She met her future husband at Yale. They married in 1972 when they were graduate students at Virginia. Three years later they moved to Los Angeles, when Martin Rubin found work teaching English literature at Caltech in Pasadena. He also became a full-time freelance book reviewer.
As a freelance book reviewer, I’ve read my fair share of books. Who am I kidding? More than my fair share. And I must confess, I don’t always like what I read. It happens.
• Quill & Quire Magazine / 2012 — Presento Freelance Book Reviewer.
I don't see a conflict of interest here. Spurr writes a freelance restaurant review column for the Chronicle Herald, and is entitled to be paid for his work. If a favourably reviewed restaurant wants to run the review on its website to promote its menu, he's also entitled to be paid. How is this any different from, say, a freelance book reviewer writing a review for the Chronicle Herald, and then turning around and selling the same review to another publication? This is how freelancers make their money? The fact that Spurr also happens to be an employee the Chronicle Herald is irrelevant.
After getting a few bylines to their name, the reviewer can then consider applying to a paying publisher for a review job. Reviewers need to explore the market before sending queries, to make sure that they find a good match for their type of reviews. Publishers come in all shapes and sizes, from small to mega publications, online and offline book, magazine, and newspaper publications. Publishers interested in freelance book reviewers can be found in writer’s markets, classified ads, and employment search engines. Writing a professional query letter that follows the publisher’s submission guidelines is essential to show serious interest and competence. Most publishers will also require a review sample to assess the quality of the reviewer’s work.You can also look through Writers Market and Sally Stuart’s Christian Writers’ Market Guide to find additional publications that feature freelance book reviews.