Monday, December 04, 2006

Reviewing Books for Fun and Profit

The Secret Life Of An Online Book Reviewer - Forbes.com: "Over the last seven years, Donald Mitchell, a 60-year-old strategy consultant in Boston, has made $20,000 writing book reviews on Amazon.com. He's so good, and so prolific--with 2,923 reviews to date--that Amazon customers have consistently voted him among the top five reviewers on the site. (The top reviewer, a former librarian from Pennsylvania named Harriet Klausner, has reviewed 12,753 books. Skeptics doubt that she actually exists.)

Mitchell is part of an online subculture that has helped democratize the reviewing process and cemented Amazon's (nasdaq: AMZN - news - people ) significance in the publishing world. Oprah Winfrey and the New York Times can elevate an obscure debut novelist to a best seller, but Amazon provides the shortest path between a good review and an actual sale: The two are just a click away."

6 comments:

Graham said...

You can make MONEY writing reviews on Amazon.com? Get my boss on the line, I QUIT!!!

Crider's Cider said...

He's made $20,000 over seven years? Wow, there's a fortune in them internets!

Juri said...

How does exactly happen? Just who pays him?

David J. Montgomery said...

I believe what is unstated here is that he makes the money by selling the books that publishers send him... Which is commonly done, but somewhat questionable.

Anonymous said...

If you read down further in the article, you'll see this:

"Mitchell has parlayed his reviews into a profitable enterprise. For authors who write books that Mitchell wouldn't typically review, he'll ask them to make a $600 donation to Habitat for Humanity. The donation doesn't guarantee a favorable review, although Mitchell concedes that he'll try to make it longer. He originally charged $25 and has since bumped up the price. "I'm probably not charging enough," he says. "A friend told me I should ask for $2,000." Mitchell has donated his $20,000 in review earnings to Habitat."

I wonder how many Amazon reviewers charge for reviews and don't donate anything anywhere...

Chris Aldrich

Bill said...

That's what I was wondering, Chris.