I love to read, and one day while reading, I thought to myself, “Can I get paid to read books?”
While the concept sounded silly, to my surprise, I searched online and actually found some companies and a variety of job opportunities that would pay you to read books, all while being in the comfort of being at home.
Granted, you’re not going to get rich with most of these options, but in this post, I wanted to show you the many companies online that may pay you a few bucks to read a book or two as well as some cool job opportunities that may be of interest.
And to save you some time from reading, if you’re wondering how much you’re getting paid, it won’t be more than $60 a review.
So if you’re laughing at the price, then the list may not be of interest, with the exception of my job recommendations at the end.
With that out of the way, let’s get started with the list…
How to Get Paid to Read Books (Book Reviewer Jobs)
Booklist, published by the American Library Association, helps librarians with book selections, collection, and development, with all of the reviews written by freelancers
Publishing close to 10,000 reviews a year, the association primarily relies on freelancers to write these reviews and offers extremely limited freelancing opportunities that pay up to $15 per review.
Freelancers who are interested in writing for the association must familiarize themselves with the style and posts should be 350 words at a minimum to be considered.
To read more about the guidelines and how to apply, visit BookListOnline.com.
- Website: Booklist
getAbstract offers key insights of more than 18,000+ nonfiction books, summarizing them into 10-minute reads. It’s a great way to read what-would-be 300+ page books in less than a few minutes.
As part of a subscription-based model, I did notice the company was looking for freelance writers who were looking for science writers and freelance writers while I was reviewing the website.
Moreso a job, I did want to include as they are one of the largest and most reputable summary-like websites and could be one to consider if you’re interested in writing book summaries. After all, the company relies on writers to survive.
Be sure to check out the company’s careers page as the job postings will change often.
- Website: getAbstract
Kirkus is always on the lookout for experienced book reviewers to review their Kirkus Indie self-published authors.
The company offers just about every genre, ranging from hardcovers to e-Book formats, with payments up to $60 for every approved review.
Asking for about a 350-word review that’s due about two weeks after receiving your book, the company simply asks you to submit a resume, some writing samples and a list of your preferences if you’re interested in becoming a paid book reviewer.
You can find more information on the company’s website at KirkusReviews.com.
- Website: Kirkus
OnlineBookClub.org will pay you to review books, and best of all, it’s 100% free.
And here’s how it works…
According to the company’s website, they will give you a list of books you can choose from.
Then, once you select the books you’re interested in, you are able to keep the books in exchange for a review.
Once you prove yourself after the first review, the company will then pay you and offer more work, with the company noting payments can range anywhere from $5 to more than $60+ per review.
To learn more about the process and apply, you can do so at OnlineBookClub.org.
- Website: OnlineBookClub.org
As I write this, the Publisher’s Weekly, known as the “bible of the book business” is currently looking for reviewers of all types of fiction and non-fiction books, both in digital and physical formations.
Offering an honorarium per review, the company asks for a resume, clips and a 200-word sample review of a recently published book to be considered. The company encourages you to visit the website to see editorial formatting examples so that you can format yours to match.
Aside from the criteria mentioned, they also ask that you include a list of genres you’d like to review as well as what your specialization is.
For more information, refer to the official website for more details.
- Website: Publisher’s Weekly
Wellesley Centers for Women
According to the official Wellesley Centers for Women, the organization will pay a flat fee of $100 for every review assigned and published.
To be considered, however, they do ask that you’re either an experienced reviewer, a journalist or in academics.
For more information and to apply, you can visit the official website at WCWOnline.org.
- Website: WCWOnline.org
U.S. Review of Books
The US Review of Books hires freelance writers who want to review books and get paid in doing so.
To be approved as a reviewer, the company simply asks for a resume, some of your sample work and at least two professional references, either via e-mail or mail.
And if you’re approved, the company will send you a list of books, in which you will browse and select the books that are of interest to you. You are not forced to read a book you’re not interested in, making it a great opportunity to read what you actually want to read.
Then, once you read the book in its entirety, you will be asked to write a review that’s anywhere from 250 to 300 works, summarizing any insights drawn from reading, including quotes, comparisons, an informed opinion and so forth. You can read a lot of review examples on the company’s website if you’re interested.
Reviewers are paid monthly for every review completed during the month.
- Website: US Review of Books
Writerful Books is currently seeking passionate readers who read a range of genres and want to share their thoughts on the website in form of a review. While I was writing this, however, they were looking for specific genres, particularly “contemporary fiction, historical and literary fiction and some non-fiction reviews of books that have been published in the past 12 months.”
If interested, the company asks that you send in your most recent book review, and if they like it, they will email you if there’s any interest. The only caveat ist hat it should NOT be published elsewhere and must be 100% unique.
