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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I learn more about paid reviews on Amazon?  I’m worried about Amazon’s policies.

All SPR products are within Amazon Guidelines. Our editor Cate Baum has written a handy guide here explaining all our review products and the different types of paid reviews, including what we offer, which are called professional or editorial reviews.

Why are your paid review fees so low compared to others on the market?

We keep our overheads low and rely on word of mouth in the self-publishing community for our review clientele. We don’t diversify, we specialize. Many authors are repeat customers because we offer the best price, fastest turnaround and longest word count for a review available on the market. A large portion our fee goes to the reviewer direct, unlike many other review services on the market – because we believe this is fair. So you can be assured of a well-authored review.

What can I expect from an SPR Review?

We promise a thorough, honest and professional review of at least 500 words. We post reviews on  Twitter, Google + and Facebook, and B&N on request. All reviews will be featured on our front page and will be permanently linked on a page in our Book Reviews section. You may also post our review as an Editorial Review on Amazon. We provide the Amazon-length edit free with every review.

How long will my review take?

Lead Story and Classic Reviews are finished within 30 working days of receiving your book, but usually before. Please use these working days calculators before contacting us.

When will I see the review on your site and get all my links etc.?

We will contact you with your review copy to ask for permission to publish. Once published, we send you all the links and add-ons you purchased.

Jump Starts are published without further consultation as they do not contain a rating.

We send you an email with all your live links, badges, etc. when we publish the review online, and the link is shared on social media.

Do you accept all books?

Most books, but please read our book policy before paying.

I haven’t published my book yet. Can I still have it reviewed?

Yes, sure. We will hold the publication of the review until you go live so that we help promote sales, but many authors get reviewed before publication so they can use the review for their book cover or publicity.

Where can I send my book once I’ve paid?

When you have paid you can upload your ebook or manuscript via the link we send you automatically. We accept all e-book formats (.mobi, gifted e-books, ePub) PDFs and Word documents. You can send us a hard copy by contacting us to request an address for a USA, UK, or Europe review office.

Why did I not receive a confirmation when I paid for my review?

Your PayPal receipt is confirmation we received your book, and you will receive a automated email to the PayPal email address with next steps. We will contact you if we need any further information.

Can I pay by check or credit card instead of PayPal?

We no longer accept checks. You can pay by credit/debit card on PayPal without a PayPal account. Just click the second box down on the right when you are asked to pay:

non member pay paypal

I have not heard back from you regarding my review.

We process and queue orders automatically and your PayPal receipt is your reference. We also send an automatic reply to the email you paid with on PayPal. It takes between 1-8 days to publish Lead Story Reviews once we hear back from you due to waiting times for the leader board.

Where can I check the status of my review?

We do not get updates on the reviewer’s reading process – when it is finished we will write to you.

How do I credit the reviewer on my media/website?

Please credit the review as:

“-Self-Publishing Review, {insert star rating here} stars” for Classic and Lead Story Reviews
“-Self-Publishing Review” for Jump Start Reviews


“SPR,{insert star rating here} stars” for Classic and Lead Story Reviews

“SPR” for Jump Start Reviews

I want you to share my review on Amazon

It is against Amazon policy to share your review as a customer review.

You can share our review as an Editorial Review on your Author page.  The author must add the review themselves via their Author Central profile.

Log into your Author Central page.
Click on the Books tab (top left).
Select the book for which you want to add an editorial review.
Click the Editorial review tab (if it isn’t already selected).
Click Add next to the Review heading (will say Empty if nothing has been entered yet).
Cut and paste the text we gave you and submit.

We now give all authors an Amazon Edit version of their review included with the review for this exact purpose.

I want you to share my review on Barnes & Noble

Because of the time-consuming nature of posting reviews on Barnes and Noble, we have phased this option out from August 2014. Now, authors can instead quote our review in the editorial section of their page.

Barnes and Noble FAQs

I want you to share my review on Goodreads

Goodreads policy means we cannot publish a paid review on their site. You can however quote us in your profile.

Goodreads Author FAQs

I want you to share my review on Smashwords

We cannot do this at this time as it requires a purchase. You can however quote us in your profile or self- interview (dashboard>interview manager in your Smashwords account.)


I want you to share my review on Google Play

Google Play pulls its reviews from Goodreads, and as we cannot post on Goodreads, it is not possible to share the review on Google Play. We have been talking with Google Play recently, and they have been interested in ideas for new ways of sharing reviews. We will keep you posted.

I want to send you a book that is not published yet

That’s fine, send the manuscript. But be aware that is the book the review will talk about, so check for errors. We also provide editorial reports and proofreads for books that need a professional tweak.

Do you review erotic/pornographic fiction?

Yes. We have reviewed several books like this. However we will not link to pornographic or sexual service-providing sites as part of the review service.

Do you review religious themed books?

We will review religious fiction, motivational quotes and prayer-style books. In our store we have several books of these themes. We do not guarantee a reviewer of faith. We will not link to religious service-providing sites as part of the review.

