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Get Paid to Read Books (Should Try)

get paid to read books

So many people love reading! Being transported away to a faraway land is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But did you know you can get paid to read books?

That’s right – it is possible to turn this relaxing hobby into a money-making scheme! All you need is a little know-how. Thanks to so much of the publishing world moving online, there are plenty of opportunities to make some cash while reading from home.

So, read on, book lovers! This could be the start of a brand-new chapter of your life!

What Kind Of Jobs Pay People To Read Books?

What Kind Of Jobs Pay People To Read Books?

There are a whole host of options out there if you want to get paid to read books. Of course, the obvious one would be to become a book reviewer. But many other positions are also available.

What are my options?

Perhaps you could try your hand at proofreading and copyediting? If you have a great eye for detail, then this could be the route to follow. Maybe you’re ready to get even more involved and would like to turn your hand to publishing books yourself!

Then again, your talents may lie elsewhere. Speakers of second languages can easily find work as a translator. And those with beautifully clear voices might want to consider narrating audiobooks.

Got the skill to pay the bills…

Got the skill to pay the bills…

As you can see, there are plenty of possibilities. It’s just a case of knowing where your strengths lie. If you have the ability and drive to get started, there’s no reason you can’t get paid to read for a living.

Can I Read Books As A Full-Time Job?

Well, that’s a tricky question to answer. It depends on the role. Some positions could be a full-time career, whereas others will only provide a little extra cash.

Read more: How To Become A Librarian?

Freelance fun…

Freelance fun…

Expect to take on numerous jobs on a freelance basis. Realistically, that’s the only way someone could turn reading books into a full-time job. Most people tend to do this as a side hustle to earn a little more pocket money. And some jobs don’t pay in cold hard cash at all!

 Many book-reviewing jobs simply offer free copies of books. That’s great if you’re looking to expand your library, but not if you’re hoping to turn it into a permanent career.

Every day I’m hustling…

Basically, yes, you can make decent money from reading books. But it’s important to choose a potential job carefully. And most of all, you need to have the drive, determination, and time to make it work.

Freelance Job That Pay To Read Books

OK, you’ve decided to leap into the world of literature. Congratulations! But which job should you choose, and where do you start looking?

1 Book Reviewer

Book reviewers need to work quickly. They should be able to give objective opinions on the book and express themselves well. In addition to offering judgment, a good reviewer needs to be able to offer a summary of the plot and themes without giving away any spoilers.

A good place to start is with an Online book club. This is a free online community of book lovers that also hire professional reviewers. While your first review will be compensated with a free, or discounted, book, subsequent reviews can expect to earn anything from $5 up to $60. 

Under pressure…

If you’re the kind of person who thrives under the pressure of deadlines, Booklist could be a good option. This organization publishes reviews intended to help librarians, so it prefers to hire reviewers with knowledge of a library setting. Booklist also expects a fast turn-around, so reviewers should be quick readers.

Kirkus is another site that demands fast work. Once the reviewer receives the book, they have just two weeks to read it and submit a 350-word review. Kirkus handles both English and Spanish titles, so this might be best for bilingual readers.

Do it yourself…

Most paid book review jobs provide specific titles. But Writerful allows the reviewer to submit a review of any book of their choosing. That doesn’t mean you’ll get paid for it, though; you’ll have to send in quite a few reviews you’re deemed good enough to get paid for your thoughts.

2 Copyeditor


A copyeditor is responsible for reading the book before it is published. They make corrections and adjustments to the grammar, layout, syntax, and tone of the writing. A copyeditor must have an excellent understanding of language, and a degree in English or a journalism-related subject always helps too.


Take a look at Editing Tests to find out whether this might be the right role for you. This website has a few free samples to put your ability to the test. It also has the option to pay about $50 for a more detailed exam with comprehensive feedback.

And if you want to sharpen those skills before applying for a job, it’s a good idea to search for an online course in this field. Skillshare has a whole host of classes taught by people in the creative arts. Yes, you have to pay for it, but if you’re planning to make a career out of copyediting, then it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Ready to begin?

Then get yourself out there and apply for some jobs! Take a peek at Jobs for editors as a starting point. This company is always looking for new copyeditors and has a huge variety of different projects on offer.

3 Translator


Those who can speak two or more languages are in luck – their skills are highly sought after in this industry. Publishers always want to expose their work to a wider audience, and translating it into different languages is an easy way to do this. So, play your cards right, and you could be making some big bucks.

Where to apply?

Babelcube is a fantastic place for first-timers. The translator gets to take charge of the project, as they can choose which book they want to translate and outline a timescale for the process. As compensation, they get a translator’s credit (which looks great on a resume) as well as a percentage of the royalties.

Upwork also has plenty of online translation jobs. They’re not all book-related, though; many jobs involve translating shorter pieces of text. The awesome thing about this site is the pay and expectations are divulged upfront, meaning you’ll know exactly what to expect.

4 Narration


Audiobooks are a big business these days! Many people now prefer to listen to books over reading them, using apps like Audible. If your dulcet tones are music to the ears, then narrating audiobooks could be the way forward.

What training do you need?

In theory, none. It’s perfectly possible to become a narrator without any formal training. However, some experience studying voice acting is always helpful, as are a few editing skills.

Narrators also need a bit of equipment. A good microphone is essential such as the industry-standard Shure SM7B, as is a top-quality pair of headphones, such as the AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO Over-Ear, Semi-Open, Professional Studio Headphones, a computer or tablet, and editing software. This job also requires a soundproof place to work, as well as a pop screen for the mic.

Where can I find work?

Most freelancers will already be aware of Fiverr. This site connects clients and creatives to find the ideal partnership for various projects. Narrators can offer their services to all, as well as search for jobs that might be right for them.

And if you’re serious about a career in narration, try building a professional website for yourself. Include a section with examples of your work, and make sure there is a way to contact you easily. Many clients expect this from their narrators, and it gives them a better chance of gaining employment.

More Flexible Job Opportunities!

If you’re working from home and would like a better work-life balance, check out my Flexible Jobs That Let You Set Your Own Hours, or perhaps my Companies That Hire For Freelance Proofreading Jobs, as well as my 20 Part Time Jobs That Pay More Than 20 Per Hour, and 15 Part Time Jobs That Pay More Than 40 Per Hour.

So, copy editing is the way to go? Great news, we found numerous guides such as the Butcher’s Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Copy-editors and Proofreaders, or how about Copy-Editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Authors and Publishers, and The Copyeditor’s Handbook – A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications, to get you started.

Lastly, why not try reading the ever-popular Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies, or maybe you’d like to know What Editors Do: The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Editing, or take a look at The Freelance Editor’s Handbook: A Complete Guide to Making Your Business Thrive, and for an all in one, The Copyeditor’s Handbook and Workbook: The Complete Set, available online in 2023.

Get Paid To Read Books – Final Thoughts

Though it’s difficult, you can get paid for reading books. OK, you might not be earning much money, to begin with, but put in the time and effort, and you’ll see it start to pay off.

And it doesn’t need to be a full-time commitment! Many readers do it as a way to get a spot of extra moolah whilst broadening their minds with new reading material. And hey, if you’re just doing it to get a couple of free books, then that sounds pretty great too!

So, all the best and happy reading, folks!

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