PW Cuts Reviewer Fee

Critical Mass reports a National Book Critics Circle member received this letter from Publishers Weekly’s reviews editor announcing pay rates are being cut in half:

Dear Reviewer,

We are under constraints to reduce our expenses and must reduce the fee we pay to reviewers. Any reviews assigned after June 15 will be billed at $25 per review. However, you will be credited as a contributor in issues where your reviews appear. Please know that we value the work you do for us. Your astute reading and writing are what make our magazine so valuable in the industry and we regret this necessary action. All of us here are also experiencing change but we expect that we will continue to be the gold standard in book reviewing.

Interestingly, not long ago PW put out a call for more reviewers. Michael Scharf, PW Fiction Reviews Editor, blogged on May 13 that they received over a thousand applications. And this, in response to an online ad that didn’t even mention a pay rate. It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to make the connection. PW thinks it will have no problem finding people to write reviews at the reduced rate.

Isn’t that the Internet’s usual deal-with-the-Devil – the lure of a big audience, but good luck making any money on your writing? I predict some of these applicants will be surprised when they don’t have to pay PW to get published. (Oops, forget I mentioned that.)

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the tip.]

4 thoughts on “PW Cuts Reviewer Fee

  1. It’s OK Mike, they’ do just fine from the huge appearance fees they get from being on panel at Worldcon.

  2. That one was for Kevin, who occasionally gets tired of being asked about the vast fortune he obviously made by chairing a Worldcon.

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