If you want to turn your passion for reading into extra cash or even a full time income, it is very possible to get paid to read books. Make money reading books with the suggestions on this page.
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Follow your passion and the money will come.
I’ve heard that hundreds of times. Optimistic parents, guidance counselors, motivational speakers, and others say that like it’s a fact.
I don’t think it’s true for everyone, but sometimes it applies.
Take passionate readers, for example.
It’s entirely possible for book lovers to make money following their passion for reading.
You will not get rich overnight with these gigs.
But if you’ve always wished you could earn money doing something you love and you love reading, you can get paid to read books to make some extra money or work towards a new career.
7 Ways to Make Money Reading Books
If you love to read, there are several opportunities for you to get paid to read books.
Some are best suited for side hustlers looking for a little extra money. Others are potentially lucrative and could turn into a full time business.
Here are several ideas to help you turn your love of books into cash:
Here’s a good side hustle for people who like to read: proofreading.
Publishers, independent authors, and anyone who writes anything for public consumption need skilled proofreaders. That includes fiction and non-fiction.
Proofreading requires meticulous attention to detail. Proofreaders also need thorough knowledge of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
If you don’t have a lot of experience or samples of your work, potential clients might ask you to take a test or proofread a sample document for them.
You can work from home, from your favorite coffee shop, or anywhere you have access to Wi-Fi. There are no set hours, but there are deadlines. Freelance proofreaders on Upwork charge between $30 and $40 an hour.
👉 If you’re interested in starting a thriving work at home proofreading business, check out this free workshop where you can learn all the skills you need to become a proofreader and land your first client. Sign up for free right now!
Copyediting is a bit more specialized than proofreading. Besides fixing typos and correcting spelling, copyeditors make more substantial edits.
A good copyeditor will address style, formatting, clarity, and flow in addition to grammar. You might also do some fact checking or suggest changes that make the writing more readable.
Pay rates for freelance copyeditors vary based on the type of editing required and other factors related to each job. Clients might pay you per word, per page, per hour, or a flat rate. The Editorial Freelancers Association suggests the going rate is between $30 and $60 an hour for editing work, depending on the type.
If you’re interested in a career as a copyeditor or want to start your own freelance copyediting business, you might want to pursue a copyediting certificate. A certificate adds credibility and could help you get your foot in the door if you’re just starting out. You’ll also strengthen your existing skills and likely learn new ones.
Several colleges, universities, and professional organizations offer copywriting certificate programs. There are both online and in person courses available. Here are a few to look into:
Translating written works from one language to another could be a good side gig for someone who loves to read and is bilingual. Fiction and non-fiction books alike get translated into multiple languages to help authors and publishers reach a wider audience and break into new markets.
To make money translating books and other written works, you’ll need a thorough understanding of at least two languages. Two semesters of high school Spanish will not cut it. If you grew up in a bilingual household, though, your skills could be in high demand.
Based on the type of material, you might also need some knowledge of idioms, slang, technical terms, and cultural differences to ensure that your translation reads well.
The pay varies widely and finding steady work can be a challenge as many translation jobs for books and other written materials are one-off gigs.
You can post on Upwork or Fiverr to attract clients, but there are also translation agencies that connect translators with customers. In addition to books, many translation agencies handle online content like blog posts, sales pages, and email newsletters. These agencies take a cut, but you get access to translation jobs you wouldn’t be able to get on your own.
Agencies will generally require a fluency test before working with you. Certification from the American Translators Association may let you bypass any fluency tests or earn higher rates. Translators who pass an ATA examination are certified in a specific language pair and direction (from or into English).
Pay rates for translation jobs fall into a wide range. You may get paid per word, per page, hourly, or a flat rate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median pay for translators at $49,930 per year or $24 per hour as of May 2018.
