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If you’re a passionate reader and want to make money out of your pastime, some websites pay you to do book reviews. Other ways of making money through reading books are copy editing, proofreading, freelance content editing, and acquisitions editing. High attention to detail is required for these tasks.
Scroll down to see the 14 best ways to make money by reading books.
Table of Contents
- Key Takeaways
- Ways To Make Money By Reading Books
- 1. Use The Ebookjobs App From Google Play
- 2. Apply For A Job With Goodreads Or Link Your Reviews To Goodreads
- 3. Narrate Books for ACX
- 4. Join Spoken Realms As A Professional Narrator
- 5. Register With Fiver
- 6. Enroll As An Editor Or Freelance Reviewer With Kirkus Media
- 7. Become A Reviewer On Reedsy Discovery
- 8. Become A Reviewer For The Online Book Club
- 9. Get A Job With Publishers Weekly
- 10. Review Books For The US Review Of Books
- 11. Write Reviews For The Women’s Review Of Books
- 12. Write Book Summaries For Instaread
- 13. Become A Blinkist Affiliate Or Apply For A Vacancy
- 14. Become A Freelance Reader Or Proofreader
- Related Questions
- Writing book reviews can become a decent side hustle if you do it well.
- There are plenty of opportunities for those who can narrate audiobooks.
- Book editing and proofreading are other ways to make money reading books.
- Some places will only reward your services with free books, but many pay cash.
Ways To Make Money By Reading Books
There are many ways to make money reading books, depending on how much spare time you have and how deeply you want to get into it. Many of these require you to write reviews as short as two hundred and fifty words, but some can be as many as one and a half thousand.
Advertisers are always looking for customer feedback and people to test their publications before they are released, so there is scope for editors and proofreaders as well as reviewers. Audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular, and large companies are always looking for narrators.
1. Use The Ebookjobs App From Google Play
Ebookjobs is an app available from Google Play that pays you to read books. If you buy a book from them, you can download it and read it offline. Some books are free or on sale. You are given an opportunity to review and rate the books you read.
You have to download the app, and you need an Android device to use it.
2. Apply For A Job With Goodreads Or Link Your Reviews To Goodreads
Goodreads is the largest website for readers to review and recommend books they’ve read. Its mission is to assist people in discovering and sharing their favorite books online and promote new and existing authors. Goodreads posts job adverts on its website from time to time, and there may be vacancies for specific tasks that involve reading books, but it is against their policy to pay for reviews.
Even if Goodreads doesn’t employ you, if you get paid to write book reviews by someone else, you can link your offsite review to Goodreads to get more traffic to your blog or review website using their flash widget. You can configure the widget to add an Amazon Affiliate code, so you can make money from viewers reading your reviews.
You can become a valuable influencer on Goodreads by writing honest reviews and making friends and recommendations on the site. It’s free to join Goodreads, but you need an account. Goodreads is part of Amazon.
3. Narrate Books for ACX
Audiobook Creative Exchange of Amazon allows you to select a book out of many thousands listed on Amazon to do a narration audition. The audiobook market is snowballing, and if your audition is successful, you will get paid a per-finished hourly rate. You can also earn royalties if people buy audiobooks you have narrated.
The books you narrate become available on iTunes, Audible, and Amazon. ACX is an excellent place to get some experience under your belt and know the required standards. You can then advertise or apply for potentially higher-paying review gigs from other sites that require experienced narrators. However, you can also just stick with ACX.
4. Join Spoken Realms As A Professional Narrator
Spoken Realms puts experienced narrators looking to narrate audiobooks in touch with indie authors, small presses, and other clients. It produces audiobooks in-house using its approved storytellers.
It helps if you have completed narration projects for one of the big five book publishers, i.e., Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, or Hachette. They will also consider you if you are an experienced podcaster, professional actor, or have completed ten or more narration projects on ACX.
