Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

How To Get Paid to Read [9 Options For (2023)]

This post may contain affiliate links - which means we may receive compensation from purchases made through links on this site. Learn more ›

Are you an avid reader? Have you ever thought of turning your hobby into a side hustle?

Many companies and freelancer platforms pay people to read, review, or narrate books. As a result, many bookworms made their reading habit an extra source of income.

Whether you like reading non-fiction books, general fiction, or indie content, you’ll find countless online job opportunities to make money with book reading.

If you don’t know where to start, this comprehensive guide will walk you through how to get paid to read and share tips and insights for you to succeed.

Can You Get Paid to Read?

Yes. Many companies, from publishers to voice-talent agencies, hire people to read books for money. Most people get paid to read books for a book review or an audiobook service.

According to Grand View Research, the global audiobook market value reached $5,364.9 million in 2022 and will grow to a CAGR of 26.3% from 2023 to 2030.

This growing market alone gives many freelance opportunities for book readers and creative professionals to make a side hustle.

vector graphic showing an illustration of a woman getting paid to read

How Much Can You Make by Reading?

Earnings highly depend on the gig you’ll take on, your experience, and the platform.

For example, writing reviews for OnlineBlookClub.org gives a payout between $5 to $60 per review. However, the salary for book reviewers can be low and is often per output.

Meanwhile, experienced narrators like Hillary Huber get paid by the finished hour, with an average salary from “free to the low $200s.

Per finished hour (PFH) is the standard pricing method in the audiobook market, where clients compensate narrators for their finished recording time, not their studio time, since that can vary. One hour of finished audio is reading around 9,000 words.

The Best Ways to Get Paid to Read (Overview)

Full List of Ways to Get Paid to Read

We’ve included an overview of our top picks above. For a full list and detailed information on each pick, scroll down.

  1. Kirkus Reviews
  2. Booklist
  3. Publishers Weekly
  4. The US Review of Books
  5. Findaway Voices
  6. ACX
  7. Voice Jungle
  8. VO Planet
  9. Upwork

What You’ll Need to Get Paid to Read

If you want to read books for money, here are some things you must prepare to get started.

  • Book: Most companies and platforms provide a physical book or e-book to read for the task. However, if you’re free to choose which books to read, ensure you have a few books on hand.
  • Writing Software: If you want to write reviews, have your Microsoft Word or Google Doc file ready.
  • Proofreading Software: After writing book reviews, ensure your content is free from errors and is easy to read.
  • Audio-recording Device: If you’re narrating books as a gig, invest in professional recording equipment or premium microphones, like a cardioid condenser microphone or studio vocal microphone. Get one with background noise cancellation technology for a clear and crisp sound.
  • Audio-editing Software: Invest in audio-editing and recording tools to clean up your sound and eliminate bad takes.
  • Internet-enabled Device: Have your smartphone or computer ready to look up platforms, communicate with clients, read e-books, and do tasks like writing or recording.
  • Payment Channel: Prepare a secure payment channel to receive your funds. Most companies don’t disclose payment methods, but PayPal is the safest option.

Where to Get Paid to Read

Explore the following platforms if you want to get paid to read. These include places for writing a review or narrating a book since those are common side hustles for reading.

1. Kirkus Reviews

screenshot of the kirkus reviews homepage

Kirkus Reviews by Kirkus Media offers subscribers curated books and news, including honest reviews.

The platform often looks for experienced book reviewers and online writers to write a 350-word review of various titles, including works from self-published authors, for their Kirkus Indie section.

If you’re a bookworm or freelance writer interested in the role, you may submit a list of reviewing specialties and writing samples to the Kirkus Indie Editor David Rapp at [email protected].

How Much You Can Make

The average salary for in-house reviewers is $50 for a 350-word review, but it could reach $75 for great writing. Meanwhile, you receive $40 for a 250-word review of picture books.

What Makes This Option Great

Kirkus Review is a legitimate website that allows you to write genuine reviews of your preferred genres.

Moreover, they offer a steady stream of books, assigning one to two books monthly. Overall, it’s a decent gig for book readers and online writers.

  • Fees/Commission: None
  • Payment Methods: Undisclosed

2. Booklist

screenshot of the Booklist homepage

The Booklist is a part of the American Library Association. It provides school and public library workers bite-sized reviews to help them determine books to suggest and purchase.

Their 150 to 175-word reviews include details on the book’s content, popularity, and more. If you want to write reviews for money, try signing up for Booklist’s online application.

