15 Creative Ways to Get Paid to Read Books: Up to $2k a Month

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Can you really get paid to read books?

If you’re an avid reader, I’m happy to report there are quite a few legit ways to get paid to read. 

In this post, I’ll break down some of my favorite — and most creative — methods to turn your reading hobby into an extra income stream.

Ready? Let’s do it!

get paid to read books

1. Freelance Proofreading and Editing

If you have an eye for detail, there’s money to be made as a proofreader or editor.

Like I mentioned above, self-publishing is exploding, and all those authors (at least the serious ones) need help editing their work.

For this side hustle, I found my first clients on Fiverr, but ultimately established positive word of mouth referrals in some Facebook Groups and among students of a popular self-publishing course.

I started out charging $100 for every 10,000 words, but slowly inched up rates as I improved.

(And as a bonus, I got to read some pretty interesting books!)

2. Amazon Influencer Program

The Amazon Influencer Program is probably the fastest, easiest, and most accessible way to get paid for Amazon reviews.

You create short product review videos for the books you read, which Amazon then features on the book’s page.

Here’s an example from The Wager

Amazon influencer book review videos

When a potential customer watches your video and makes a purchase, you receive a small commission from Amazon, usually 2-4% of the sales price.

Amazon Influencers like Tyler Christensen reported making $2,000+ per month testing and reviewing Amazon products, and I even made over $1,000 myself in my first year in the program.

To apply, you’ll need to list one or more of your social media accounts, including:

  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • TikTok

There aren’t any official requirements about how big a following you need to get accepted. But if you apply and get rejected, you can re-apply at a later date.

3. Kirkus Review

Kirkus pays $50-75 for 350-word book reviews. Authors and publishers hire the service to get honest, quality feedback on their books (and pay $400+ for the service!).

To apply, you’ll need to send in:

  • your resume
  • writing samples
  • your favorite book genres or “reviewing specialties”

Kirkus gives you two weeks to read the book and submit your review.

4. US Review of Books

You can earn $25-75 writing book reviews for The US Review of Books

To join, you’ll need to send in:

  • your resume
  • samples of your work
  • at least two professional references

The US Review of Books gives you 2-3 weeks to read the assigned book and return your 250-300 word review.

As with Kirkus, authors and publishers hire US Review to get honest — and hopefully positive — feedback on their books they can use for marketing purposes.

5. Online Book Club

Online Book Club is a long-running service that pays $5-60 for each book review.

How it works is you:

  • sign up and get a selection of books to choose from
  • pick your top choice and get a free copy
  • submit your honest, written review

Once your first review is approved, you’ll be eligible for future paid reviews.

6. Freelance Book Reviewer

While you can certainly apply for any of the freelance book reviewer jobs listed, you can also set up your own freelance book review profile on sites like Upwork.

When I searched, I was surprised to find multiple reviewers with 200+ jobs completed and rates from $35-60 an hour:

freelance book reviewers on upwork

7. Book-Related Remote Jobs

One creative way to get paid to read books is to look for work in the publishing industry. 

For example, both “book coach” and “book editor” showed up as legit job listings on FlexJobs:

book jobs on flexjobs

In total, over 16,000 remote job listings included the keyword “book”, so it might be worth exploring if any of those would be a good fit.

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8. Audiobook Narration

If you love the idea of getting paid to talk and read books at the same time, narrating audiobooks could be a fun side hustle.

get paid to read books as a narrator

Professional audiobook narrators and producers can earn $200-1000+ per title. Acting experience helps, and you’ll need to know your way around audio engineering equipment and software. 

After you create your profile, you can start auditioning for work.

9. Reedsy Discovery

Becoming a reviewer on Reedsy Discover may be another way to monetize your reading hobby.

reedsy discover

This program has a couple interesting advantages. The first is shared with other review services, in that you’ll get free access to new books and be among the first to read them.

