In this blog post, I will show you how to write a book review that pays well, step by step. I will also share some tips and resources to help you find paid book review gigs and improve your skills as a book reviewer.
Book reviews are short articles that summarize and evaluate a book. They can help readers decide whether to buy or read a book, and they can also help authors and publishers promote their books. Book reviews can be published on various platforms, such as blogs, magazines, newspapers, or websites.
But how do you write a book review that stands out from the crowd and attracts the attention of potential clients and readers? How do you find paid opportunities to write book reviews? And how much can you expect to earn from writing book reviews?
By the end of this blog post, you will have a clear idea of how to write book reviews that pay well and how to turn your hobby into a profitable side hustle. Let’s get started!
Related: How to Make Money as a Book Reviewer
What is a book review?
A book review is a type of literary criticism that analyzes and evaluates a book based on its content, style, quality, and merit.
A book review usually includes:
- A brief summary of the main plot, characters, setting, and theme of the book
- A critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the book
- A personal opinion and recommendation of the book
A book review is different from a book report, which is a simple summary of what happens in the book. A book review is also different from a book summary, which is a condensed version of the main points and arguments of the book.
A book review is more than just a summary or a synopsis. It is an original piece of writing that expresses your own thoughts and feelings about the book. It is also a persuasive piece of writing that aims to convince your readers why they should or should not read the book.
Why write book reviews?
Writing book reviews can be a truly rewarding experience. Here’s why:
- Free or Discounted Books: Imagine getting your hands on new reads without breaking the bank! Many publishers and authors offer books for free or at discounted prices in exchange for your honest reviews. It’s a win-win – you save money and dive into fresh books.
- Sharpen Your Skills: Writing reviews is like a workout for your brain. It helps you fine-tune your writing skills, expand your vocabulary, and polish your grammar. Plus, you’ll become a more well-rounded reader with a broader knowledge base.
- Share Your Thoughts: Ever had a book you couldn’t stop talking about? Writing reviews lets you share your opinions and insights with fellow bookworms. Connect with others who share your passion, and discover new friends in the world of literature.
- Earn Extra Income: Did you know you can make some extra cash through book reviews? Whether it’s through ads on your blog, selling reviews to publications, or offering your services as a freelance reviewer, your love for books can also boost your bank account.
How much can you earn from writing book reviews?
The amount of money you can earn from writing book reviews depends on many factors, such as:
- The length and quality of your reviews
- The platform and audience of your reviews
- The demand and competition for your reviews
- The source and type of your income
There is no fixed rate or standard fee for writing book reviews. Different platforms and clients may pay different amounts for different types of reviews. Some may pay per word, per review, per hour, or per project. Some may pay in cash, in kind, in credit, or in exposure.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for a freelance book reviewer in the United States is $49,473 as of August 2021. However, this figure may vary widely depending on your experience level, location, industry, and niche.
To give you an idea of how much you can earn from writing book reviews for different platforms and clients, here are some examples:
- Kirkus Reviews pays $50 per 350-word review for English and Spanish-language indie books.
- Online Book Club pays $5-$60 per review depending on the length and quality of the review.
- Publishers Weekly pays an undisclosed amount per review for unpublished books.
- Reedsy Discovery allows reviewers to receive tips from readers ranging from $1 to $5 per review.
- Booklist pays $15 per review for pre-publication books.
- The US Review of Books pays $15-$25 per review for unpublished and published books.
- Women’s Review of Books pays $100 per review for books by and about women.
These are just some of the examples of platforms and clients that pay for book reviews. There are many more opportunities out there, but you have to do your research and pitch your services to find them.
How to write a book review that pays well?
Now that you know why and how much you can earn from writing book reviews, let’s get to the main question: how do you write a book review that pays well?
Here are the steps to follow:
1. Choose a book to review
The first step is to choose a book to review. You can choose a book that you already own, that you want to read, or that you are assigned to review by a platform or client.