How Much You Can Make

Book reviewing for Booklist will earn you $15 per review. However, rejecting a title will cost you $5.

What Makes This Option Great

The Booklist doesn’t need experienced reviewers as long as you’re familiar with books and libraries.

Moreover, all the reviews come with a byline in print and online, allowing newbies to build their portfolios. Lastly, editors provide feedback on your work, helping you improve your book reviewing.

  • Fees/Commission: Reject fee of $5
  • Payment Methods: Undisclosed

3. Publishers Weekly

screenshot of the weekly homepage

Publishers Weekly is a weekly news magazine providing the latest information on the book publishing industry.

Freelance writers and book enthusiasts can get paid to write and review a wide selection of titles and types of genres, including art history, adult fiction, literary criticism, self-help, and more.

How Much You Can Make

Publishers Weekly pays $25 per review.

What Makes This Option Great

Publishers Weekly has been running in the book industry for 150 years, making it an established platform.

Moreover, this weekly news magazine publishes over 8,500 reviews yearly, so you have a steady gig. It’s also an amazing platform to build connections within the publishing industry.

  • Fees/Commission: None
  • Payment Methods: Undisclosed

4. The US Review of Books

screenshot of the US review of books homepage

The US Review of Books provides a monthly newsletter containing 250 to 300-word reviews of books. It includes the plot synopsis and your insights without using the first-person perspective.

To get paid as a writer for the platform, submit your resume, proper samples, and two professional references to [email protected].

How Much You Can Make

A 250 to 300-word review pays $25, while a 500 to 600-word review pays up to $75. Reviewers receive their pay monthly.

What Makes This Option Great

The platform posts book titles periodically, and you can select your preferences. Moreover, book editors give negative and positive reviews to improve your writing.

Overall, it’s an amazing platform for beginners and freelance talent to get started on reviewing books.

  • Fees/Commission: None
  • Payment Methods: Undisclosed

5. Findaway Voices

screenshot of the findawy voices homepage

Findaway Voices is an audiobook company helping authors find creative professionals to produce and sell audiobooks.

To become an audiobook narrator, you only need to create a professional profile on Findaway Voices and add proper samples. After creating a credible profile, browse Findaway Voices’ audiobook service to find and receive projects.

How Much You Can Make

Findaway Voices allows narrators for audiobooks to set their per-finished hour (PFH). A beginner narrator generally has a $100 PFH rate.

What Makes This Option Great

Findaway Voices offers a hassle-free way to read books for money since you’ll receive project recommendations after onboarding. This fantastic platform provides plenty of projects, so you won’t run out of fair opportunities.

  • Fees/Commission: None
  • Payment Methods: Undisclosed

6. ACX

screenshot of the SCX homepage

ACX is a marketplace to connect with authors and publishers and get paid to read books aloud. The platform also accepts other creative professionals, audio engineers, and recording studios for their audiobook service.

How Much You Can Make

You can choose between receiving production fees or royalty shares. Novices earn around $10 per finished hour, while experience narrators can earn up to $350.

Meanwhile, you can receive royalty shares based on 50% of the sales royalties.

What Makes This Option Great

ACX is an amazing platform for beginners and unlimited gigs as an audiobook narrator or professional voice talent. Plus, the audiobooks come out on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes, which will help boost your portfolio.

  • Fees/Commission: None
  • Payment Methods: Undisclosed

7. Voice Jungle

screenshot of the voice jungle homepage

Voice Jungle focuses on producing audiobooks for online learning platforms.

Unfortunately, the Voice Jungle isn’t suitable for a novice voice actor as you must have a professional studio and the ability to finish projects within a day if needed.

How Much You Can Make

Voice Jungle doesn’t disclose its rates to narrators on the website, but the audiobook company charges 35¢ per word, a minimum of $50 for up to 40 words, or a minimum of $75 for over 40 words.

Professional voice talents can expect less than $50 for a 40-word script since Voice Jungle takes a cut for the work.

What Makes This Option Great

Voice Jungle is great for experienced narrators for audiobooks since the platform provides projects for books, instructional platforms, podcasts, and more.

Moreover, there are no fees and no need to audition for projects.

  • Fees/Commission: With commission, but the fee is undisclosed
  • Payment Methods: Undisclosed

8. VO Planet

screenshot of the VO planet homepage

VO Planet offers a job board with various online job opportunities for narrators for audiobooks, professional voice-over artists, and other creative professionals.

If you want to turn reading and audiobook narration into a freelance business, consider applying to VO Planet to find countless voice-over opportunities. Note that this audiobook company requires a professional studio with recording equipment.

