengths and weaknesses in the writing, plot, or character development, helping authors improve their craft. Professional feedback can provide insights that authors may not have considered, leading to growth and development in their writing.

Exposure to influential reviewers

Some review services have connections with influential reviewers who have a significant following or influence in the literary community. Gaining exposure to these reviewers can lead to increased visibility and attract more readers to an author’s work. Positive reviews from influential reviewers can also act as endorsements, boosting an author’s credibility and attracting more readers.

Opportunities for networking and collaboration

Review services provide opportunities for self-published authors to network and collaborate with reviewers, book bloggers, and other authors. Engaging with these individuals can lead to valuable connections in the literary world, opening doors for future opportunities such as guest blogging, joint promotional campaigns, or cross-promotion of books. Networking and collaboration can help self-published authors expand their reach and gain new readership.

Limitations of review services for self-published authors

Cost implications

Some review services charge fees for their services, which may be a limitation for self-published authors with limited budgets. It’s important to carefully assess the cost and value provided by review services to ensure they align with an author’s financial resources. Choosing multiple review services can quickly become expensive, so authors must weigh the benefits against the cost.

Varying levels of review quality

Review services may have varying levels of review quality. While some services provide detailed and professional reviews, others may offer more superficial or less critical feedback. Authors should research the reputation and credibility of review services before selecting one to ensure they will receive valuable and meaningful reviews.

Limited control over reviewer selection

Many review services assign reviewers based on availability and genre preference, limiting an author’s control over selecting specific reviewers. While this can be advantageous in reaching a diverse audience, authors may have preferences for reviewers with certain expertise or qualifications. Lack of control over reviewer selection can be a limitation for authors seeking targeted feedback.

Potential biases or conflicts of interest

Review services, particularly those with a wide pool of reviewers, may have varying personal preferences, biases, or conflicts of interest. It’s essential for authors to understand that not all reviewers will resonate with their books or provide favorable reviews. Authors should consider multiple reviews and feedback to gain a well-rounded understanding of their work.

Strategies for maximizing the benefits of review services

Research and evaluate each service

Before selecting a review service, conduct thorough research and evaluate each service based on its reputation, reviews from other authors, and the quality of reviews provided. Look for testimonials or case studies from authors who have used the service to gauge its effectiveness and value.

Optimize book description and cover

A compelling and well-crafted book description and cover design can significantly impact the likelihood of receiving reviews. Make sure your book description clearly communicates the key themes and appeal of your book, while the cover design is visually appealing and aligned with the genre or target audience. A strong first impression can captivate potential reviewers and encourage them to choose your book for review.

Provide reviewer guidelines

When submitting your book for review, provide clear and concise guidelines to reviewers. Outline your expectations for the review, such as the preferred focus areas, tone, or any specific elements you would like them to address. Giving reviewers clear guidelines can help ensure that the feedback provided is aligned with your needs and expectations.

Maintain professionalism and responsiveness

When interacting with reviewers or review services, maintain a professional and responsive attitude. Promptly respond to any inquiries or requests for additional information and address any concerns or questions raised by reviewers. Building a positive and professional reputation can lead to long-term relationships and future opportunities for collaboration.

Leverage positive reviews for marketing purposes

Once you receive positive reviews, leverage them for marketing purposes. Include excerpts or testimonials from reviews in your book’s description, website, social media profiles, and other promotional materials. Positive reviews act as endorsements and can help attract more readers to your book. Consider creating a marketing strategy that highlights these reviews to maximize their impact.

Alternatives to review services for self-published authors

Building an author platform

Building an author platform through a website, blog, or social media presence can provide alternative avenues for generating reviews. Engage with your target audience and interact with readers who may be interested in reviewing your book. Building an author platform allows you to develop direct relationships with potential reviewers and readers.

Utilizing social media and online communities

Social media platforms and online book communities offer opportunities for self-published authors to connect with readers and potential reviewers. Engage in discussions and conversations related to your books’ genre or topic, and offer review copies to interested individuals. Participating actively in these communities can lead to valuable reviews and increased exposure.

Connecting with other self-published authors

Networking with other self-published authors can provide opportunities for mutual support and collaboration. By connecting with authors in similar genres or writing communities, you can exchange reviews and provide feedback to each other. Supporting and promoting each other’s work can help increase visibility and gain a broader audience.

Participating in writing competitions

Participating in writing competitions can provide exposure and potential review opportunities for self-published authors. Many writing competitions offer review components as part of the judging process or provide feedback on submissions. Winning or placing in a competition can attract attention and generate interest in your work.

Offering ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) programs

Offering Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) to potential reviewers or influencers can generate pre-publication reviews and buzz around your book. ARCs are typically provided to readers before the official release of the book, allowing them to read and review it in advance. ARCs can generate excitement and anticipation, leading to increased visibility and potential for more reviews.


Reviews are vital for self-published authors as they contribute to increased visibility, social proof, feedback, and improved sales. However, self-published authors face challenges in obtaining reviews due to a lack of professional networks, limited budgets, skepticism from reviewers, and limited access to traditional review channels. To overcome these challenges, self-published authors can utilize traditional review channels such as book bloggers, book review websites, online book clubs, and newspapers/magazines. Alternatively, they can take advantage of review services that are specifically designed for self-published authors, such as Book Review Targeter, Reader’s Favorite, IndieReader, NetGalley, Choosy Bookworm, BookSirens, Hidden Gems, BookTasters, The Book Review Directory, and OnlineBookClub.org.

When choosing a review service, authors must consider criteria such as cost, target audience, reviewers’ expertise, review distribution, and turnaround time. Utilizing review services offers benefits such as access to a wider audience, increased chances of receiving reviews, professional and unbiased feedback, exposure to influential reviewers, and networking opportunities. However, authors should also be aware of the limitations, including cost implications, varying levels of review quality, limited control over reviewer selection, and potential biases or conflicts of interest.

To maximize the benefits of review services, authors should thoroughly research and evaluate each service, optimize their book description and cover, provide clear guidelines to reviewers, maintain professionalism and responsiveness, and leverage positive reviews for marketing purposes. Additionally, alternative strategies such as building an author platform, utilizing social media and online communities, connecting with other self-published authors, participating in writing competitions, and offering ARC programs can also be effective in generating reviews and increasing visibility.

In conclusion, while obtaining reviews as a self-published author may be challenging, leveraging traditional review channels and utilizing review services can significantly impact an author’s visibility, feedback, and sales. By carefully selecting the right review services and implementing effective strategies, self-published authors can enhance their chances of receiving valuable reviews and reaching a wider audience.

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