Like an artist who is able to sell their work, profiting from books that you would have read anyway is like icing on the cake. Now, profiting can mean many things, but for the purpose of this blog, when I say profiting, I mean that you get something from the time you spend reading a book (other than the pleasure), whether it’s a paycheck, a byline or a global audience.
Have you figured it out yet?
I’m talking about writing book reviews.
If you have dreams of a career in writing, becoming a book reviewer can allow you to sharpen your skills with the printed word, give you a collection of “clips” that can later help you snag more writing or reviewing gigs. Plus, even if the book review site pays little or nothing for your review, they almost always supply you with the free books!
And I can think of nothing I’d rather receive in the mail than free books!
In addition to a little jingle in your pocket and free books, writing book reviews is a way to connect with fellow readers world-wide over shared interests and ideas. And if you are like me, being able to contribute your thoughts about a book is just the coolest, and in some small way, you are helping another writer get god press (assuming you did like the book).
There are numerous book reviewing web-sites out there in cyber-land, and all you usually have to do is run a search for “book reviewing” to get a few good candidates. I have over a dozen reviews under my belt for Curled Up with a Good Book, ranging from non-fiction to literary novels. (See a link to my page at the bottom)
A few other good online book review sites include:
-FaithfulReader.com (Geared toward Christian Readers)
Carefully read the site’s guidelines and follow their directions. You may be asked to write a sample review on a book you’ve read recently. Before you write it, browse through some of the other reviews of similar books on the site, making sure you look at the work of several different reviewers to get a feel for the proper format and the tone of the review site as well. Then submit!
Offline, magazines and newspapers usually run book reviews. Try approaching your local paper with an idea for a book column. If the newspaper is small, approach your local bookstore to discuss a cooperative venture for placement in the newspaper. Say that if they provide the book and pay to buy a space in the newspaper (and maybe a little remuneration, if you’re feeling lucky), you will read the book and review it for them. This is a win/win situation for all—the newspaper gets ad money and content without paying for it, the bookstore gets unique advertising, and you get a free book, a byline, and maybe a little dough for your time!
***Note that BookReported.com, Faithfulreader.com, teenreads.com, and kidsreads.com are all part of a larger company, and the guidelines for all can be found at: http://www.tbrnetwork.com/becoming.asp