5. Register With Fiver
Fiver is a place where thousands of freelancers with different skills and expertise advertise their services and prices. If you have some narration experience, e.g., through ACX or another platform, you can offer to narrate audiobooks.
There are various genres, e.g., children’s books, adult fiction, business books, and Kindle novels, you can write on. You can also advertise British English accents, American English accents, Irish or Italian accents for the narration of audiobooks. It’s entirely up to you.
You can advertise your services as a copy editor or proofreader if you have experience in these areas.
6. Enroll As An Editor Or Freelance Reviewer With Kirkus Media
Kirkus Media often looks for experienced book reviewers of English and Spanish titles to review for Kirkus Indie. This section of the book review magazine is devoted to self-published authors, and three-hundred and fifty-word book reviews are required two weeks after they have assigned the book to you.
You are required to submit a resume, samples of your writing, and a list of any reviewing areas you specialize in to the Kirkus Indie editor. Kirkus has a book editing division that uses experienced and test qualified editors who have worked on books published by the top five US publishers.
It also uses editors who have worked for independent, award-winning presses such as Abrams, Graywolf, and Kensington. If you have this kind of experience, be on the lookout for gigs at Kirkus.
7. Become A Reviewer On Reedsy Discovery
Reedsy allows you free access to hundreds of books before they are published if you become a reviewer. You can post written or video reviews on their Discovery site and get paid tips for your book reviews from readers who appreciate them. Readers can choose to send you one dollar, three dollar, or five-dollar tips.
Authors may contact you directly with a review request if you build up a following and reputation as a reliable reviewer. You will make more tips as your number of followers increases. You can also link your existing book review blog to Reedsy Discovery to direct more traffic to your website.
You are required to write your opinion of the book you’ve read for others to read and decide if they want to purchase it. The pay is highly variable, depending on the number of words you must write in your review – usually between three-hundred and fifty to one thousand five-hundred words.
8. Become A Reviewer For The Online Book Club
The Online Book Club sends you a book to read for free in exchange for an honest review. If you become eligible for paid review opportunities after your first review, you will continue to get the books for free and can, in addition, be paid between five and sixty dollars for each review.
This is a good way of earning a little extra for reading books, but they warn you that you shouldn’t quit your day job anytime soon. You sign up by submitting your email address.
9. Get A Job With Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly often advertises for book reviewers, editors, and copy editors on their career page. It is a weekly magazine with a focus on book publishing. They pay reviewers an honorarium but don’t state how much it is on their website. Reviewers would be required to review a wide variety of both self-published and commercially published books, including fiction, graphic novels, and non-fiction.
You will need to watch the job zone section of their website for book reviewing and related jobs. If you can demonstrate some solid experience in the field, this helps.
10. Review Books For The US Review Of Books
The US Review of Books put authors in touch with professional book reviewers. It has more than twenty thousand subscribers, and these reviews are presented to them in its free monthly newsletter. Non-fiction and fiction books are reviewed.
It also publishes reviews of books on its website together with the reviewer’s name. The reviews are usually between two hundred and fifty and three hundred words, and they pay you monthly for completed reviews. Reviews have to be written according to strict guidelines.
They present a reviewer with a list of books to choose from, and titles are assigned on a best-fit basis and the order of reviewer requests for that book. The review must summarize the book and reveal the reviewer’s insights from the reading. An indication of their review requirements can be found here.
If you want to become a freelance reviewer for them, you contact the editor with a resume, a sample of your work, and two professional references via email. You can also become a guest blogger for them.
11. Write Reviews For The Women’s Review Of Books
The Women’s Review Of Books has been going since 1983 and reviews fiction, poetry, graphic novels, and memoirs, usually written by women. They review a diverse array of books in different styles, fields, and genres in each issue. It is a publication of the Wellesley Centers For Women.
Wellesley Centers For Women is an NGO that aims to advance gender equality, human wellbeing, and social justice. Their motto is “a world that is good for women is good for everyone”. If you are interested in writing reviews, you can contact the editor of Women’s Review of Books here.
