If you love reading books then you might be wondering how you can become a book reviewer?
Yes? Well, this post is for you.
In this post, I breakdown everything you need to know to become a book reviewer without going through any trouble. So let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Here’s The Best Way To Become A Book Reviewer
So these are some of the steps that you need to follow to establish yourself as a professional book reviewer.
1. Act like a Book Reviewer
To become a book reviewer you should act like a book reviewer.
You should give people the impression that you are a genuine and professional book reviewer. Now you might be wondering how you can do it.
So here are some of the tips that can help you.
The first step to becoming a book reviewer is to buy your own book at your own expense (or borrow if you have to) and publish reviews on platforms like Amazon or Goodreads or even on your own book review blog.
This will help you in multiple ways. Not only will it help you to build authority but also help you to be on top of recent releases in your genre.
Another thing is that when you review recent books on your blog, you are more likely to get traffic to your blog. Thus, more eyeballs and more earning.
At first, you have to invest in buying books and make a name for yourself as a book reviewer before you can ask for free review copies, or get one.
Focus on The Most Recent Release
Becoming a book reviewer doesn’t mean that you will only review books that you have already read a few years back or the ones you like.
Instead, a book reviewer should primarily focus on the recent release and give the review as soon as possible.
Though you can write book reviews for older books as well as there will always be readers or new readers looking for such reviews.
The best thing you can do is write the book reviews of the newest release first and sideways publish the reviews of the books you already read before.
In this way, you will have more posts to publish building your authority in your niche or genre.
But when you are starting out you should always focus on the latest release.
Observe Other Book Reviewers
Usually, when you are starting out as a book reviewer you will have trouble finding out what’s working, which are the most searched books, how to write a book review, and so on.
So to overcome these problems you can follow some of the established book reviewers in your industry and see what they are doing. How they write book reviews? How they are building their fan following and reader base?
And then do that in your genre.
Just take inspiration. Don’t copy them.
Copy things like which social platform they are using as they already know what’s working.
You know you can learn a lot by just observing what they are doing and replicate the same strategy for yourself.
Build Your Audience
To become a successful book reviewer as well as to make money from reviewing a book you are going to need an audience who reads your review and buys books from your affiliate link.
The best way to build an audience is to use social networking sites for book lovers to find their potential readers.
Join the book club and engage with other people. See what they were asking and without asking for anything in return provide them genuine answers.
Don’t just go on posting links to your blog or something instead focus on helping first. This way you can make a name for yourself.
In the meantime, you will see that your audience will grow.
Network with Authors
When you follow your favorite author either on their blog or on social media, you tend to know a lot about them.
Most beginner or less famous authors and writers also follow these big-name authors.
What you can do is when they post anything on social media, reply to them. Engage with them.
Join as many famous names as possible. The more the better. The more you get involved in the community the more chances that they will approach you for a book review when they release new books.
Apart from getting replies from your favorite author, you will get many replies from small authors as well.
Add them to your friend list. Tell them you do book reviews. Those small writers want to be listed in any blog. I did the same. I have approached all the bloggers who could review my book and publish it in their blog.
For a beginner writer, any coverage is welcomed.
So by networking with other authors you can grow your circle. This way you will have a lot of books to review.
2. Publish Your Reviews
When you start reading books and review them on your blog, you should also post a detailed book review on Amazon as well.
This will give you the authority as well as on Amazon you will also get the rank and badge of “Top Reviewer”. You should always give a detailed review of the book but don’t give the story layout itself. Everybody just hates the spoilers.
Just point out the good and bad about the book and what you like the most about the book.
Comment on things like plot, characterization, beginning, ending, what the author missed, how it can be improved, and so on.
Be thorough with your book review, and always be unbiased about it no matter the author is your top favorite or even your boyfriend. Or even if you got a free book from the author for review or have been paid for the review.
Goodreads is a social media for authors and readers so it gets a lot of eyeballs.
This is the second place where you should have an account and post the book reviews.
Even I, as an author, look for reviews on Goodreads. And from my experience, readers on Goodreads review more books than on Amazon.