Trusted book reviewers are said to be paid up to $50 per review, depending on how in-depth the review is.
To learn more about the guidelines and how you can apply, visit WriterfulBooks.com.
- Website: WriterfulBooks.com
Readercoin (phone app)
NOTE: Appears to be inactive as of September 2019
Out of all the options I mentioned, I would have to say Readercoin was one of my favorites as it required no application process. It was truly a simple download and you’re reading to start earning.
All you have to do on your part is download the app, start reading one of the thousands of titles (trust me, they were quite good!) and you get rewarded with “1 Readercoin” for every 10 minutes you read.
Now, you’re not going to get rich in doing so, but once you accrue enough points, you can earn some cool prizes, such as an Amazon gift card, Paypal payment and so much more. The rewards work a lot like these survey websites I wrote about in the past.
With THOUSANDS of independent titles to choose from and more being added every day, download the free app and start getting rewarded for reading books you may have wanted to read anyways.
NOW, if you do consider downloading the app, be sure to use this invite code “Tom9qk9t” as it rewards you with a FREE 150 Readercoins, equivalent to 2.5 hours of reading!
- Website: Readercoin
Free Books for Reviews
While the companies above will pay you, in this section, you won’t get paid to read books; however, you will get to keep the copy of the book for an exchange of a review.
In some cases, who knows, the book may be of value, which means you could make a few dollars, but don’t hold me to it.
In short, consider these options if you just want to read something and not pay for the book.
While I was writing this post, Bethany House was not accepting any more applications for the time being, but you may want to bookmark it for the future once they open the application process again.
To qualify for free Bethany House books, you will need either a blog or website and must be approved before you can request books.
Once approved, the company will send out a list of books they need reviews for via their e-mail newsletter, in which you can then request. Requesting is 100% optional and you’re able to choose a title that interests you.
If you’re able to get your hands on, then you will simply need to write a detailed 75+ word review. Members are able to request one book per month.
- Website: Bethany House
BookBrowse gives you the opportunity to review or discuss books for free, and members who regularly interact with the website get assigned a free book every three months, sometimes more depending on the time of year.
To start reviewing books with BookBrowse, you will be asked to create a free account and then return to the main page of the website to request a book of interest.
While I was reviewing this, for example, the company only had four books available, but as mentioned, this can change throughout the year, so be sure to keep checking!
- Website: BookBrowse
BookLookBloggers.com is geared toward any blogger who enjoys reading books and wants a free book in exchange for a review.
To register, you can sign up here, but before you do, the company does ask that you have a public blog and at least 30 subscribers.
Once approved, the company then allows you to view a list of available books, where you can request a copy of your choice. If it’s available, the company will then ship it off, where you will be asked to craft a 200+ review on your blog as well as a third-party consumer website, such as Amazon, Walmart, etc.
Signing up is 100% free and is only available to bloggers, but as I mentioned, you only need 30+ subscribers, which isn’t much at all!
- Website: BookLookBloggers.com
At LibraryThing, in exchange for a review, an author will send you a book to keep, but from the looks out it, you will have to request the book and compete with other members as the website works like a giveaway website.
For example, when I was writing this, one book had more than 700 requests, with only 50 review copies available. So as you imagine, you’re not going to be guaranteed a copy, but the more giveaways you enter, the better your chances are. You’re bound to win one sooner or later I could imagine.
Signing up is 100% free, and if you do win, you will need to leave an honest review on the website.
For more information and to even check out the current books available, you can do so at LibraryThing.com.
- Website: LibraryThing
The Moody Publishers Blogger Review Program offers reviewers free copies of books, but in exchange, you will be asked to review on Amazon, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, etc.
To start the process, you will first need to fill out an application on the official website and will then be asked to select a book of interest on the list.
After you select a book, Moody will send you a book via USPS and will ask you to offer an honest review based on the entire book. All books must be reviewed within 60 days, and it’s important to follow the directions to ensure your review gets accepted.
MoodyPress does not pay you, but you do get to keep the books you receive as long as you offer an honest review and follow the requirements.
NetGalley helps readers discover and recommend new books to their audience, all part of its free interactive platform.
So if you’re a librarian, a bookseller, reviewer, blogger or anyone who enjoys books, they welcome you to join for free to start reading books before they are even published.
To join, you can visit NetGalley.com and fill out the short form to get started. Joining is 100% free.
Once approved, you can then request particular books or the company, in some cases, may invite you review books as well.
- Website: NetGalley
To get started with NewPages, the company asks you to send them a review of your most recent book, and this could be on any topic, but they do prefer an independent press.
And if they like what they see, then the will contact you and start sending you some review copies, all depending on your preferences.
As long as you keep sending the company a solid review, the will continue to send you books, all of which you can keep for your collection or do as you please.