Learn more about working as a translator here: How to Become a Freelance Translator
If you can speak clearly and you have a pleasant voice, you can make money narrating audiobooks. You’ll get paid to read books aloud cover to cover. It’s a good side hustle for book lovers, the pay is decent, and there aren’t a lot of startup costs or ongoing expenses.
Writers don’t want to miss out on more exposure and an extra stream of revenue. They’ll often hire someone to narrate their books so they can be sold on popular audiobook marketplaces including Amazon, Audible and iTunes.
You don’t need formal vocal training or a background in acting to find work as an audiobook narrator. Voice training and acting experience could certainly help, but they’re not a requirement. All you really need to get started is:
As with most freelance gigs, the pay varies. You might make $25 for a short children’s book or you might make hundreds for a 6-10 hour audiobook.
To score a higher paying gig, have a look at Amazon’s Audiobook Creative Exchange (AXC). The site connects audiobook narrators with authors. You can choose either an hourly rate or a percentage of the royalties from sales.
Best-selling fiction writers are great at telling a riveting tale. Successful non-fiction authors are highly skilled at explaining things in an easy-to-understand way.
Where both fiction and non-fiction writers might come up a little short on talent is in getting their work ready for selling in ebook form.
There are many frustrating technical challenges that come with producing ebooks. For example, the most popular ebook reader (Kindle) doesn’t support the most popular ebook format (EPUB).
Rather than fuss with creating a clickable table of contents or making sure images align properly, many authors would rather pay someone to handle the technical stuff.
That’s where you come in.
You can offer your ebook conversion services. You get paid while authors get to focus on their writing.
You might receive a Word doc then then convert it to popular ebook formats like MOBI for Kindle and EPUB for other platforms, making sure margins, spacing, and images look good. HTML and image editing skills as well as familiarity with apps like Word, InDesign, and Calibre are good to have.
Pay rates for ebook conversion services vary based on the author’s requirements. I’ve seen fees for ebook conversion services ranging anywhere from $15 for a short, very basic document to $250 for complex technical manuals or image heavy works.
Another way to get paid to read books is to become a reviewer. If you love to read and are willing to share your honest opinions, reviewing might be the perfect side gig. You’ll have to dig deeper than I did for my sixth grade book report on The Red Badge of Courage (hated it), but that shouldn’t be a problem for someone who genuinely enjoys reading books of all types.
You’ll provide summaries, opinion, and your unique insights. You’ll also be supplying book review websites with content, helping authors gain publicity, helping your fellow readers, and you’ll get paid for your efforts.
Book review websites often hire freelancers to write reviews. Each review site has its own style and requirements.
Some are looking for more established reviewers to write thorough criticism. Others are looking for honest reviews from passionate fans of a particular genre.
Most sites will want to know what types of books you enjoy reading and see at least 1 sample review. A couple ask for resumes or a summary of your credentials.
Before contacting any of the sites below, read as many of their reviews as you can to get a sense of their style and standards. That will help you decide if you’re a good fit.
Online Book Club is a popular book review website that pays reviewers $5 to $60 per review. You won’t get paid for your first review, but you get a free book. You’re eligible for paid reviews after they have accepted your first review.
The process for signing up as an Online Book Club book reviewer is straightforward. Create a username, choose the type of books you like to read, and provide your PayPal email address. Once you’re signed up, you can look through the list of books waiting for reviews.
Online Book Club looks for honest reviews with a summary of the book, your thoughts on it, and a star rating from 1 to 4. You’re also assigned a reviewer score based on factors including the quality of your work and how many views your reviews get. For every 30 reviews you provide, you get a $25 Amazon gift card.
The US Review of Books hires freelancers to write book reviews for their website. Their tagline is “Professional Reviews for the People” so that should give you an idea of the quality they’re aiming for.
The US Review of Books does not randomly assign reviews to freelancers. They post a list of book titles up for review. Reviewers can submit their preferences. Assignments are handed out in order of request and based on whether you’re a good fit based on your experience, interests, and background.
