[DWJ] Any paid book reviewers out there?

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Tue Apr 3 11:58:27 EDT 2007

I knew I could count on you guys for information.  :)  So just for details,
what's the going rate on freelance reviews if you get paid for them?  (I've
already told her that this is not a profession you join to get rich.)  The
final part of the assignment is a presentation where she has to give details
like...oh, what kind of education you need to get started in the career, and
how much you might expect to make starting out, and how do you
advance...stuff that doesn't really apply to book reviewing, but she has to
have the numbers.  She's supposed to come dressed the way someone in the
career would dress.  I told her to wear pajamas.

I've already explained that the other way to do it is to be hired as staff
by some place like Publishers Weekly, or as staff on a magazine where you'd
do other things in addition to reviews, but that most of the people I know
don't do it that way.

MY job is even better.  I'm in charge of an awards program, so I get all the
books, but I don't have to write reviews for any of them but the winners.  I
get paid squat, but as has been pointed out, the free books are the
important bit.  I just wish more of them were worth keeping.

I'm trying to help her out on this research as much as possible because I
feel tremendously guilty.  It's been a ten-week project and she's been
coming over weekly for discussions, but we pretty much covered all the
basics of the actual "career" in the first session.  So I've been giving her
writing assignments--you know, to practice reviewing--and in the process
discovered that this ninth grader has not had the least bit of instruction
in critical analysis.  And before you say "who has?" I'll point out that
this means she didn't even know what theme was.  Her English lit instruction
appears not to include any reading of actual books.  So what I've actually
*done* is teach her some basic principles of how to organize her ideas and
how to express them to other people--i.e. talk about books for two hours or
more a week, which I would probably have done anyway.  To me it feels like
nothing--but her mom gave me a thank-you gift consisting of a large
container of homemade soaps, a lovely mug full of chocolates, and a gift
card to Barnes & Noble for way more than I even like to think about.  It's
like being rewarded for breathing.

Melissa Proffitt

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