How To Make Money Reading Books: 23 Brilliant Ways in 2024

Reading Time: 17 minutes

Are you an avid reader who has always dreamed of turning your love for books into a lucrative venture? You’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 23 ways on how to make money reading books.

From writing US reviews targeted at particular audiences to working as a book translator or book proofreader, the opportunities are endless.

A great tip to kick things off: Consider honing your skills in reviewing books. Not only can it be a reliable source of income, but it also puts you on the radar of literary agents and publishers who are always in search of insightful and honest feedback.

Let’s embark on this journey of learning how to make money doing what you love most—reading books!

Quick Takeaways:

  • Affiliate Programs for Book Lovers: Earn commissions by promoting books through affiliate links. Ideal for those with an online presence, it can become a full-time job with the right strategies.
  • Start a Book Blog: Share book reviews and literary criticism, monetize through ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate links. It’s a platform to build authority in the publishing industry.
  • Freelance Book Reviewer: Write reviews for websites like Publishers Weekly. It offers flexibility, a modest payment, and often you can keep the reviewed book.
  • Audiobook Narration: An emerging field for those with a good reading voice. Compensation is usually per finished hour of audio, making it a lucrative opportunity.
  • Online Book Clubs: Create a community for book lovers. Monetize through paid memberships or exclusive events, perfect for digital nomads and lifestyle entrepreneurs.

1. Affiliate Programs for Book Lovers

Becoming an affiliate for book retailers or publishers is a great way to channel your love for books into a revenue stream.

Essentially, you promote books via an affiliate link, which your audience can use to make purchases. Every time someone buys a book through your link, you earn a commission.

Affiliate programs are particularly lucrative if you already have an online presence or are willing to build one. With the right strategies, this can even turn into a full-time job.

Strategies for Affiliate Programs for Book Lovers:

  • Partner with multiple book retailers to diversify your income sources.
  • Use data analytics to understand which books your audience prefers, and promote those aggressively.
  • Consistently produce high-quality content related to books to drive traffic to your affiliate links.

Tools recommended:

  • Amazon Associates Program: A comprehensive program with a wide range of books.
  • ShareASale: Specializes in indie publishers and offers a good commission rate.
  • ClickBank: Focuses on digital products including eBooks, offering high commission rates.
Affiliate Programs for Book Lovers- how to make money reading books

2. Start a Book Blog

Starting a book blog is an excellent avenue to share your book reviews, recommendations, and literary criticism with an ideal audience of book lovers.

Once you’ve established a steady flow of traffic, you can monetize your blog through sponsored posts, ads, and affiliate links.

As an avid reader, you can also offer writing samples of book summaries or analyses. Not only does this method allow you to earn extra money, but it also builds your authority in the publishing industry.

Strategies for Starting a Book Blog:

  • Produce regular, valuable content to retain your audience and improve SEO.
  • Engage with your audience through comments and social media to understand their reading preferences.
  • Consider expanding to other types of content like audio files or even narrating audiobooks to diversify your income stream.

Tools recommended:

  • WordPress: Easy-to-use platform for starting your own website and blog.
  • Google AdSense: A straightforward way to begin monetizing your site.
  • AWeber: Effective email marketing tool for keeping your audience engaged.

3. Freelance Book Reviewer

Freelance book reviewing can be a rewarding way to get paid to read books you love. Websites like Publishers Weekly often seek freelance writers to write book reviews.

Usually, there’s a modest payment for each review, and you often get to keep the book as well. Freelance reviewing allows for a flexible schedule, making it a good fit for digital nomads.

This role can serve as a stepping stone to a full-time career in the publishing process or literary journalism.

Strategies for a Freelance Book Reviewer:

  • Start by writing free reviews for lesser-known authors to build your portfolio.
  • Use these sample works to approach larger review sites or weekly news magazines.
  • Always provide an honest review, as your credibility is crucial in this field.

Tools recommended:

  • Grammarly: For proofreading your reviews to make sure they’re top-notch.
  • NetGalley: A platform where you can get free books in exchange for reviews.
  • LinkedIn Premium: Useful for networking and finding freelance job opportunities.

