Reading books is one of my favorite pastimes, and until recently, I didn’t realize that you could get paid to read books. My fellow book-lovers, the companies on this list will pay you to read books and then write your honest review on it. Check out these book review jobs! I have also included a few tips on how to write better reviews.
Book Review Writing Tips
When reviewing a book, you have to do more than explain what you did or didn’t like. You must consider a number of elements, including plot, characters, setting, and climax. No matter what type of story you plan to review, you must assess how well those elements work together and move the story along. As you read the book, you might want to take notes or highlight sections to help make it easier for you when you are writing your review.
When writing the review, it is okay to include constructive criticism. However, you should remember that many of these review sites will want you to add something positive in your review. The review should be unbiased and talk about the characters, plots, and themes of the story and how well you think the author conveyed them. While you can state your opinion on the book, you should always offer a few specific reasons for your opinion.
As you write your review, you should also think about the audience that the review site is targeting. Some sites are geared towards children, women, or a specific industry. Make sure your writing style fits your target audience.
Where to Find Book Review Jobs
To become a book reviewer, you don’t necessarily have to start your own blog. Though some bloggers offer sponsored book reviews, there are some legitimate companies out there that will pay you to read a book and write a review on their platform.
If you can read a book within two or three weeks and can intelligently write your thoughts on the publication, then book reviewing might be right for you. Here are a few legitimate ways to extra money with book review jobs.
Note: These companies are not always looking for book reviewers. If they are not contracting new people at this time, check back later.
1. Any Subject Books
Any Subject Books is a publishing company that pays you money for each book you write a review for them. To get started, you first must apply as a book reviewer. Once accepted, the company will send you different pieces of literature to review. You can choose which ones you want to write a review for on a case-by-case basis.
Once you do commit to reading the book, you must turn in a thoughtful, analytical review. Your pay varies based on the length of the book. According to Any Subject Books, you are required to give your honest review unless you feel like you cannot say anything positive about the book. If that is the case, then the review might be halted, and the author will decide if they want to continue working with you.
Any Subject Books does not require you to make a long-term commitment; instead, you commit to reading one book at a time. The time limit that you have to read the book is agreed upon when the book contract is sent out.
Any Subject Books isn’t always hiring for book reviewers, so check out their website to see if they are filling positions at this time.
2. Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Media is looking for book reviewers who can read and review all lengths and genres of literature. Requested book reviews might be in English or Spanish. Typically, the reviews are approximately 350 words long and must meet the high standards of Kirkus Reviews. Therefore, you must give a thorough review of each book, and be able to talk in-depth about what you like and didn’t like about certain books.
To apply, you must submit a resume, writing samples, and a list of reviewing specialties. According to reviews on Glassdoor, Kirkus Reviews has plenty of projects and pays promptly.
Occasionally, Kirkus Media will also hire for copy editors and editors, so if you prove yourself as a competent book reviewer, you might have a good chance of moving over to another position within the company.
3. Online Book Club
Online Book Club is another company that is hiring freelance book reviewers. They clearly state on their website that they aren’t looking for positive reviews, just honest reviews. If you don’t like the book, it is okay to say that and explain why.
According to the Online Book Club, the reviewers are paid between $5 and $60 for book reviews, depending on the length of the book. All books you are sent to review are given free of charge.
The most important thing to note is that the first review you do with Online Book Club is unpaid. This helps them to filter out their reviewers and decide if you are the right candidate for the job. After this first initial review, all subsequent reviews are paying gigs.
4. US Review of Books
The US Review of Books often hires book reviewers. To apply, simply send in your resume as well as samples of your previous reviews and two professional references.
When your application is approved, you can begin writing reviews on the site. There are a variety of genres you can pick from to review. Once you select the type of books you want to review, then the book titles will be assigned based on how well the project fits within your skillset.
You typically have two to three weeks to complete each book review, and each honest review should be between 250 and 300 words in length. The pay for each review isn’t listed, but the site does state that reviewers are paid on the fifth of every month. The books are provided to you for free.
Reviews on Glassdoor of US Review of Books are positive, with many people commenting on the competitive pay rates, the opportunity for raises, and the constructive feedback on their work.
5. Women’s Review of Books
As you might guess by the site’s name, Women’s Review of Books is geared towards reviews of publications written by or about women. This website was founded by Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College.
To become a book review, you should have experience as a reviewer, journalist, or in academics. You must email the Women’s Review of Books with one paragraph about your credentials, a line about the genre you would like to focus on (i.e., nonfiction, poetry, mystery, etc.), and a sample of your already-published review. If your email does not contain all three elements, then you will not be considered for the position.
For each completed review, you will receive $100. This pay rate is higher than the average site, so you can assume that Women’s Review of Books demands a higher caliber review of books.
Astronomy commissions reviews from people who wish to write one of a book they recently read. Before you pitch Astronomy, you must reach out to the editor of the publication to make sure it is okay to do a review on the book. To be considered, you must complete a form or mail your inquiry letter that states why you think the book should be reviewed, what you know about the author or editor, and what your qualifications for writing this particular review are.
No specific pay rate is published on the Astronomy website.
For those who want to take their passion for books a step further, there are many other different ways you can get paid to read books. Some of these options include copy editing, narrating, editing, and more. For those who love to read, there are plenty of options to start getting paid to read books.