get paid to read books
Updated December 30, 2020

Living the Dream: How to Get Paid to Read Books Online

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Many people dream of making money from doing what they love. If you enjoy reading above anything else, you may be wondering if you can earn an income from your hobby.

The answer is yes. There are many ways to get paid to read books.

Some options offer the possibility of full-time careers while others are ideal for part-time gigs.

Depending on the type of work involved, some companies offer cash while others reward you with free books.

While cash may be preferred by many, if you buy books frequently, getting free books will help you to save lots of money each month.

Let us first look at some of the full-time online jobs for book lovers. These ensure you get paid to read on a consistent basis.

6 Jobs that Allow Book Lovers to Get Paid to Read Books

Copyediting

Every book that gets published needs to go through a copyediting process. Both major and smaller publishers require copyeditors, and many of them outsource the work.

You can, therefore, work comfortably from home, a café or anywhere there is an Internet connection.

If you have no experience with copyediting, you will need to at least show you have excellent spelling and grammar skills.

If this is the career you want to pursue, you should seriously consider studying for a copyediting certificate. This training is usually offered online.

Your duties will vary depending on who hires you, but you may have to do more than just check for typos.

Researching historical facts, dates, and the source of information may be necessary in some cases. It helps if you’re editing books that revolve around industries or locations with which you’re familiar.

Pay rates can vary widely. However, the Editorial Freelancers Association suggests charging $30 to $40 per hour for basic copyediting.

Editing

If you have experience and know where to look, you can land a salaried editing job. However, smaller publishing houses tend to be more willing to hire remote editors.

This means you can get paid to read books for clients pretty much anywhere in the world. Keep an eye on the careers pages of your favorite publishers’ websites.

You also have the option of building your business from the ground up by offering freelance book editing services.

You can post a listing on Upwork, PeoplePerHour or other online job boards. Given the rise of self-publishing, you may be able to attract new independent authors.

Your work will likely take on a developmental role in which you read authors’ drafts and help them improve the quality of their work.

You may also be in charge of copyeditors or proofreaders depending on the arrangement.

It’s possible you will have a set salary if you are hired by a publisher.

If you set your own rates as a freelancer, the Editorial Freelancers Association suggests charging $45 to $55 per hour for developmental editing and $40 to $60 per hour for substantive or line editing.

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Public Relations and Marketing

Even the best authors typically need someone to handle their marketing. If you want to get paid to read books, why not set up a marketing agency if you have the skills?

Self-published authors don’t have the marketing team of a major publishing house so they will need your services.

You can set up interviews, write press releases, and organize tours or booking signing events.

To promote a book effectively, you need to read it, so this job is ideal for book lovers.

You can set your own rates based on the services you intend to offer.

E-book Conversion

If you want to work with e-books all day, this is the perfect job.

Many authors are great at character creation and plot development, but they don’t know how to get the e-book ready for sale.

A large part of the conversion process is automatic but there is still a need for manual work.

You’ll work on preparing the book file for conversion and testing it on various devices to ensure it works the way it should. You may work on converting books to MOBI for Amazon Kindle, EPUB for other formats, or PDF.

You’ll also be on the lookout for poor spacing, incorrect margins, and unclear graphics.

HTML or CSS skills may come in handy for the layout for some books.

The price of e-book conversion usually varies by complexity but typically it’s between $200 and $400.

Publishing

You will need to build up a portfolio of related work before authors will trust you to publish their book.

Publishers need to know what makes a good plot and how to ensure copy is clean. You will also need some knowledge of design and business.

Publishing your own book successfully will put you at an advantage. Authors will be more likely to have confidence in your work.

Once you have an excellent professional track record, you can work on getting your first author. This is a sure way to get paid to read books for Amazon Kindle or other self-publishing platforms.

As a publisher, you’ll make money from book sales so there’s technically no limit to how much you can make.

Audiobook Narrator

Many people who don’t like to (or don’t have the time to) read enjoy listening to audiobooks. They play them during long commutes or while they prepare dinner.

Authors and publishers, therefore, need to get their books onto iTunes and Audible by Amazon. This means you can even get paid to read books aloud.

One way to find work is to use Amazon’s Audiobook Creative Exchange (ACX). This platform connects narrators with books that need to be narrated.

You can also find gigs on Upwork or Freelancer or approach publishers and authors directly.

You Have to Be Animated

Audiobook narration is relatively easy work for actors, voice over artists, broadcasters or other people who have experience using their voice to earn money.

Remember, it’s not just reading a book out loud. You need to be able to voice multiple characters and make the book sound exciting.

This is especially important in fiction. However, even non-fiction titles need to hold listeners’ interest.

You will need to liven up some dry subjects, so you have to love what you do or be a great actor.

How Much Can You Make as an Audiobook Narrator?

