Do you love to read books? What if I said you could get paid for it? Believe it or not, several companies will pay you to read books and write reviews.
Americans are not reading enough. According to a recent Pew Research Centre survey, 23% of adults in the country haven’t read a book in the past twelve months. Yet, according to UNESCO, approximately 2,210,000 books are published worldwide every year, based on the most recent country data available.
Publishing a book is undoubtedly competitive, and authors are dying for readers to review their books so they can gain more exposure. They are willing to pay readers (like you and me) to get engrossed in a good book.
Get Paid To Read Books Online Sites
The following websites are looking to hire freelancers to read books:
- Kirkus Media
- Online Book Club
- U.S. Review of Books
- Women’s Review of Books
- Findaway Voices
- Baker Publishing Group
- Moody Publishers
- Net Galley
- Reedsey Discovery
Kirkus Media is a company that pays people to read and write book reviews. The company covers all genres and lengths of books. The paid task is to read a novel and write a review of roughly 350 words within two weeks. They are looking for experienced reviewers who can read English or Spanish books. According to freelance reviewers online, Kirkus Media pays up to $60 per book review. Find more information here.
Online Book Club
Online Book Club allows reviewers to read and review books in exchange for payment. The books are free, and you will get paid to provide an honest book review. The payout is typically between $5 and $60 per review. While this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, it provides additional cash flow and saves money on books you would have otherwise purchased. Find more information here.
If you don’t want to work through a company, why not try putting a freelancing profile on sites such as Upwork or Fiverr? You can offer your services as a book reviewer and get paid per job. Set your rate and offer, which will vary depending on the book length and the depth of the review required. The money paid through the platform will be safely deposited into your account when you complete the job.
U.S. Review of Books
The U.S. Review of Books hires experienced writers to provide reviews of 250-300 words to books assigned on a best-fit basis. Reviews should summarize the book while delivering thoughtful insights within a 2-3 week deadline. To apply, you will need to send your resume, sample work, and two professional references. They pay reviewers by the fifth of each month. Find more information here.
Women’s Review of Books
The Women’s Review of Books has been around since 1983. The journal covers all genres of books, especially those written by women. They want to give a platform for feminist scholars and creative writers and champion women’s critical writing. Expect feminism and perspective on today’s literary world. According to sources, reviewers are rewarded $100 for each review. Find more information here.
Booklist is a publication of the American Library Association that has been around since 1905. It delivers over 8,000 recommended reviews on a range of books, videos, audio, and other material formats each year. Booklist freelancers provide reviews of 150-175 words. Reviews may be published on the online blog or in their magazine. According to guidelines, these reviews should capture the context, plot, ideal audience, and more. The reviews are a reference for librarians on which books to purchase and recommend. Booklist pays $15.00 per review. Find more information here.
If you want to earn more from your passion, why not try reading books aloud? If you are a professional voice actor or narrator, you can sign up with Findaway Voices and get paid to record audiobooks. Set up a profile and provide audio samples so authors can find you. Rates vary depending on the length of the book and other factors. Findaway Voices estimates that the average 50,000-worded audiobook costs between $1000-$2000 to make. Find more information here.
ACX is a site similar to Findaway Voices but is best known for audiobooks available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. Authors may choose to produce the audiobook themselves, or they can hire a narrator with experience in recording and editing audio. Once you create a profile, you can browse the available projects and audition for the voice acting jobs you are interested in. Rates vary depending on the book’s length and other factors, but narrators typically earn per finished hour, or they can choose to earn up to 50% in royalties, or both! Earnings vary depending on experience, and narrators may set their rates. According to the website, “some Audiobooks don’t sell many units, but happily, most sell hundreds or thousands.” Find more information here.
Baker Publishing Group
If you are a fan of Christian fiction or non-fiction books, you may want to try your hand at reviewing for Baker Publishing Group. They send out newsletters via email with potential books to review. You must be committed to reading, reviewing, promoting, and supporting the books you sign up for through your online platform. Due to shipping costs, they can only accept U.S. residents at this time. Find more information here.
Moody Publishers is a not-for-profit Christian publisher that has been around since 1894. Reviewers will receive free book copies in exchange for a review on their website and a third-party website, such as Amazon or Walmart. Find more information here.
NetGalley helps debut authors, future bestsellers, and indie books reach a wider audience. Request and read digital copies of books before they are published. While anyone can sign up to review the books, they give priority to bloggers, experienced reviewers, or those from professional organizations. While there is no payment, it is a great way to find new books to review and recommend. Find more information here.
Reedsy Discovery is a service that connects authors with reviewers. Once you sign up and are approved, you can browse the available books before they have launched and request the ones that interest you. When you finish reading and reviewing the book, your review will be displayed to a community of book readers who may turn into potential followers. Followers provide tips of between $1-$5. Find more information here.
How To Be A Successful Book Reviewer
Being a successful book reviewer takes practice, patience, and unquenchable love of books. Here are some tips:
- Find the right publications or sites to pitch your reviews to. Make sure they cover the genre of books you are interested in reading.
- Learn the format of book reviews and start reviewing your own books so you can provide samples of your work.
- Write a strong, catchy headline for your review. This will entice readers to click on your review over all the others.
- Be honest in your reviews. Readers can tell when you’re faking it, and no one wants to read a fake review.
- Get social! Share your reviews on social media, and make sure to tag the author and publication. The more exposure your review gets, the better.
- If you want to work for a specific company or publication, contact professionals in the reviewing department and ask about work opportunities.
How Much Can I Earn Reading Books?
A professional book reviewer in the United States earns an average salary of $29.62 an hour, or $61,614 per year. The top 10% of book reviewers earn $151,000 annually, while the bottom 10% earn under $25,000. 59.3% of book reviewers have a bachelor’s degree, and 24.4% of reviewers have a master’s degree in English or a related field; however, it is possible to become a book reviewer with only a high school degree or GED. Many previous book reviewers have experience as writers or editors before commencing this role.
Voice-over artists do more than just read books out loud. They may also be involved in radio, T.V. commercials, or other professional services. The average voice-over talent in the U.S. earns $83,515 per year, or $40.15 an hour, in the United States. This ranges from $55,000 (at a junior level) to $124,000 (at a senior level). This salary varies widely from state to state.
If you are looking to earn extra money and want to get paid to do something you love, reading books and writing reviews might be the perfect gig for you. With practice and perseverance, you can become a successful book reviewer, build a readership and even make a living from your passion.
Making money reading books can be a great side hustle for passionate book readers, lovers of literature, or other writers. These book review sites are a quick introduction to help you start but do your own research before pitching.
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This article originally appeared on My Work From Home Money.
Caitriona is a private language tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. Caitriona has been teaching the English language since 2016. She has taught in schools in Spain and the U.K., and she currently teaches online. On her blog, you will find tons of English language articles, worksheets, resources, tips, and advice for learners and teachers.