7 Ways to Get Paid to Read Books

Get paid to read books

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend who stated, “I love reading; I wish there was a way for me to get paid.” My cognitive wheels began to spin as I wondered, “How can she get paid to read books?” I started pondering previous conversations and experiences; conducted a little research; and came up with the following 7 ways you can get paid to read books.

7 Ways to Get Paid to Read Books

1. Book reviews

There are two ways to get paid for book reviews: work for a company or charge authors. When you work for a company, you are hired as a contractor or employee to read books and then write reviews. Your schedule and rates are usually predetermined.

On the other hand, you can charge people to write reviews on your site if 1) your site is popular 2) you have a large social media reach or 3) you have great offline influence. You may not have a lot of comments on your site, but you may have a huge Facebook, Twitter and YouTube following. Also, you may have a lot of influence in the groups to which you belong and in the community in which you live. You can determine which books you will review and set your own rates.

2. Affiliate programs

You can write book reviews to get paid by Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other affiliate programs. Many programs pay a percentage for the sale of each book sold from the referral. The amount you earn will vary depending on the program and the number of books sold.

3. Magazines

Submit reviews to the book section of your favorite magazines or other print or online publications that target your book’s audience.  There is no guarantee that you’ll be published. Pay for these opportunities range from free to a fee. If you are not paid, just seeing your name in the byline is very satisfying and worth the effort. If you are paid, the rates will vary according to publication. There is always a possibility of getting hired by a publication to be a book reviewer.

4. Ghost blogging for authors

Many people who write books are not gifted or talented writers, but they have editors and proofreaders to make them look good. These days everyone is being encouraged to create blogs, including authors. If an author hires you to blog for him or her, be sure to include your reading time in your rate unless you just love reading.

5. Create programs and products from books you’ve read

If you have read several books and can create a workshop, training or some other program or product based on those books, do it. You are just using information you’ve gained to create tools and products to help your audience. You may also be able to get paid by selling these books through an affiliate program.

6. Edit other people’s work

If you are a skilled editor, you can offer your services as an independent editor or work for publishing companies. Depending on your level of expertise, you can name your own rate when working for a company. You can definitely charge your own rates as an independent editor.

7. Audio Books

You can read books- your own or someone else’s – to make them audio books. Create your own audio books to enhance your product offerings and bottom line. If you are working for someone else, be sure to charge accordingly.

Above are 7 ways you can get paid to read books. It is a win-win for you especially if you are getting paid for something you love to do.

What are some other ways you can get paid to read books?

Image: thebest50years

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About Ms. Marcie

I am the author of 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger's Block, an enthusiastic blogger, and engaging speaker who enjoys Twitter, interviewing, Chicago, roller skating (not inline), and sharing little known and unknown facts.


  1. Morning Marice,

    The creating an audio books seem like a smart plan, you could use blog posts and create a series and sell them. Product creation with hardly any additional time needed.

  2. Hey Marcie,
    I like the way you grab ideas and develop them into interesting blog posts. I hope this friend of yours will start getting paid by doing what she likes 😉

  3. You missed the one I do, so I’ll tell you and your readers about it.

    You can get paid to be an “elder companion” (similar to being a babysitter only you are taking care of a senior instead of a kid). The job varies from person to person, but it is possible to advertise (on Craigslist or SitterCity or Care.com or Care4Hire or some other such place), say you would like to find a senior who is looking for someone to read to them. If you have a large book collection, this is a plus. Typically you will also be expected to cook meals, feed pets, clean house, go shopping, drive to appointments, etc, as well. (Standard pay is $10/hr, but the hours tend to be under 10 a week.) If you want to read only and not do the other stuff, you must specify this in your job wanted listing.

    Likewise you can get a job as a reader in most nursing homes (though more often than not it’s an unpaid volunteer position).

