Comment Re Kirkus Reviews

Excellent observations by Giacomo Giammatteo in his blog post: Watchdog: Is Kirkus Selling Dreams – or Do They Deliver? I got a Kirkus Review for my latest book—Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss—and I believe (one never really knows) it helped get the book into libraries and book stores, so I figure it paid for itself, at the very least. I also see it as icing on the cake in terms of reader purchase decisions. But I also know authors who did not get very good Kirkus reviews, and some who chose not to have their reviews published. I see it as a calculated gamble, as Giacomo says, and I believe I did it with eyes open.

The best sales tool is word of mouth, and that has held true for me—readers recommending my book to others, either through their own reviews (Amazon, Goodreads, etc.) or posting on Facebook and Twitter. I would never recommend those expensive review packages or advertising programs, especially from third-parties, such as ASI, Lulu, or any other publishing service. My only advertising has been the $60 insertion in the Ingram catalog (via Lightning Source), and I figure that was worth it.

I am fortunate in that my book sold well coming out of the gate, and Amazon took it from there, fueling the sales. I think the best thing an author can do, besides having a good product, is starting an online/social media marketing campaign well in advance of publication so the book catapults off the launching pad. If that is achieved, the Amazon Machine will pour more fuel on the fire.

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About Polishing Your Prose

Larry M Edwards is an award-winning investigative journalist, author, editor and publishing consultant. He is the author of three books, and has edited dozens of nonfiction and fiction book manuscripts. Under Wigeon Publishing, he has produced six books. As author, "Dare I Call It Murder? A Memoir of Violent Loss" won First Place in the San Diego Book Awards in 2012 (unpublished memoir) and 2014, Best Published Memoir. The book has also been nominated for a number of awards, including: Pulitzer Prize, Benjamin Franklin Award, Washington State Book Award, and One Book, One San Diego. As Editor, "Murder Survivor’s Handbook: Real-Life Stories, Tips & Resources" won the Gold Award in the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, Self-Help. For a sample edit and cost estimate, contact Larry: larry [at] larryedwards [dot] com -- www.larryedwards.com -- www.dareicallitmurder.com -- www.wigeonpublishing.com
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