- Zulie Rane earns six figures as a freelance content creator.
- She always wanted to earn money from reading books, but said the best way to do that doesn't exist.
- Rane said one of the funnest ways to make money by reading books is to create a social media page.
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When I was younger, it was always my dream to become a professional reader. I wanted my entire day job to be reading books, thinking critically about what was good, what was bad, and what I would change, and then sharing my thoughts with other people. I really expected this to be a full-time job.
Unfortunately, there's no book-reading degree. You can't get a nine-to-five job as a professional book reader. (At least not yet.) But it is possible to make money by reading books online and offline. I've got 18 ways listed right here. Some of these are pretty typical, and some of these are a little more unconventional, but all of these will result in you earning money from reading books.
I've separated these into four different categories of ways to make money from reading books: social media, jobs, review sites, and others.
Make money reading books for social media
One of the most standard and fun ways to make money by reading books is to create a social media profile where you gain a reputation for reading books, having interesting thoughts, and influencing others to read or not read particular books.
All you need to get started is a way to post. You don't even need to buy books at first – use a library card or a Hoopla account to read books for free.
Here are a few of the best ways to make money by reading books using social media.
1. Post your video thoughts on BookTok (and BookTube, and BookStagram)
TikTok gets a bad rap, but it's actually boosting literacy rates in America. I personally have read plenty of BookTok books that I loved, including The Hating Game, anything by Emily Henry, and The Song of Achilles, to name a few.
The good news is that BookTok is one of the best ways to make money by reading books.
Here's how it works. This process is similar to any of the video-format book reviews.
First, create an account. Make it clear that it's about book reviews. Explain what genre of books you like.
Then, start reviewing books. This requires a bit of thought - how can you make your videos stand out? How can you gain a reputation as a thoughtful, trustworthy Bookfluencer?
After that, join the creator fund whenever you're eligible. In 2021, Cait Jacobs went on the record to state that TikTok's creator fund only nets you 2 to 4 cents per 1,000 views, so you'd need between 25,000 to 50,000 views to earn just a dollar.
However, sponsorships are also a lucrative and potential source of income.
Create the video once, then cross-post it on all three video channels to get the most bang for your buck. It may take some time, but you can earn money by reading books this way.
2. Write your review on a blog to earn money by reading books
What better way to make money by reading than penning an homage to the book with the written word? Blogs are a great way to make money by reading books. It's a less demanding schedule than video content, so you can post once or twice a week as you read and review books, and slowly gain an audience that way.
Whack ads on that bad boy and you're good to go. It may take a while to start gaining traction, but if you truly love books, you're reading them anyway, just post your reviews on your own website instead of (or in addition to) Goodreads.
3. Post about books on Medium
Medium has a royalty payment scheme. The way it works is when a paying Medium member reads your post, you earn a small portion of their monthly membership fee. More views = more money.
Post your book reviews on a publication like Books Are Our Superpower and make money by reading books that way.
This is a really great way to do it because it's simple. You don't need to do any SEO to get money from ad views. You don't even need to host your own website. Just post your thoughts, get 100 followers, and start making money by reading books and posting your thoughts.
4. Podcast it, baby
Podcasts work similarly to BookTok or Bookstagram to make money by reading books, except instead of recording both voice and face, it's just your voice.
Grab a cohost or DIY. Share your latest thoughts on the books you read. Earn money through sponsorships.
Right now, most podcasts don't earn money through anything by ads, but if your podcast grows bigger, you can leverage your audience to get Patreon support, sell bonus content, or get some kind of exclusive deal with a podcasting company.
5. Use affiliate links
Affiliate links kind of pervade all these methods, but they're big enough that I'm giving them their own category as one of the best ways to make money by reading books.
Here's how you can make money reading books by using affiliate links.
First, join an affiliate program like Bookshop.org (my personal fave).
Then, read a book.
Find the book on Bookshop.org.
Make a recommendation to a friend, on your blog, podcast, social media post, or newsletter.