4. Audiobook Narration

Audiobook narration is an emerging field with a growing demand for distinct, engaging voices. As an audiobook narrator, you can either work with publishers or directly with self-published authors.

Websites like Findaway Voices make it easy to get started, offering platforms where you can audition to narrate audiobooks.

It’s an outstanding approach to make money reading books as the compensation is often provided per “finished hour” of audio, making this a lucrative opportunity for those with a good reading voice.

Strategies for Audiobook Narration:

  • Build a portfolio with sample work in various genres to attract a broad range of authors.
  • Invest in good audio equipment to produce high-quality audio files.
  • Network with authors and literary agents to find opportunities beyond public listings.

Tools recommended:

  • Blue Yeti Microphone: For high-quality, crisp audio.
  • Audacity: A free, easy-to-use software for editing your audio files.
  • Audio Enhancer AI: Enhance and improve your Audio quality with AI-powered Audio Enhancer. Upload and remove all background noises.
  • Findaway Voices: The go-to platform for audiobook narrators to find freelance jobs.

5. Online Book Clubs

Starting an online book club is an engaging way to monetize your love for books. The idea is to gather a community of like-minded book lovers and offer them unique value, such as expert-led discussions, author Q&As, or exclusive book reviews.

Once you have a dedicated following, you can introduce paid memberships or exclusive events for additional income.

This strategy is excellent for digital nomads and lifestyle entrepreneurs, as everything is online, allowing for a location-independent business.

Strategies for Online Book Clubs:

  • Begin with a free model to attract an initial audience and switch to a freemium model as you grow.
  • Partner with authors to offer members free books or first reviews of upcoming releases.
  • Use social media and your own website to continually market your book club and attract new members.

Tools recommended:

  • Zoom: For hosting online book club meetings.
  • Patreon: To manage premium memberships and offer exclusive content.
  • Mailchimp: For sending out newsletters with book recommendations, summaries, and upcoming book club events.
Online Book Clubs - how to make money reading books

6. Book Summaries

Book summaries are a goldmine for busy professionals who crave knowledge but are strapped for time. As a writer, you can read non-fiction books and distill them into engaging easy-to-read summaries.

You can either self-publish these summaries or sell them through your own website. Given that you’re targeting an audience that includes busy solopreneurs, these summaries could be a valuable product.

You can also employ affiliate links to the original books as an extra revenue stream.

Strategies for Book Summaries:

  • Identify popular non-fiction books in industries that interest your target audience.
  • Include actionable insights or key takeaways in your summaries to add value.
  • Partner with book bloggers and review sites to cross-promote your book summaries.

Tools recommended:

  • WordPress: To create a dedicated section on your website for book summaries.
  • Gumroad: For selling digital downloads of your book summaries.
  • Grammarly: For ensuring your summaries are well-written and error-free.

7. Translate Books

Translating books is an excellent way for multilingual individuals to earn money. This often involves translating popular works into a different language, and you can often find freelance jobs for this type of work.

Translating requires a deep understanding of both the source and target languages, as well as the cultural nuances that come with them.

Typically, you’ll need to provide some professional references and samples of your translation work to get started.

Strategies for Translating Books:

  • Network with literary agents and authors to find books that are popular but haven’t been translated into your target language yet.
  • Use social proof, such as professional references, to negotiate better payment terms.
  • Offer your first translation as a sample work to break into the publishing industry.

Tools recommended:

  • SDL Trados: Professional translation software to streamline your workflow.
  • ProZ.com: A platform for translators to find freelance work.
  • A good bilingual dictionary: Crucial for accurate translations.

8. Sell a Goal-Setting Planner

You’ve got a 90-day goal-setting planner that can benefit book lovers who also wish to be more organized and effective.

While writing book reviews or running a book blog, strategically insert subtle plugs for your planner.

Given that many of your readers are interested in self-improvement and business, this fits right in. It’s an organic way to promote your existing product while providing valuable content.

Strategies for Selling Goal Setting Planners:

  • Integrate your planner into your book reviews, especially when reviewing self-help or business books.
  • Use your email newsletter to offer discounts on your planner to subscribers who came through your book content.
  • Showcase testimonials from users who found value in your planner, ideally those who discovered it through your book content.

