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How To Make Money Online Writing Book Reviews

FTC guidelines that require a blogger to publicly acknowledge compensation for book and product reviews make it a little tricky for bloggers to make money directly from those reviews.

For example, let’s say you enter into an arrangement with an author whereby you agree to write a review of his book in exchange for $25, or even for a free copy of the book. You’re required by law now to state in your blog that you’ve received compensation from the author for that review and that’s going to immediately put your credibility as a reviewer into question.

Most authors or publishing houses won’t pay you for a book review anyway, for that very same reason. But there are other indirect methods you can use to make money online writing book reviews.

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Affiliate links

Most credible authors and publishing houses list their books for sale at Amazon and they really don’t care how the buyer ends up there as long as the book gets sold. Someone’s going to make the commission and it might as well be you! Get an Amazon Reseller’s account and start including your affiliate links in your reviews.

This works even better if you specialize in a niche or genre. Instead of just reviewing every book that comes your way, set up a niche book review blog. Choose a specific author – Stephen King or Dean Koontz come to mind. Both have written more books and articles than you’d ever possibly be able to cover in one blog. Or choose a specific genre – vampire books or zombie books or celebrity cookbooks are popular right now. If you like to read several different genres, then set up several different blogs.

Obviously, you can start by using your Amazon affiliate links to these books, too, but once you start attracting traffic you can branch out into other products – mugs, posters, calendars, kitchen appliances, cookware – products you can find relevant to that niche. Don’t be afraid to try other affiliate programs, too. For example, if you’re reviewing parenting books you could put a BabyToBee banner on your blog and earn additional affiliate income from the clicks.

Write for content sites

Sites like Examiner.com and BlogCritics.org welcome people who write all types of book reviews and they compensate you with cash. This type of compensation is legal because it’s not coming directly from the author or the publisher – you’re being paid by the site to produce content. With Examiner.com you’re paid per page view and at BlogCritics.org you receive a share of the revenue they generate with the Google Adsense ads they have on site.

Get the word out

Do a Twitter search for publishers and start following them. Publishers hang out on Twitter and they’re constantly looking for book reviewers. And once you write that first review for them, they just keep sending you more books. A lot of times you get those books before they even hit the stores. As soon as people hear about that new book by their favorite author they’re going to go look for a review and yours will be one of the only ones available because nobody else has the book yet. And your affiliate link to the book will be right there for everyone to click on!

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7 Comments (Add one)

  1. Joe
    Joe

    This is amazing! I didn’t know it was possible to make money promoting books.

  2. Freelance Writer
    Freelance Writer

    Thanks for the great post about making money online via promoting books. Keep it up!

  3. Teresa

    Thanks for the useful info, Donna. I checked out Examiner but it’s only for North American citizens – shame! I need to find another content site.

  4. Galit
    Galit

    Very usueful information. Thank you. I have a question, can someone be paid to be a guest blogger? If so how? I like to write but not do all the traffic work and I love to blog so I am wondering if such a thing exists.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Galit, there are lots of people making a living just by writing. You can work as a ghost blogger, a paid blogger…

  5. Teresa
    Teresa

    As an avid reader of all fiction genres, would love to look into this more. I have noticed that a lot of the websites have been in the USA and as I am from the UK, would like to seek a little more guidance..

  6. Dan
    Dan

    I think you can make a living writing online, but it’s not easy, and you have to find the sources that pay well, not to mention being a very good writer.

    If you’re doing book reviews you will have the expense of paying for books, at least at the beginning.