“Everybody knows how reviews work”

If you’ve ever wondered what working for the tech press is like or suspect that PR people use bungs to get good coverage, you might find this interesting.

If you’re reviewing something that’s problematic – perhaps there are clashes with drivers on your computer, or some weird issue you’ve discovered – what happens next? If you spend time tinkering, and calling technical support, and it runs to two days, then you’ve made £80 for sixteen hours work. That’s not even minimum wage – and that’s the biggest reason why there are errors with reviews.

You might have 350 words (or 750, for just under £200) to explain a product, to get over the idea of what it does, and why it might or might not be worth a look, and you need to get it done fairly swiftly, if you’re actually going to come out ahead, or you’d be better off flipping burgers.

4 thoughts on ““Everybody knows how reviews work”

  1. Nigel says:

    The rates are at the upper end, I’d say; I based them on the figures I’d get for writing for the now-closed PCW, and I was fortunate enough to be one of their well-used freelances, and paid a little more than some of the others.

    So, yes, rates elsewhere are probably lower, and as has been mentioned by some commenters, a lot lower, especially for online. You’ll also typically be paid less if you’re starting out in the business, too, or if a particular title doesn’t know you so well.

    Even with the rates PCW used to pay, I’d consider it hard to make a decent living from reviews alone. I felt, though, that it would be best to give example rates based on a recently closed title, rather than one for which I still work, lest I end up starting some unseemly squabble between commissioning editors and freelances over relative amounts of pay.

    Still, I’m glad so many people seem to find it an interesting read.

  2. Gary says:

    Hi Nigel, thanks for sticking your head round. I think you’re right: even at the upper end of the scale reviewing isn’t going to cover the bills by itself.

    > lest I end up starting some unseemly squabble between commissioning editors and freelances

    Haha, yes.

Comments are closed.