13 Ways To Make Money By Reading Books

Did you know that you can get paid to read books? Yes, that’s right – if you are a bookworm and love reading and learning new things, you can get paid for simply reading books.

I’m not saying you can earn a full-time income from simply reading without putting any additional work in. While you can sometimes turn a book reading hobby into a full-time career, many of the methods I list in this article are good for some extra pocket money or a small part-time income.

Nevertheless, if you enjoy reading, this article is for you, so read on to learn how you can make money by reading.

The short version: You can make money by writing reviews or being a beta book reader. If you want something that you can turn into a career, look into audiobook narration, editing, proofreading, or becoming a literary agent.

Read on for the details!

Ways to Make Money by Reading Books

1. Be a Beta Book Reader and Provide Feedback to Authors

One of the best ways to turn your reading hobby into a money-making opportunity is to be a beta book reader. Beta book readers help unpublished authors by reading their books and providing honest feedback.

An author who is about to publish their book might be hesitant to do so, as they don’t yet know how it will be received by their target audience. You can read their book and provide feedback, giving them a chance to refine their book before finally publishing it.

There are a few ways to get started with this. One option is to join a site like Fiverr and advertise to be a beta book reader, allowing people to contact you when they need feedback about their books.

For inspiration, check out these beta reader services on Fiverr.

Here are some tips I recommend if you want to be successful:

  • Specialize in certain genres, such as autobiographies, children’s books, or sci-fi novels.
  • Start with low prices until you build up your profile and get good reviews, as Fiverr can be quite competitive.
  • Offer helpful and constructive feedback. Don’t just talk about the things you didn’t like but offer suggestions on how they can improve.

Another option is joining Upwork and searching for jobs that involve beta book reading. Look for job posts that ask for feedback on books, using keywords such as “beta book reader” or “feedback on book.”

2. Become a Book Reviewer

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A book reviewer is a bit different from a beta reader. A beta reader focuses on unpublished books or books that are still works in progress and offers feedback on how the author can improve.

On the other hand, as a book reviewer, you will be reviewing published books – often newly-published ones.

The author can then feature your review on their portfolio or sites like Amazon.

As a book reviewer, you’re offering your honest feedback about your experience reading the book, what you enjoyed about it, and what you didn’t. The purpose is to help potential readers determine whether the book is worth their time, not to help the author refine their book.

So, how can you become a book reviewer? Usually, you can search job postings from magazines, newspapers, or book review sites that are looking for professional book reviewers, but you might need certain qualifications.

For example, Kirkus Media is searching for freelance book reviewers to write book reviews of around 350 words each. You can check out the Kirkus Media Careers page for updated information about this opportunity.

Other magazines, especially those that focus exclusively on book reviews, may be looking for full-time hires as opposed to freelance contractors.

Fortunately, there are also a few sites you can join as a book reviewer on a freelance basis. These sites connect authors with book reviewers and can pay anywhere from $5 to $75 for a book review, although something like $15-30 is probably more common.

Here are a few of them.

Also Read: Best Z-library Alternatives

The US Review of Books

The US Review of Books pays reviewers to write 250-300 word reviews, which are published on The US Review of Books site (the authors can republish your review on their own sites).

To apply, write to editor@theUSReview.com with your resume, samples of your work, and at least two professional references.

In your review, you will be expected to talk about your insights and opinions, compare the book to other books you’ve read, and assign the book a rating.

Book titles are posted from time to time, and while there’s no guarantee you will get consistent work, it’s a nice opportunity on the side.

It pays its reviewers once a month via check. See more information about becoming a reviewer for The US Review of Books here.

Online Book Club

Online Book Club is a similar site that will publish your review of books. It will also provide you with the books for free!

Reviews typically pay $5-60 each. You will be eligible to get paid after your first approved review.

Apply by entering your email address on this page.

Also Read: Best Goodreads Alternatives

BookBrowse

BookBrowse is a book review and recommendation site that pays its reviewers a small fee for

writing book reviews. You can expect to get around one review task per month if you are accepted as a reviewer, with a modest payout as a reward.

You can apply here by entering your details and including two samples of reviews you have written. You can write these samples from scratch if you are new to the book reviewing industry.

Reedsy

Reedsy is a bit different, as it operates on a tip basis.

As a reviewer on Reedsy, you can review books and access them before they are officially published. When they go live, your review will be published on the Reedsy discovery page, which readers use to find recommended books.

If an author likes your review, they can tip you a small amount as an appreciation, such as $3 or $5. If you write thorough and thoughtful reviews, you are more likely to get tipped.

You can apply to be a Reedsy reviewer here.

Check Out: Best Print On Demand Book Companies

Booklist

Booklist is also a bit different in that its target audience consists of public and school library workers who are interested in finding books that are worth buying for their respective libraries.

