Tag Archives: reviewing books

Giving up on Paid Book Reviews

me reading

If you remember, awhile back I thought I’d try my hand at reviewing books.  (See Online Book Reviewer).  I have officially thrown in the towel on this venture.  Can you make money reviewing books?  Yes.  Did I make money reviewing books?  Yes.  Do I want to continue doing this?  No.

There are a few reasons for this.  Originally, I had the option to review books on my blog and get paid for it.  Not all the books I reviewed were paid, but there were some that gave me that extra incentive.  Recently the rules were changed.  Now, book reviews would be paid based on the blog’s popularity instead of a fixed amount.  Well, I’m not going to win any popularity contests, so that seriously cut into my profit margin.

Then the new policy stated that only reviewers with a level 4 or higher could even apply for these paid reviews.  I’m stuck at level 2.  I mean, really stuck there even though my editorial analysis score is 73% (the average rating is 58%) and I have received several perfect review scores recently.  I thought maybe I could do a few more free reviews to bolster my status, but when I went to pick a new book, I discovered that the webmaster placed a bogus book on the list to make sure that reviewers were reading the book information before choosing a book.  I always do, so I didn’t trigger the trap, but it was annoying. 

I figured I still had the chance to win the daily drawing.  Even if I didn’t win randomly, eventually I would get to the top of the heap and they would HAVE to give me some money.  So 477 entries later, I did win.

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The retweets for cash option also underwent some changes.  Now, instead of just liking, retweeting and commenting on the tweet, I would have to add the book to my virtual shelf.  Only the system didn’t recognize a book that I already had added to my shelf and so I get this message:

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And that was the final straw.  You may still see some book reviews on my blog now and then, but they won’t be for this particular organization.

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Failing at your own business–book reviewer

me readingSo as I was gearing up for my transition away from elementary school teaching, I began looking for other ways to supplement my income.  The net loss from not working at the school was $250 USD per month. Therefore, I needed something that would fill that hole with moolah.

Reading books and getting paid for it seemed like the perfect job for me! I started searching about a bit for companies that were hiring in that field.  I applied and was accepted for 2 different reviewer jobs.

The first website was BookLookBloggers.  The catch is you are required to have your own blog with a minimum number of followers.  There is no cash payout.  You will receive a book to review free of charge.  You must post the review of at least 200 words on your blog with links back to the site, plus post a review on a consumer website like Amazon.  AND it’s a Christian publishing company, so not everyone’s cup of tea.  I figured it would be a good experience, so went ahead and requested my first book.

I was not disappointed in the reading selection. It took more time than I anticipated to write the review.  I wanted to get it just right.  You can read my review of The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron here.  

The second book reviewer position was with Online Book Club.  This setup was a bit more complicated. However, there is the promise of a cash payout at the end.  You can choose a book to review. However, the options available to you are limited by your reviewer score.  For example, as a newbie, I could only download certain books in certain formats.  There are specific deadlines as well.  Within 4 days of acceptance, you must confirm you have a readable version of the book.  Then within 30 days of the download, you must confirm you finished it.  Finally, within 7 days of finishing, you must submit the review.

The review is subject to approval.  It must be at least 5 paragraphs with at least 400 words.  You must rate the book on a 4-star system.  You can NOT publish the review on your blog, but you MUST share the link to the review once it’s been reviewed on your social media networks.  Payments vary according to the books and are sent via Paypal.  As I was still a reviewer in training, I did not get paid for either of these reviews.

I reviewed Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks by Morton E Tavel, MD. You can see my review here.

I also reviewed My Trip to Adele by A.I.Alyaseer, R.I.Alyaseer.  You can see my review here.

There is a second option for income with the Online Book Club. With the Twitter Retweet Rewards, if you like, reply and tweet the Book of the Day post  @TwBookClub, you can earn $5 plus $1 per 100 followers, rounded up to the nearest dollar.  I don’t have a lot of followers on Twitter, so I only qualify for the minimum payout, but it’s something.  You must retweet, like, and reply to each BOTD announcement tweet for all 30 days within 24 hours of the original tweet in order to get your reward.  

Then there is always the chance for a $10 Amazon gift card. There are 2 given away daily, one to the person with the highest number of points and one randomly.  You receive more entries by sharing, liking or pinning the BOTD on a variety of social media sites.

So, while I have yet to make any money at this venture, I’m going to stick with it a bit longer and see what happens.  After all, I enjoy reading, and the potential to get paid for this hobby is a nice additional incentive.

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