How to Become a Paid Book Reviewer

Do you love to read books? Is one of your favorite sections of the Sunday paper the book reviews? Would you yourself like to get paid to write book reviews?

Well, here is a list of online work at home companies who are willing to pay you to write book reviews. And while there are tons of different freelance writing niches you could potentially specialize in, writing book reviews may be more fun for you if you like reading!

Which Companies Do Pay Their Book Reviewers Cash?

Let me just say here, while there are many companies proposing that they do hire and pay their book reviewers, not all of them pay cash. Some companies only compensate the reader with a free copy of the book.

There are also numerous scams out there where companies claim to hire book reviewers only to find out that they keep the review and use it to their advantage. Sadly these scammers never pay the reviewer for his/her time.

Some of the companies that I have found (and I am sure I don’t have 110% of them) are listed below.

1 – Kirkus

Kirkus is probably the best known for hiring book reviewers. Book reviews must be submitted within two weeks of agreeing to do them, and the review must be about 350 words. The pay will vary based on your experience.

Payment is made by check and mailed 60 days after the review is written and submitted. While the work is enjoyable for most, the work is not dependable and should not be considered a main source of income.

You can read our review of Kirkus to learn more.

2 – Online Book Club

Online Book Club claims to pay and give free books to its book reviewers. You can earn $5 to $60 per review depending upon the book being reviewed. This will be paid to you as well as you will receive a copy of the book for you to keep.

3 – The US Review of Books

The US Review of Books regularly needs freelancers to review books for their publication. You'll need to send a resume, sample work, and at least two professional references in order to be considered as a reviewer. The pay amount for reviews you write is not listed on the website, but it does say you'll get paid monthly with a mailed check.

4 – Reedsy Discovery

Reedsy Discovery is always looking for new book reviewers. The pay for this one is not much — the authors are able to tip you for your time. Most tips are in the amounts of $1, $3, or $5. Looking at the application page, it also appears you may need to have a blog in order to be accepted.

5 – Booklist Publications

Booklist Publications pays $12.50 to $15 for well-written book reviews. They do not accept unsolicited reviews or contributions and will instead assign reviews to be completed. Before sending them a query, they ask that you familiarize yourself with their publications and writing style by signing up to their site and receiving their newsletter. Once you are ready to get in touch, you can email the editor for the types of books you're interested in reviewing (their contact information is on the submissions page linked above).

There is also a large list of book review websites here, although these do not appear to be advertising for new reviewers. Still, you may be able to get in touch with the owners of these websites to see if they need new reviewers.

Contena – This is a job board for freelance writers where you can occasionally find book review gigs that pay fairly. This is not a free job board to access, but they often do offer discounts on monthly memberships. You can use coupon code “ways2earn” at checkout to get 10% off any membership.

Don't Feel Confident You Can Write a Book Review?

how to write a simple book reviewSince most of the above sites are going to want you to actually write a book review after you've read the book, you need to know how to go about it.

It's one of those things that sounds easy until you sit down to actually do it! “How to Write a Simple Book Review” is a highly-rated, inexpensive eBook available on Amazon that will walk you through the process to help ensure writer's block doesn't hit when you get ready to do your review.

In Conclusion

While this may seem like a discouraging list, it really does not need to be. There are opportunities out there if you are willing to look for and pursue them. While book reviewers do not make a lot of money, they do make money while doing something most of them enjoy.

Many times authors will seek out book reviewers for future testimonials, which can lead to greater exposure for the book and future work for the book reviewers.

Another avenue that you might want to pursue as a book reviewer is to offer book review writing as a paid service in your freelance writing or virtual assistant business. You could charge by the length of the review or by the number of pages in the book.

Again, if you really love to read, what do you have to lose? Maybe a little sleep, but most avid book readers have been missing that for years!

Good luck to all who pursue any of these opportunities.

@realwaystoearn Get paid to read books and write reviews. #workfromhome #makemoney #extracash #readbooks #sudehustle #wahm ♬ BOOM – Tiesto

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30 thoughts on “How to Become a Paid Book Reviewer”

  1. I tried online book club. Bad experience all round. Impossible to navigate, free books are actually kindle unlimited. Keep sending requests for updates but you cannot actually update.