    Babysitters and Nannies also do A LOT of reading – A LOT. All ages like being read to from infants to teens. If you can find a family that puts high value on reading, you could be in for a heavy duty reading job. Do not assume you have to read ONLY picture books to young children! They have huge active imaginations and love being read from novels as well. I have found that with all ages Star Trek novels are a huge hit, and that teen girls love it when you read romance novels to them (makes them feel grown up).

    As for how much it pays, that depends on if you are a Sitter, a Nanny, or a Governess, but the pay is always at least minimum wage, which varies by state, but is always at least $7.25 (as per federal law). I don’t know where you are, but in Maine min.wage is $7.50 and that is what teenaged on call sitters make.

    Adult baby sitters around here earn $10/hr first child and an additional $5/hr/child after that. So 1 child = $10/hr, 2 children = $15/hr, 3 children = $20/hr etc.

    Nannies typically earn more than sitters, usually starting at $12 to $15/hr and adding $5/hr/child. So 1 child = $15/hr, 2 children = $20/hr, 3 children = $25/hr etc.This is the same for live in or live out, though live-ins tend to be a combo of nanny/housekeeper and thus get free rent/food/car/health insurance on top of the standard pay, as “extra pay”.

    Governesses, which are a combination of nanny and tutor, typically start at $30/hr and add $5/hr/child. So 1 child = $30/hr, 2 children = $35/hr, 3 children = $40/hr etc. Like nannies this is the same for live in or live out, though live-ins tend to be a combo of tutor/nanny/housekeeper and thus get free rent/food/car/health insurance on top of the standard pay, as “extra pay”.

    Another option is reading to groups (children, teens, or seniors) in a library, but that is typically an unpaid volunteer job, unless you are library staff.

    Another place to look is animal shelters. Many shelters now have readers on staff. A reader, brings their own book, whatever they want to read, and reads to the cats in a “cat reading room”. Again this is usually a volunteer job with no pay, but once in a while you’ll find a shelter that pays for this.

    I actually just posted a job wanted posting on Craigslist and SitterCity, which stated that I was looking to find a person to read to. I stated that I have done this for children, teens, seniors, and pets, and that I was looking for anyone seeking someone to read to them, their children, their pets, or their elderly parents. I charge $10 an hour for doing this.

    In the job listing I wrote:

    —- ” QUOTE:

    “I enjoy reading to children, anything from picture books and Dr. Seuss to Star Trek novels and Harry Potter. I can reread books too, (I know some sitters dislike doing so) so for kids who like to hear Green Eggs and Ham 20 times in a row on end – not a problem. If I know ahead of time a book your child would like to have read to them, I can get it through InterLibraryLoan.

    If your child(ren) like Disney comic books, I own hundreds and hundreds of them, including nearly every Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge ever written. (They are part of a bagged and boarded collection, some issues are nearly 100 years old, and I only let children who are VERY GENTLE handle these, otherwise I read them too them.)

    If your kids like Star Trek – I have hundreds of Star Trek novels and never tire of reading about Kirk, Spock, and the rest.

    Additionally, if your girl (14+, younger with mom’s okay) likes romance novels, I own 800+ romance novels from the 1980s-1990s, including 100+ paranormals, 100+ Barbara Cartlands (sweet, sex-free Victorian teen romances appropriate for girls 10+, younger with mom’s okay), 300+ Regencies, and 400+ historicals (Fabio-type Bodice Rippers for readers 16+).

    I’ve also got ALL of InuYasha (manga/Japanese comic AND anime/cartoon DVDs.)

    I love to read and get on best with children who love to be read to, especially older preteen/teens who love stories but don’t necessarily want to read to themselves. (If your child has reading issues, is behind on reading skills, and needs help in improving their grades in reading/literature or creative writing, this is an area I can help with.”

    END QUOTE” “—–

    There isn’t big demand for it, but it’s a side income. So far I’ve done it for a few children, 3 seniors, a dog, and 15 cats.

  4. so does the http://www.onlinebookclub.org really work? can you get paid to write book reviews???

  5. thank you

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