Audiobook narrators typically either get a flat rate or a share of royalties. The flat rate is usually around $80 to $100 per finished hour of audio.

These are just some of the ways to make money reading books online. They are perfect for people who want to embark on freelance careers or set up agencies.

In many cases, they will require investments in training and some time spent learning the ropes.

Easy Ways to Get Paid to Read Books While Maintaining a Full-Time Job

There are also options for book lovers who want to maintain their regular jobs. They can get paid to read books in their free time or whenever they want to earn some extra cash.

There are many such sites available. Sites tend to come and go, and they may only open for applications periodically. We will discuss some of them below.

As noted earlier, some companies offer cash payments while others offer free books.

10 Sites that Pay You to Read Books Online

#1 Women’s Review of Books (WRB)

Women’s Review of Books is published by Wellesley Centers for Women in collaboration with Old City Publishing.

It focuses on books written by and about women. WRB features essays and in-depth reviews of new titles.

Writers for WRB are typically journalists, academics or other experienced reviewers so you should make sure your credentials are up to par.

WRB welcomes pitches. You will be paid $100 for each review that is assigned and published.

#2 The US Review of Books

The US Review of Books publishes reviews of books in a wide variety of genres and hires freelance writers from time to time for this purpose.

Reviews are typically between 250 to 300 words and should include summaries as well as key insights. You can include short quotes and compare the book with other titles.

You can also include informed opinions, but the review shouldn’t be emotional.

After you are assigned a title based on your preferences and strengths, you have two to three weeks to read the book and write the review.

Reviewers are paid monthly for work completed in the previous month.

#3 Publishers’ Weekly

This publication occasionally hires book reviewers for both fiction and non-fiction titles.

Publishers’ Weekly posts reviews of both self-published books and those published by traditional agencies.

If you want to get on the list of reviewers, submit a resumé and a sample review of a recently published book.

#4 Kirkus Media

Kirkus Media is one of the best-known sites that pays you to read books online. The company hires experienced reviewers of English and Spanish titles from self-published authors.

Opportunities may be connected to traditionally published books or those of the indie variety.

Reviews are usually about 350 words long and they must be submitted two weeks after the book is assigned.

Most genres of books are available for review.

To apply to review books for Kirkus Indie, you will need to submit your resume along with writing samples and your areas of specialty.

Reviewers are typically librarians, journalists, and other experienced professionals.

#5 Online Book Club

Online Book Club is another popular site. You sign up for free on the website and you will be given a selection of books from which to choose.

The books are free once you agree to review them. You will be eligible for payment after your first approved review.

Online Book Club seeks honest reviews so you don’t have to say you loved the book if you didn’t.

Reviewers are paid between $5 and $60.

#6 Bethany House

Bethany House is a leader in Christian fiction and they publish both fiction and non-fiction. Their book review program is supposed to reopen for applications towards the end of 2018.

Prior to closing to new applications, Bethany House required bloggers to review books on their own sites and a retailer website like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

These requirements may change when applications reopen so it would be worthwhile to visit the site regularly.

#7 Book Look Bloggers

This site also gives bloggers free copies of books in exchange for a 200-word review on their blog and a customer retail website.

Book Look Bloggers is looking for bloggers who post at least once per week and have a well-maintained personal site. They must have at least 30 followers or subscribers.

If the title you request is approved, a physical copy will be mailed to you.

Your review can be either negative or positive, but you must read the whole book before you submit it.

#8 Any Subject Books

Any Subject Books opens up for new reviewers as needed. The owners look for book lovers who have an analytical mind and are willing to write honest reviews.

You will be contacted with a book they would like you to review in a genre with which you’re familiar. If you agree, you’re asked to read the book and produce a review on a standardized form.

Rates vary depending on the book and if you commit on a book-by-book basis.

#9 Upwork

We made reference to Upwork earlier but it is worth discussing in greater detail.

This online marketplace attracts many people and organizations that are looking for workers. You will get the best results if you list all your skills on your profile so potential employers and clients can find you.

You can also apply for jobs that interest you.

Whether you want to get paid to read books aloud or do anything at all that would give you a chance to get paid to read books online, you may find it here.

#10 Contena

This marketplace isn’t free to join but it does have lots of interesting gigs. If you’re looking to build out a freelance career by making money online, Contena may be worth it.

You will find people looking to hire remote copyeditors, proofreaders and marketing professionals. Sometimes, they will be book publishers or independent authors.

Getting Paid to Read, a Dream Job

Getting paid to read books online doesn’t have to be just a dream. With the necessary research and training, you can find several jobs that allow you to do just that.

Whether you are looking for a full-time career or just a lucrative side hustle, cash, or just some free books, there’s an outlet for you.

If you know of any other websites or opportunities that can help you get paid to read books, let us know in the comments below.

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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