I got 87 reviews on Goodreads and just 7 on Amazon for one of my eBooks. So you get the point.
Another great thing about Goodreads is that you can link your blog posts through the RSS feed on Goodreads. You can do that by filling up the RSS feed link in your bio. Add your blog RSS feed and you are good to go.
Now all of your blog posts about book reviews will show in your profile and from here you can also get traffic to your book reviewing blog.
Your Own Blog
When starting out as a book reviewer you should always consider getting yourself a dedicated self-hosted WordPress blog as early as possible.
This blog will be your own property and you will own the rights.
If one day Amazon shut off the review system or Goodreads went dark no matter whatever happens you will still have your own blog where you can post book reviews.
Apart from that, having a book review blog will also be considered as a business if you want to pursue this longer term. Even a book reviewer who reviews a book just for a hobby has a professional-looking Blog.
In your blog, you can post a detailed review of the book with an affiliate link to make money from it.
Apart from that, you can also use Ads to increase your revenue.
And when pitching up any author for a free book or paid review you can show them your website. This will add credibility to your name and your blog will be the portfolio of your work.
Click here to check if your domain name is still available or not.
On Social Media
Just by posting the review on your blog, Amazon, and Goodreads will not let you have tonnes of traffic on your site, instead, you have to promote the hell out of it.
And the best way to do that is to make the best use of social media.
You should consider posting the links of your blog post on Facebook and Twitter to gain even more traction.
Make images in Canva and post the quotes from your recent book that you read and reviewed on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
On Instagram, you will find many book reviewers. Just search for hashtags with things like #bookreviewer, #bookworm, #bookclub, #Goodreads, etc and you will get many book reviewers from all around the globe.
See what they are posting and how they are managing things on their social account. Do the same and use the same techniques. Copy their hashtags too. You will see the difference and how quickly your account will start to grow.
Make your presence known as the book reviewer.
Now video contents are doing very well in the social media and if you can you can create Reels, make short videos, and post them on the various social media platform.
The only motive is to find as many readers as possible to make your name as a book reviewer.
Note: Use one social media platform first and grow it. Later use all different social media. I recommend that you should start with Instagram first, then go for Twitter, and lastly on Facebook. TikTok is the newest one to master – under BookTok.
3. Be Neutral
As I have mentioned earlier you have to be neutral while writing your book reviews. No matter how the circumstances are, you have to write a neutral unbiased book review.
Sometimes you will get incentives like money or a free book in return for a positive review. But you should stay fair and unbiased and never accept such things. Amazon will also reject reviews if it knows it was paid for.
These incentives may sound good but in the long run, they will spoil your reputation as a book reviewer.
You should be clear in your pitching that “all reviews will be unbiased and honest” and you will look at each and every author and writer the same way whether they are established authors or just new ones.
You will judge them based on the work they did and not on how it performed.
Especially with big names, the book can become a bestseller but still lacks the content that a particular book should possess. So don’t get in with the flow and write well about such books just because it is in the bestseller rank on a particular niche.
Always be neutral and unbiased while writing a good book review.
4. Develop Your Specialty
As not all authors can write on multiple genres, so not all book reviewers can review every genre.
Yes, some can.
And if you are confident that you understand different genres completely, only then should you build your book reviewing blog around that. Otherwise, stick to the one particular book niche which you like and are confident about.
For example, I can review books related to ebook writing, publishing, and marketing but in no way will I be able to review a biography or a documentary.
Similarly, if you love reading romantic novels and know the recipe of a good and bad romance novel then you are the perfect writer for giving reviews on such a niche.
You can’t just read a documentary or historic book and give a book review. You should have at least some ideas about the topic.
If you know nothing about history and just by reading one book, you can’t go on writing book reviews on the same subject.
So stick to one genre or niche and start your journey as a book reviewer from there and then move to the next niche only if you are confident enough.
Make sure that you have such an established authority under your niche that every author on a particular niche should only approach you.
Like some become fantasy novel reviewers, some focus on self-help books, some on sci-fi books, etc.