The second is somewhat unique, in that you can earn $1, $3, or $5 tips from readers who enjoy your work. The amount isn’t huge, but you can potentially earn tips from an unlimited number of Reedsy readers, rather than just a one-off freelance book review payment.

To apply, you’ll need to share:

  • your favorite genres
  • how many books you read per year
  • where you publish your reviews online
  • whether you prefer to create written or video reviews
  • your social media accounts (if applicable)

10. Booklist

Serving an audience of school and public library workers, Booklist reviews guide purchasing decisions for libraries across the country.

Booklist is part of the American Library Association. New reviewers don’t need a library degree, but having library advisory or selection experience will give you a leg up.

But even then, don’t expect Booklist reviews to replace your day job. According to the site, Booklist pays just $15 for every 150-175 word review they publish, with the average reviewer writing 2-3 reviews per month.

11. Create Book Summaries

Book summaries can be a really valuable way to get the main ideas of a book across in a short period of time.

In fact, this is the strategy used by big companies like Blinkist, which is undoubtedly paying people to read the books and create useful summaries.

Still, you can do the same thing after you finish a book, distilling the most important points into a quick summary on either a website, newsletter, or YouTube channel.

For example, Four Minute Books has over 50k subscribers on YouTube. 

book summary youtube channel

This type of content can be monetized with advertising or affiliate partnerships.

Maybe you could even use an AI tool like Pictory to help create the videos. (Use promo code NSHN20 for 20% off!)

12. Start an Online Book Club

Another unique way to get paid to read is to start an online book club for kids.

For example, Teacher Helen has had over 3,000 students join her weekly Dog Man reading club on Outschool:

start an online book club

Outschool is a unique group education platform for kids in grades K-12. When her classes are at capacity, she can earn $98 an hour (after fees) handing out with kids and reading simple books.

And I get that you probably don’t want to read kids’ graphic novels, but it shows there may be demand for higher grade level books as well. 

13. Become a Translator

If you’re bilingual, you can get paid to translate books.

You’ll need good grammar skills, cultural knowledge, conversational competence, and the ability to articulate complex concepts.

Fast, accurate typing skills and a quiet environment will make your job go faster, which increases your earning potential.

Check out these remote translation job sites:

  • Gengo – Rates vary based on language.
  • Multilingual Connections – Freelance, remote translation projects. 
  • Translation Services – This company offers translation services in more than 100 languages. At press time, part-time and full-time remote positions were available with competitive pay and flexible hours.
  • Stepes – An online database of on-demand translation jobs for freelance translators. You can work from your smartphone with their mobile messaging based translation model. 
  • Unbabel – Work on the go and get paid weekly.

14. Public Domain Publishing

Since 2013, Aaron Kerr has pocketed over $110k in royalties publishing public domain books.

In the US, that generally means anything published more than 95 years ago.

Aaron’s first collection was the Anne of Green Gables series, a children’s classic originally published in 1908. To find this work, Aaron told me that all he had to do was go to a couple of different websites, download the copy, then format it for Kindle publishing.

You can see all his public domain projects over at TimelessReads.com.

15. Apply Book’s Knowledge to Your Own Business

Perhaps the most overlooked way to get paid to read is to simply put an author’s wisdom to work in your own business.

After all, most books condense a lifetime of experience and expertise into 200 pages. While nobody directly paid me to read titles like The 4-Hour Workweek, Building a StoryBrand, The ONE Thing, and dozens of others, they’ve definitely paid dividends to my bottom line over the years.

The Best Way to Get Paid to Read?

In this post, we’ve explored a ton of different ways to get paid to read books, including:

  • freelance editing and proofreading
  • writing book reviews
  • creating book summaries
  • narrating audiobook
  • and more

But the truth is just reading doesn’t have any value for anyone else. Where the money comes from is what you do with what you read and how it serves others.

Which method is best for you depends on your interests, goals, and expertise.

My suggestion is to start with one or two ways that sound the most interesting, and give those a try to see if you enjoy the work!

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

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