How to Make Money Reading Books: Side Gigs for Bookworms

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A professional reader can get paid to read books. Yes, this might be the unicorn of jobs but it exists. This is how it looks: you work in a publishing house or literary agency and your task is to read the books you receive to choose those that will be published.

Or perhaps, you are an independent professional reader and companies pay you to write book reviews and determine whether they are worth reading or not.

Your reading skills can also allow you to make money by proofreading texts of various subjects, and your amazing diction and tone of voice could grant you lots of work in the voiceover industry.

Or maybe, you are adept at product marketing information and your fair assessment of products and services might be useful in answering surveys by companies doing market research.

If you want to know more about all these side gig possibilities, just keep reading.

1. Answer Surveys

Pinecone Research

An online survey from Pinecone Research generally takes 15-20 minutes. Registration is only possible via PC or laptop, and not on tablet or smartphone.

Only people residing in the U.S. can register, and you must participate as a new member in the so-called “profile questionnaires” for your own household, which can take up to 20 minutes.

Depending on the target buyer, you can expect one to two surveys per week, for a total of four to eight surveys per month, but this can vary. You can make $3 per survey, based on a point system that is worth reviewing before you subscribe

Survey Junkie

This is a website connecting companies that are interested in conducting market research with members of the community.

Through feedback, they give community members the possibility of generating extra money and in turn provide valuable information about different products and services that they are interested in marketing.

Survey Junkie gives you points for anything you do on the website. You can redeem those points in terms of cash once you accumulate 1,000 points. Every 100 points equal $1 that you can transfer directly to your PayPal account or you can also redeem via e-gift cards.


Toluna is an online community dedicated to “making the voice of its users heard.” Its operation is very basic: it’s about giving product managers and leads your opinion on their companies’ products and services.

It is one of the most popular sites to answer questions, as it has 13 million registered users in 68 countries.

According to Nerd Wallet you can make about $74 cents an hour. Unlike sites such as CashCrate and InboxDollars, which pay a specific dollar amount for each survey, Toluna uses a point system.

After roughly five hours on Toluna, you can make 12,000 points via profile surveys and get a 500-point registration bonus.

2. Proofread


Amazon proofreaders are critical to the achievements of Amazon sellers, as they help them sell their products by reviewing and proofreading product descriptions and marketing copy. If you want to get paid to read books, you can become a Kindle proofreader and have access to books on a myriad of topics.

To become an Amazon proofreader, you are required to have basic proofreading skills and be able to spot spelling and grammar errors.

On platforms like Glassdoor and the ones mentioned further down, you can search for this type of job, some starting on $18 the hour.


Fiverr is one of the multiple web platforms with which you can generate income working from home or from anywhere in the world as a digital nomad.

Fiverr is a specialized platform for the purchase and sale of digital products and services –only services or products that can be delivered online.

It is one of the most popular web portals to earn money online with one-off jobs. The list of services and products that you can offer on Fiverr is unimaginably long.

On this platform, it is possible to get paid to read books, and also on doing translations, designing brochures, making a logo, and yes, proofreading. There are more than 20,000 proofreading offers on Fiverr.

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This is one of the most powerful tools to search for freelance job offers from home or from anywhere in the world. If you want to get paid to read books, this interests you.

FlexJobs is the largest flexible, remote, telecommuting, freelance job portal. Through this website, you can access more than 50 different professional categories that range from opportunities for people with little experience to opportunities for high positions.

FlexJobs has a specific proofreading jobs page, offering thousands of projects in a myriad of languages, all remotely, including book reviewer, copy editor, content editor, copywriter, and writer.


Freelancer is one of the best-known platforms to find employment online from anywhere in the world or to work from home.

You can find professionals who work remotely and offer services in different areas –It basically connects companies and professionals to establish an effective collaboration.

Freelancer has an extensive category list among which multiple types and areas of professional services stand out.

Some of the most popular and requested services you can find are content writing, translation, and proofreading.

You will also be able to visualize your “competition” –who are the other freelancers who have sent proposals to this job– in order to have an idea of what you can offer as added value.


On Goodreads –the famous social cataloging website for editorial material– you can find more than a dozen of proofreading groups with thousands of members who get paid to read books.

This is a good place where writers scour for proofreading talent, so if you are interested in dabbling into the activity, Goodreads is a good place to start.