The company just asks that you offer honest recommendations, an opinionated review, a short quote and keeping it simple.
To learn more about this opportunity and restrictions, you can do so at NewPages.com.
- Website: NewPages
At Springer, the registration process is said to be simple, and after registering, you will have instant access to an online review copy you selected.
You are given the opportunity to review up to 10 online copies at a time, and for your efforts, Springer will send you a FREE book in return.
To learn more about the program and access the FAQ section, you can visit Springer.com.
- Website: Springer.com
Tyndale Blog Network
Are you a book blogger? Do you like books?
If so, the Tyndale Blog Network wants to send you a free book, all from a large selection of books for you to review.
Like most of these book reviewing websites, you will be asked to select a book, review it on your blog, and if your review is approved, you can request MORE books for future reviews
Signing up is 100% free, and you can start the process at TyndaleBlogNetwork.com.
- Website: TyndaleBlogNetwork.com.
Jobs to Consider
Aside from the resources mentioned above, part/full-time job opportunities may be something to consider if you’re not interested in writing a review or want something more stable.
Keep in mind, however, that it isn’t as simple as clicking applying and landing the gig as in some cases, you’re going to need in-depth knowledge, have the right skill set and experience to show you’re fit for the job.
In this small section, I just wanted to quickly touch upon the many jobs you could take advantage of if you had the necessary skills:
Publishers of all sizes, ranging from an independent author to a corporation, are always on the lookout for copy editors, specifically freelancers who work from home.
And depending on who you work with, some may require that you have a college degree as well as a professional Copyediting Certificate, while others may simply want you to demonstrate your grammar and spelling skills.
So if you think you have the talent and/or experience to proofread and offer recommendations, then this could turn into a full-time opportunity in some circumstances.
While I’m not a professional in the copy editing world, as you can see from my writing, it is one of the many ways you can make money while doing something you love.
To learn more about the topic at hand, I do highly recommend two highly rated copy editing books on Amazon:
- The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications
- The Subversive Copy Editor, Second Edition: Advice from Chicago
Both of these books are basically a “manual” for both rookie and experienced editors who want to fine-tune their skills enough to get paid to do so and will do a MUCH better job than I can.
A literary agent is responsible for reviewing book manuscripts, providing feedback to the authors and/or negotiating business deals between authors and publishers.
In short, a lot of your job will entail pitching the author’s book to publishers, so sales skills are a must as well.
Involving a lot of reading to know what you’re pitching, it could be a hard job to find as you may have to work your way up, just like any career, but it’s one to consider if you’re passionate about books.
If you feel you have the voice to narrate an audiobook, then thousands of authors are looking for people like you.
Technically getting paid to read a book, you’re going to have to do so while reading aloud, but hey, you’re getting paid to read, right?
ACX, one of the largest portals online that connects authors to narrators, for example, is one I recommend.
Here, create a profile, upload samples, choose your rates and start browsing the database to submit a sample of your voice to potential authors. Basically, you will read a small snippet that the author provides so that he or she can judge your sample.
If the author likes your voice and tone, then he or she will offer you a price, all of which you can accept or negotiate on and start the work once you agree upon a price.
To learn more about the process and how you can make money narrating books, you can visit this official help page at ACX.com.
Consider Starting a Blog
I know it’s easier said than done, but hey, it’s another idea.
If you’re really passionate about books, consider starting a blog, where you can share your thoughts and views, all while maybe start making some money in the future.
And hey, if you build an audience, you can then make some money through the Amazon affiliate program and/or display advertising, for example. Plus, your books could become a tax write-off.
Starting a blog and sticking to it does take a lot of work, but I promise you it’s one of the best passive income opportunities out there.
While there’s A LOT of information out there on ways to start a blog, I’m not going to recommend one program or another as there a lot of good (and bad).
Simply, I just recommend you search for “how to start a blog” and browse through the top 10 as that is more than enough to get started. Amazon has a variety of highly-rated books as well.
As you can see, there are some ways to make money if you love to read, but it won’t be a game changer, unfortunately. Maybe enough for a dinner.
If you want to truly get paid to read and turn it into a career or a lucrative side job, I would encourage you to focus more on the “jobs to consider” section to see if any of these options make sense to you. This will be your best bet if you’re really looking to make some decent cash.
If considering one of these jobs, just keep in mind that it can be very tough in the beginning to build your client base, but once your name gets out there, things could really take off. The same could be said about creating a blog. It will take time! Also, don’t forget it requires some serious skill as well.
In the end, plan on making a few dollars for fun, but don’t sweat it if you can’t find an easy way to make money while reading because, trust me, these companies will make you work for it.
Now that you know of the many ways to make money while reading, if you know of any other resources or want to comment on the ones I did list, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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