Rise to the Challenge
Book reviews are a great way for readers to get a taste of the story and find out if they’re interested in it, plus gather reviewers’ opinions or recommendations on a novel. People who read books and review them must walk a fine line, revealing information about the story without giving away the plot twists or ending, while writing as objective an opinion as possible. It may not be the job for everyone, but for those who love books and are ready for the challenge of reviewing them, it is possible to earn compensation for their hard work.
Practice Makes Perfect
For those who have never written a review or have written only a few, getting experience with writing reviews is essential. Publishers won’t hire individuals with no experience with reviewing, no matter how clever a writer they may be otherwise. Studying reviews by other writers is necessary to learn style, format, and structure, as well as becoming familiar with the content and review genres that are being published. Understanding the market will put a new reviewer on the right road to selling their own work.
Making a Name
Once the reviewer has some writing experience and some understanding of the field, getting their work into the public arena is the next step. This probably won’t include payment at first. Though some exceptional new writers may be accepted by paying publishers, most reviewers find that they need to volunteer their work to make a name for themselves and to gain attractive credentials to put on their resumes or queries when hunting for paying jobs. There are an enormous number of book review sites on the Internet that are willing to assess and publish voluntary reviews, but print magazines or newspapers may also consider free reviews. Reviewers can also benefit from creating a website or blog to display their work.
Finding a Paying Publisher
After getting a few bylines to their name, the reviewer can then consider applying to a paying publisher for a review job. Reviewers need to explore the market before sending queries, to make sure that they find a good match for their type of reviews. Publishers come in all shapes and sizes, from small to mega publications, online and offline book, magazine, and newspaper publications. Publishers interested in freelance book reviewers can be found in writer’s markets, classified ads, and employment search engines. Writing a professional query letter that follows the publisher’s submission guidelines is essential to show serious interest and competence. Most publishers will also require a review sample to assess the quality of the reviewer’s work.
Once a reviewer lands a paying job, they need to be able to keep it. Of course, writing interesting reviews is top priority, but it’s also necessary to keep updated and educated. Reviewers need to continue reading other reviews, updating their own styles and approaches to reviewing, plus being aware of the changes in the market itself. A reviewer who is proactive and up to date will always be appreciated by publishers and find a secure home in the world of book reviewing.
Image Credit – Ian Wilson