How To Become a Book Reviewer

Serious question: do you want to get paid to read? You might laugh it off at first, thinking that that sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. You can get paid for spending time on what you love: reading books.

Of course, the key to this #hack is book reviewing, where you offer your personal opinion of a book after you’re done with it. (If you’d like to learn more, check out this post to discover how to write a book review.) Because books are constantly being published, book reviewers are generally always in demand.

So whether you’re a voracious reader of nonfiction, genre fiction, classics, or indie books, there’s probably an outlet that’s willing to compensate you if you read (review) for them! Without further ado, here’s a definitive list of the 17 sites that will help you get paid to read. If you want to cut to the chase and find out which of them is the right fit for you, we recommend first taking this quick quiz:

How to become a book reviewer in 12 steps
  1. Read abundantly. …
  2. Start reviewing books for free (or for money!) …
  3. Always follow guidelines. …
  4. Always think of the reader first. …
  5. Host all your reviews in one place. …
  6. Become a specialist. …
  7. Put together a packet of your best reviews. …
  8. Join an association.

How I Became a Freelance Book Reviewer | Q&A Part 3

What does a book reviewer do?

The main responsibility of a book reviewer is to write reviews about books they read. A book reviewer might focus on a particular area of a book that they find impressive, such as strong character development, engaging plot points and effective use of literary devices. Book reviewers can also identify elements of a book that they think could be improved, such as if a book has inconsistencies in its plot, includes factual errors or could benefit from stronger writing.

When writing a review, a book reviewer typically reads a book in its entirety and takes detailed notes that they use to draft articles or reviews that detail their reading experience.

What is a book reviewer?

A book reviewer is a professional in the publishing industry who evaluates books on their quality and writes about their reading experiences. Book reviewers can work for publishing companies or publications that cover literary topics, as they can offer insight about the books they review to publishers and potential readers. Many book reviewers start their careers by working on a freelance basis, which allows them to choose the projects they take on and practice reviewing in different genres.

A book reviewer might specialize in a particular subject or genre once they establish themselves in the industry, such as romance novels, young adult literature or historical fiction.

How to become a book reviewer

Here are some steps for how to start your career as a book reviewer:

1. Read frequently

Take time to read as often as you can. One of the most important characteristics of a book reviewer is that they love books, so reading frequently can showcase your love of reading by building a list of books you can discuss after finishing them. This can help you to develop reading and comprehension skills that can inform your work as a book reviewer by allowing you to practice reading different types of books and identifying points of interest.

You can find books about almost any topic of interest, so you might try reading a number of books in different genres to determine which types of books you most enjoy reading and critiquing.

2. Consider a bachelors degree in literature

Think about pursuing a bachelors degree in literature. While there are not specific education requirements for becoming a book reviewer, many book reviewers complete a bachelors degree in literature or a closely related subject to develop their knowledge of books and elements of literature that they might focus on in reviews. This is because a bachelors degree program in literature can provide in-depth training in how to use literary devices, effectively create all of the elements of a book and consider different aspects of a book through critique.

Completing a bachelors degree might also help to set you apart from other candidates who do not attend college, as having a degree can identify you as qualified and dedicated to your industry.

3. Begin reviewing books on your own

Start writing reviews for books you read. By writing a few of book reviews before seeking publication, you can develop your skills as a reviewer and determine which reviewing and critiquing techniques work best for you. You can prepare to write book reviews by first reading some published book reviews from established publications and considering what makes each of them successful and engaging. Once you have an idea of what a book review should include and how you might format it, you can start writing reviews for books you read for enjoyment.

This process can also help you start your career as a book reviewer by providing you with a few pieces of writing that you can submit to potential employers or publications to familiarize them with your reviewing style and abilities.

4. Build a readership

Present your reviews to the public and try to maintain a group of regular readers. You can do this by publishing book reviews independently on an online platform, such as a social media outlet or a content creation website. Building a readership can help you to establish yourself as a book reviewer by creating a community that engages with your content and wants to hear your critiques, which can highlight your expertise to potential employers and publishers.

Many aspiring book reviewers start by making video reviews where they discuss their critiques verbally, which can introduce yourself and your personality to the public and relate your personal characteristics and interests to the world of book publishing. However, you might also write book reviews that you post on social media or other platforms to give audiences and potential employers a chance to familiarize themselves with your writing style.

5. Apply for work as a book reviewer

Submit your book reviews to publications and look for job openings for book reviewers. As many book reviewers enter the industry working on a freelance basis, some of your first paid opportunities might come from submitting reviews you have already written to publications that cover book reviews. You can also look for freelance opportunities online through an internet search or by visiting websites that advertise and publish book reviews to find publications that ask for review submissions.

If you want to work for a specific company or publication, you can also reach out to professionals in their reviewing department to ask about opportunities to work for them as a reviewer.

Skills for a book reviewer

Here are a few skills that a book reviewer might need:


How much does a book reviewer make?

BOOK Reviewer Salary. $31,500 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $74,500 is the 75th percentile.

Can you make a living as a book reviewer?

Avid book readers can make anywhere from a few dollars to a full-time salary from reading books, depending on the opportunities they pursue. For example, an experienced book reviewer might earn anywhere from $10 to $100 for reviewing books, which varies on a book-by-book basis.

What company will pay you to read books?

Calling all bookworms—if you love reading, then you’re in luck as one company will now pay you $200 for every novel you can finish. WordsRated, a website that studies and analyzes book content, is looking for a slew of “bibliophiles-at-large” to devour popular reads.

Does Amazon pay for book reviews?

You can’t pay for reviews. This includes cash or giving reviewers a free or discounted product. You can’t offer reviewers gifts in exchange for reviews. You can’t exchange positive book reviews with other Authors, so don’t head to Facebook or Twitter to find review swaps.

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