Should Book Bloggers Be Paid? | Jo Linsdell

Should Book Bloggers Be Paid?


Should Book Bloggers Be Paid?

Question of the Day

Questions and Answers About Book Blogging

I recently started a new series of posts on my Twitter asking a question of the day. The idea behind it is to get chatting more about book blogging and everything involved with being a book blogger. 

I'll be showcasing answers to the questions in a series of blog posts here on so we can develop the conversation even more and go into more detail.

Should book bloggers be paid?

I've been a book blogger for over ten years and I still don't know how much money we can make from our book blogs. Yes, there are ways to monetize your blog, but they are not necessarily straightforward or easy.

Book bloggers do it out of love so why should THEY be paid?

It's a fair question. Book bloggers are not generally paid, doing it for no compensation at all in most cases. They do it because they love books and want others to experience them too. How does that translate into money? Well, if you're going to spend your time promoting something, it makes sense that there should be some kind of reward for doing so...

Why should book bloggers be paid?

Book bloggers are just as much a part of the book community as authors and publishers. They’re the ones who help readers discover new books, they're the ones who have helped build up this community, and they deserve to be paid for it.

In fact, if you think about it: why should anyone else be paid? We all benefit from someone being our advocate or ambassador—whether that's an actor or athlete promoting their brand or even someone like me (a random person on social media) telling my followers what kind of book I think they should read next.

Can you really make money blogging about books?

Yes, you can make money blogging about books. It takes a lot of work and you need to be consistent in order to see results. You also have to build an audience, which can be difficult when you are just starting out.

How do you make money from a book blog?

If you want to make money from a book blog, there are a few ways you can do that. 

When it comes to being paid to review a book there is a big divide about whether or not that's OK. Most people feel it puts the honesty of the review into doubt. I feel the same way. I'm not paid for the reviews I do but if I'm asked to review a book I expect to get a free copy of it. 

The most common way therefore to earn money as a book blogger is advertising. 

You can advertise other peoples products on other sites e.g. social media, or in your own blog posts. This is especially good if you have readers who would be interested in buying from the advertiser's products or services. As a book blogger key sponsors would be authors or publishers, book tour companies, or anything else linked to books, reading, or even writing. 

Advertise with me

Another way of making money from a book blog is by offering affiliate links. When people click on them you will get paid commissions when they sign up for an account and buy something through the link. A popular affiliate for book bloggers is Amazon as it's so wide spread and easy to use. Another example would be Google Adsense. 

How much money can a book blogger make?

This is the million-dollar question. If you're just starting out and don't have much experience, it's hard to tell what kind of income you could expect. But if your blog has been around for several years, look for ways to monetize beyond just advertising revenue. You may want to consider selling ebooks or other products.

What are the best ways to monetize a book blog?

There are a number of ways to monetize your book blog. Some of the most popular include:

  • Adsense

  • Affiliate marketing

  • Reviews and guest posts from other bloggers and authors 

  • Banner ads and links for sponsors

Only those that really hustle can make money from their book blogs.

You don't need to be a professional writer.

You don't need to have a degree in English Literature.

But you do need to hustle! 

Book bloggers want to share their love for books with the world. But they should also be able to make some money from the work they do. Not necessarily from doing book reviews (that's a bit of a grey area) but they should be able to earn money from their book blog in other ways.  

You might also like: 101 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers


What the Book Blogging Community had to say:

I don’t trust paid reviews, but if someone asks me to review their book they need to give me a copy @reader_at_work

It depends who by, i.e if it was a magazine etc. However, by authors, no! For me, I think it would erode impartiality and honesty! IMO, I think if you introduce monetary gain, it already introduces a bias, which then puts pressure on the person doing the review. @FantasyBookNerd

I think it’s an interesting question, I’m a book reviewer and don’t have any expectation of being paid and that means I’m free to say what I want (to an extent) but reviewers of other products do get paid to promote products and can make a career of it! @Susiebookreview

I don't trust paid reviews.
I don't do paid reviews.
I have nothing against sponsored posts, but I don't do them.
The way I see it, if I post about a book release/sale/cover reveal on my blog, the author gets exposure, and I get fresh content to bring traffic to my blog.


No, because if they did, would you trust it was a genuine, honest review, or would you think they’d been paid for it? I’ve had several authors DM me, asking me to buy their book & review - the only thing I expect is, if you want me to review, you need to give me a copy for free.

I have no problem with other reviewers being paid If that's the route they choose to go down. However for me it's my hobby and I wouldn't want it to be anything else. If I'm asked to review a book I wouldn't expect to buy the book myself though.

I don't think book bloggers should be paid because, as others have said, how do you know what's their honest opinion once money gets involved? I do review books I've bought myself, but if the author or publisher asks for a review I would expect a free review copy.

Hmmmm I usually respond to those bloggers that I know have a complete passion for the book and it comes out in reviews.  

Does a free book to a book lover not count as payment though? I don’t think I would want money… as others have said I want to be authentic and honest. @Scottiesnbooks


Not for me. I write out of love of the books and if I was paid I wouldn't feel I could say what I think.

I might question if a review was honest and unbiased if someone had been paid for it. You could argue this with anything I suppose, but that’s my general view.

This topic comes up on here every few months & causes carnage!  

I’ve been a blogger for years & as far as I’m concerned, it’s a hobby! I enjoy what I do & I do it because I love reading & want to bring joy to others. That’s it. If people want to get paid, get a job in publishing! @JulieBoon


"I read this book in my own time and decided it was one worth reviewing." v "I got paid to say what I thought of the book" which would you prefer. (Bloggers should be sent books free and should have tip jars etc) @StephenWhq

Absolutely, we should be paid. Books alone don’t pay the bills. We work just as hard if not harder than other bloggers who are paid (and this comes from someone who WAS a full-time fashion/lifestyle blogger before rebranding to books). Money is compensation for work. @espressoedition


I think too many people don't trust paid reviews, but we could be paid for other sponsored posts. @PagesUnbound

I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to get paid.

Don’t have any issues with paid reviews, I’d look at them the same as reviews of books reviewers have been sent for free

The way that I see it is that other bloggers get paid to review makeup or other things that fit their blogs. Why not book bloggers as well? Granted I would feel bad about doing that since we mainly review indie authors who are probably not making much from it yet.

As long as a reviewer makes clear they were paid, I suppose there is no reason why not. Personally I don't feel quite comfortable about it, however.

It seems like that would compromise the reviewer’s perspective or at the least put it in question. It’s a lot of work and deserves compensation, but I don’t think it should come from the reviews themselves.

It makes me seriously uncomfortable. I pride myself on being unbiased in my reviews but would my readers question my impartiality if I was paid? It's murky at best.

No, definitely not.

Absolutely not, it is a hobby

No. Unless you're paid by a third party I.e a newspaper for a book review column. But not by the author themselves. I'd never trust them.

Contentious ๐Ÿ˜‚. Quite a few authors have said they thought I was paid for doing book tours. No.
I don’t ask for a hardcopy, just a digital copy.
I think I would struggle to be totally honest if I was being paid.
At least now if I don’t like it I don’t need to post a review ๐Ÿ˜˜ 

What do you think? Should book bloggers get paid? Is it OK for them to be paid for reviews or would you question their honesty? 

Should Book Bloggers Be Paid?

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