Can You Make A Living at Book Reviewing?

Bob on Books

12213308404_a4f493af64_z Thad Zajdowicz, “Book Review,” Public Domain via Flickr

It seems that this is a question being asked even among the elite reviewers of the National Book Critics Circle. Julia M. Kline spoke on a panel at Book Expo America about the challenges of getting paid to review books. A transcript of her remarks appears on Critical Mass, the NBCC’s blog.

The issue is both the shrinking space and the financial challenges both print and digital media are facing. Kline observes that the $1 a word rate paid Teddy Roosevelt seems extravagant today when freelancers might receive $.25-.50. Many review publications want reviews of 500 words or less. That is $125 to $250 for the time spent reading, writing, revising and submitting a review. She observed that the top rate paid by The Washington Post is $375. I’m fairly productive and might write 170 reviews a year. If all of…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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