A standard review runs 250-300 words and copy conforms to the Chicago Manual of Style. You’ll have 2 to 3 weeks to complete your review.
Reviewers get paid monthly by check for all reviews completed during the previous month. Check out some of their book reviews and if you’d like to pursue the opportunity, apply to write reviews for the US Review of Books.
BookBrowse is an online magazine for book lovers that seeks and recommends the best in fiction and nonfiction titles. They only feature books they consider enjoyable to read.
They pay $50 for reviews of about 600 words. You’ll also write a “Beyond the Book” article that dives deeper into one interesting aspect of the book as a companion to your review.
To write book reviews for BookBrowse, you’ll need 2 sample book reviews of at least 300 words. You’ll also have to fill out a short form with some basic information about you. Visit this page to apply: Becoming a Reviewer for BookBrowse
Kirkus Reviews is a well known and highly respected source of book reviews and services for authors. They’re looking for freelance book reviewers to write reviews of English and Spanish language titles covering almost every genre.
Reviews are about 350 words long. Your review is due two weeks after you’re assigned a book.
To apply, check the careers page on KirkusReviews.com for instructions.
The American Library Association publishes Booklist, a book review magazine that aims to help librarians and readers select books. Booklist reviews fiction, nonfiction, and young adult titles, as well as audiobooks and DVDs.
Booklist publishes approximately 8,000 book reviews per year. In order to maintain that kind of publishing volume, they do accept work from freelance book reviewers.
Standard reviews can be up to 175 words. If the book is outstanding, reviews can be up to 225 words with an editor’s approval. That’s obviously not a lengthy review, which is why Booklist bills its reviews as “the haiku of book reviewing.”
Booklist pays $15 per review and $5 for a rejected review. If you’d like to become a freelance book reviewer for Booklist, familiarize yourself with the guidelines then contact the appropriate editor with samples of your writing. Get started here: Writing for Booklist
The Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College publishes the Women’s Review of Books, which provides in-depth reviews of books by and about women. The types of books WRB reviews include scholarly works, fiction, poetry, and memoirs by women.
Academics, journalists, and experienced reviewers contribute most of the reviews. The compensation is $100 per review.
If you would like to write book reviews for the Women’s Review of Books, follow the guidelines for emailing your pitch on this page: Writing for Women’s Review of Books
Writerful Books provides a number of services for indie authors and they publish book reviews on their website. They look for passionate readers to write insightful reviews of books in their favorite genre.
Writerful Books pays $10 to $50 per review depending on how comprehensive the review is. The reviewer who publishes the most quality reviews also gets a $100 Amazon gift card.
If you want to write reviews for Writerful Books and get paid to read books, check out the guidelines and apply here: Paid Book Reviewers Wanted
Publisher’s Weekly is a weekly news magazine that bills itself as “the bible of the book business.” They publish industry news, interviews, and book reviews across a wide range of genres.
Book reviews appear in advance of a book’s publication and average around 200 words. They have a database of reviews available to subscribers going back to 1987 so your work will potentially get a lot of exposure.
To write reviews for Publisher’s Weekly, you’ll need a resume, examples of your past work, and a sample review of a recently published book. They’re not currently looking for book reviewers, but keep an eye on their jobs page.
Any Subject Books pays for honest reviews from freelance book reviewers. They aren’t currently looking for book reviewers, but here’s how they operate:
To promote objectivity in their reviews, they have a review form which asks you to assess things like plot, character development, style, and other elements. The form exists to standardize reviews, not to stifle you or prompt you to write a favorable review.
Once your application is accepted, they’ll contact you with a book they’d like reviewed in a genre you’re familiar with. The assignment will come with a short summary of the book.
If you accept the assignment, read the book then complete their review form with your thoughts and analysis. The due date will be agreed upon by both parties. Pay varies depending on a number of factors including the word count of the book being reviewed.
The site looks dead, but keep an eye on this page in case they resume offering freelance book review opportunities: Book Reviewers Wanted