Let’s be real: it’s not like anyone writes PW reviews for the money. Factor in the labor of actually reading the book, then rereading it as you write your review in order to cite page numbers, and you realize you’re making literally pennies an hour. No, people — typically, people who work in publishing — write PW reviews for the thrilling possibility of seeing their blurb on a cover, for the chance to (maybe) sway the tenor of reviews that might appear later in other publications, or just for the fun of getting free galleys now and then.
So it’s not like PW reviewers will starve now because the rate they’re being paid is being slashed by 50%. But it still sorta sucks. “However, you will be credited as a contributor in issues where your reviews appear,” reassures reviews director Louisa Ermelino in the email she sent contributors announcing the change. Also, she writes that “all of us here are also experiencing change but we expect that we will continue to be the gold standard in book reviewing.”
Yup, no one writes PW reviews for the money. However, expecting to get more than what you pay for, as a business strategy, might be sorta flawed.