That means that when you are writing a review, you have to keep the target audience in mind. It doesn’t matter as much if you personally liked the review – if the book would help students in a school or other people who take out books from public libraries, you could recommend it.

The reviews are also shorter – around 150–175 words. That’s because they are put into curated lists of recommended books.

While you don’t need a library degree or experience working in a library, you should have some experience with libraries. You can learn more about applying and check if applications are open here (applications open from time to time when Booklist needs more reviewers).

3. Write Reviews for Books on Amazon

Another way to make money by reading books is to write reviews for books on Amazon. Unlike professional book reviews, these reviews are mostly meant to build up a seller’s profile on Amazon and increase visibility for their product pages.

Typically, you will have to purchase the book upfront, but you will be reimbursed once you write the review. You may be reviewing ebooks or hardcover books.

Dog Eared Reviews is a site that connects Amazon booksellers with verified Amazon reviewers. It pays $8 per review, plus reimbursement of the book cost (you will have to buy the book upfront with your own funds).

You can sign up here with your name, email address, city, state, and the types of books you don’t want to read. Each review must be thoughtful and contain at least 250 words, and it must get approval before you post it to Amazon.

Minor spelling and grammar mistakes are actually okay if you write for Dog Eared Reviews, and this is one thing that sets these kinds of reviews apart from professional book reviews.

However, depending on who you are working with, they may not accept reviews with spelling mistakes.

Sometimes, these opportunities come by word-of-mouth. You can also sell these kinds of services on Fiverr.

You can expect to get paid $5-10 per review, on average, depending on who you are working with. While that might not seem like a lot of money, if you enjoy reading, it’s a good opportunity – the actual review usually only takes a few minutes to write, as you’re just writing your honest thoughts.

4. Proofread Books

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Another option is to edit or proofread books for a living. You can work as a freelance book editor or proofreader, allowing you to work on your own schedule.

Editing and proofreading are similar services, but they’re not the same thing. An editor does a more in-depth review, helping the author refine the flow of the book, improve the overall ideas in the book, work on language choice and sentence construction, etc.

A proofreader is a more basic editor that corrects things like grammar and spelling mistakes, inconsistencies, etc. You can offer both editing and proofreading (proofreading typically comes after editing) or both.

Again, there are multiple options here. You can advertise on Fiverr or look for freelance proofreading jobs on Upwork or on other job boards.

Alternatively, you can create your own site and use that to attract clients, utilizing other methods like cold emailing to get leads.

Finally, there are full-time or part-time editing and proofreading positions that pay a fixed hourly salary, but these are usually more time and labor-intensive, so it’s not as fun as being a freelance editor or proofreader.

Also Read: Best Book bolt Alternatives

5. Become a Book Narrator

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Do you have a good voice? Whether or not you have experience as a voice over artist, you can narrate books for audiobooks and get paid.

As a book narrator, you will be reading books out loud, and your narration will be turned into an audiobook that people can listen to.

There are multiple sites that you can join to get paid as a book narrator.

Following are two sites.

Note that in addition to these two sites, you can also advertise on Fiverr or find narration jobs on Upwork. In addition, there are other sites that sometimes accept applications; for example, check the Bunny Studio freelancer page to see if applications are currently open.

ACX

ACX is short for Audiobook Creation Exchange. It’s an online marketplace, launched by Audible (Amazon’s audiobook marketplace) that connects people who want audiobooks created with narrators.

You can sign up as a narrator, create a profile, upload samples of your voice overs for different genres or in different accents, and start auditioning for audiobook narration jobs by uploading short introduction samples for each audiobook you’re auditioning for.

If you are accepted, you can negotiate on the rate. You can either charge per hour or share the royalties the audiobook owner will earn when the book sells on Audible, Amazon, or iTunes (you can also do both).

For more information on how to sign up, check out this page.

Findaway Voices

Findaway Voices is an audiobook creation platform owned by Spotify. As a narrator, you can create a profile and select appropriate tags, such as the types of genres or voice tones you specialize in.

People who need narrators for audiobooks can find you via those tags and hire you. It’s free to create an account.

Sign up on the narrator page.

6. Become a Literary Agent

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A literary agent represents aspiring authors who want to get published. As a literary agent, you will connect authors to publishers who might offer them publishing deals.

As part of your job, you will, of course, be reviewing their books. However, being a literary agent involves a lot more than just reading, as it requires a lot of research and good sales and people skills.

Usually, you will earn royalties off the future sales of the book if you manage to help a writer land a successful deal. This is typically 15% – that is the standard in the industry, but it can vary.

Becoming a literary agent requires a lot of networking and people skills. Starting as an intern to an established literary agent is always a good way to get your foot in the door.