Tools recommended:

  • Canva: To create visually appealing ads for your planner.
  • ActiveCampaign: For email marketing to promote your planner alongside book reviews.
  • Amazon Seller Central: If you’d like to widen your sales channel for the planner.

9. Proofreading

Proofreading is an underrated yet crucial aspect of the publishing process. If you’ve got an eye for detail and a knack for catching grammatical errors, you can offer your services to proofread books.

Platforms like Freelancer offer freelance jobs where you can find proofreading opportunities. This isn’t just a full-time job; it can also serve as a side hustle, offering you modest payment and a deeper involvement in the literary world.

Strategies for Proofreading:

  • Start by offering your services to self-published authors who may not have access to professional editing services.
  • Join online forums dedicated to writers and publishers to offer your services and find freelance jobs.
  • Network with professionals in the publishing industry and get professional references to back your skills.

Tools recommended:

  • ProWritingAid: An editing software to make your proofreading work more efficient.
  • Upwork: Another platform where you can find proofreading gigs.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style: A must-have for any serious proofreader.

10. Create Audio Files

The audiobook market is booming, but not all books get to be narrated. If you love reading books aloud, why not create your own audio files?

Pick books that are in the public domain or where you can get the rights to narrate. You can sell these audio files through your own website or other platforms.

This doesn’t just apply to audiobook narration; you can extend this to other voice-over work as well.

Strategies for Creating Audio Files:

  • Select books that are particularly popular but haven’t been turned into audiobooks yet.
  • Use social media to gauge what types of books your audience would like to hear.
  • Pair up with existing audiobook platforms to have your voice-over work reach a wider audience.

Tools recommended:

  • Audacity: Free audio software for high-quality recording.
  • Findaway Voices: To distribute your audiobook across multiple platforms.
  • A quality microphone: The Blue Yeti or Audio-Technica are great starting options for good sound quality.
Create Audio Files

11. Literary Criticism

If you have an academic flair and love dissecting books, writing literary criticism can be a rewarding venture.

You can sell your in-depth analyses to educational websites, and journals, or even offer exclusive content through your newsletter, such as Unretirement.

This doesn’t just let you get paid for your intellectual work but also establishes you as a thought leader in the space.

Think of it as book reviewing with a scholarly angle; your write-ups can be used in academic circles, educational settings, and even by avid readers who wish to go beyond surface-level understanding of books.

Strategies for Literary Criticism:

  • Approach educational platforms that pay for well-researched articles. Platforms like JSTOR or academic journals are good starting points.
  • Use your own website to publish a sample work to attract a more specific audience and build professional references.
  • Network with university professors and literary agents who can provide referrals or opportunities for publishing.

Tools recommended:

  • Grammarly Premium: For in-depth grammar checks and style suggestions.
  • Google Scholar: A free search engine that indexes scholarly articles, theses, and more.
  • “How to Read Literature Like a Professor” by Thomas C. Foster: A great book to hone your skills in literary criticism.

12. Write an eBook

You’ve got a wealth of knowledge on how to make money reading books and living as a digital nomad.

Why not condense that wisdom into an eBook? With platforms like Amazon, self-publishing is easier than ever

An eBook can become both a full-time career and a significant extra money-earning venture. Use affiliate links to your eBook in your existing content to drive sales.

Strategies for Writing an eBook:

  • Identify the ideal audience and tailor the eBook to solve specific problems they face, be it choosing the right books to read or becoming a successful digital nomad.
  • Leverage your existing platform to offer a free book chapter as a lead magnet.
  • Use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing for a quicker publishing process.

Tools recommended:

  • Scrivener: An excellent writing software designed for long projects like eBooks.
  • Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing: A user-friendly platform for publishing your eBook.
  • Canva: For designing an attractive eBook cover.

13. Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews is a well-known platform that offers opportunities for freelance book reviewers. The pay is generally a one-off payment per review, but it’s a credible name to have on your portfolio.

