How to Get Someone to Pay You for Your Writing

Alexandria Ducksworth
6 min readApr 11, 2020

Recently, I was paid $70 for writing an honest book review for a reputable, small indie book company. It wasn’t a 1,000, 1,500, or 2,000-word epic, but merely a little over 400 words. As a beginner, it can be difficult finding a decent job paying over $50 for 500 words (at least it was for me).

I thought I had to be a whole new person to be a paid book reviewer. I felt I had to write big words I’ve never used before to describe the euphoria I’ve experienced reading Homer’s The Odyssey or Anne Karenina. I thought people only paid great reviewers like those who worked for The New Yorker or some scholarly review journal only a select few know.

I didn’t have to be any of those people, but myself. I didn’t have to BS my way through 1,200 words to make my point across if I recommended the book or not.

I almost doubted my abilities to be a paid book reviewer. Sure, I can write all the free reviews on my book blogs. On the other hand, it seemed like I couldn’t write anything substantial for any paying positions.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

I applied to one book reviewer position a few years ago.

All you had to do was read a book and write a review for $20 a pop. Sounds easy, right? The editor was incredibly selective.

It took me a few days, and a serious of e-mails for this person to finally give me a chance. I didn’t beg; this person put me through an unnecessarily lengthy e-mail interview.

Finally, I took the trial test, and I was rejected. On the bright side, I was still paid for reading the book. However, I kept thinking to myself, “How was I wrong for my opinion of a book? What did I miss out?”

Honestly, I did change how I wrote for the test. I tried to write like a “professional reviewer” (whatever that was). I didn’t know what the heck the editor was expecting from me.

After the trial, I continued to review books on my blogs (one for general and another for romance novels). Besides, I love reading, and creating reviews was an excellent excuse for me to write more. Plus, I enjoyed sharing my work with my…

Alexandria Ducksworth