When someone buys that book thanks to your recommendation, you earn 10% of the sale.
That's it! It's highly scalable – you can make a few bucks right away with just a single sale, and then as your platform grows, you'll earn more and more.
Freelance or jobs
What if you don't want to get a whole new social media profile? What if you want to be paid today, not in three months when the first ad revenue trickles in, or your first sponsor comes through?
Consider a career pivot or a side hustle. Freelance gigs or actual jobs are some of the best ways to make money by reading books. Pros: money right away. Cons: not as much control over the books you read.
Here are your options. I've included both full-time, 9-5 career options as well as more casual pay-as-you-go gigs to make money by reading books.
6. Narrate audiobooks
Who amongst us has never heard the dulcet tones of an audiobook reader? Nobody. (My personal fave? Moira Quirk's rendition ofGideon the Ninth.)
The good news is that if you're in possession of a dulcet tone of your own, you are in high demand as an audiobook narrator. You can make money reading books aloud. Fun fact: Audiobooks are becoming more and more popular. Over the last 10 years, the proportion of U.S. adults who have read an audiobook has doubled. No wonder you can get paid to read books for Audible.
Here are two programs where you can upload a few samples, get contracts, and get paid for reading books (or narrating them).
Findaway Voices is a similar program. The rates are similar. You can sign up, upload samples, and get picked based on your accent or liveliness. One thing I prefer about Findaway Voices versus ACX is that FV helps authors get books into libraries. Not only do I love libraries, but this also helps you get extra money.
I recommend you do both.
7. Indulge your grammar nerd and become an editor
This is both a career option and a freelance option. Depending on how much education you have, you can either apply for full-time editing jobs or just post your gig on a platform like Upwork or Fiverr.
(I've talked about whether Fiverr is good for beginners here if you want to read more.)
Editing can be both grammatical pickups, but also more structural or developmental editing. This is a great way to get paid to read books because it'll actually strengthen your craft, too.
8. Become a literary agent
This is a career option. It's a very romantic way to make money by reading books if you ask me. It's your job to pick out the finest, overlooked manuscripts, read them, and make them shine. Behind every single one of your favorite books is a literary agent who believed in it long before you did.
If you don't have the right qualifications, I recommend you start with an internship. Start networking heavily, because your job is knowing the right people. Understand the publishing process inside and out. Then get paid for reading books, even if they're unpublished.
TCK Publishing has a good guide on how to get started.
9. Translate books
Know more than one language? Amazing news – you can get paid to read books in English, Spanish, or any other language and translating them. I love reading books in Spanish, German, and English, so I'm very grateful to the translators who help share works in other languages with me.
This can be a career or just a gig, depending on your passion for the job.
10. Proofread books
This can be a full-time career, but more commonly it's a side hustle. I think it's one of the best ways to make money reading books because, by the time a proofreader comes aboard, the book is typically more polished and ready for publishing. Editors have to deal with the raw material, but proofreaders are just looking for small errors.
You need a critical eye and an active grammar checker in your head at all times, but it's possible to make money reading books this way.
11. Design book covers
This one's a curveball! Do you have good design instincts? Maybe you're even a graphic designer? Then this is one of the best ways to make money by reading books for you.
You'll get to read books, think about how you'd convey the main vibe, design a book cover, and get paid.
You can go in both directions here – either go freelance or apply for in-house jobs as a book cover designer. Either will result in a great way to make money by reading books.
Again, this is later on in the process so you'll get to read an almost ready-for-publish book. I also consider this to be a big deal for the author. Your cover will be one of the most influential factors in the book's success.
Onto method three: submitting reviews for cash. This is probably the simplest method since it involves just three steps: you read a book, you pen your thoughts, and you submit to one of the five platforms I'm about to suggest to you. Boom, you've made money by reading books. This is probably the fastest way to get paid $200 to read books.
You probably already know typical places like Kirkus Reviews pay for reading books, so here are five more unheard-of five platforms I think are best to make money by reading books.