Within these groups, writers can also find readers, beta readers, copy editors, editors, and graphic artists for book covers.

The site also has discussion boards where authors and proofreaders alike connect to start projects, many of them on Amazon Kindle.


Scribd is an e-book and audiobook subscription service that offers more than one million titles, and more than 60 million documents on its open publishing platform.

Scribd is famous for being very rich in content, as its library is constantly expanding in both best-sellers and niche titles.

On several of the job platforms mentioned in this guide, you can find Scribd proofreading job offers. On Freelancer, for instance, projects are opened in bidding mode, so you would want to have a look at how it works in detail.

Surely, given the size and fame of Scribd, securing a proofreading job with them would be a great gig to get paid to read books.


Upwork is a totally free platform that connects freelancers and agencies with companies looking for specialized talent to develop a project.

Basically, this platform works as an intermediary –something like Airbnb– between companies and professionals, or agencies looking for new projects.

In addition, the platform is very intuitive and easy to use, since it offers several advantages such as facilitating communication between both parties and ease of payment methods.

If you want to get paid to read books, you can also add the rate you charge per hour, a title and general description that defines you as a professional, profile photo, location, and phone.

At the moment of writing this guide, there are 2,649 proofreader jobs posted on Upwork, involving writing and editing for different mediums and formats, from websites and books to business guides and self-help material.

3. Translate Books

Translation is another way to get paid to read books. There are several websites where you can find jobs to translate current or professional texts for a fee –you just have to register and become part of a translation team.

These types of jobs can be done from anywhere in the world, and you can make some extras at will.

There are many possibilities, from a translator from Spanish to English or vice versa to other languages ​​such as Italian, French, Chinese, or Russian.

Platforms like Gengo –founded in Japan in 2008–  offer translation services to companies such as YouTube, Alibaba, Path, Tripadvisor, among others.

The process for making translations is very simple: you have to register on their website for free and take a test to see your level. Once done and sent, you will receive the results in a short time.

Translators are paid on the 10th and 25th of each month, in addition to being able to work whenever they want and not being obliged to do all the jobs that appear in their Gengo account –only the ones they choose. Most of the works are short texts and without any complexity, so much research is not required.

Tomedes is another famous one, as it is a leading company made up of thousands of translators from all over the world.

In addition, there is a team of linguistic project managers and proofreaders, and it has a quality-control department.

They work for international companies around the world, as well as academic institutions, government agencies, franchises, and small businesses.

In Tomedes it works differently: you select the price you want to charge, and based on that, Tomedes sends you different projects to translate. When you receive them, you select if you want to make the translation or not.

Don’t worry about setting the prices, there are guidance tables to see how much other translators charge.

4. Podcast Reading

Are you one of those with sharp diction and a smart voice? Podcast reading is another good alternative to make money, as many online media outlets and even marketing departments at companies are looking for voice services to promote a product or tell a story.

In several of the above-mentioned platforms, you can find a myriad of job offers relating to podcast reading, audiobook reading, voice narration, and voice-over artists –even audio meditations are a great opportunity as people are flocking towards some relief from the pandemic.

Companies and writers/artists alike pay a fixed price for an audio project, or also by the minute or hour.

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5. Read and Review Books

This is another solid alternative if you want to get paid to read books. You can write reviews on a regular basis and make some money out of something fun.

People who write book reviews have special perks like keeping the reviewed book for free, they can choose what works they want to review, among other attractive benefits.

The following are some of the best websites that are usually looking for people to come up with book reviews, either academic or literary.

Any Subject Books

Any Subject Books is a full-suite, self-publishing platform on the lookout for reviewers on a project basis.

Applying for Any Subject Books as a reviewer gives you the chance to make between $5 and $60 per review depending on the type of work and length.

To do the job, the website will send you a copy of the book which you can keep after reading it and posting your review. Any Subject Goods is especially easy for those who have experience reviewing literary works on sites like Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Browse

BookBrowse is a site specialized in reviewing both fiction and non-fiction books, including some works for young adults. According to their website, reviewers tend to write about one review a month and receive a “byline and modest payment.”

If you feel this is for you, you can apply for the reviewer job by completing a form once you feel familiar with the review style of the site. Besides, you must send a 300-word review sample. Most of the website’s reviewers are in the U.S. but the platform is open to applications from overseas.