Another reason I tell you to start with one niche is that there is a lot of competition in the multi-niche book reviewing space and if you start out with one particular niche there is a good chance that you will stand out from the crowd and gain a lot of authority in your niche.
So choose the one you love or the one you know a lot about.
5. Always Follow Rules and Deadlines
Always remember that if you don’t follow rules and deadlines, your career in any industry will be over within seconds.
For example, if an author asks for a paid review by the 5th of next month and the reviews should be on Amazon, Goodreads, and in the blog. This means that you should be ready by the 4th of next month with the things ready.
The only process left should be to hit the PUBLISH button.
Even I faced this problem while asking for book reviews.
The reviewer just posted the review on the blog and Amazon and forgot to post it on Goodreads. After reminding him, he published after two days. Now I don’t order from that book reviewer ever since.
Because it was important for me to get the promotion campaign started on Goodreads and without some reviews, I can’t run it.
See it’s easy to spoil your reputation if you don’t follow the proper rules and guidelines.
So, manage your schedule accordingly and don’t overpromise if you can’t keep up with the work.
6. Prepare Your Resume
Writing book reviews and posting them on blogs and social media is a long process and you have to have a following before you can start making a good amount of money writing book reviews.
And the daily necessities need to be paid. So this can be started as a side hustle or part-time, so you can build your following and authority. If you are wanting quicker income, you can look for and chase some paid opportunities.
Now gather up all your documents, your blog address, and make them into a resume in PDF format.
The outlets that look for book reviewers don’t always look for your 10 years of experience in some blah blah company as Executives or CEO’s instead they want to look for your work, your writing, and what you have reviewed in past.
So if you have a very good portfolio, which you are making by reviewing books, there is a good chance you will interest a very good agency as a full-time book reviewer.
7. Apply on Book Reviewing Sites and Job Boards
Now you have a well-prepared resume you can start pitching it to some of the top book reviewing sites that require full-time and part-time book reviewers and they pay per review as well as on monthly basis.
Here’s is the list of sites that pay money for book reviews. Check it out to know more about the process in detail.
Jooble is another site where you can search for book reviewer jobs and get specific jobs for your region.
Apart from that you can also look for jobs on the Problogger Jobs board and apply from there.
8. Apply to Local and national Newspapers, Journals, and literary Magazines
Since now you are an established book reviewer with some paid and free clients under your portfolio, you should now start pitching to newspapers (local and national), journals, and magazines that post book reviews.
This way you can be found both online as well as in offline media and that’s a great way to increase your authority to the top tier.
Another thing is that print media can pay you a bit higher. But the selection and approval is not as easy.
You have to gain some credibility to be able to be selected by these print media companies.
The one thing I recommend you to do is start by basically approaching your local newspaper. They are easy to approach and the approval is far easier.
9. Stay Updated
You can only retain your position as a professional book reviewer by staying current and update-to-date in your field.
You should always keep an eye on the latest book release especially in the genre which you have opted for.
Always look on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and check the new release sections.
Go on Twitter or Facebook and follow the author of such books. You can always pitch yourself as a book reviewer and can even ask for a book as an early release for beta readers and critics.
Many authors love to provide early access to their books during their promotion campaigns. So you can try your luck there.
This way you can write and review the book even before it is released and can stay on top of other book reviewers.
Now as a book reviewer you also have the task of educating your readers and followers too.
Staying relevant and update-to-date is good for you but what’s in it for your followers?
Giving them early information is the value add, so what you can do is a post on your blog or social media about the early release of the books coming this week, month, or year.
Post about the interesting stuff that has been going on in your industry and everything that you just have found out.
Keeping yourself as well as your fans and followers up-to-date is a win-win.
My Final Word
These are some of the things you have to take care of if you want to become a successful and paid book reviewer. The things which you should really focus on if are a complete beginner are:
- Create your own blog first.
- Read a lot of books in your selected niche and review them on your blog, on Amazon, and on Goodreads.
- Build your social media account, especially Instagram and TikTok.
All other things can take time but these things will help you get started.
Later on, you can follow the other steps mentioned in this blog post and grow further from there. I wish you every success on your book reviewer journey!