This post is mainly to alert Australian authors about my unpleasant experience using the services of Kirkus Reviews to attract a national, US or international readership.
You may have seen the Australian eBay advertisement on TV called eBay Tuesday where customers who do not use eBay are insulted. The actor’s spiel is a mantra called, RIPPED OFF, ROZ. Let me tell you if I were to do an advertisement on KIRKUS REVIEWS I would use the same spiel, yes – this author is a RIPPED OFF, ROZ!
Several, well in the main, disadvantages that I have faced by getting published in the United States, New York City, has been due to COVID, the lockdowns, its restrictions, and the disadvantages of being unable to achieve an American promotion of my novel over there.
Unable to travel to New York, I sought the services of KIRKUS REVIEWS. Firstly, I paid for a review. It was so, so. In the opening sentence, my young couple were “feckless”. The rest was slighly positive, except for the very negative comment by the reviewer saying it was : An often entertaining, if unevenly executed, tale of the extraordinary lengths that people can go in pursuit of their dreams.
That didn’t bode well for me, since the idea of a review is to sell the book, esp. in the US. I thanked Kirkus Reviews for their effort, but $400 later, I now realise I was a RIPPED OFF, ROZ!
My other effort was to place a book advert on their website. $1,600 later, I was again a RIPPED OFF, ROZ! Not only didn’t the ad appear the first time, the 2nd time on contacting them asking for a refund, OR what transpired was a second screening in November. Again, the advertisement was meant to show on several pages, as follows, Homepage 970×250: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/ (third integrated) – Review pages 970×250: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/discover-books/fiction (third integrated) – News and Features 970×250: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/news-and-features/genres/fiction/ (third integrated) and Book List 970×250: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-lists/ (third integrated). However, it only appeared a couple of times on “DISCOVER BOOKS” – a quick flash and it was gone! (some sort of page rotation system). I spent hours scrolling through only to find it twice above a novel by Isabel Allende.
I have since written to Kirkus, complained that the ad should have been a fixed/static showing for 2 weeks, and asked the ad girl to let the company know about my book ad expectations and criticisms. Of course, a RIPPED OFF, ROZ, should not complain to an American Company – how dare she!
So folks, save your money. Don’t use KIRKUS REVIEWS as your book advertisement will only be a quick “FLASH IN THE PAN”, that neither ‘you” or ‘book buyers’ will see.