Thinking about doing it for my 2nd novel before I release it as an e-book and was interested in feedback.
Kirkus charges upwards of $500 to review a self-published book. Not exactly a good investment considering how many book sales it would take to recoup the expense. Nor have I heard from anyone who got a Kirkus review that it dramatically increased sales.
I bought a Kirkus review for my self-published novel just as I started to promote it but I'd never go back for my second book presently being considered by an agent. It was a horrendous, snaky review where I felt the reviewer had only read half the book based on his/her comments. It also deflated me for several months. The review was expensive. You could spend your money in a better place. Obviously, I didn't publish their review...but I will promote the wonderful mention I'm getting in a Boston area magazine and its Web site...plus the mention on its way in an airline magazine. So much for the Kirkus pan of my novel.
I had a similar experience with Kirkus--a mean-spirited, non-comprehending "review" that seemed to be based on a skimming of the book, if that.
I know it might sound crazy to some, but I don't like the idea of having to PAY anyone for a review of my book. We Indie's don't make much and even that has to be put into a cover/edit. My theory is that if you get enough attention from customers then the reviews will come. ;)
I submitted my manuscript a few weeks ago to Kirkus Reviews, with the support of my editor/imprint owner who is publishing my novel (in September). I'm now waiting for the review. The comments of others who've used Kirkus are making me quite nervous! I'm hoping for a good enough review to be able to use it in publicity, but I'm not overly optimistic...but we'll see.