12. Write Book Summaries For Instaread
Instaread summarizes the critical points of books in various genres, including fiction and non-fiction. They also cover subjects like health and fitness, self-help, politics, science, and religion. It advertises periodically for professional readers with the skill to summarize and analyze the content of books and provide a condensed version for their users.
It offers a mobile app that provides pithy fifteen-minute summaries of various books. In a 2018 advert on Bookjobs, Instaread was offering freelance writers seven hundred dollars per book report. It states that writers would be paid to produce a report using its four-thousand-word template on each book’s key concepts and insights.
Writers are required to summarize concepts and arguments in an engaging and distinct way. They point out that to offer context and analysis, writers may have to engage in independent research. Deadlines are weekly – in other words, one book report per week. The job posting is ongoing, so it’s worth checking it out.
13. Become A Blinkist Affiliate Or Apply For A Vacancy
Blinkist is a company that creates compact summaries of books and podcasts that subscribers can read or listen to on their phones. A book summary lasts around fifteen minutes and is called a Blink. The Blinkist app is available on Google Play and has over five thousand summaries in its library.
The company reviews applications to become a Partner with reference to whether you have a website, the quality of the content on your website, and the promotional methods you use. You can become a Blinkist Affiliate and earn commission by referring your followers to the app. So, for instance, if you have a book review website or other social media site, you can direct your audience to Blinkist books.
You can become a freelance writer for Blinkist when they are advertising. They generally look for two or more years of experience in professional copywriting, creative writing, or journalism and an ability to read, write and speak English at the C2 level. If you have academic expertise in a particular field like psychology, business science, economics, or science, this also helps.
14. Become A Freelance Reader Or Proofreader
Literary agents are usually swamped with manuscripts they can never get to, so they engage freelance readers to do the job. It is comparable to doing a book report. You read the manuscript and write a two or three-page report on it and make a recommendation on whether the agency should take it on and represent the writer or not.
In the report, you briefly describe the plot, main characters, symbolism of the book, and any hidden messages. You can expect to earn around twenty-five to thirty dollars an hour when starting out. This is the same rate as for a proofreader.
A proofreader is often a copy-editor and can work remotely part-time or full-time. You are looking for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors and focusing on the writing quality. Proofreaders correct formatting errors, wordiness, sentence structure, and redundancies.
Having seen some of the ways you can make money by reading books, you probably have a few questions on how to go about it and what it pays.
If you are a skilled and experienced reviewer, you could be invited to read books with Amazon Vine. It’s not something you apply for, but it could be a feather in your cap when advertising your review services elsewhere. You can either turn reading books into a full-time job or as a way of making a bit of side money, so the income varies significantly.
Amateur book reviewers can get paid up to thirty dollars a book, while a more experienced one could be paid one hundred dollars per book. Narrators can earn quite a bit more, between one and three hundred dollars per finished hour, excluding royalties. If you belong to the union SAG-AFTRA, you make a minimum of two hundred and twenty-five dollars an hour.
You can become a freelance reader to assist publishers and literary management agencies in screening the hundreds of manuscripts they receive each week. The pay for freelance readers varies between twenty-five and one hundred dollars an hour. Some places pay book reviewers in cents per word rather than per book.
This isn’t a good idea if you want to make a reputation for yourself as a reviewer. In any event, many of these publishers insist on original reviews and won’t accept ones you’ve already done for other publications. You generally have to submit samples of written reviews you’ve already done so they can get an idea of your writing style.
If you haven’t previously written any published reviews, you can do reviews of a couple of books you’ve recently read to send in as samples.
If you have your eye on a particular publication you want to write for, it’s best to ask for a copy of their specific writing standards. You can also learn by reading other book reviews in that publication to get an idea of what they want. Some websites like BookTrust, The Writing Center, and Reedsy give you general tips on writing book reviews.