Booklist Online

Booklist Online is a well-reputed website –originally a publication– by the American Library Association offering critical reviews of literary works and audiovisual pieces. Available both in print and online, Booklist’s first issue appeared in 1905.

Booklist pays $15 for every 150-175-word review once is published. “If a review is held for a later issue, that means you might not get paid for it for a while,” according to the website, and if reviewers reject a title they’ll get a 5$ reject fee. If you are interested, a library degree is not required.


BookYap specializes in self-help books, with most book reviews written by Phong Nguyen who also makes the book selection on the website.

Categories include Entrepreneur, Self-Improvement, Marketing and Management, Real Estate and Investments, Economics and Finance, among others.

People who want to become book reviewers for BookYap are encouraged to apply in the “contact” section of the website. Information about payment is rather cryptic, so feel free to enquire to Nguyen directly.

Kirkus Media

Virginia Kirkus founded Kirkus Reviews –by Kirkus Media– in 1933, and since then it has become an established book review outlet –so much so that Kirkus Reviews confers the Kirkus Prize every year to outstanding authors in the fields of fiction and non-fiction.

Kirkus Reviews offers freelance projects for aspiring book reviewers from anywhere in the world, both for English and Spanish works –especially for self-published authors in Kirkus Indie. A book review must be 350 words due in a fortnight. Payment is to be determined with the editor directly.

Online Book Club

Online Book Club is a book review community online that emerged nearly 10 years ago, and it has nothing but grown ever since.

The Online Book Club site offers an app called Bookshelves with which readers can store, track, and share book lists, and it also offers several forums for book lovers who can also access books for free.

Those who are interested in becoming book reviewers can make between $5 and 60$ per review, for which they will have to write a “test review,” which, in case of being approved, will make you eligible for payment.

2021 Business Book holiday reading 2020 Business Book Top 10 best personal finance books to read in 2020
Free-Photos / Pixabay

Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly is another well-established –founded in 1972– weekly news magazine about the publishing world, also known as PW and “the bible of the book business.”

Besides this type of newsy content, PW features book lists and pre-publication book reviews, with this particular section accounting for nearly half of the magazine’s content weekly.

If you want to become a book reviewer, you can send a resume and a sample review of approximately 200 words of a recently published book.

No payment information is available from a credited source so your best bet is to contact the editorial team directly to determine book reviews’ fees.

Reedsy Discovery

This is a marketing platform for authors who want to reach the public. Reedsy Discovery is generating a lot of interest and more than 150,000 people have already signed up, according to the European Commission.

Becoming a book reviewer will grant you access to the platform’s submissions pool and will allow you to read and review books before they launch. Readers will reward your work by sending you $1 to $5 as a way of payment.

The US Review of Books

According to its website, The US Review of Books connects authors with professional book reviewers and places their book reviews in front of more than 20,000 subscribers of a free monthly newsletter.

If you’re interested in becoming a book reviewer, you would want to send your resume, a work sample, and two professional references via email directly to the editor.

Reviewers are paid monthly “for every review completed during the previous month.” Reviewing 8 to 10 books a month would mean $200-$750.

Women’s Review of Books

A feminist, well-reputed publication, Women’s Review of Books offers insight on books written by and about women. It is edited by feminist author Jennifer Baumgardner, and it’s been circulating since 1983.

If you have a sweet tooth for feminist topics at a high level of discourse, you can apply for the job, bearing in mind that reviews are published “in the service of action and consciousness.” Women’s Review of Books pays $100 per review.

Writerful Books

If you Google “Writerful Books”, you’ll quickly find that, attached to the website information there is a link to “Paid Book Reviewers Wanted,” so do not waste any time.

The site is focused on reviewing works of literature by American, Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, and New Zealand authors.

If you think writing an honest review is your gig, feel free to send your CV, links to your social media accounts, and a few samples of your book reviewing work.

Since the website doesn’t specify any payment information, you will have to wait for an offer and take it from there.

6. Voiceover Acting

Voiceover acting is another great opportunity for those endowed with the skill. Either as audiobook narrators or product marketing voiceovers, there are several platforms you can turn to and start your voiceover career as another string to your bow.

Audiobook Creative Exchange

Audiobook Creation Exchange, or ACX, allows people to connect with different authors who need book narration services.

