Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly are two of the most prominent publications in the publishing industries. A review in either gives a book merit and serves as a stamp of approval. Self-published authors knew this, which is why they inundated both publications with review copies of their book. This led to both outlets deciding that they would not review self-published books and instead, they created a separate paid service for self-published authors. Kirkus created Kirkus Indie and Publisher’s Weekly created PW Select. Should a self-published author pay for either?
Authors ask me about both review services everyday and I wish more authors asked me, because there is a big difference between them. I never encourage an author to buy a Kirkus Indie review for multiple reasons. Most importantly, a Kirkus Indie review does nothing to help sell or promote a book and isn’t that the purpose of securing press? It doesn’t help, because everyone in the industry knows it is a paid review and there is no merit behind a paid review. Not only is it a paid review, but the reviews are put on a separate section on the website, like a group of outcasts and the $425 or $575 is nothing to sneeze at. For that kind of money, there are countless other ways for an author to spend their marketing dollars. Send me a message and I’ll share a few ideas.
The similarity between Kirkus Indie and PW Select stops at the paid part. I would never encourage an author to pay for a review, but with PW Select, you’re not necessarily paying for a review. The $149 price tag guarantees you’ll be listed with a bunch of other self-published authors in a pullout section and online. You also get a six month subscription to Publisher’s Weekly. Your book is also put into consideration for review, but nothing is guaranteed. This gives the review merit. I’ve also spoken to others in the industry about PW Select and they’ve had nothing but tremendous things to say about the service. It can help you sell books, which is exactly what you want. Also, Publisher’s Weekly is embracing self-publishing, which couldn’t be more evident than with their PW Select.
if you’re looking to buy either service, get past the appeal the being in Kirkus and roll the dice with PW Select.