Here, your reviews, whether focused on young adult fiction or non-fiction books, can get the attention they deserve.

Think of it as freelance jobs that not only earn you money but also free books and a chance to read before the general public.

Strategies for Kirkus Reviews:

  • Start with an honest review on your own platform to build a portfolio.
  • Make sure to understand Kirkus Reviews’ style and requirements before submitting your first review.
  • Leverage this platform to network further in the publishing industry.

Tools recommended:

  • “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley: A book to improve your writing skills.
  • Grammarly: To ensure your reviews are error-free.
  • A reliable laptop or tablet: To make your reviewing process seamless.

14. Offer a Book Reviewing Course

Use your platform to educate others about the art of book reviewing. From writing samples to understanding the publishing industry to getting paid, you can cover all the basics.

This not only makes for a full-time job but also serves to further engage your community.

Consider offering the course via your own website, complete with affiliate links to recommended products for aspiring reviewers.

Strategies for Offering a Book Reviewer Course:

  • Survey your existing audience to understand what they would like to learn.
  • Create a compelling curriculum that covers both the writing and the business aspects of book reviewing.
  • Market your course through social media, using testimonials from those who found success through your teachings.

Tools recommended:

  • Teachable: A platform to host your online course.
  • Mailchimp: For setting up an email marketing funnel to attract students.
  • Zoom: For conducting live classes or Q&A sessions.

15. The American Library Association (ALA)

The American Library Association (ALA) often looks for contributors to their publications like Booklist.

They appreciate well-written content and offer payment for published articles or reviews. You don’t need a library degree to write for them; all you need is a passion for books and a knack for articulating your thoughts effectively.

You can write about a variety of topics, including public library concerns, literary criticism, and young adult books.

Strategies for subscribing to ALA:

  • Familiarize yourself with the ALA publications to understand the style and topics that resonate with their readers.
  • Start with a pitch before writing a full article to gauge interest.
  • Use this as an opportunity to network with public library workers and published authors for future collaborations.

Tools recommended:

  • “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser: A book to enhance your writing style.
  • Microsoft Word or Google Docs: For writing and editing your articles.
  • A quality ergonomic chair: Because you’ll be spending a lot of time writing!

16. Narrating Graphic Novels

It might sound unconventional, but narrating graphic novels is a booming niche. As an audiobook narrator, you create audio files that bring the visuals and dialogues of graphic novels to life.

It’s voice-over work but tailored for the avid reader who loves graphic novels. With platforms like Findaway Voices, you can get paid to read, and who knows, this could become a full-time job.

A finished hour of high-quality narration can fetch a modest payment, and if you’re consistent, it can add up to more money in the long run.

Strategies for Narrating Graphic Novels:

  • Build a portfolio by narrating a couple of graphic novels for free. Use them as sample work to attract paid gigs.
  • Network with authors and publishers in the graphic novel niche. Attend events or engage with them online to build professional references.
  • Diversify by narrating both fiction and non-fiction graphic novels.

Tools recommended:

  • A professional-grade microphone to ensure high-quality audio files.
  • Adobe Audition for editing your audiobook narration.
  • A comfortable pair of headphones for long narrating sessions.
Narrating Graphic Novels

17. Consult for Self-Published Authors

Are you well-versed in the publishing industry? Self-published authors could use your expertise. Offer your services in book reviewing, market strategy, and getting published.

Think of it as a freelance job that allows you to make money reading books and helping authors at the same time.

Your experience in writing reviews, understanding the publishing process, and building an ideal audience can be invaluable to aspiring authors.

Strategies for Consulting Services:

  • Create a dedicated section on your own website offering your consultancy services.
  • Develop a package that includes book reviewing, proofreading, and publishing consultation.
  • Use affiliate links for recommended resources and tools that can benefit self-published authors.

Tools recommended:

  • Calendly: To schedule consultation sessions.
  • Google Workspace: For collaborative editing and video conferencing.
  • “The Business of Being a Writer” by Jane Friedman: An essential book for understanding the publishing industry.

18. Library Consulting

If you have a library degree, use it to consult for public library workers. Offer advice on book selections, community engagement, or improving reading programs.