Can you write 150 to 175 words about why you liked or didn't like a book? You need to be able to describe the plot and suggest an ideal audience. If so, Booklist may be for you. Here are some examples.
These pay $15 each. You don't need a library degree, just a familiarity with books and libraries to apply.
13. The US Review of Books
This is more of a freelance position that you can tackle later on in your career as a paid book reader. You'll need to contact the editor with a resume, sample work, and at least two professional references.
They ask that your review be 250-300 words long, with a summary as well as additional insights from the book. Check out examples here. The reviews are paid, but they don't say exactly how much.
Reedsy operates a little differently. Rather than paying you for reviews, you get paid for reading books when you earn a tip. Basically, you write a review, post it on the site, and wait. If a reader loves your review, they may tip you $1, $3, or $5.
Bookbrowse is another great place to submit reviews. They promise a "modest payment," and normally assign one review per month to their reviewers. They also ask that you come armed to your application having read some sample reviews and with a few quality samples of at least 300 words yourself.
16. Online Book Club
For your first review, you won't actually earn any cash – you'll just be sent a free book. Not so bad, right?
But after your first sample book, you'll be eligible for paid book review opportunities. You can earn anywhere between $5 to $60 per book review.
You don't have to apply – just enter your email address and sign up. I was able to sign up and nab a free book within about a minute. After that, you have to confirm the download within an hour and submit a review within 14 days.
Miscellaneous ways of making money by reading books
These two are still great, but they didn't fit neatly into the other categories of the best ways to make money by reading books. Hence, they get their own category.
17. Create a paid book club
For this one, you just need friends (or a social circle). Pick a book, create some buzz, request a small payment for organizing, and set up a book club.
I pay $5/month for membership to my local book club, and I consider it money well spent. Once a month, I get an evening with pals, talking about a book. I didn't have to organize it at all. The organizer, Alice, earns between $25-75 a month depending on how many folks come.
This won't make you rich, but it is a great way to make money reading books because you'll get to read books you actually love and are excited to read. Plus, you get to hang out with friends.
18. Join apps that pay you to read
Booksta claims to let you "get paid to read." Sounds promising! This was the only "read and earn money" app I could find.
The way it works is you read a book, take a quiz on Booksta, and then earn Booksta coins based on your score.
Booksta coins are valued at $5/coin. There's some confusion on the site about whether the coin is actually transferable to real USD, or whether it's simply a guess for what that coin will be worth once it's all "on a Blockchain platform as a currency."
I'm leery whenever I see the word "Blockchain," but don't let my suspicions hold you back!
The best way to make money by reading books doesn't exist yet
In my dreams, there is a future utopia. In that future, I read the books I want comfortably, and earn a living wage by doing so. However, we are not yet in that utopia. Today, the main best ways to make money by reading books are:
Posting content on social media
Getting freelance gigs editing, designing, or proofreading
Submitting reviews to paid platforms
A few other rogue options like starting a paid book club or trying out novelty apps
Maybe one day my utopia will exist. Until then, I hope this article helps you find the best ways to make money by reading books.
Zulie Rane is a freelance content creator who writes and blogs.
To get paid for reading books out loud on Audible, you need to set up your account through ACX. Since Audible is a huge platform, it might be a while before you can start making money on it. You must perfect your narrating skills and be sure that you are auditioning for the books you would like.Is there a site that pays you to read books? ›
In many cases, Upwork can provide a foot in the door to ongoing work as a book reviewer, making it one of the best sites that will, indirectly, pay you to read books. To Apply: Create a Freelancer account on the site, list your skills and experience and upload a portfolio.How do you get paid for narrating audiobooks? ›
To get started, sign up for an ACX account. Then follow the ACX guidelines to upload high-quality samples to your profile and set your hourly rate. This can help authors and publishers find you and review your work. If they like your style, they can select you to narrate one of their audiobooks.How do you get paid $200 to read books? ›
In good news for—likely every reader on this website, a company called WordsRated is looking for “Bibliofile-at-large” (i.e. contractors) to… read books for them. For every book you read, they'll pay you $200.How much does Audible pay narrators? ›
Contract or Employed Narrators
An example of a contract narrator gig is being an audible narrator. ACX narrators earn $10 to $100 for beginners and $100 to $500 for professionals. The narrator's pay rate depends on audiobook work, feedback, experience, and if their voice fits particular niches.
