About Us: The Review System

We maintain a FREE system in which an author can get reviewed and win the Novel of the Year without paying us a dime!

We DO NOT guarantee positive reviews

Eligible for Review

  • - Self-published & independently published fiction that we consider
  • - Novels and novellas of all genres
  • - Adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction
  • Not Eligible for Review (but will still list these books on our site)

  • - Books published through indie houses we consider too large/mainstream, AKA
  • - Non-fiction, including memoirs
  • - Children's books
  • - Short story compilations, graphic novels or poetry compilations
  • - Books published by our staff, reviewers or affiliates

  • - ARCs or incomplete/unpublished work
  • - Books published through the "Big 5"
  • - Overly erotic/graphic books without sufficient literary justification
  • - Books with an unacceptable amount of typos/errors
  • - Books not published in English

  • The Current Review System

    Here's what will happen after you submit your book for review:

    1) Our Submissions Editor receives your submission: We will and notify you if there are any major errors that need fixing before we continue (ex: cover image loaded sideways). This has no bearing on your chances of getting a review.

    2) Our Moderators vote on the quality of each book: At the end of the week, our Submissions Editor decides which books are eligible for review and which books are , then selects up to 5 Pitch Perfect finalists. You will receive an email, letting you know if your book is eligible for review.

    3) You will receive email notification of whether your book is eligible for review: If it is eligible for review, it will be automatically entered into our system, and Reviewers may choose to review it at any time. It will stay on our bookshelf indefinitely, waiting for a reviewer to notice it.

    4) Wait and see if your book is chosen for a free selected by one of our reviewers: Our Reviewers have a special dashboard, where we make personal recommendations for them. Pitch Perfect Pick winners and books that win other Badges are highly visible, and featured books with Badges are even more visible. In addition, Certified authors can schedule an Author Spotlight to be noticed by both Reviewers and readers, and Premium Subscribers can write personal notes to our Reviewers, which will show up first thing when he or she logs in to look for a book to review.

    5) If you get sick of waiting, you can purchase an assigned: This gives you the liberty of choosing a reviewer that's right for you, and it also guarantees that the review will be published within 6-7 weeks. But a guaranteed review DOES NOT mean it's guaranteed to be positive. We won't refund your money for negative reviews, but if an author asks us to refrain from publishing a negative Assigned Review, we will honor that request.


    A free service for indie authors

    We write at least one free, Selected Review every Monday, and have done so since 2011. Once a book goes through our submission process and is listed publicly on our bookshelf, it is automatically enrolled in the Selected Review program. Selected Reviews are chosen by the Reviewer, so they must show promise. Because they are vetted and and matched with the right audience from the very beginning, our Selected Reviews are often (but not always) positive. A much-needed service for the indie author community, Selected Reviews are the backbone of Underground Book Reviews. Our Regular Reviewers are required to write a minimum of four Selected Reviews every year, to ensure that we continue to offer this free service for authors. It is with pride that we maintain a system in which an author can submit a book for review and win the Novel of the Year without paying a dime.


    Crowdfunding for indie authors

    The assigned program is designed to fund and expand our free selected program. Only Underground Certified books and Badge Winners are qualified for Assigned Reviews.

    Assigned Reviews are treated the same as Selected Reviews, with one key difference: Instead of the Reviewer selecting a book they wish to read, the author assigns their book to an available Reviewer. This gives authors a chance to skip the "lottery" and get a guaranteed review, even if their book has been overlooked in the submission process (after all, we get a lot of submissions, and Reviewers get overwhelmed with their choices!) Because this is a paid-for service, there are a few additional perks: First, Assigned Reviews are completed quickly, and are always published within 7 weeks of the assignment. Second: the author may read a preview of their review before it is published, and if it is negative, they may ask to keep it private (to clarify - if the review is negative we are willing to refrain from publishing it but we WILL NOT re-write or re-assign the book to another reviewer, nor will we portray it in a more positive light simply because the author is displeased with the review).

    Why choose an Assigned Review? First, you'll get the same quality attention and fair consideration we give to our competitive Selected Reviews, to include a star rating. We're not a "review mill" and refuse to lower our standards. A UBR book review carries credibility other book review sites often lack. Since 2011 Underground Book Reviews has had a track record of publishing hundreds of quality book reviews. Our reviews have been recognized as some of the best in the business, and in 2014 Oxford University Press published one of our reviews in the college textbook How Writing Works as an example of a properly written book review. Our reviewers have written for such notable publications as Huffington Post, Cracked, and Maxim. Our combined audience of email subscribers and social media followers is currently over 5000, and growing at a rate of up to ten times that of our competitors. Finally, you'll find our prices are highly competitive and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing a portion of the proceeds will go to help other authors get reviewed.

    A Trusted Review Source

    Compare Selected (free) and Assigned (paid) Reviews

    Assigned Review Pricing

    We charge a base fee of $275, plus an average of $.50 per 1000 words. Badge winners get a $100 discount, and Premium Subscribers get a 10% discount. See the chart below to determine the price of purchasing an Assigned Review for your book. Compare us to Kirkus.

    Subscribers Only

    You must be a subscriber in order to submit a book to Underground Book Reviews. Don't worry, it's free.
    As a subscriber, you will receive all of our reviews, interviews and articles in a single email every week. You can opt out at any time and your book will still be eligible for review.

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