by Helen Gallagher
By its nature, the life of a freelancer requires adaptation to changes circumstances, markets, and the
all-important bank balance. Like most freelancers, my list of services is often expanding. It grows to meet the needs of clients who request services I’ve never offered before.
One field that is apparently lucrative for freelancers is writing book reviews. Some of us write reviews without pay to stay current with the literary marketplace, grow our library with all the free books sent by publicists, and of course, to expand our visibility and popularity. Reviews can be posted on blogs, review sites, even national newspaper and magazines.
A recent Sunday New York Times article might enlighten you further — writing book reviews can be lucrative. The article, The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy, covers the growing landscape of reviews for the explosive amount of new books published.
“For decades a largely stagnant industry controlled from New York, book publishing is fragmenting and changing at high speed. Twenty percent of Amazon’s top-selling e-books are self-published. They do not get to the top without adulation, lots and lots of it.”
With self-publishing increasing, it creates more opportunities for good reviews to spread the word about a new title.
“It used to take the same time to produce a book that it does to produce a baby. Now it takes about as long as boiling an egg.”
Consider all the facts, ethical as well as financial, before saying yes to becoming a paid reviewer. But done well, it might be a wonderful late-night sideline that can bring you and the author greater notoriety, in a good way.
BIO: Helen Gallagher’s no-fee book reviews appear at BlogCritics.org, New York Journal of Books and Open Salon. She blogs at Freelance-Zone.com to share her thoughts on small business and technology. She writes about, coaches and speaks on publishing. Her blogs and books are accessible through www.releaseyourwriting.com.