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Get Paid to Read Books: Is This a Legit Side Gig? (25 Ways)

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Get Paid to Read Books by Writing Reviews:

Kirkus Media

You may have noticed the name Kirkus Media if you’ve spent time looking at Amazon book pages. This company is one of the most well respected source of book reviews. In fact, the company often provides publishers with blurbs and book details.

Since Kirkus Media is so prolific in offering reviews, it provides an opportunity to get paid to read books. The company has an open application for reviewers. This is typically English language speakers, but there are often opportunities for Spanish language titles. 

The company looks for reviewers with a keen eye, reviewing experience and the ability to produce a 350+ word review in two weeks. 

Reviews are made on a freelance basis, so pay can vary. You can expect to earn up to $50. To apply, you’ll need to supply some writing samples and a resume here

Reedsy Discovery

Reedsy Discovery is an industry leader in indie books, providing an opportunity for reviewers to read self published books before the general public. 

You can choose from hundreds of new titles to find one of interest. There are mystery titles, dystopian fiction and even economic books such as The B2B Selling Guidebook by Jim Irving.

Additionally, once you establish your reputation on the platform, it is possible to liaise directly with authors who want you to write a review. 

There is no pay structure for your review. However, you can receive tips for your time and effort. You may receive $1 to $5 in appreciation for your review. 

To apply, you need to set up a profile and complete a form

U.S. Review of Books

U.S Review of Books reviews books nationwide to publish them in a monthly newsletter. The review process is very simple: the platform posts book titles and you can request to read it and be assigned the review. 

Reviews are typically 250 to 300 words and you can expect to earn $5 or more. Payment is made by check each month. 

The company looks for informed opinions and succinct writing. To apply to become a reviewer for U.S Review of Books, you need to submit sample work, a resume and two pro references via email. You can also look at previous book reviews on the website to get an idea of the preferred style. 

Online Book Club

OnlineBookClub Summary

  • Free to join and read books
  • Potential to make money in your free time
  • Access to future best-sellers
  • Offers social media contests to earn cash

Online Book Club is a reputable platform that immediately warns reviewers this is not a get rich scheme. But, rather a side hustle for those who love books. 

The set up is straightforward and simple to use. You’ll receive a free copy of a book to review. You can expect $5 to $60 for your efforts. This is one of the most transparent sites, as you’ll know how much you will receive.

The sign up process is also simple. You just need to provide a valid email address and confirm you’re not a bot. You can start the sign up process here.  

Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weeky is has a focus on international book publishing. This is an online magazine that regularly reviews both self published and traditionally published books. 

The platform is not always open for book reviewers. The jobs are on a freelance basis. You will need to keep checking back on its Jobs page to find an opening. 

Each opening has a job description. So, you’ll need to ensure you read it carefully and ensure it matches your skill set and interests. 


Upwork Summary

  • Earn up to $34 per hour as a freelancer
  • Get 10 free Connects every month
  • Get 40 extra Connects when you pass a test
  • Time tracker ensures you get paid

If you’re already a freelancer, you’re likely to already be familiar with Upwork. This is one of the biggest freelancer marketplaces, but it can also be a place to jobs to get paid to read books. 

You can set up an alert to find freelance book review listings. Each job will have different requirements and qualifications. This will also reflect in the rate of pay. 

For example, one listing may be for a one off review for a few dollars. While another may be a long term gig where you collaborate with the client. This could represent hundreds of dollars and a decent side gig. 

Generally, listings specify details about the book genre, word count and review style. This will save you time and effort pitching to inappropriate jobs. 

To start, you will need to register as an Upwork freelancer. You can find full information on the Upwork website

Booklist Online

Booklist is the highly respected librarian review journal from the American Library Association. This platform offers a number of ways to get paid to read books. Booklist may assign a blog post review for the The Booklist Reader or a review for the Booklist magazine. 

You should be familiar with Booklist and its outlets including the blog, Booklist magazine and quarterly Book Links.

The reviews are generally less than 175 words and you can expect $12.50 to $15 per review. However, they must be professionally written and adhere to the Booklist guidelines. 

To apply, you’ll need to check out the full requirements page and contact the relevant editor. Be prepared to submit writing samples to support your application. 


If you’re not interested in writing a critical take on books, Instaread could provide a good option. There is often an open call for Instaread book summaries. These recap “key insights” of both new and classic nonfiction. 

