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Many people with a combined love of reading and writing decide they want to become a book reviewer. Though there are no specific educational requirements for becoming a book reviewer, most have at least a high school diploma, and often a college degree in literature or a related field. English degrees or writing degrees are also popular choices for professional book reviewers.
It generally takes a lot of patience to become a book reviewer. Editors of newspapers, magazines, and websites have no shortage of freelance writers who want to review books. For this reason, it is important to learn as much as possible about book reviewing, as well as the individual publication, beforehand. Read as many book reviews as possible to get a sense for the tone and content found in the reviews. Remember, book reviews are traditionally somewhat less formal than book critiques written by critics; reviews tend to focus more on the reviewer,s opinion, as well as the perceived merits of the book, rather than more technical literary information.
When you want to become a book reviewer it is important to determine the genre in which you wish to write. Most book reviewers focus on one specific genre, such as mystery novels, literature, popular fiction, or historical fiction, just to name a few. It should be a genre in which you enjoy reading, and are relatively knowledgeable about common themes and plot devices. Keep in mind that a book review should discuss the plot and the themes without giving away the ending; in addition, most book reviewers try to find something positive to say about the book, even if they did not enjoy the book overall.
Next, it is impossible to become a book reviewer without sitting down and writing some reviews. Even if they are never published, it is important to have samples to show editors, because most will not hire a reviewer without some sample pieces. It may be easier to get started writing for a university newspaper while still in college, or by writing for a local newspaper or bookstore. Another option is to write reviews for free, and post them in a blog. Once you have a few published pieces, it will be easier to get more assignments.
Most book reviewers are freelance writers who are paid per piece, if they are paid at all. Some simply write book reviews on a volunteer basis, and in exchange, will receive free books to review, sometimes ahead of their publication dates. The most important advice for someone who wants to become a book reviewer is simply to keep writing, and always meet assigned deadlines. Like any other freelance writing career, it can be difficult to get started, but for someone who enjoys reading books and writing about them, it is a great choice.