By Mike Haaren – Rat Race Rebellion Co-Founder – Jan. 11, 2021
Work from Home Jobs & Extra Cash — Book Reviewers
If you love books, as I do, getting paid to read and review them — and adding the free reviewer’s copy to your bookshelf or Kindle — isn’t a bad deal. Plus, you can earn up to $100 for the review. And if you can read and write quickly, companies like Kirkus can be a good option, as I’ll explain.
Kirkus — I was a reviewer for Kirkus in my spare time, mostly just to keep in touch with the lit world. I reviewed about 10 books in all, in their busy Indie line — books submitted for review by self-published authors. (It’s a booming trend — more than 1.6 million books were self-published in 2018 alone. These stats were released in Oct. 2019.)
Kirkus paid $50 per 350-word review, and as far as I know, they still do. You don’t get a byline (your review is anonymous), but the editors were easy to work with — friendly and responsive. I always got paid on time, too, monthly by direct deposit to my checking account.
There were plenty of books to review. Almost as soon as I turned in a review, another book would be available. (As with many Book Reviewer gigs, you keep your free review copy.) And after you’ve been reviewing for awhile — say after 8-10 reviews — you can ask for a raise. If you’ve been hitting your deadlines — reviews are due two weeks after assignment — and the indie title flow is good, and your reviews don’t need a lot of editing, you may get it.
If you have some experience reviewing books, you can find the Kirkus job here.
Online Book Club — The OBC advertises a range of $5-$60 per review (400 word minimum). You don’t need a particular background, just a love of books and the willingness to write honest reviews. Per their site, “You won’t get rich but you can make up to a couple hundred dollars a month, probably not at first but rather as you establish yourself as a reviewer. And then there’s the savings from getting your books for free instead of paying for them. You will not be paid for your first review, but you will get the book for free…” Details here.
US Review of Books — This site publishes reviews in 75+ genres, including Romance, Women’s Fiction, Parenting/Families, Horror, Erotica, Humor and many more. Book titles are posted for potential reviewers to choose. Reviews typically run 250-300 words, and are due 2-3 weeks after the book is assigned. The amount of pay isn’t specified, but per the site, “Reviewers are paid monthly for every review completed during the previous month. Checks are sent by the 5th day of each month.” For more, click here.
Publishers Weekly — PW, the Big Daddy of book media, intermittently recruits Book Reviewers. They pay an honorarium per review. (It used to be $25, but not sure now. We’ll post more detail if we get it.)
To give you an idea of the job, here’s what they had to say about an earlier opening:
Publishers Weekly, the international news platform of the book publishing industry, is looking for experienced freelance book reviewers who can comfortably handle books in the following subject areas:
- African American and Latinx studies
- Ancient History
- Art & Photography
- Comics (with a focus on African American history/contemporary Black life, Latinx history/contemporary life, Asian-American history/contemporary life as well as those who have credentials with literary or genre prose titles but are readers of comics/GNs and want to cover those categories)
- Cookbooks/Food and Drink
- Fiction (both literary and commercial)
- Military History
- SF/Fantasy/Horror (especially non-western epic fantasy, afrofuturism, and Black speculative fiction)
- Young Adult (with a focus on Latinx literature)
Book enthusiasts with an education and a background in specific areas preferred, though all are welcome to apply.
Women’s Review of Books — Once you do get some experience, there’s the Women’s Review of Books. A part of Wellesley College’s Wellesley Centers for Women, the WRB reportedly pays $100 per review. In an earlier version of their site, they added, “Please note that most WRB writers are experienced reviewers, academics, or journalists and that we do not assign book reviews to friends, relatives, enemies, colleagues, or blurbers of the book’s author.” Click here for more.
NetGalley — Another option for reviews is NetGalley. There’s no payment, but the galleys (a pre-publication book format) are free, and you can also strike up relationships with publishers — never a bad thing for reviewers. “We help readers of influence discover and recommend new books to their audiences. If you are a librarian, bookseller, educator, reviewer, blogger or in the media, get started right now by signing in or joining for free…” For more, click here.
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