As a self-published author, you’re probably always looking for those elusive reviews. We need customer reviews, but it is also nice to have something to put in the “Editorial Reviews” section of your Amazon listing. I sometimes ask my connections who are experts in the field to write something for me, and I also go to Readers’ Favorite. (Full disclosure: I am currently a Readers’ Favorite reviewer.)
Readers’ Favorite in an online business that runs an annual contest and they also provides authors with opportunities for reviews, both free and for a fee. You can get a single review of your book for $59, three reviews for $129 and five reviews for $199. The reviews are completed in 2-3 weeks and you can then use them however you please – in their entirety or just excerpts, on the Amazon Editorial Reviews section, on your blog, on the back of your book, wherever. RF will post your review on their site and some others, but only if it is a 4-star or 5-star review. If your book gets less than four stars then you’re the only one who will see it.
Readers’ Favorite also provides single reviews for free. They have 1000+ reviewers, mostly authors helping authors, and these reviewers can see a list of all books that have had a review requested. If someone likes yours, they’ll select it. The same reviewers are used for paid and unpaid reviews, but they’re paid more for the paid reviews than the unpaid (the amount of pay is minimal – consider the reviewer a volunteer), so they are more likely to choose a book requesting a paid review. It can also take longer for a free review to be completed.
Paid vs. Free Reviews
Whether you choose a paid review or a free review depends on a couple factors. The quality of the review should be the same whether free or paid, but with a free review there is no guarantee that your book will be chosen. If you want multiple reviews or if you don’t want to wait a couple months or more, the paid review is the way to go. I have submitted almost all my books to RF for free reviews and I’ve only had one book not selected, but that might be because most of my books are short, and shorter books seem to get chosen more quickly. You can always try for a free review and then if your book isn’t chosen you can change it to a paid review.
If you decide to request a Readers’ Favorite review, here are a couple things to be aware of:
- Some reviewers are better than others. On my own books I’ve had stellar reviews and I had a reviewer not even mention the title or the author. If there is a problem, you can complain to RF and they will have the reviewer fix it.
- If you really like a reviewer, you can request that person for other books. There is no guarantee, but it’s worth a try. My piano books are pretty specialized and when I landed on a good reviewer who could talk intelligently about them, I requested him for the rest of my music books. He was nice enough to oblige.
- Your chance of getting a free review is dependent on what time of year you request it. Everyone who enters the contest automatically gets a review and during contest crunch time the contest books and paid review books take priority over the free review books. Late fall through early spring is a great time to ask for a free review. You’re probably not going to get a free review if you put your request in from May to September.
- There is no time limit between publication date and a review request. You can request a review on something you wrote years ago, or you can request a review on something not yet published.
- After receiving your review you will have the option to rate your reviewer and give them feedback comments. For the reviewer, getting a comment back from the author is like receiving a tip, only better. I have even had continuing contact with a couple of the authors I’ve reviewed, which has been very gratifying.
How to Become a Readers’ Favorite Reviewer
Finally, if you are interested in becoming a book reviewer for Readers’ Favorite, the process is not difficult. You will need to write a couple reviews as they teach you their format and then you’re set. Check out the details here.