You’re not just getting paid to read; you’re also serving the public by influencing what goes on the bookshelves or into reading programs.

You can also consult with the American Library Association for best practices.

Strategies for Library Consulting:

  • Network with libraries and the American Library Association to understand what they are looking for.
  • Offer a first review of your services for free to build credibility.
  • Use your expertise to write articles or book summaries for public library workers.

Tools recommended:

  • LinkedIn Premium: For networking with public library workers and associations.
  • A subscription to Publishers Weekly for staying up-to-date with the publishing industry.
  • “Introduction to Public Librarianship” by Kathleen de la Peña McCook: A book for understanding the dynamics of library work.

19. Women’s Book Reviews

Consider dedicating a section of your book blog to reviews written by and for women. This allows you to target a particular audience interested in women’s literature.

Be the source for an honest review that resonates with women, whether they are avid readers of fiction, non-fiction, or graphic novels.

With affiliate programs in place, every review can become an opportunity to earn extra money.

Strategies for Book Reviews:

  • Collaborate with authors or publishers to get a free book in exchange for a review.
  • Use affiliate links to direct your readers to purchase the books you review.
  • Leverage social media to promote your women’s review section widely.

Tools recommended:

  • SocialBee: For automating your social media posts.
  • “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay: A book to understand the diverse range of topics women are interested in.
  • Yoast SEO: To optimize your women’s review section for search engines.

20. Merch for Book Lovers

If you have a knack for design, consider selling merchandise tailored for book lovers. T-shirts with famous book quotes or mugs designed for long reading sessions can be a hit.

Use your own website to set up an online shop and include an affiliate program to make it more enticing for others to sell your products.

Strategies for selling Merch to Book Lovers:

  • Use social proof like testimonials from satisfied customers to boost credibility.
  • Partner with book clubs to offer exclusive discounts.
  • Use your existing book blog and newsletter to promote your merchandise.

Tools recommended:

  • Shopify: To set up your online shop easily.
  • Printful: For on-demand printing services.
  • Canva: For designing your merchandise.

21. US Review Writing

Targeting the American market? Offering specialized US review writing services can be your unique selling point.

International authors trying to break into the American market can benefit significantly from a reviewer who understands the nuances of this particular audience.

Your reviews can help authors not just get an honest review but also insight into how their book resonates with American readers.

Being an avid reader and experienced reviewer, you can provide more than just book reviews; you can offer an in-depth analysis that holds value.

Strategies for US Review Writing:

  • Collaborate with publishers focusing on the American market, offering your specialized service.
  • Use your book blog to publish sample US reviews, showcasing your understanding of the American audience.
  • Include affiliate links in your reviews to earn extra money.

Tools recommended:

  • Grammarly: To ensure your reviews are grammatically flawless.
  • SEMrush: To research keywords and optimize your reviews for American audiences.
  • “The Elements of Style” by Strunk & White: A must-read for mastering American English writing.

22. Paid First Reviews for New Books

New books often need that initial boost to garner interest. Offering paid first reviews can kickstart a book’s journey, making you an important part of the publishing process.

It’s more than getting paid to read; it’s about becoming a trusted voice for readers and a valuable resource for authors.

Your first review can provide the initial traction a book needs, and it can turn into a full-time career if you play your cards right.

Strategies for Paid First Reviews of New Books:

  • Reach out to self-published authors who are in desperate need of their first review.
  • Partner with publishers and offer a package deal for multiple first reviews at a discounted rate.
  • Promote your first review service through your book blog and affiliated online book clubs.

Tools recommended:

  • Mailchimp: For running targeted email campaigns for your services.
  • Canva: To create eye-catching promotional materials.
  • “How to Write a Simple Book Review” by Allyson R. Abbott: To refine your review-writing skills.
Paid First Reviews for New Books

23. Young Adult Focused Reviews

The Young Adult (YA) market is a goldmine. Whether it’s fantasy, coming-of-age, or non-fiction books tailored to a younger audience, your specialized young adult focused reviews can serve as the go-to source for both readers and authors.

Having a dedicated section on your own website for YA reviews can attract a steady stream of traffic.