In the US, 81-year-old actor George Guidall is considered narration's undisputed heavyweight champion: his baritone voice has graced more than 1,300 audiobook recordings, including works by Dostoevsky, Jonathan Franzen and Stephen King.How do you become a paid reader? ›
- Become an audiobook narrator.
- Become a professional proofreader.
- Become a book influencer.
- Become a book reviewer.
Zapper is the easiest way to make money on your old books – get trading today! Sell CDs, DVDs and Games to Zapper and declutter for cash! Our platform is easy to use and we offer the best prices. Simply scan the barcodes of your unwanted items, and we'll give you an instant valuation.How can I read books for cash? ›
- #1 – Critique Partner.
- #2 – Professional Reviewer.
- #3 – Sensitivity Reader.
- #4 – Audiobooks.
- #5 – Work As A Translator.
- #6 – Booklist.
- #7 – Online Book Club.
- #8 – Beta Reader.
Back to the Introduction
Do you have a great voice and enjoy telling stories? If so, then becoming an audiobook narrator might be a great 6-figure side hustle for you. Audiobook narration is a great way to make money, and there are plenty of opportunities available through www.ACX.com.
At first, this article was titled, "5 Myths About How To Become An Audiobook Narrator." But to be honest, the truth is anyone can become an audiobook narrator. All you need is a recording device, a book, and an ACX, Fiverr or any other voiceover platform account.How many hours does it take to narrate an audiobook? ›
Generally, a voice actor should expect to spend about 20 hours in the studio recording a typical 10-hour audiobook. Audiobook producer Drew Allen Brown, author of “Audiobooks: The Definitive How to Guide,” estimates that it typically takes twice as long to record as the finished product.What company pays $200 for each book you read? ›
(KGTV) - A social media post going around appears to be a job listing offering to pay people $200 for every book read by hired candidates. It's actually true. A company called WordsRated is looking to hire several people for the position.How much do you get paid for reading books on Kirkus reviews? ›
A very small portion of that sum (around $50, based on rumors I dug up) is given to the reviewer, while Kirkus keeps the rest. Whether or not this is sufficient will depend on how you view the job. On the one hand, the reviews are quite short, and you're getting the opportunity to read books for free.How much does Amazon Audible pay? ›
Average Audible hourly pay ranges from approximately $14.23 per hour for Customer Support Representative to $73.26 per hour for Senior Marketing Manager.What equipment do I need to become an audiobook narrator? ›
- Recording Space. ...
- Soundproofing. ...
- Computer with at least 8GB of RAM. ...
- Digital Audio Workstation. ...
- Microphone. ...
- Pop Filter. ...
- Shock Mount. ...
- Mic Boom Arm.
- Engage the listener.
- Make and keep a contract with the listener to suspend their disbelief.
- Give a consistent performance.
- Have intuitive timing.
- Develop multiple convincing character voices or use appropriate inflection.
If you're just starting out, expect to offer a PFH rate between $10 and $100; more experienced narrators receive between $100 and $350 per finished hour. Royalty share: Audiobook narrators can receive a royalty share, which translates to about two dollars per sale, or a quarter of the overall profits the title makes.Can you be a full time audiobook narrator? ›
Everyone's career path in audiobook narration will be a little bit different. Some people freelance for their whole career. Others freelance sometimes and work as direct employees at others. Some people record audiobooks part time while working other careers.Who is the most famous narrator? ›
There are few voices as instantly recognizable as that of Morgan Freeman. His deep, resonant tones have lent authority to countless documentaries, making him one of the best narrators in the business.
