Do you have an appreciation for the written word? Does your bibliomania border on addiction? Well, it turns out you can get paid to read books. That said, you can’t just sit on the beach, read, and wait for the money to roll in (if you can, please let us know how). But with a little extra effort, some talent, and the help of this guide, it won’t be too hard for avid readers to transform their hobby into a lucrative pastime.
Calling All Bookworms: 11 Ways To Make Money Reading Books
Liam Norris/Getty Images
Write Book Reviews for Kirkus Reviews
This long-running New York City-based magazine publishes over 10,000 book reviews a year. According to Kirkus’ website, they’re currently looking for experienced reviewers to write for the publication’s self-published section. Applications require a resume, writing samples, and a list of your reviewing specialties.
Write Book Reviews for Booklist
Put your social media-addled brain to good use and craft a tweet-length review for this well-known industry magazine. Besides some writing talent and/or skill, all they ask is that you “are familiar with both books and libraries.”
Narrate Audiobooks for VoiceBunny
Think of VoiceBunny like Upwork or Fiverr but exclusively for voice actors and other audio professionals. Although talent applications are closed right now, you can follow VoiceBunny on social media to receive updates on availability.
Write Book Reviews for AudioFile Magazine
While some love the feel of a novel in their hands (and the freedom to throw a frustrating book across the room), others prefer the dulcet tones of an anonymous voiceover. If you count yourself among the latter group, you can join the community of freelance audiobook reviewers on AudioFile’s website. Details about the application process remain sparse, though others report that the magazine pays $10 a review.
Write Book Reviews for Reedsy Discovery
As a Reedsy reviewer, you’ll gain access to a pool of forthcoming indie books. You won’t be compensated for your work, but you will receive free books and tips from the website’s readers (so generous). Surprisingly, Reedsy is somewhat selective when it comes to reviewers — some nerve given the lack of pay — requiring several examples of previous book criticism.
Proofread Books on Fiverr and Upwork
Run a Book Club
In the age of Patreon, Discord, and Reddit, it doesn’t take much to create and monetize a book club. Just be prepared to do everything yourself (and potentially fail), as you won’t have the support of a publication behind you.
Write Book Reviews for Publishers Weekly
Despite Publisher Weekly’s renown in the literary world — it’s been around since 1872 — the publication asks very little of prospective writers, requiring only a 200-word sample review and a resume.
Write Book Reviews for The U.S. Review of Books
The U.S. Review of Books has one of the most involved application processes, asking for two references on top of writing samples and a resume. That said, at least they pay their writers (an admittedly low bar) and let you submit a list of preferred books you’d like to review.
Write Book Reviews for Online Book Club
Although Online Book Club’s website looks like it hasn’t been updated since the early 2000s, others insist that it’s a real reviews site. According to writers who’ve worked for the site, you get to choose which books you critique from a list. While some reviews pay more than others, the highest-paying gigs are reserved for writers with high “reviewer scores.” But, in the own website’s words, “you won't be able to leave your day job” with the money you earn. You can sign up to be a critic here.