    • Hi,

      This is Scott from OnlineBookClub.org.

      We have plenty of free books that are not on Kindle Unlimited. You just have to adjust your preferences accordingly. You decide which formats of books you can review. We have plenty in epub, mobi, or PDF, whichever you prefer.

      The template and navigation has recently been updated. Hopefully, it is a lot easier. If not, there is a contact link on every page of the website. I would be happy to get some specific feedback on the navigation or anything so that I can work to improve it. I work 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I want OnlineBookClub.org to be the best it can be.

      Thank you,
      Scott

  2. Any Subject Books says that they are not currently needing any new people 🙁 Seems like an interesting idea though…

    • I got it from a good friend, who works with authors, and she says that paying for book reviews is unethical, and that no author will do it who is worth anything.

      • In the beginning, some will do it just to get a few reviews. Usually when others see reviews, they will chime in creating “real” reviews. I hope that this makes sense.

  3. Leisa–good places! But, where do I find other places to sign on to be a book reviewer? There is only one place on your list that I qualify for, and since I am an avid and a speed reader (natural) are there any more companies that accept new book reviewers? I don’t know where to look! I can do one or two reviews a day–depending on the length of the book. I can read a 350-page book in 3-4 hours, and I have a photographic memory. I’ve done book reviews before, but that was years ago, and yes, I have bought a book to help me with that. Suggestions?

  4. Hi, I’ve just begun to work with onlinebookclub.com ; have done one review for them and am in the process of doing my second one. From what they say in their FAQs, they do talk about paying for reviews and I believe that at some point, once you prove yourself by doing multiple reviews for them, you might get paid. However…….there are some stiff requirements for getting paid. You have to earn points by posting on their book forums (a lot of posts are required it seems….) and doing quite a few unpaid reviews. A new reviewer is only offered a few books to choose from and though you do get a free book, many of the choices are very poorly written and not edited. The first book I reviewed had been self published and was not very good. But……this person deserved a well written review and I tried to give them one. I offered constructive criticism and wrote what I liked about the book. I am now reviewing a second book and I think I’ll stick with it for awhile longer and see if I am offered any paid reviews. The forums are fun; there are lots of opportunities to talk with people about books and other subjects having to do with books.

  5. Just to be clear, are the websites you listed the scammer websites or the actual websites who don’t scam you?

  6. Any of them work for readers outside the US? I have a blog, in which I mostly write in Portuguese. However, I do read books in English, as they are less expensive than translations, and already write reviews for them in English. I’m wondering of any of those would be willing to ship to Portugal. Thanks!

  7. Thanks Leisa. Even if the compensation on some is a free copy of the book, that could be a really sweet deal if it’s a good book!

  8. BloggingforBooks is also a good way to get free books. You get one book at a time, of your choosing, to read and review. Super easy and I enjoy the books.

  9. I can’t wait to use these tips. Here’s a few ideas of mine:
    A nice place to get experience is NetGalley.com. You want to have a book review website up, but it doesn’t have to be elaborate. (G+, WordPress) NetGalley doesn’t pay, but it does give you access to Advanced Reader Copies. (ARCs) in exchange for reviews. You can gain some recognition this way. Be sure to copy your reviews to GoodReads, Amazon, B&N, so that you are building a following and data on the numbers of your readers!

  10. Thanks for these opportunities. I have just established a blogsite where I’m looking to write articles that would incorporate a review of the book and a subject that the book discusses. What do you think?

    • @Kristi – That’s great! You could advertise your review services and post (with the author’s permission) the book review on your blog. It sounds like if you are willing to write articles on the book or book’s subject matter, you might want to also offer PR or book promotion as an added service. Just a suggestion.

  11. @LeisaGood – I used to be a high school English teacher, but have been a SAHM for the last 9 years. I’m down to one child at home while the others are in school. I find that I have a lot more time to read books again (instead of the occasional magazine article).This sounds like something fun to do to get some extra spending cash. My question is, if you freelance, what are the current average rates for price per book size and for review length?

    • @Amy – The pay varies with the company, the book, and number of words. I recommend you understand that upfront FIRST before accepting any of the book reviewer jobs.

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