I would like a female/male/specific attributes/interest reviewer

We have a wide variety of reviewers from different backgrounds. Please let us know if you have a specific reason for choosing a certain type of person for your book review. As an equal rights employer, we cannot employ a reviewer based on sexuality or religion so we may not be able to accommodate this kind of request, but we’ll do our best to find you the best match based on special interests.

My book has spelling mistakes and grammar errors. Will the review reflect this?

Yes. We owe it to the community to talk about the quality of the book in whole including the appearance and edit. If you wish to get a fully professional edit or proofread please look at our editing services here.

Will you review the quality of my book cover?

Yes, we will. The cover image will reflect part of the professionalism and effort you have put into marketing your book.

What does your star rating mean?

We rate books on design (cover art, font and quality), content (story/characters/narrative style) and editing (spelling, grammar and layout) out of 100 and our review system adds these up to produce a 3-tier star rating adding up to one total star rating out of 5. Ratings are determined by the editor at the time of publication in conjunction with the reviewer. If your book was reviewed before May 2014 and you would like us to add a star rating, let us know.

You gave my book a low-starred review. What can I do?

If a reviewer does turn in a low-starred review (2.5 stars or less) we will contact you before we publish and discuss options. We never publish without asking you what you would like to do next. We promise a fully rounded and honest, impartial review. We strive to serve the self-publishing community of avid readers and writers who champion professional quality to keep self-publishing honorable, and we therefore must give objective reviews.  What can you do to improve your book? Do you deep down know some of the comments are true?

You have options to maximize your review’s worth if it has a low-star rating:

  1. We can edit your review for our New Releases section as a synopsis-style review of 200 words. You will be able to keep the 500-word review to cherry-pick quotes for use in the Editorial sections of Amazon, Smashwords etc. You will still get all the benefits of the review package you bought.
  2. You can pay for a second opinion of another reviewer. We can share your Amazon sales link on our Twitter in the meantime.
  3. We can publish the review, but without the star rating attached. You will still get all the benefits of the review package you bought.
  4. You can avoid publishing it at all and work on your book according to the comments given.
  5. You can go ahead and publish as planned. All publicity can help sell a book.

You gave my book a negative review. I want my money back.

We don’t give refunds. Once a book is queued, it is being worked on. We certainly won’t refund after the review is complete. However, we can refrain from publishing the review. If a reviewer does turn in a negative review we will contact you before we publish asking your permission. See the previous answer for more info on what you can do.

I don’t think your reviewer read my book properly because they gave it a negative review.

All our reviewers have to read all of your book by contract before reviewing it, because it’s their job. We do check each and every review carefully. We employ a closeknit team of  professional writers, who have managed workloads to ensure they have the time to turn in a comprehensive review.

When authors are reviewed in a negative way, they can feel their book was misunderstood or not read. Ask yourself, have you conveyed your story on paper, or is it still in your head? Have you communicated what you set out to do? Maybe the reviewer just didn’t like your book. If so, all reviews are balanced and carefully monitored to be as fair as possible. All reviewers read books cover to cover. If a reviewer does turn in a negative review we will contact you before we publish asking your permission. But a review is an objective opinion of your work – the words that are on paper should tell the full story.

We have a zero tolerance to reviewers who do not read the whole book, and will never allow a book to be reviewed without being read cover to cover. 

I don’t think your reviewer understands what I was conveying in my book and therefore they didn’t review it properly.

This is a really common kneejerk reaction to a criticism and we hear it a lot. After all, the critic is calling your baby ugly. It’s unfortunately incredibly easy to not see the wood for the trees after working on a book for so long. Try to step back and see how a reader may comprehend your work. Have you really reached your aims? Re-read the review and think about how the reviewer is seeing the writing. We find most authors come back after a think and realize we had a good point. Many have edited or worked on their books in some way and improved sales and reviews as a result.

You gave my book a review that contains parts I don’t like. I want you to edit it.

The only edits we will make are if we get a fact wrong about the author, or use the incorrect technical word, for example. We owe it to the reading community to be honest about your book so we will not edit a review. You can ask us not to publish it, or you can quote the bits you like on your own sites, such as your website, Amazon Central page and Goodreads.  We always get the customer’s permission to publish so you will have an opportunity to choose. You are welcome to re-submit your book for another review or an edit. You are welcome to choose a reviewer. Repeat reviews for the same book get a members’ 5% discount.

You reviewed my book a while ago,  and I didn’t write to give you the go-ahead to publish it

That’s okay. You can tell us now and we’ll go ahead with publication. We keep all reviews in draft ready to publish for one year, and on our server forever.

I have a new version of my book out so I need you to change the link/cover photo in my review

That’s fine, send us the details.

I have a new version of my book that is newly edited so I need you to update my review

Sorry, you’ll have to re-submit your book. We don’t update reviews of edited versions of books.

How do I get a review?

Go here to purchase a review. We do not publish free reviews. All review content is paid for.

