“Can u read my book an review it. I will give u fiv doolers.”
– My first paying customer
How to make $2,000 by November 31st
(so easy a child could do it)
Last year I made almost two grand writing book reviews during the month of November. Between this and working at a Christmas tree farm I was able to quit my job and have quite a bit of extra spending money for the holiday season. And today I’m going to show you how to do the exact same thing.
Make big money reviewing books and products online
During the holiday season there are all kinds of people who want to sell their products. And many of them are looking to hire reviewers who can give their content a positive endorsement.
Sites like Fiverr, oDesk, Craigslist and other places get swamped with people looking to buy product reviews. You can easily capitalize off this.
Between the end of October and the beginning on December is when review season is in full-swing. If you act now you can earn some serious dough.
You are now a professional book reviewer
When you hear the term literary critic, you probably envision some snooty old prude in a tweed jacket. The book’s he dissects are “dense and rich works, exploring the complexities of modern man.”
Your job is much easier, all you need to do is write a few hundred words explaining why you liked someone’s book. You’ll be using terms such as “enjoyable,” “a good read,” “fun,” and “fast paced.”
Actually you aren’t even a critic. People are paying you to say nice things about their work, not find fault with it. The day you call out The Lusty Lawmen as shlock is the same day you find yourself out of a job.
How do you know what to write?
Most customers will send you gift cards to purchase their books with, however some make you review the book without reading it. This is usually alright, since there’s typically enough material in the book’s description to formulate something.
However, there have been occasions where I was left empty-handed. In these instances, I had to do a little detective work. By analyzing the cover and being vague enough, I managed to cobble together a “review.” It was thin, but it did the job.
Do all the books suck?
Not every book is awful though. I’ve had a few orders for downright awesome reads. Whenever this happens I make sure to contact the customer and let him know that I actually enjoyed his work. Usually I’ll become his go-to guy for any future releases.
The overall quality of what you review sits around “average.” Most books aren’t terrible, but the ones that are really stick out, and there is the occasional gem as well.
What if I can’t write?!
Even if you’re a “bad” writer, you should still be able to pen a decent product review. When you write a review you aren’t producing great literature, so there’s no need to worry about your talent level. If you can produce something that’s readable, and lacks glaring typos, you’ll do fine.
For frame of reference, I’m going to show you an actual review I once wrote. Everything except the title, which I changed for legal purposes, was taken directly from what I posted on Amazon. Interestingly, the buyer later informed me that I was the best he’s ever hired. Keep that in mind while you read what I wrote:
“CYBER COMMAND does a great job combining high tech warfare with classic spy thriller elements. From the opening sequence in which America’s military raises it’s status to DEFCON 2 (something not done since the Cuban Missile Crisis), to the epic conclusion; I was enthralled.
The story is fast paced and tightly written. It reminded me of an old school Tom Clancy novel, packed with high tech military equipment and the serious threat of nuclear war.
The story follows a secret agent who must race to stop an impending war. As the story progresses the plot thickens and the tension builds. While I won’t spoil anything, I will say that there a quite a few shocking twists in the second half of the novel.
If you want to read something intense and gripping, I suggest you get a copy of CYBER COMMAND. It is exciting, smartly written, and genuinely suspenseful. I enjoyed this novel and recommend it to anyone who enjoys military thrillers and cutting edge weaponry.”
If I were in Seventh Grade again and submitted this for a book report it wouldn’t have scored above “D-.” When I was working on my CYBER COMMAND review I was so tired that I actually started drifting off to sleep as I wrote it. I was half-asleep, writing generic drivel, and I was still the best man for the job.
From browsing through some of my competitors “work” I’ve seen how low the bar really is. Most reviewers are located overseas and barely speak English. Their writings are near unreadable and often contain blatant falsehoods that instantly discredit the authenticity of their review.
I’ve seen “life changing,” “I can’t wait for the sequel,” and “best author ever” used to the point that their meanings are completely lost.
Anyone with half a brain stem could tell that the reviews are fake. At no point in history would the author of Extraterrestrial Love: touched by a martian be considered “the voice of a generation.”
How to write a product review (in five simple steps)
As long as you don’t write anything offensive, sexual, or negative about the product you’ll do perfectly well as a writer. However, if you still doubt your writing abilities, I’ve provided a simple template for authoring product reviews:
1. Header (this get’s pasted into the review’s title section)
2. Book title followed by complement (“Space Toads is a must have for any science fiction fan.”). I suggest writing three sentences worth material for this section.
3. Another compliment comparing the work to a more popular book/author in the same genre (“The Two Day Work Week is filled with helpful tips that fans of Tim Ferriss will enjoy.”).
4. Minor details about the book (“The story follows a desperate mother as she attempts to locate her lost daughter during a blizzard.”). This is a lot easier than it sounds and rarely requires picking up the actual book. Simply take something from the description and mention it in your review.
5. Conclusion/Endorsement (“I just couldn’t put it down, highly recommended.”). If you’re really lazy just write a handful of different conclusions and recycle them for every so many reviews.
The only tools you need
Since we’re writing reviews, we need some Amazon accounts. To get these we have to set up some new email addresses, register them with Amazon, and then use our personal account to send gift cards. You can get digital cards that are sent by email to the new review accounts.
I’d recommend making a new account for this job, because some of the products might be a bit embarrassing. You don’t want someone you know to see your review of Best Gay Erotica Volume Three. To spare yourself just make a new account.
To save time and money, I suggest entering your new email addresses into a Word document. This way you can’t forget them.
As I mentioned before, you’ll need to buy Amazon gift cards and send them to your other profiles. Amazon has a policy about not allowing reviews from accounts that haven’t bought anything. They also don’t allow reviews to be posted by anyone who’s first purchase occurred within the past 48 hours.
Simply purchase one $0.99 eBook per account. That way you’ll be ready to fill client orders.
Writing product reviews is a very simple way to make more money. There’s very little technical skill involved and you can crank out tons of reviews throughout the day.
I’ve personally moved on to other ventures, but I still think that this is a great starting point for new entrepreneurs who are looking to make a couple extra bucks.