Reading books is a fabulous hobby. In fact, almost every billionaire in the world including Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Peter F. Drucker and Mark Zuckerberg are all avid readers. They read dozens of books every month. And these billionaires attribute their success to the reading habit.
Unfortunately, the cost of books and shortage of time prevent us from reading books. But what if you could read books and get paid for it too? Wouldn’t you make time and take the extra efforts to read books?
If this sounds interesting, here’re 20 excellent ways to get paid to read books. Provided you have the necessary qualifications, of course to apply for jobs book reviewer, editor or proofreader.
Qualifications to Get Paid to Read Books
The only way to get paid to read books is by working as reviewer, editor or proofreader. Without exception, the work is available only for degree holders in English, Literature, Journalism and Fine Arts.
And that’s not enough: you’ll also require skills to write critical appreciation, edit and proofread a book.
Because reviewing, editing or proofreading books is a very serious business. A wrong review can cause immense losses to an author and publisher. An improperly proofread book might mean the printer has to throw away all the copies and make fresh ones with correct spelling and punctuation.
That’s the reason companies and organizations pay anything between $19 per hour to $200 per review for reading a book. Therefore, most organizations and publishers enforce very strict standards when it comes to taking people to read books for pay.
It’s possible to work fulltime and part-time or even freelance as book critique and reviewer, editor or proofreader.
If you meet these requirements, here’s a list of top 20 ways to get paid to read books.
Top 20 Ways to Get Paid to Read Books
Before you apply for work that pays to read books, here’s something to remember. A publisher could ask you to take a skills test.
And they’ll allow you to review books only in one genre such as fiction, non-fiction, spirituality, children’s, educational and others. Only in exceptional cases you might get to make money by reading two different genres of books.
1. Book Reviewers for the Media
On average book critiques or book reviewers as they’re known, earn a median $63,000 per year by working with top newspapers and media companies. Their sole job is providing weekly or even daily reviews of newly launched books.
New York Times is the leading reviewer of books. In fact, the newspaper’s book reviews is one of the reasons why thousands of books emerge as bestsellers in the world. Book critiques are book reviewers in the media are highly paid.
2. Work as Librarian
Another superb way to get paid to read is by working as a librarian. This job definitely requires skills such as a degree in Library Sciences. Of course, you can read books for free while you’ve some free time at the library.
At the same time, employers, publishers and booksellers also pay you to read, review and suggest whether the book should be kept at the library. This is perfectly legit. That’s because authors and booksellers compete fiercely to get their books at famous libraries, top colleges and universities.
3. Barnes & Noble Book Reviewers
Barnes & Noble prides itself as the world’s largest online bookstore, for one major reason. They publish a lot of books on various genres from authors around the world. B&N operates at various locations in the US.
As a leading book publisher in America, B&N also hires professional critiques, reviewers, editors and other staff for reading their yet-to-be-launched or new publications. You can imagine the size of Barnes & Noble’s business: at any point of time, they have over a million titles available online and offline.
4. Upwork & FlexJobs.com
You can get paid to read books as freelancer too. These jobs are generally available on freelancing portals such as Upwork and FlexJobs.com, among others.
They’re available for skills including editing, proofreading, rewriting or even writing reviews. You might also come across work from certain authors that want superb reviews of their books on Amazon and other websites.
While Upwork charges a fee ranging between five percent and 20 percent from your income by reading books, FlexJobs.com charges a membership fee payable for monthly subscription. There’re other websites such as Fiverr, Toptal.com and Freelancer where you could find work to get paid for reading books.
5. Online Book Club
Online Book Club is an American organization that provides free as well as economical services such as book editing, proofreading and reviewing. Hundreds of writers send their book manuscripts for reviews to Online Book Club, before they’re launched in the market or for public reading.
You can apply for book reviewer jobs on Online Book Club. And while waiting for a paid review opportunity, it’s also possible to read several other books free, from your favorite genre. This is an ideal forum for book lovers to read books awaiting publication and make suggestions if necessary.
6. Kindle Desktop Publishing Reviewer
Amazon, in its bid to offer paper and digital books, has this amazing service known as Kindle Desktop Publishing. It allow budding authors to self-publish books without the need to hire expensive agents and editors.
However, KDP does offer opportunities for authors to find freelance editors, reviewers and proofreaders to ensure their book become popular.
Generally, this is a freelance job and an author might decide to hire your services. However, Amazon Kindle mainly depends upon free reviews from readers to promote a book. That’s why some authors pay to post a superb review about their book on Amazon Kindle.
7. Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Media offers the Kirkus Review service where new authors as well as experienced ones can seek independent opinions about their works for a fee. Therefore, you get to read some superb books for free and make money too. However, this facility is available only for professional book reviewers with proven track record.
They also have book editing and proofreading services. Again, they take only qualified and experienced editors and proofreaders because some of the best authors also come to Kirkus Media for services. Apply through their portal with example or proof of skills.
8. Book Browse
BookBrowse.com accepts applications for book reviewers round the year. As the work demands, you’ll require some qualifications and experience to become a book reviewer with them. If you meet their standards, BookBrowse.com offers a byline on its publications and a small fee.
Another way to make money is by entering their Win-a-Book contest. This contest is open seasonally and the prize- which is a free book- is the main attraction. Read terms and conditions of BookBrowse.com before applying as reviewer. They have strict quality checks.
Proofreadingservice.com is the best website for getting some money by reading books. As the name suggests, this is a web portal where you can get freelance proofreading jobs. That means, you can bid to proofread any book from a budding or new author. You can also opt to read educational books, comics and other things.