Eventually, you can start your own literary agency and advertise online or in writer magazines and publications.

7. Start a Book Review Website or YouTube Channel

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Another way to make money is by starting a blog or YouTube channel in which you discuss books. A lot of people rely on book review blogs to help them find new books to read, and if you attract a good fan base, there will be many ways to monetize your blog or YouTube channel.

Here are some ideas:

  • Earn affiliate commission by promoting Amazon books.
  • Display ads on your site via Google’s ad network and earn per click.
  • Get paid by authors to publish reviews on your site (make sure to maintain your integrity by only recommending books you actually enjoy).

It takes time to build up a reader or follower base, so this is more of a long-term strategy. However, it could turn into a nice source of passive income.

8. Join the BookTok and Bookstagram Communities

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BookTok is a term for the community of book lovers on TikTok. Similarly, Bookstagram is a term for Instagram influencers who love talking about books.

On TikTok, you can create short videos talking about books you enjoyed. Go into the details, such as why you chose the book, how it measured up to your expectations, what you liked about it, and whether you recommend it to others.

Do more than just book reviews, though. Post vlogs of going to the library to find books or spending time in old thrift stores that sell used books.

As you gain a follower base, you can start monetizing your audience by recommending books and earning affiliate commissions. You can also get paid by authors for recommending books.

9. Write Book Summaries

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Instead of writing book reviews, you can start a blog or service that writes book summaries.

A lot of people want to read books but don’t have time to read the entire book. Usually, they have two options: listen to an audiobook version of the book, which also requires time, or read a short book summary that summarizes the main points of the book.

Book summaries can be just a few paragraphs or a few pages long. There are many ways to monetize a book summary blog, just like you can monetize a book review blog. However, you can also charge a premium membership fee for exclusive book summaries.

Here are two possible ideas.

The first is to offer short book summaries of a few paragraphs for free, while charging a membership fee for access to the longer book summaries that are a few pages long.

The shorter book summaries could offer a small window into what the book is about, while the longer summaries, while significantly shorter than the book itself, could provide a synopsis of the more important details in the book.

Another option is offering a limited selection of book summaries for free while charging for the rest.

Book summaries work best for self-help books, instructional books, etc., as they allow the reader to glean the main points of advice from the book without spending hours reading it.

Also Read: Storygraph vs Goodreads

10. Start a Book Discussion Podcast

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Yet another option is starting a book discussion podcast. You can talk in-depth about books you’ve read and even provide a number, so readers can call in and offer their own thoughts, turning your podcast into more of a talk-show kind of thing.

You can also invite fellow bookworms to discuss books with you and allow live-time chat via Discord or another app.

Publish the podcasts to your website or platforms like SoundCloud. You can monetize your podcast site by selling or recommending books.

11. Read Books for Booksta

Booksta is an interesting site that will pay you virtual coins for reading books. One Booksta coin is the equivalent of $, and you typically get one coin per book you read.

There are plans to turn Booksta coins into a digital currency that operates on a blockchain, but for now, you can use the coins to donate to charity or for coupons.

Booksta tracks your reading via the app and asks you questions about the books you read to ensure you have really read the book. You won’t earn your coins without answering the questions correctly.

12. Translate Books

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Another option is translating books. If you are fluent in more than one language, you can translate books as you read them.

You must be truly fluent in both languages, as if you only speak a second language enough to be conversational, you will likely get stumped when it comes to harder words or phrases. Translating also requires a good understanding of nuances, slang words, and idiomatic expressions.

If you have a degree in another language, it’s even better, but it’s not always required. If you are a native speaker or truly fluent, it is enough.

To become a translator, advertise on Fiverr or find translation jobs on Upwork. You can also join Translate.com as an editor, in which you will be translating documents or editing machine-generated translations to ensure they are correct (although not all documents are books).

13. Start a Book Club

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Finally, you can start an in-person book club. During your club meetings, you can read a book together or discuss a book you have all recently read.

For example, your club can read one book every two weeks and meet bi-weekly to have fun and discuss the book.

You can charge a small monthly fee, like $5 or $10, to monetize the club. Explain that you need to justify the time spent in organizing and hosting events – you will likely be providing small refreshments, for example.

If you will be lending out books, you can also charge a small fee for each book you lend out, such as $1. It is a lot cheaper than buying a book, and you can have less restrictive requirements than a library or offer books that can’t necessarily be found in the local library.

This works well when you already own a lot of books.

Wrapping It Up

There are many ways to make money from reading books.

From sites that pay you to write reviews to starting a career in book editing or translation, there are many options available to earn an income by doing what you love.

I hope you enjoyed this article and use the advice here to turn your hobby into an income stream!

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.