Get Paid to Read Books

Five Ways to Turn Your Love of Reading Into Income

Cropped Hand Of Woman Holding Book Outdoors During Sunset
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The best careers allow you to do what you love. If you love to read and want to make money from your love of books, here are five ways you can get paid to read.

1. Write Book Reviews

There are several ways to get paid to write book reviews. One is to pitch magazines and newspapers that accept book reviews. You can look for the "Writers" or "Submissions" page on a publication's website for information on book review submissions.

Another option is writing for a dedicated book review publication whose sole purpose is reviewing books. A handful of websites and apps have popped up in recent years that pay for reviews. A few to check out include Any Subject Books, Kirkus, and U.S. Review of Books.

While many of these resources pay money, some pay with copies of the book or magazine. Check payment details before you pitch or apply. Depending on who you sign up with, the work can be intermittent, and payment can be a bit slow. As a result, you may not make a full-time, or steady income writing book reviews.

A final way to get paid to write book reviews is through a book blog. While you won't usually charge authors for a review, you can earn income in a variety of ways, such as through Amazon's affiliate program, ad programs such as AdSense, and by selling ad space to authors and publishers.

2. Literary Agent Freelance Reading

Jennifer Wright from the website WOW-WomenOnWriting has written a good piece on How to Break into Freelance Reading. In a nutshell, freelance readers screen synopses and manuscripts for agents or publishers, and then let them know, "This is good, worth your time to read and consider," or "Don't invest time in this one because it's not marketable."

A freelance reading position depends on finding a literary agent or publisher who has a mountain of reading to wade through to find a gem. On occasion, you can find freelance reading jobs on writing and freelance job boards. One last thought is to become a literary agent yourself.

3. Write Book Summaries

Many companies cater to busy execs who don't have time to read the latest business books but still want to talk about them, and sound knowledgeable doing so. Think Cliff Notes, only for professionals.

Book summary companies sell polished summaries of books to those who want the short version. Many of these same companies pay freelancers to read the full book and then write a summary. To find this gig, check out these freelance writing job sites.

4. Read and Record Audiobooks

Audiobooks are growing in popularity. While most publishers have audiobook readers, self-published authors and small presses often look for people who have great, clear voices to read fiction and non-fiction.

The best places to find work are through Amazon's ACX and Brilliance Audio, which creates many bestselling audiobooks. You can also check freelance sites, such as Upwork for audiobook reading work.

5. Edit Books

As a book editor, you can help authors improve the quality of their books. While many book editors proofread or copyedit for grammar and style, developmental editors provide feedback on clarity, flow, and plot cohesiveness.

You can find work through publishing houses and small presses or through Publishers Marketplace and other writing-related job sites. Another option is to start your own freelance editing business.