Trade review services, paid or free, can get your book in front of the book “trade” like booksellers and librarians. These services require you send your book in advance of publication though some have paid services for post-publication reviews.
IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Booklist and Booklist Online are the American Library Association’s (ALA) book review service. Send your book in advance of publication for free. They get over 60K submissions per year and will not notify publishers if their books are not selected for review. BlueInk Review is a partner and they suggest that self-publishers use that route for a chance of being included in Booklist’s pages.
A partner of the ALA’s Booklist Review service, this company only reviews indie and self-published books and their reviews cost $395.
Booklife PW Reviews
You can submit your book to unpaid book review sites like BookLife’s PW Reviews, but it may be declined for review. If you get into BookLife, your book also has a chance of being reviewed by Publishers Weekly.
The good news is that these reviews are free. The bad news is that it’s really hard to get them to accept your book for review. Still, you should try. Especially if you know that your book really does compete in the marketplace. Send your perfect book to them at least two months before publication. It will be evaluated and either accepted or rejected for review. To hedge your bets, I’d submit it four months before publication and, if rejected, consider a paid review service.
Foreword’s Clarion Reviews
Foreword’s Clarion Reviews charges $499 for a 450-word review, which you will receive in 4 to 6 weeks. Clarion is also associated with BlueInk Reviews, an indie and self-published book reviewer who charges $395.
The Horn Book
The Horn Book site reviews children’s and young adult books. The Horn Book Magazine, launched in 1924, is a bimonthly journal of opinion, reporting, and timely reviews of the best titles. Its sister publication, The Horn Book Guide, is strictly reviews—a concise, authoritative, and indexed publication that critiques and ranks more than 2,000 books in each semi-annual issue. The Horn Book Guide Online is a fully searchable electronic database of more than 80,000 reviews.
IndieReader offers reviews for $225 and RUSH reviews (4-6 week turnaround) for $300. If your title earns 4 to 5 stars, it will be included in IndieReader’s monthly “Best Book” roundup in the Huffington Post (from Paul Kilpatrick and Amy Edleman).
Kirkus charges $425 for a review that you can expect to receive in 7 to 9 weeks or $575 for their express service that takes 4 to 6 weeks.
Midwest Book Review
The Midwest Book Review publishes Bookwatch reviews for the trade and the general public and gives priority consideration to small press publishers, self-published authors, and academic presses. Free for print and $50 for ebooks.
NetGalley allows you to pitch your book to professional readers (media, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, bloggers, and educators) who can review and recommend your title, from one location for $399. (Get a deal on NetGalley if you’re a member of IBPA.) Miral Sattar of Bibliocrunch published a useful interview with NetGalley on how self-published authors can use the service.
PW Select ($149) is an advertisement that costs $149. Your book will appear in the magazine, the Publishers Weekly and BookLife home pages, BookLife’s email newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook channels, as well as a listing in its special announcements database, and to readers who subscribe to its magazines.
RT Book Reviews
RT Book Reviews specializes in romance, erotica, sci fi, fantasy, inspiration, mystery, and young adult titles. Submit well in advance of publication or, if you’ve already published your book, use their paid service. Est $425.
San Francisco Book Review
You don’t need to live in the city to use San Francisco Book Review’s service. Sister companies are the Manhattan, Seattle, and Tulsa Book Review and Kids’ BookBuzz. and they are all owned by City Book Review. Submit 90 days in advance for their free service. If your book has already been published you can purchase their paid service ($199) and, for $99, cross-post it to the other book review magazines.