What are the next steps for my SPR review?

We offer special deals to clients who have bought a review, including marketing and promotion add-ons and quick fixes. You can see these by clicking here.

Editing FAQs

Can I get a sample edit?

If you would like a sample edit please email 5 pages of not more than 1000 words (i.e. 250 words per page) in Word document format, to editor@selfpublishingreview.com with the subject header “Sample Edit”. Please note the sample edit should be the first five pages of your book only.

Can’t I get a random selection edited instead?

No. This is because in the past some authors spoiled it for everyone by sending different parts of their book to different editors for free samples. So it’s now industry standard to only sample edit the first 1000 words.

How many words is a page?

250 words per page, Word format, regardless of font, size, or spacing.

Can I leave a testimonial?

Please leave a testimonial here.

You can read testimonials here – and please do click on links to check out the authors listed!

SPR Amazon Book Promotions (Formerly Best Seller Packages)

There’s been some press about Best Seller Packages being a rip-off. What can you tell me about that?

This service is about getting sales and reviews. We give you averages for sales and reviews and we hit those 100% of the time, and have done since our first client. One of the effects of these sales and reviews that you will get into the Top 25.

We usually target higher-level, relevant categories. This is not the case with these inferior services, which use the most obscure categories to rank high.

However, it should be argued that whatever category you rank high in, you will increase your exposure to the next level categories and gradually work up the tree to the highest level, so it’s not altogether useless to rank in a very niche category, however many sales it takes, contrary to recent Internet “outrage.”

What sort of return on investment should I expect?

Trying to compare direct sales to reviews ratio of cost is pretty useless given that Customer Reviews are given after purchase. However, from your fees paid after admin, analysis, and your review and social media has been posted, and when you recoup 70% royalties from Amazon, each review and sale will cost you roughly $4. Compared to Google Ads, that can cost anywhere up to $40 a sale (without a review) and Facebook Ads, that can cost up to $10 a sale (without a review) this is very good value for money. These figures are based on the costs for keywords on these services. With this service, you will also get the benefit of our review and social shares, an interview, and a badge.

How can you get me Amazon reviews without being in breach of Amazon rules about paid reviews?

We don’t pay anyone to review your book. We market your book to a huge number of avid book fans who enjoy leaving reviews and like your genre of book. So reviews are naturally garnered when we promote the book and readers buy it.

How do you know how many sales I will make to predict my ranking in category?

We have reader mailing lists of all sorts of genre fans to make sure we can guarantee a minimum amount of sales by experience of knowing how many readers need to be sent the information about your book to get the right percentage of sales for your ranking.

How many sales will I get?

Take a look at the table shown on the purchase page.

How many reviews will I get?

Amazon Terms and Conditions (June 2016) and the unreliable nature of working with the public means we cannot tell you an exact number. Amazon does regularly vet Customer Reviews and have internal policies for removal that we are not privy to, so review numbers may fluctuate some time after hitting your target, and we cannot take responsibility for this. You must contact Amazon if you have an issue with a review.

Why are my keywords suggested seem odd to me?

Amazon have set a very odd bag of keywords that don’t seem to match books sometimes. But actually these are set in a guide by Kindle, and make perfect sense to the Kindle algorithm to help your book get seen, and rank well.

Why do the categories you sent me seem a bit odd for my book?

It’s best to rank in a niche category and build out to less niche categories as you sell. We pick a category that you will do best in, and branch you up to more generic categories as you go. However, unlike most inferior “bestseller services” we tend to use the higher-level relevant categories to get you visible.

What is your guarantee?

We can no longer offer a guarantee, but we can tell you that the averages shown are 100% accurate

What’s the catch?

There is no catch. This service is a hybrid of experience with Amazon algorithms, a few social media tools, and a brilliant reader list.

Can I have a discount?

We give books for charity $50 off of Gold SPR Promotions only. Just let us know your charity registration number. We do not discriminate. Any registered charity worldwide is given this discount.

Can I pay in instalments?

You can pay by PayPal Credit if you live in the USA to spread the payments for six months. We do not run any schemes from SPR directly.

Refund Policy at SPR

We do not give a refund after your book is sent to us following payment for any reason except if you buy a duplicate by mistake. This is because we usually send your book to a reviewer within hours of you sending the book to us. Once the book is sent out, we are obliged to pay the reviewer for their work.

FTC Guidelines

You may have heard about US FTC guidelines regarding paid book reviews, and sharing these online. These guidelines apply to US citizens and businesses only, and only for sponsored content. The definition of “sponsored content” or “paid content” is content written by the client and posted on a website in a paid space for the sole purpose of advertising a product with the client’s chosen words. This does not apply to original and impartial content written by professional reviewers. There is another set of guidelines used for reviews and endorsements. You can read them here.

Because SPR is based in Spain we do not fall under these guidelines, but because around 80% of our clients are in the US we advise you to read this information. Spain is self-regulated, and so as business owners we comply with basic guidelines as set out by EASA.