The hourly rate for proofreaders in America ranges between $18 and $25 per hour. For specialized proofreading you could go as high as $45 per hour. And you can proofread books from various genres for free while making money. Though such jobs don’t require special qualifications, it needs wonderful command over English, perfect grammar and punctuation.
10. WCW Online
Wellesley Centers for Women or WCW runs a service for women to review various publications and books while getting money for their work. The service goes by the name Women’s Review of Books. Generally, they review books by female authors, students and aspiring writers as well as scholarship applications and thesis.
According to various online sources, WCW Online pays up to $100 for a superb review. The rate depend on various factors. This is an excellent website for women who love books and have the necessary qualifications to make money by reading as a side-gig.
11. Hodder & Stoughton
UK-based Hodder & Stoughton has been in book publishing business since 1868. It’s a part of the larger, Hatchett Group which ranks among the largest book publishers in the world. They’ve published books by some legendary authors including Sir Winston Churchill and Enid Blyton, to name a few.
You can apply for fulltime work as book editor and reviewer at Hodder & Stoughton, provided you’ve the necessary skills. They are a highly respected and extremely professional publishing house in the world and hence are flooded with submissions from budding authors. Hence, they offer positions only when they accept newer book submissions.
12. Baker Publishing
Founded in 1938, Baker Publishing group is famous worldwide for its religious books for the Christian faith. The group consists of several publishers, each with its own specialization in Christian books. They hire book editors, reviewers and proofreaders that’re well-versed with the Holy Bible and other Christian scriptures due to nature of their business.
Baker Publishing always has vacancies for spiritual minded people that can review, edit or proofread books that’re used for Christian teachings and religious libraries. Most of their books are written by qualified clergypersons. If you’ve that spiritual bent of mind, Baker Publishing is a good place to work, enrich your knowledge about Christianity and earn some money.
13. Penguin-Random House
Top American publisher Penguin-Random-House requires lots of people to read, review, edit and proofread books. And they are one of the topmost employers of people that have the necessary skills. They operate around the world are renowned for offering economically priced books in various countries.
Penguin- Random House is best known for its educational books. Therefore, experts in any field, including complex ones such as medicine and engineering can look at making money with this organization. You’ll have to apply through the Careers portal. You can join as intern, experienced or entry level reviewer, proofreader or editor at this super organization.
14. Government Publishing Office
If you’re a lawyer or have expertise in some specialized fields, you can make money by reading books and other publications issued by the Government Publishing Office of the US government. And the GPO issue books and publications for almost every Federal department and agency. Hence, there’s no shortage of work.
This is a Federal job. That means, you’ll not only get paid to read books but also be entitled to receive all benefits of a Federal employee. The GPO issues books and publications for various purposes- from creating public awareness about something or manuals and Standard Operating Procedures for various organizations.
15. Net Galley
Net Galley serves as meeting point for authors, publishers and reviewers. Writers and publishers can submit their works online and request reviews and suggestions that can help improve a book. It is a very popular website for book lovers because they can read for free and make some money.
To get paid for reading books, check their website, terms and conditions. The website is very user friendly. Hence it attracts tens of thousands of book lovers every week. According to various reviews about this website, you can earn about $10 for reading a book and giving comments.
I’m not really sure how Booklist Reader allows people to make money by reading books. However, a lot of bookworms testify they get some money for reading and reviewing latest books for various buyers.
The Booklist website itself doesn’t list any such possibilities. However, I suggest you explore various possibilities to make money here. Booklist however is a place for new authors to submit their works and seek reviews. The website lists various genres of books.
17. Start Own Blog
Starting own blog is the best way to get paid for reading books is by opening own blog. But I suggest this only if you genuinely love books and are an avid reader who knows how to review books. Opening a blog can be fairly easy if you read this online tutorial or watch a YouTube video that teaches blogging.
You can open free blog or a paid one by buying domain name and hosting. If you write superb book reviews, it’s also possible to earn money by selling books with affiliate marketing through your blog. And lots of authors and publishers might also pay you to post a review on the blog.
18. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace might sound like the most unlikely place on this planet to get paid to read books. Look again. You’ll come across authors, educators and libraries in your own area that want reviewers, editors and proofreaders to check books for various purposes. In fact, one such a job I found was for comparing the 1991 edition of a bestseller with the 2018 edition and mark the differences.
Such work that you’ll find on Facebook Marketplace doesn’t really require you to be a professional reviewer or book critique. They are open for almost everyone who can read and has a good command over English. Libraries also look for book reviews before they stock something on their shelves for readers, as I mention earlier.
19. Create YouTube Channel
You can also open a YouTube channel that speaks about various books. Basically, you’ll be giving video commentaries on a book through reviews and author biographies, latest book launches and other related stuff. Opening a YouTube channel is free. All it requires is a Google account.
You can upload paid book review videos, own reviews and commentaries and monetize the vlog through Google Adsense. Vlogging also doesn’t require much special skills as a book reviewer. However, if you have good knowledge, there’s a better chance of your YouTube channel becoming very successful.
Elsevier is the single largest web portal for research based books on specialized fields of medicine. It’s an organization that’s been helping the medical fraternity worldwide since 1880. In fact, Elsevier accepts nothing but the best and proven medical researches and books for its website. They can be downloaded only by members, for a fee.
To ensure that only the best medical research and medical books go online through its portal, Elsevier hires a team of very qualified medical professionals as reviewers. If you’re a medical practitioner, this is an ideal place to learn about latest researches and books in your field by reading them free and making money as reviewer.
While concluding, I’ll add that book reviewing, editing and proofreading aren’t mere work-from-home ideas or side-gigs to make money quickly. Instead, it’s a serious profession that needs a proper degree and above all, a passion for reading. Apply only if you meet these requirements.