How Much You Can Make

VO Planet allows you to set your rates. However, they suggest rates from the GVAA rate guide.

In the guide, the average salary for a union-scale PFH is from $150 to $225 per hour. The guide also recommends receiving royalty income for hybrid agreements.

What Makes This Option Great

VO Planet has daily postings on its job search platform, so earning steady money with book reading is possible. This audiobook company also allows you to set your rates and choose projects, giving you more freedom and flexibility.

Overall, VO Planet is an amazing platform for beginners who want to get into voice acting as a gig or full-time job.

  • Fees/Commission: None
  • Payment Methods: Undisclosed

9. Upwork

screenshot of the upwork homepage

Upwork is a popular freelancing platform connecting companies with freelance talents globally. You can become a proofreader for books, a book reviewer, a book translator, a book editor, or an audiobook narrator.

How Much You Can Make

Upwork allows you to set your hourly rates. Audiobook narrators and book reviewers have an average salary of $15 to $100 per hour, depending on their experience.

Meanwhile, some potential clients offer $250 for narrating an audiobook with 25,000 words or $75 to read 500-page novels and write three reviews.

What Makes This Option Great

Upwork offers the freedom to choose job openings, set rates, and work at your preferred hours. You can also self-manage your schedule, workload, and other aspects of how to run things. Plus, it’s completely remote.

Lastly, you can explore freelance opportunities to get paid to read, including writing book reviews, proofreading books, and narrating audiobooks. It offers flexible ways to earn money with book reading.

  • Fees/Commission: UpWork charges a 10% freelancer service fee on your invoiced earnings
  • Payment Methods: Digital Bank like WISE, Direct Local Bank Transfer, PayPal, Payoneer, Wire Transfer, M-Pesa

Why You Should Consider Reading As a Side Hustle

Here are four reasons to start making money with book reading.

  • Turn Your Hobby into a Hustle: This side hustle offers an excellent way to turn your reading time into passive income. Do what you like, and get another source of income.
  • Hone Your Reading and Writing Skills: Improve your skill sets by constantly reading books and practicing writing. Learn how to read faster and write clearly and concisely.
  • Learn New Knowledge: Making money with book reading allows you to explore various topics, from fiction to self-help books. Learn something new every time you read.
  • Earn Extra Money: Although you may earn little, this side hustle is still an extra source of income that will help you make more monthly.

Problems With Reading for Money

Although reading books for money sounds easy and convenient, it still comes with challenges. Here are some problems you may encounter with this side hustle.

  • Tight Competition for Beginners: Most freelancer platforms and companies prefer professionals who know how to write, narrate, or proofread, making it challenging for beginners to break into the field.
  • Low Income: Unless you’re an experienced professional, expect low hourly or fixed rates from the book publishing industry. Earning money with book reading can’t completely replace a full-time job.
  • Not Fun: Some book readers might not like the idea of turning their hobby into work, and some might not enjoy non-fiction books or academic content.
  • Takes Time: Potential clients or freelancer platforms may ask you to read over 500-page books, which could take hours or days to finish. If you don’t have time to read, it can be challenging to finish on time.

How To Get Paid to Read: Step-By-Step Instructions

Follow these general steps to pursue a side hustle with reading.

STEP 1: Choose What Path to Take

You’ll find various ways to make money with book reading. Your options include writing book reviews for a book club, becoming an audio narrator, proofreading books, or translating content.

However, each of these paths requires an additional skill to be successful in this gig. So, choose which skill you already have or are comfortable learning.

Once you narrow down what path to take, it’ll help you find the right companies, freelancer platforms, or projects to join.

STEP 2: Join a Platform

Depending on your path, you can join freelancing platforms, online book clubs, voice-acting websites, publishing companies, and similar kinds of platforms.

Try the recommended websites above, or research other freelancer platforms and online book clubs you want to explore. Ensure that a website is a legitimate networking platform for beginners and professionals to avoid scams.

After finding an online book club, book blog, or audiobook company that suits your needs, create an account and a credible profile. A professional profile should contain your skill sets, experience, and proof of your best work.

STEP 3: Submit Samples or Apply for Projects

Submitting samples can happen during or after the account creation. You might be asked for short writing samples if you’re writing reviews.

For audiobook narration, submit a narration of a short passage or audition for the project.

When submitting samples or applying for projects, follow instructions carefully. Many clients will have precise requirements, such as a specific word count, time limit, or assigned book to read.