The book you choose should be relevant to your niche, genre, and audience. It should also be interesting, informative, and engaging. You don’t want to waste your time and energy on a boring or poorly written book.
You should also consider the availability, popularity, and timeliness of the book. You want to choose a book that is easy to access, that has a large or potential market, and that is relevant to current trends or events.
2. Read the book thoroughly
The second step is to read the book thoroughly. You can’t write a good book review without reading the book first.
As you read the book, pay attention to the following elements:
- The title, author, publisher, and publication date of the book
- The genre, format, style, and tone of the book
- The main plot, characters, setting, and theme of the book
- The strengths and weaknesses of the book
- The intended audience and purpose of the book
- The main message and argument of the book
- The sources, evidence, and credibility of the book
As you read the book, take notes of your impressions, opinions, questions, and reactions. You can also highlight or bookmark important passages or quotes that you want to use in your review.
3. Write a catchy headline
The third step is to write a catchy headline for your review. Your headline should capture the attention of your readers and entice them to read your review.
Your headline should include:
- The title and author of the book
- A brief summary or description of the book
- A hook or angle that makes your review unique or interesting
- How to Become a Wedding Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide by Lisa Jones
- The Hunger Games: A Dystopian Novel That Will Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat
- Why You Should Read Atomic Habits by James Clear: A Review
4. Write an engaging introduction
The fourth step is to write an engaging introduction for your review. Your introduction should introduce the book and its author, provide some background or context, and state your main thesis or opinion about the book.
Your introduction should answer:
- What is the title and author of the book?
- What is the genre and format of the book?
- What is the main topic or theme of the book?
- Who is the intended audience and purpose of the book?
- What is your overall impression or evaluation of the book?
Atomic Habits by James Clear is a self-help book that teaches you how to build good habits and break bad ones. The author is a writer, entrepreneur, and expert on habit formation. He draws on scientific research, personal stories, and practical examples to explain how small changes in your behavior can lead to big results in your life. In this review, I will summarize the main points of the book, discuss its strengths and weaknesses, and share my personal experience with applying its principles.
5. Write a concise summary
The fifth step is to write a concise summary of the book. Your summary should give an overview of the main plot, characters, setting, and theme of the book. It should also highlight the main message and argument of the book.
Your summary should answer:
- What happens in the book?
- Who are the main characters and what are their roles?
- Where and when does the story take place?
- What is the central conflict or problem in the story?
- How does the story end or resolve?
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a dystopian novel set in a future where North America has been divided into 12 districts ruled by a tyrannical government called the Capitol. Every year, each district must send one boy and one girl between 12 and 18 years old to participate in a televised death match called the Hunger Games. The story follows Katniss Everdeen.
a 16-year-old girl from District 12 who volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in the Hunger Games. She teams up with Peeta Mellark, the other tribute from her district, who claims to be in love with her. Together, they face various dangers and challenges in the arena, while trying to survive and outsmart their opponents. The book explores themes such as survival, rebellion, loyalty, and love. The book also criticizes the effects of violence, media, and social inequality on society. The book is the first in a trilogy that follows Katniss’s journey as a symbol of resistance against the Capitol.
6. Write a critical analysis
The sixth step is to write a critical analysis of the book. Your analysis should evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the book based on its content, style, quality, and merit. You should also support your evaluation with evidence and examples from the book.
Your analysis should answer:
- How well does the book achieve its purpose and convey its message?
- How original, creative, and interesting is the book?
- How accurate, reliable, and credible is the book?
- How clear, coherent, and consistent is the book?
- How engaging, entertaining, and enjoyable is the book?
Atomic Habits by James Clear is a well-written and well-researched book that offers practical and effective advice on how to build good habits and break bad ones. The book is based on scientific evidence and real-life examples that demonstrate how habits work and how to change them. The book is also organized into four simple steps that make it easy to follow and apply.