To become a script reader, you typically need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Beyond that, there are few formal qualifications for the entry-level position, although having an associate degree or a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject may improve your job opportunities.Is ACX legit to make money? ›
ACX production costs are low, so there's more profit to go around. A unique and robust royalty model. Depending on the distribution rights granted to Audible, authors, publishers, and other Rights Holders, as well as narrators, studio professionals, and other Producers can earn royalties of up to 40%.How can I become a script reader? ›
- Earn a degree. Pursue a college degree in a field like creative writing, media and communication, screenwriting or a related area. ...
- Gain relevant experience. ...
- Learn about screenwriting. ...
- Prepare coverage samples. ...
- Practice your skills. ...
- Create a network. ...
- Consider advancing your career.
Authors are able to earn a maximum of 3,000 Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) Read per title per customer. This means that each time your Kindle eBook is borrowed and read, you can receive credit for up to 3,000 pages.How do you upload books and get paid? ›
Payhip is another e-commerce platform that offers you the opportunity to sell your books directly to your audience anywhere in the world. As soon as your book is published on Payhip, after following the simple procedures, a link is generated for you, that can be marketed on your social media handles, or your website.How much do Ziffit pay for books? ›
The average amount for each book they accepted was around £0.45 so that's pretty good, considering I would just have donated these books to charity anyway.Can you get paid to review books? ›
Writing Book Reviews for Online Book Club
Pay varies per book, but it usually ranges from $5–60 per review according to their website. “Reviewing books for the Online Book Club was a good experience because I got to read books and give my opinion about them, which I enjoyed,” says Yolimari Garcia, a former reviewer.
- Read frequently. Take time to read as often as you can. ...
- Consider a bachelor's degree in literature. Think about pursuing a bachelor's degree in literature. ...
- Begin reviewing books on your own. Start writing reviews for books you read. ...
- Build a readership. ...
- Apply for work as a book reviewer.
- Open a POD Online Store. ...
- Start Selling Online Courses. ...
- Participate in Market Research. ...
- Create Content. ...
- Try Affiliate Marketing. ...
- Create and Sell Digital Products. ...
- Become a Virtual Assistant. ...
- Start Taking Online Surveys.
Narrating an audiobook is the most challenging work you can do in voiceover. It takes myriad skills to navigate them successfully, but if you can master the 10 skills below, you'll be successful in accomplishing a performance most audiobook listeners take for granted.
Payments will be delivered by direct deposit or a check. Payment to Narrators or Studio Professionals in comes from a Rights Holder. When you complete an audiobook and upload it to ACX, it then goes to the Rights Holder to approve. Once approved, the Rights Holder should pay you by check, credit card, or other method.How to be successful on ACX? ›
- Learn narration AND technical skills. ...
- Treat your room space – it really matters. ...
- Choose your microphone wisely. ...
- Practise your diction – it really matters. ...
- Punch up your voice projection. ...
- Simple voice exercises help projection and diction.
What Is an Audiobook Narrator? An audiobook narrator is a voice actor who lends their voice to spoken word audio for an audiobook or “book on tape” format. Audiobook narration involves reading the entire text of a literary work aloud for an extended recording time.How much should I charge to narrate an audiobook? ›
Rates typically charged by audiobook narrators on Upwork are: Beginner: $28 per hour. Intermediate: $79 per hour. Advanced: $480 per hour.Do you need a degree to be an audiobook narrator? ›
You're embodying different characters, you're telling stories.” While a drama degree may not always be required to become an audiobook narrator, a background in acting can help. Familiarity of various languages and the research required to become more comfortable speaking these languages are also important skills.How long is a 100k word audiobook? ›
The average audiobook is 100,000 words, or about 11 hours long (55 words a minute, 9300 per finished hour).How long is an 80000 word audiobook? ›
An 80,000 word book is 80,000 / 5940 = 13.47 hours of studio time for the narrator.How many pages is a 15 hour audiobook? ›
You can finish one full size books (15 hours/400 pages) a week WITHOUT wasting a single extra minute on reading. You just read (listen) when you do physical tasks.How much do you get paid for a book deal? ›
How much of a book price goes to the author? After a publisher has earned out their advance, about 5-15% of the book price is paid to the author in royalties.How many books to sell to make $100,000? ›
After the first year, you'll have 12 books published. To make $100k with those 12 books, you'd need to sell 348 copies of each book each month. After the second year, you'll have 24 books published. To make $100k with those 24books, you'd need to sell 174 copies of each book each month.