If you don’t have previous experience and need to submit a sample, create one by writing a review or narrating a part of your favorite book.

STEP 4: Communicate With the Client

If you’re one of the final candidates for the project, take the time to ask about the task before accepting it.

If you’re confident you’ll get accepted, you can try negotiating your fee and workload during this stage. Most platforms have a fixed rate, but if you’re allowed to set rates, try to give yourself a fair rate. Also, learn about their payment process.

Only accept a project once all details are clear and agreed upon. Moreover, look for quality clients for the best deals and fair opportunities.

STEP 5: Start Getting Paid to Read

Once you accept a project, you may start reading your chosen or assigned books and getting paid. Depending on the project you accept, this may be an ongoing, weekly, or monthly task for you.

Try exploring other paths and projects in the future to improve your skill sets and earn more out of reading.

Things to Consider When Reading for Money

Before you become a freelancer and get paid for reading, consider the following before pursuing this opportunity.

1. Not for Leisure

Although you may enjoy reading, remember that you’re reading as a side hustle, not for enjoyment.

If you need to read and review a book, you must note various aspects, including the character’s development, the story’s context, and the book’s overall message. Moreover, you must justify and articulate why you liked or disliked the book.

If you want to read purely for leisure, this side hustle may not be for you.

2. One Path at a Time

Since the book industry offers various ways to get paid for reading, you may want to try all online job opportunities simultaneously. However, we highly recommend avoiding trying everything all at once.

Instead, start with one path or freelancing platform you have experience with. Doing something you’re familiar with will increase your chances of getting projects and making a steady side hustle with reading.

You can try another path or job search platform if the current one isn’t for you.

3. Takes More than Reading Skills

Although this side hustle mainly involves reading, you must also have other skill sets. For example, if you’re into book reviewing, you must also know how to write clearly and articulately.

If you plan on narrating audio, you should have good acting skills and the ability to enunciate words well and narrate in a loud and clear voice.

You should also invest in professional recording equipment, premium microphones, audio editing software, a professional studio, and other recording tools to produce quality audiobooks.

Remember that it takes more than good reading skills to be successful in this side hustle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Amazon Pay You to Read?

No. Amazon doesn’t pay you to review books on the platform.

If you want to earn from Amazon for reading books, try creating a book blog and share Amazon affiliate links of the books you feature on the blog. You will earn a commission for every visitor that buys from your affiliate links.

Does Wattpad Pay You to Read?

No. Wattpad only pays its online writers.

Similar Ways to Get Paid

Consider the following alternatives if you don’t want to make money with book reading.

  • Get Paid to Review Movies: If you’re a movie buff, learn how to get paid by watching movies and sharing your opinions and insights by writing a review.
  • Get Paid to Give Advice: Explore the different ways to get paid by giving simple advice or expert opinions on various topics.
  • Get Paid to Talk to People: Do you like talking to people? Learn how to make extra money by conversing with people online and offline.

Wrapping Up

If you’re passionate about reading and want to generate income, consider writing a book review, narrating a book, translating passages, or proofreading content.

Plenty of resources online can help you develop good reading, writing, proofreading, and narrating skills, among others. Don’t hesitate to explore and improve your skill sets to pursue other related gigs to reading books.

Once you find a suitable side hustle, getting paid to read books can be a steady, enjoyable, and lucrative gig.

If this guide was insightful, let us know in the comments below, or share this article with other book readers who might need a side hustle!

Leave a Comment

FRH Article Default
  • Get Paid To

How to Get Paid to Move to Tulsa In 2023

August 9, 2023
10 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Get Paid To

How to Get Paid To Move to Montana in (2023)

August 9, 2023
13 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Get Paid To

How to Get Paid to Move to New Zealand in (2023)

August 9, 2023
13 min read

Explore More within Gigworker

Other App-Based Gigs
Get to work faster with jobs in the gig worker industry.
post explore

Browse Our Gig Headquarters

The gig economy is booming, and thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are getting involved. But what is this new sharing economy and how does it work?

Important Gig Economy #Fundamentals to Understand

gigworker logo icon
What is the Gig Economy?

Side Hustle Ideas

Get inspired with our list of 750+ side hustles. Sort by category, rating, and other custom taxonomies.

Browse Side Hustles

Gig Companies

Browse our complete list of gig economy companies, and the gigs they’re hiring for.

Browse Gig Companies

Helpful Content

Read thousands of informative posts, written specifically to help you excel in your favorite gigs.

VIP Membership

Unlock access to VIP-only benefits like content, downloadable, and resources – all ad-free.