How to Become a Freelance Book Reviewer

A Proven Recipe for Getting Paid for the Labor of Love

How do I become a freelance book reviewer? – I didn’t dare ask at first. Why would someone pay me to read and review books? So I abandoned this idea, for the time being, tried to begin my freelance career by writing tech tutorials and other useful stuff, until I suddenly started getting hired to write book reviews and different bookish types of content. But it wasn’t that sudden. It turned out I had already been doing something that helped me a ton. And it wasn’t difficult at all.

Do book reviewers get paid?

Some do. Most don’t. But it doesn’t mean there’s a kind of exclusive club. You can get in, most probably.

To make a living writing about books, just like in any specialized field, you have to know what you’re talking about. Let’s assume that you do. A certain level of competence is necessary, but it is not enough. There are magazines, web-zines, blogs, and vlogs that are happy to pay for a well-written review, but they typically get so many submissions that it appears impossible to stand out. Some blogs and magazines don’t call for submissions in the traditional way. Instead of that, they tend to look for writers on freelancing platforms. That’s your chance; for some reason, there aren’t too many freelancers specializing in book reviews. But you have to have a portfolio if you’d like someone to consider hiring you. Luckily, there is a way to build a portfolio before you get hired, and I’ll tell you about it in a second. But before that, here’s something to be cautious of…

Don’t Rush It (Or: How Not to Begin Your Career as a Freelance Book Reviewer)

Actually, there IS a shortcut. You can get paid for writing a book review as soon as today. But that’s not what you should do.

When you create an account on any global freelancing platform, if you have the words “book” and “review” in your profile, someone will want to hire you to write a “book review.” But that wouldn’t be a review. Those clients will ask you to download their books from Amazon, skim them, write a couple of lines praising their work, and leave them five stars.

There are at least three problems with these “opportunities.” (1) They’re obviously unethical. (2) They would get you banned from both the freelancing platform and Amazon. (3) All you would receive is pocket money. If you’d like to build integrity as a book reviewer, going in the opposite direction won’t help.

Do It Because You Love It

Reading and reviewing is what you love – otherwise, you wouldn’t be here reading this article. So why wouldn’t you launch a book blog for your reviews? Use your spare time to read just the kind of books that you enjoy reading and write a review once in a while. In my case, it was a bit difficult to find time for my blogs (yeah, I’ve had a couple of them), so I wrote one review a month, and it was enough.

A small digression here. If you search for advice on building any kind of blog, you’ll find there’s no way to be successful if you don’t publish at least one post a day. What they keep forgetting to mention is that the definition of success is not the same for everyone. Don’t get discouraged. Sure, if you’d like to build a super popular book blog and earn from ads and affiliate links (which is actually a good idea, but it is not what I’m talking about now), you won’t be able to achieve this by writing a review per month. Luckily, instead of building traffic, you can create a portfolio.

Of course, you don’t have to have a blog at all. Publishing your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads has numerous advantages, and it, too, lets you connect with other reviewers and some authors.

Build a Book Reviewer Portfolio Before You Even Get Hired

A book blog can be a fantastic space to show what you know how to do: write book reviews. Use it to create some great work, to really show what you can. One great thing about having your own book blog is that the person who chooses the topics (books) and decides on deadlines is – you. See this as your chance to shine.

So, the next step is easy. Instead of asking, How do I become a freelance book reviewer? you can ask yourself, Which book should I read today?

It is a hard choice, I know. You can pick among some of your favorite books and reread them – or you can get surprised and find some exciting new titles. Also, many self-published authors are happy to offer their manuscripts in exchange for an honest review. What’s even better, you don’t have to spend much time trying to connect with authors and looking for free new books. We work with many talented authors who would be happy to share their latest work with you. Join us today to start downloading free books.

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