Summaries need to be 1,000 to 1,500 words, so they are longer than an average book review. However, you can receive $100 for each summary. 

For this high rate, you will need to be familiar with the desired style. Instaread has a Style Guide to help reviewers. You can also download the Instaread app to read through past reviews. 

Writerful Books

Writerful Books is a full author service company. It provides everything for authors from beta reading to book reviews. The company often has openings for book reviewers. 

Reviews need to be at least 350 words. But you can review practically any book you like. Writerful Books does prefer award winning, contemporary authors from America, Australia, Canada, the UK, Ireland and New Zealand. 

There is no guarantee of a regular paid gig. However, trusted reviewers can receive $10 to $50 per review. Additionally, Writerful Books awards its top reviewer a $100 Amazon gift voucher. 

You can learn more about this role and how you can become a trusted reviewer on the Writerful Books website


If you’re an avid reader of non fiction, getAbstract could be a great way to get paid to read books. This site summarizes thousands of non fiction titles into 10 minute bites. 

There are often listings for reviewers and writers on their Career page. These opportunities often include technology and science writing. You may receive a task to sum up the latest articles in magazines or new books. 

getAbstract pays reviewers on a freelance basis. So you’ll need to check the specific jobs to confirm you’re happy with the proposed rate. 

Wellesly Centers For Women

The Wellesly Centers for Women operates the Women’s Review of Books. This is a feminist magazine that has a history spanning 36 years. The company is continually looking for new reviewers, so you can get paid to read books. 

Many of its writers are journalists, academics or experienced book reviewers, so qualifying can be a little tricky. However, if you do qualify, you can expect up to $100 per review. 

To apply, you’ll need to submit an email with a writing sample and your credentials. You can find out more details about the platform here

Any Subject Books

Any Subject Books is a self publishing services, but it also hires book reviewers. The company looks for honest, objective and in depth reviews. You can also review books in your preferred genre. So, you can get paid to read books you enjoy. 

Reviews are on a freelance basis, so the financial rewards vary depending on the length and complexity of the task.

Unfortunately, Any Subject Books does not always have current openings for book reviewers. So, you will need to check in regularly to see when applications are open.  

Get Paid to Read Audio Books


If you’re not confident with your writing skills, but still want to get paid to read books, consider ACX. ACX is a marketplace connecting authors, publishers and narrators of audiobooks. 

You can choose the titles you’d like to audition for and there is an unlimited number of potential gigs. 

You can opt for an hourly rate paid when you complete the project or share the sales royalties with the rights holder. 

To get started you will need to set up a profile and upload some samples, to audition for gigs. You can learn more about how ACX works here

Ear Works

Ear Works is a platform of voice talent professionals who lend their voices to commercials, podcasts, audio books and other narrations. So, like ACX, you can get paid to read books aloud if you have a great speaking voice. 

The company does not just look for a posh speaking voice, but rather a normal, real voice that sounds like a believable person. However, there are some requirements to become a voice artist with Ear Works. 

This includes being available Monday through Friday during standard business hours. You will also need to be able to produce pro quality MP3 files.

The full requirements are listed on the website. If you meet the requirements, there is a submission form to apply. Rates depend on the project and your level of professional experience.

Another avenue to lend your voice to audio books and other narration projects is The company offers opportunities for experienced professionals and beginners to the industry. posts jobs on its website, with varying rates of pay. It is possible to earn up to $200 per hour.

However, you can set your preferred rate, so there is no requirement for you to work at a rate below what you feel is fair. 

Creating an account on Voices takes just a few minutes. You’ll need to supply a valid email address and provide some samples to attract clients.

Once you gain some experience, there is the potential to earn hundreds of dollars around your other commitments.  

Snap Recordings

Snap Recordings differs from the other voice talent platforms we’ve listed here. While there may be the occasional audio book recording, many of the recordings are voice messages for different businesses. This includes greetings, voice prompts and on hold messages. 

You can sign up on the Snap Recordings website. You’ll need to provide your name, email address, location and spoken languages.

There is also the option to add a voice demo. The average rate is $30 per hour, but this can vary according to the project specifications.

Bunny Studio

Bunny Studio offers gigs in both English and other languages. You can set your own rate and clients can choose to book you when they view your profile. Depending on the project, the Bunny Studio system will calculate a personalized reward. 

This can be a great way to get paid to read books and other materials. However, Bunny Studio does have strict requirements. This includes having pro standard audio equipment. 