The book has many strengths, such as:
- It explains the psychology and neuroscience behind habit formation and change
- It provides actionable tips and strategies that can be applied to any area of life
- It includes useful tools and resources, such as habit trackers, cheat sheets, and templates
- It uses stories and anecdotes that make it relatable and memorable
However, the book also has some weaknesses, such as:
- It sometimes repeats or oversimplifies some concepts or ideas
- It sometimes lacks depth or nuance in some topics or arguments
- It sometimes assumes or generalizes some situations or outcomes
Overall, I think Atomic Habits by James Clear is a valuable and insightful book that can help anyone improve their habits and achieve their goals.
7. Write a personal opinion
The seventh step is to write a personal opinion of the book. Your opinion should reflect your own thoughts and feelings about the book. You should also explain why you liked or disliked the book and how it affected you.
Your opinion should answer:
- Did you like or dislike the book? Why or why not?
- What did you learn or gain from reading the book?
- How did the book make you feel or think?
- How did the book relate to your own experience or perspective?
- Would you recommend the book to others? Why or why not?
I loved The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins because it was a thrilling and captivating read that kept me hooked from start to finish. I learned a lot from reading the book, such as how to survive in difficult situations, how to resist oppression, and how to value friendship and love. The book made me feel a range of emotions, such as excitement, fear, anger, sadness, and hope. The book also made me think about how our society is similar or different from the dystopian world of the book. The book related to my own experience as a teenager who struggles with identity, choices, and relationships. I would definitely recommend the book to others who enjoy action-packed and thought-provoking stories.
8. Write a catchy conclusion
The eighth step is to write a catchy conclusion for your review. Your conclusion should summarize your main points, restate your thesis or opinion, and end with a call to action or a question for your readers.
Your conclusion should answer:
- What are the main points of your review?
- What is your final verdict or evaluation of the book?
- What do you want your readers to do or think after reading your review?
How to Become a Wedding Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide by Lisa Jones is a comprehensive and practical guide that teaches you everything you need to know about becoming a successful wedding planner. The book covers topics such as how to start your business, how to plan different types of weddings, how to market your services, how to deal with clients and vendors, and how to handle challenges and emergencies. The book is full of tips, tricks, examples, checklists, templates, and resources that make it easy to follow and implement. The book is also written in a friendly and approachable tone that makes it enjoyable to read.
If you are interested in becoming a wedding planner or improving your skills as one, this book is for you. It will help you turn your passion into a profitable career. You can buy this book on Amazon or visit Lisa Jones’s website for more information and advice. What are you waiting for? Start your journey to becoming a wedding planner today!
9. Proofread and edit your review
The ninth and final step is to proofread and edit your review. You should check your review for any errors or mistakes in spelling, grammar, punctuation, or formatting. You should also check your review for any inconsistencies, inaccuracies, or redundancies in content, style, or tone. You should also check your review for any plagiarism or bias in your sources, evidence, or opinions.
You can use various tools and resources to help you proofread and edit your review, such as:
- Grammarly: A tool that checks your writing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and clarity errors
- Hemingway: A tool that checks your writing for readability, simplicity, and style issues
- Copyscape: A tool that checks your writing for plagiarism or duplicate content
- ProWritingAid: A tool that checks your writing for grammar, style, readability, and feedback
- WordCounter: A tool that counts the number of words, characters, sentences, and paragraphs in your writing
You should also ask someone else to read your review and give you feedback. You can ask a friend, a family member, a colleague, or a professional editor to help you improve your review.
Writing book reviews that pay well is not as hard as it may seem. You just need to follow the steps outlined in this blog post and practice your skills regularly. Writing book reviews can be a fun and rewarding way to express your opinions, share your insights, and earn some extra income.
If you want to learn more about how to write book reviews that pay well, you can check out these resources:
- How to Write a Book Review: A Comprehensive Guide
- How to Write a Book Review That Matters
- How to Write a Book Review in 3 Steps
I hope you found this blog post helpful and informative. If you did, please share it with your friends and followers on social media. And if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I would love to hear from you.