Kirkus reviews have in the past offered an important stepping stone to the self-published author. For several hundred dollars, an intelligent book reviewer would read the book submitted and write about it.
The problem is that for the money, the reviewers have not been willing to disappoint their source of income: the authors. Who will pay for an honest review, if that honesty means to say the book is lacking?
Alas, an intelligent synopsis can make a poorly written book sound interesting. That is the problem with Kirkus reviews. The disappointment comes when the purchaser gets past page ten or page fifty and is no more interested than he or she was on page two.
I see no value to the self-publishing author in purchasing a pricey Kirkus review. I have come across enough dull books with Kirkus reviews to have no thought other than that the authors really didn’t know what they were doing–they just followed the lemmings.