Kirkus Review Dilema

Today I received a phone call from Iuniverse Supervisor of marketing, but I believe he said he was above that.  I could be wrong.  Anyhow, he went on to tell me how impressed the publishers have been with my book and how there is a lot of “buzz” going on surrounding, “Be Still.”  So I’m listening and in the back of my head wondering what this guy is trying to sell.  He goes on to say they tink my book will go far and Iuniverse wants me to do further promoting in the way of getting professional review from Kirkus.  Of course this is an additional fee by way of $3000 in which I quickly said that was a lot of money and I have already spent nearly $4500 to see how far my dream will get me (would have been more but iuniverse paid 10% of my up front editing package).

So he tells me Iuniverse staff are excited to see how far I will go and believe it has great potential to go far.  As such, they are willing to pay 50% of the professional review fee.  And I’m thinking, this is still a bunch of money for somehow who is flat broke, and how often am I going to be solicited to pay some new fee.  Now trust me, my red flag waves any time someone asks for money, but I do get that since I am self-publishing all my fees are out of my pocket.  And I am flattered at all the wonderful things that were said about my book, but in the back (actually forefront) of my cerebellum, I am thinking these people are just marketers no different from a telemarketer.  On the converse, I have to say that my review and trust in them has been top-notch based on their performance to date, so I don’t have much reason to think they are scamming me-other than my own insecurities about doling out cash for a mere shot at a dream.  A dream.  A shot at a dream.  A one in a million hail Mary shot at a dream.

I think again…what if I only sell 5 books.  I have a kid going to college this year.  I have holes in my ceiling from where it rained inside the house.  The boys have to share my bathroom (yuck yuck yuck) because they have no tile from where the bathroom flooded.  Can I really afford to take such a huge financial leap of monetary faith? What if it is all a scam? BUT.  What if I have a shot? What if I am that one-in-a-million? What if my dream is destined to be a reality? What is my dream? I’ve said it before: I want to pay off the debt created to pursue this dream.  I want to send my kid to college without taking out a loan.  And I’d like to pay my bills off.  Really, i’d settle for breaking even on this publishing venture.

So I asked my boyfriend and my mom and they both had the same response, “You came this far … go all the way.” That means another credit card! Is it worth it? I won;t know unless I try, but if I fall flat on my face I’ll be devastated that I put my family in deeper debt.  If I had a nice cushion to follow this venture I’d go forward without question.  I’m stuck.  How much would you pay to follow a dream? To follow a “what if?”

I have til Monday!


5 responses to “Kirkus Review Dilema

  1. Well, Tania–I can’t even imagine what it’s like to have 2 people believe in you so completely–seems like that would be worth more than any dollar amount. But we do live in the real world with practical concerns and burdens, aka financial debt. My gut instinct–and I don’t really know you-know you–is to agree with mama and boyfriend. I also love the PrayerEX–so I’ll be praying fervently for you to get clear direction from God. Hope that helps…

  2. Its a “What if” no matter which way you go. I say GO! Money is just paper you use to trade for something you want. Theres will always be more paper. Go all the way. Have faith in yourself. I have faith in you and so a lot of other people.

  3. If you are a writer, and you respect your good work, avoid KIRKUS INDIE REVIEWS.

    Do not fall for this ploy.

    I trusted, like a fool, that a company of their repute would, surely, and for the price of $575.00 ( I was in a rush to print), that I would, at least ,get a full read of the manuscript. Well, that clearly did not happen. What I got was a formulaic “schtick” on what was a bare, scant assessment of the novel–the reviewer made sure to check correct spellings of character names, their basic role, any little characteristic to throw in to “show” that the reviewer “read” the work–and just took it from there.

    The so-called “problems” with the narrative simply did not exist. There was a major aberration of the story arc as a whole and therefore, the reviewer just summed it all up the way he/she wanted to see it. After all, it doesn’t matter, not really. KIRKUS will cover him/her, under the shield of anonymity and their motto: “World’s Toughest Critics”, regardless of what they do or say.

    When I tried to point out to them that I could prove that this reviewer didn’t really read my book, they ignored my simple suggestions: that they contact the reviewer in a live call and simply ask one or two definitive questions. It would have not taken a lot of trouble, really, but they clearly were not interested in being fair. They were interested in maintaining their position that they do not do refunds. Ever. Under any circumstance, however, their CEO said that each reviewer must read the work in its entirety. I can guarantee that this did not happen with my work. Yet– they took my money. And they refuse a refund. Clearly, this is a scam and a sham and a type of fraud cleverly wrapped up as a nice little package for the independent writer who is looking for some support. Partake at your PERIL!

    KIRKUS ended my pursuit without giving any of my considerations a try, or even offering to have another reviewer take a stab (actually, I wouldn’t trust another…) but they are hanging on to my money, protecting their reviewer while I must request that they bury the thing and walk away in absolute disgrace. That’s what you get when your vulnerable, and trust snakes like KIRKUS to save the day. They’re criminals. STAY AWAY.

    • Thank you for your reply. You are not the first person who has told me about something of this nature from Kirkus, although, I have heard it be said about some of the other reviewing establishments also. I suppose we hand over our money, say a hail Mary, and hope what we get is truly unique and authentic. Unfortunately, I have already paid for this service so I am holding on tight to my Hail Mary, which is a big deal since I’m not even remotely close to being a Catholic. I have discovered through being self-published that everything is a live and learn situation and there are plenty of people/companies out there willing to take your money on some great promise, but their promises fall short. I have also met some wonderful people who deliver…live and learn. And I suppose I fell for the line that having a Kirkus review on my jacket is better than having a quote from a friend or other unknown author, but I say, get it from an unknown author and give their name and name of their book next to it and lets all help each other.

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