Royalties are paid every month, approximately 60 days after the end of the month in which the sale was reported (90 days for Expanded Distribution) as long as you meet the minimum threshold for payment. Direct deposit payments can take 1–5 business days to show on your bank account from the payment date.What is Pango books? ›
Our easy-to-use book marketplace app takes all the guesswork of selling and shipping and is an outstanding way to find savings on used books. You earn more money when selling and save more money when buying, which is why Pango is today's fastest-growing book marketplace!Can you sell books to Barnes and Noble's? ›
Once we receive your book, we'll send you a check for your total sale if it is in an acceptable condition. You must have at least $10.00 worth of books to sell in order to participate. A price quote is based on expected future demand for the book and current stock availability.How do I become a Kirkus book reviewer? ›
Kirkus currently reviews nearly all genres for books of all lengths, in digital, hardcover and paperback format. To apply, please submit your resume, writing samples and a list of reviewing specialties to Kirkus Indie Editor David Rapp at Drapp@kirkus.com.Is it worth getting a Kirkus review? ›
What's the benefit of Kirkus reviews? Kirkus is a credible, industry-renowned resource among authors, publishers, the media, libraries, booksellers, and readers. It is a trusted measure around the world.Do women's review of books get paid? ›
Women's Review of Books
Most of its writers are also academics, journalists, or book reviewers with some years of experience behind them. If you meet these qualifications and are accepted, you'll be compensated $100 per review. To pitch then a review, send them an email with a quick proposal.
Our payment system is a breeze. Every time someone signs up through your custom URL, you get a $15 commission. We track your hits and pay you each month you hit the $30.00 payment threshold. Referring your listeners requires no selling.How can I earn money by reading books? ›
- Join BookTok. ...
- Write book reviews as a freelancer. ...
- Start a book blog. ...
- Run a book club. ...
- Proofread books for money. ...
- Become a book podcaster. ...
- Get paid to narrate audiobooks. ...
- Work as a book editor.
However, if you choose to get a free trial of Audible Premium Plus then you get to select 2 audiobooks to keep instead of just one!How much money does Amazon make from Audible? ›
U.S. Audiobook publishing generated $1.6 billion as of 2021. Around $1.01 billion of this figure was generated by Audible sales, based on market share. Audible's revenue makes up 4.2% of Amazon's book publishing revenue. The Audible platform produces 10,000 titles a year.
ACX authors and publishers can earn between 20%-40% of their title royalties through ACX. The royalty rate you earn is determined by the distribution option you select and the method by which the Producer is compensated.What company pays $200 to read novels? ›
A research company called WordsRated is looking for help collecting details on NYT bestseller-listed books. Specifically, they're looking for readers to plow through books cover to cover while jotting down detailed information about the characters and plot.How do you become a paid reviewer? ›
- Get Reviewed.
- Gartner Peer Insights.
- Harris Poll Online.
It is constantly challenging and can often experience shifting priorities. Management cares about people and they've done an amazing job doing what's right by employees during this pandemic.What's the difference between Audible and audiobooks? ›
Audiobooks.com Summary. Audible and Audiobooks' key differences are that Audible offers a better returns policy and audio quality, more original titles, and a yearly subscription discount. Otherwise, the services are identical, the price, apps, and audiobook library are excellent for both.Is Audible worth it on Amazon? ›
So, Is Audible Worth It? Paying a monthly fee to get Audible membership is worth it if you listen to audio on the go and love reading. I often buy the ebook and audiobook, a habit that proves expensive, but I like having versions I can annotate and highlight. For me, it simplifies reading and writing.