You’ll receive pay for every deliverable that is approved by the quality control team. This includes submissions that a client rejects. 

You can sign up on the website and create a profile. You’ll be visible to potential clients and you’ll receive invites to competitions and other promotions that can boost your earnings. 

Get “Paid” with Free Books

Book Browse

Book Browse operates the First Impressions program that allows members to obtain advanced reader copies (ARCs) of books ahead of their publication. 

There are up to six titles each month. You get to choose whether you would like to read and review each one just by responding to the member’s newsletter. 

However, you’ll need to act quickly, as Book Browse only has 25 copies of each book. If you match with a book, your review will need to be 100 to 300 words. 

Unfortunately, you won’t receive any monetary reward for your review. But, you will get to keep the book. You can learn more about the process on the Book Browse website. 


If you love the idea of being a book review influencer, you may wish to consider NetGalley. This is a service connecting reviewers with authors and publishers. It provides an opportunity for you to read books before their publication date.

The concept of NetGalley is straightforward. Publishers put digital review copies of books on the site. Members can request to read and review them. 

Like Book Browse, there is no monetary reward. However, you do get to keep the books you read and review. NetGalley is free to join using this form. There is also a full FAQ page if you would like to learn more about the platform and how it works. 

Tyndale Blog Network

Tyndale Blog Network operates the My Reader Rewards Club. This program has an innovative rewards system that can help you to get paid to read books. Members can earn points for actions on the site, suhc as sharing a link or inviting a friend to join. 

Writing a review on certain retailer websites earns you 10 points. After you accumulate points, you can receive books from the Tyndale shelves. While this may not be direct earnings, if most of your paycheck goes on books, it could be a good option for you. 

You can learn more about membership benefits on the Tyndale FAQ page

Moody Press

Moody Press is a non profit. This company publishes Bible study resources and Christian titles. If you find this niche interesting, you may want to participate in the Blogger Review Program. 

As a participant, you’ll receive free copies of Moody Press books. You’ll need to provide an honest review within 60 days. 

Unfortunately, you won’t receive payment for your review. However, you will get a free book. So, if you find this genre interesting reading, it is a good way to get access to some great titles. 

You can learn more about the review program and start the sign up process on the website. 

Bethany House

Bethany House is another company with a focus on publishing books representing historic Christianity. If this is a niche of interest to you, it could be a way to get free books.

Reviewers need to have their own blog and are able to post Bethany House reviews on it. Your reviews need to be a minimum 75 words not including plot synopsis. You will also need to publish them on your personal blog and on retailer websites such as Barnes & Noble or Amazon. 

The company sends out a list of fiction and non fiction books for review every month. Reviews are on a first come, first served basis. If you’re approved, you’ll get a copy of the book for review.

You can find out more about Bethany House titles here. Like Tyndale, you’ll not receive formal payment for your reviews, but you will get free books.

Chicago Book Review

This popular literary site aims to highlight the publishing world in Chicago and the “great books it produces”. There are reviews on the website from over 100 Chicago book publishing companies.

Reviewers need to be dedicated to creating quality, well written and considered reviews that are well beyond “what a good book”. 

You’ll not receive formal payment for your review, but you will get free books from some of the best publishing houses in Chicago. 

New Pages

If the idea of writing long reviews is a little daunting for you, consider New Pages. This is an internet portal for independent publishers, small presses and literary magazines.

The reviews are generally 100 to 200 words. They can be on any recent book or literary magazine you’ve read. Ideally, these should be from small presses or even obscure magazines. 

While there is currently no payment structure, you’ll get “fame and glory” on the site. 

You can explore the reviewer guidelines and submission information on the website. 

Publisher’s Marketplace

Finally, if you like the idea of reading manuscripts, consider Publisher’s Marketplace. This company has an extensive job board and there are usually at least a few ways that you can get paid to read books. 

This work is typically on a freelance basis, so the compensation varies according to the project. However, it can be a good way to read interesting materials before they even get published. 

You can browse the job board here, but you’ll need to register to get the full job details. 

Can You Make Money from Reading Books?

Many review sites only offer free books as a reward for reading and reviewing books. However, there are some sites that offer genuine payment for your time and effort. Of course, you will need to spend a little time exploring the different platforms to discover which ones are best suited to your skillset. 

If you’re a confident writer and you love reading books, there is nothing stopping you from turning this into your next side gig!

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Kate Starr


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