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How to Get Paid to Read Books

September 26, 2021 No Comments
Get paid to read books

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click through to a website from a link found here on my blog and register or purchase something, I may get a commission at no extra cost to you. 

If you love to read, and are on the lookout for extra ways to make money, there really is no better side hustle than getting paid to read books.

And surprisingly, there are a whole host of options which can turn this hobby into a nice part-time gig – either making a bit of extra cash, or receiving free books in lieu of your time.

Read on to find out how you can get paid to read books.


If you’re fluent in at least two different languages, becoming a translator could be the perfect gig for you.

Aswell as finding opportunities on the likes of Upwork, Fiverr and PeoplePerHour, advertise your services on relevant forums, within Linkedin groups and apply directly with publishers.

While many of these opportunities pay per hour or per project, websites such as Babelcube pay translators in the form of receiving a share of sales royalties, so it’s worth weighing up when deciding how to manage your business.

Book reviewer

This side hustle won’t make you rich, but if you enjoy reading and fancy making a little bit of pocket money (or perhaps receiving a free book or two), this could be the one for you.

Online Book Club is one of the longest-standing book review sites out there – and as well as receiving a free copy of the book being reviewed, reviewers are also eligible to between $5-$60 per review.

Writerful Books provide a whole host of services to authors, including copyediting, proofreading and manuscript assessments – along with offering review work to prospective book reviewers.

Kirkus Reviews are one of the leading online book review websites, and further information on how to work with them can be found here. As well as sending your CV, it’s worth sending a couple of 350-word book review examples, as that’s what they will expect from their book reviewers.

Publishers Weekly is a one-stop shop for the world of publishing. As well as releasing a weekly newsletter with industry updates, it also advertises careers within writing and publishing – including book review opportunities. Sign up to their mailing list and keep your eyes peeled!

Audiobook narration

Whilst some authors prefer to read their own books aloud for the likes of Audible, many many more would rather have somebody else do it for them – which is where audiobook narrators step in.

Audiobook narrators will typically need access to particular equipment to do their job (think mic, laptop, recording software etc), so make sure you take this into account when choosing whether to embark on this money maker.

However, do bear in mind the earning potential with this side hustle – it isn’t unheard of for narrators to make in excess of £100 per hour!

This post by Angie provides a great insight into how you could get started with audiobook narration.

Write crib notes for textbooks and set texts

Did you ever buy crib notes for a book you were supposed to have read (but didn’t) when you were a student? Perhaps you read the book, but just needed the key points to memorise to help you pass your exams?

Crib notes are a great resource for students to jog their memories on set texts (or, to take them through it for the first time!) and once you’ve created them, they can sell forever more – passively.

You could sell your crib note summaries on Amazon via their KDP platform, Fiverr, your own website, UpWork, etc but you do need to make sure your work is accurate, of incredibly high quality, and hits the key points students need to be taking away.

This post in particular is a great help in terms of understanding what you should be including in any literary analysis you create.

You need to ensure your listing is thorough, protects yourself with disclaimers, and also includes a note regarding what qualifies you to create these summaries. You need to stand out amongst competitors – without overpromising and underdelivering.

Don’t enter this side hustle lightly – afterall, the crib notes you create could be affecting somebody’s education!

50 Side Hustles You Can Start Today


If you’ve got a keen eye for detail, companies will be willing to pay for it!

Whether it’s proofreading books, training materials or marketing collateral, there truly are endless opportunities if you have the skills required to help companies correct any grammatical, typing or spelling errors prior to going to print.

However, it can be a relatively competitive market, so it’s also worth undertaking additional qualifications to stand out, should your circumstances allow. Once you have this qualification, you can apply directly with publishers, or advertise on the likes of Fiverr, UpWork and PeoplePerHour.

Proofreading is a great service to offer as a freelance Virtual Assistant – so if you have a particular strength in this area, make sure you include it within your listed skills.

Copy editor

Copy editors are required to make more involved changes to a book draft. Sure, they’ll be looking out for the same grammatical errors and typos that proofreaders are trying to find, but copy editors will also be responsible for rewriting sections that they deem it necessary to.

If you have experience in this field, it could be a great freelance career for you – and not just a side hustle (it’s not uncommon for copy editors to make six figures every year!)

And if you don’t have experience, there are many routes into the industry (from university courses, to apprenticeships, to night classes), so don’t be put off. More information can be found here.

Freelance Marketing Expert

If you’re an experienced marketer, why not consider offering your services to the thousands of self-published authors out there?

From organising book tours, to arranging promo opportunities, to liaising with influencers, if you have the skills to promote your clients’ work to their target audience, it could become a lucrative side hustle (or even develop into a full time gig!)

This is one role that will see no two days being the same – and as it’s incredibly niche, your earning potential is higher than many others listed here too.

Book influencer

If you’re a familiar face on #BookTok (TikTok’s huge book community), have thousands of followers on Instagram, or are a keen book blogger, becoming a book influencer could be the path for you.

Whether you make money via ads from publishers looking to get their authors’ latest works out there, have created a digital book club for your followers to take part in, or are working on more involved, longer-term sponsorships, the earning potential here is limitless.

One thing I always like to point out to anybody making money via social channels is to always include a caveat within any deals to includes a virality bonus. Say, for example, you charge £300 to make a Reel or TikTok on a particular book. Include a term within the contract that states if your video reaches a certain number of views, this triggers a bonus payment.

Manuscript Reader

Think of a manuscript reader, as a freelance reader.

Agencies and publishers receive hundreds of new manuscripts and book proposals every week which they just don’t have time to read through – which is where a freelance reader or manuscript reader comes in.

You’ll be paid to read through the books and manuscripts, condense it into a short report and give an overall verdict as to whether you believe the agency or publishing house should proceed with conversations with the author – with a view to represent the work in the future.

In order to secure a manuscript reader gig – where you can expect an hourly rate of £25+, apply directly with agencies and publishing houses.


If you’re looking to make some extra money, and are a keen (and quick!) reader, getting paid to read books sounds like a perfect fit.

With so many different avenues to explore, there really is an opportunity out there for all of the bookworms amongst us.

Here’s to making extra money, doing something you love!

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Steph at Funding Her Freedom


Funding Her Freedom focuses on all the ways you can make a little more money outside of your 9-5. From selling on Amazon, to mystery shopping, to freelancing, to creating and selling digital printables, we cover it all. If you'd like to get in touch, shoot me an email on Here's to funding our freedom! Read More


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