Authors can get a detailed and nuanced review while they get paid and potentially make more money through affiliate programs.

Strategies for Young Adult Focused Reviews:

  • Build a portfolio of YA reviews as sample work.
  • Network with YA authors and publishers for professional references.
  • Utilize affiliate links within your reviews to recommend books and other related products.

Tools recommended:

  • Ahrefs: For SEO analysis and ensuring your YA reviews rank well on search engines.
  • “The Anatomy of Story” by John Truby: To understand the elements of effective storytelling in YA literature.
  • Goodreads Premium Account: To engage with the YA community and stay updated on trends.

How To Make Money Reading Books: Summary

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored a myriad of ways on how to make money reading books. From writing insightful book reviews to diversifying your skills as a book translator or a book proofreader, the paths are as varied as they are rewarding.

The key takeaways are clear: Your love for reading can open doors to lucrative opportunities. You can contribute to a weekly news magazine, become an asset to literary agents, or even specialize in US reviews for particular books.

The world of reviewing books is not just for literary critics; it’s a broad field where anyone with a keen eye and a love for literature can thrive. Making money from your passion is not a myth; it’s a reality that many are already enjoying.

If this guide has sparked your interest, don’t stop here. We have a wealth of entrepreneurial and money-making ideas on our blog tailored to fuel your ambitions further, such as,

Whether you’re looking to write reviews or dive into other facets of the literary world, our blog serves as a valuable resource for your journey ahead. So go ahead, make the leap, and turn those pages into profit!

How To Make Money Reading Books: FAQs

Can I earn money by reading books?

Absolutely, you can get paid to read books in various ways. Whether you’re an aspiring book reviewer or someone who loves devouring pages, there are several avenues to explore.

You can write book reviews for literary journals, newspapers, or online platforms. You could also read books and create summaries for booklist publications.

It’s all about matching your passion for reading with opportunities to get paid.

How do you get paid $200 to read books?

Getting paid $200 to read a book is entirely feasible but often depends on your expertise and the platform you’re working with. Some well-known book review sites and literary journals pay top dollar for high-quality reviews.

To get to this pay level, you usually need to have a proven track record as a book reviewer. With some experience, you can pitch to higher-end outlets and negotiate your fees. Remember, it’s not just about reading the book; it’s also about providing insightful analysis that adds value to the reader’s experience.

How can I get paid to read online?

Several online platforms pay people to read books and write reviews. Some websites offer payment for general book reviews, while others focus on particular genres.

Websites like Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly are great places to start. You could also get paid to read through affiliate programs where you recommend books to your followers and earn a commission on each sale through your affiliate link.

How to make money on BookTok?

BookTok has become a popular niche on TikTok where users review books and offer recommendations. You can make money on BookTok by partnering with publishers or authors who pay you to review their books.

Also, you can earn money by reading books and recommending them using an affiliate program. You get paid each time someone buys a book using your affiliate link. Building a large and engaged following is key to increasing your earning potential.

What is the role of booklist publications in making money by reading books?

Booklist publications often hire experienced reviewers to read books and give comprehensive summaries and analyses. These reviews guide librarians, retailers, and the general public in selecting books.

Writing for such prestigious lists can be lucrative and also provide significant professional references in the literary world.

Is narrating audiobooks a way to get paid to read books?

Yes, narrating audiobooks is a fantastic way to get paid to read books aloud. Platforms like Findaway Voices connect authors with narrators. You get paid per finished hour of audio. It’s a rewarding job, especially for those who enjoy bringing stories to life through their voice.

How do I pitch myself as a book reviewer?

Start by creating a portfolio of your best book reviews. Platforms like Medium or even a personal blog can serve as an excellent showcase for your work.

Then, reach out to publications, both online and in print, offering your services. Make sure to include sample work and professional references to make your pitch more compelling.

How long does it take to start making money by reading books?

The timeline to start making money by reading books depends on multiple factors, including your existing skills, the platforms you choose, and how effectively you can market yourself.

For some, it could be a matter of weeks, while for others, it might take a few months to start getting paid opportunities.

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊

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