The hiring process requires showing the project portfolio and audio samples with the reading of the book to which you are applying.

The site offers comprehensive training videos and resources, and allows you to determine a per-finished-hour rate or sharing 50% of the royalties.

To establish the former, you must consider your level of experience, the amount of work –script prep, recording, editing, and post-production– and other important aspects.

Brilliance Audio

Brilliance Audio is an Amazon company and a subsidiary of Amazon Publishing. It publishes award-winning books in audio format, including retail downloads as well as CDs and MP3-CDs –it is also an audio distributor for Amazon Publishing, Audible Studios, Audio Holdings, Better Listen, and Bolinda.

If you’re interested in becoming an audiobook narrator for Brilliance Audio, you’re expected to have the stamina to record 5 to 7 hours in one day, with a consistent tone and without losing you voiceover energy. On the “Contact Us” section of their website, you can look for open positions.

Findaway Voices

With Findaway Voices, people can create, market, and sell their audiobooks. However, you can sign up as a narrator for those authors by providing up to ten voice samples, your per-finished-hour rate, a short bio, and your signature.

If your application is successful, the Findaway Voices staff will short-list you for the works they think you’re a good match for, based on your voice qualities and other criteria.

Then, authors will listen to your voice samples, analyze your rate, and request an audition. Once the whole process is sorted, you’ll get paid within 14 days of final approval.

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The Voices

The Voices provides authors with a wide array of voiceover artists, audio producers, as well as music artists and translators –with experience being the main attribute. The platform also offers product and corporate videos, which is a format worth exploring if you have a great voice.

You’re encouraged to set up an account and apply for any project you want. You can upload your portfolio to market your skills and background.

Standard rates for voiceover range from $200 to $300 per hour of recording. “Since most audiobooks are comprised of about 4 – 6 hours of recording, an audiobook narrator’s salary usually works out to about $1,500.”


This is one of the top platforms for voiceover jobs in corporate and marketing, with clients that include Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:CO), Airbnb, NBC, and 21st Century Fox. Once you create a profile, you can upload your demos and are encouraged to audition for projects.

Word is, you have a higher chance of auditioning with a paid membership. You have to establish a fee and you’re free to negotiate with your prospects. Prices should consider union vs. non-union projects, market size, pre- and post-production, studio costs, and buyouts residuals.


VoiceBunny hosts hundreds of thousands of voices from all over the world. It works as an intermediary so that clients get to know voiceover artists, ask them for demos, and end up hiring voice talent for the recording of some special content.

Since you are your own boss on VoiceBunny, you set up your own rate. However, according to Gig Worker, people can make as much as $100 for a 15-second recording and $250 for a 60-second commercial. Longer projects like scripts and audiobooks can make up to $3,000.


Do book reviewers get paid?

Indeed, a book reviewer gets paid for what they do. Making money writing reviews is a great source of income, and you will have less competition than as a writer –many companies will need your services. It all depends on the time and your personal talent, but most are willing to pay good money to make their brand, stories, products, or services known to consumers or readers alike.

How do I become an audiobook reader?

To be a good audiobook storyteller you will have to display all your interpretive charms combined with an exquisite vocal technique. Both aspects are essential.

If you don’t know how to interpret, you will never be able to convey the emotions of a story. There are announcers who are not actors and try to make up for this by acting out the words, emphasizing or highlighting them, without realizing that the words cannot be acted out because the interpretation falls on the feelings.

The text has its own subtext, which the narrator must understand to be able to connect emotionally. Whether it is a literary work or an academic piece, you have to adapt your voice tone and characterization to be successful.

Can I make money reading books on YouTube?

According to Stack Exchange, yes, under very specific circumstances. First, if it’s self-published books –a work you created yourself.

Second, you’d have to have permission from the publisher since reading a book on YouTube could mean copyright infringement, depending on the region.

There are, however, several book reviewers on the platform, so this activity can perfectly be done and you can monetize it.

Final Words

As you can see, you can put your reading and voicing skills to work for you! Either answering surveys, proofreading commercial, literary, and academic content, or voicing over a corporate video, there are many possibilities to get paid to read books or engaging with related activities like book reviews and voice acting.

Sites like Online Book Club, Women’s Review, and Publishers Weekly will offer you a great opportunity to get paid to read, become a book reviewer, and enjoy doing what you like the most as many book lovers.