So, recently I was looking into using the book review services of ManyBooks and Shelf Awareness…

You know, as an alternative to me continually spamming every volunteer book reviewer out there in a mostly fruitless effort to get them to review my book.

However, when I was researching the respective service offerings for ManyBooks and Shelf Awareness, I found I had a couple of questions I needed answering from them before committing.

In the ManyBooks “How many reviews can I expect” FAQ for the $59 service offering I was considering, it said a refund would be given in the form of store credits if my book receives fewer than 10 sign ups to review it. But in the “What if I don’t get enough reviews” FAQ, it stated that a refund would be given if my book receives fewer than 5 sign ups.

So, through the site’s contact form, I asked them for clarification as to which number is correct regarding refunds.

That was 10 days ago and I still haven’t received a response.

But I did notice not long after I sent them my email that their FAQs were magically in alignment in stating that a refund will be given if a book receives fewer than 5 sign ups.


As for Shelf Awareness, I was confused about whether or not they would accept my book, which I self-published through Amazon, seeing how their guidelines state that The book must be available through national distribution, i.e. Ingram and/or Baker & Taylor. Currently, we do not review ebooks or print-on-demand titles.

Well, I know Amazon distributes through Ingram; however, I also know they use Ingram’s print on demand service in doing so.

So, to alleviate my confusion I sent an email to Shelf Awareness’ point of contact for adult titles asking for clarification.

That was 10 days ago and I still haven’t received a response.

And I am now a little miffed at both services, especially ManyBooks.

Heck, you’d think at a minimum many books would want to thank me for bringing their error to their attention.

I mean, these are for profit services, right?

I mean, supposedly I am a potential paying customer, right?

I mean, I can understand slow or non-responses from volunteer book reviewers seeing how, I’m sure, so many of us authors desperate for reviews are continually pinging them for their free service…

But ManyBooks and Shelf Awareness are businesses and last I checked businesses, in order to survive, require customers willing to pay for their services.

So it seems to me that as businesses ManyBooks and Shelf Awareness might want to be better at responding to a potential customer’s query.

One would think, anyway.

At least this one being yours truly would.


Just needed to vent.

I feel better already.

Thanks for listening.

Oh, btw, if you happened to have done some business with either ManyBooks or Shelf Awareness, how ’bout letting us know what you think of the experience in the comments section.

Right on?

Write on.

Featured image courtesy Flakes of Cynicism

12 Replies to “So, recently I was looking into using the book review services of ManyBooks and Shelf Awareness…”

  1. Anyone would think that business should be better at responding potential customer queries.

    And 59 dollars?!

    I do not know about it as an author’s point of view but I do know as a reviewer that Book Sirens is great. I read their FAQ page and they charge authors a 10 dollar fee.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hadn’t run across either one of those, so I’m glad you posted this. I’m currently trying BookSirens at the moment. I like the fact that you have a decent control over your budget, though it is still flexible. I’m still in the evaluating stage, so my book isn’t live with them yet, but I’ll be posting the results once I get to that point.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Man, as a “volunteer book reviewer,” I assumed the business reviewers did a much better job. I have requests occasionally fall through the cracks, especially if the email gets sent to the wrong folder, and I do fall woefully behind on my review list. However, I try to behave in a business-like manner. Maybe I should not compare myself to them. I hope I do a better job than these two have done.

    BTW – I have your blog post review on tap for later this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My friend, you and your finely tuned site and services are the benchmark of professionalism and courtesy. As for that blog post… please apply your editorial license liberally enough to make me seem at least like a semi-mature adult. Perhaps that’s asking a bit too much. :)



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