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Make money reading.
Are you a true bookworm? If reading is a passion of yours, it may be worth considering the ways you can make money from reading. Who doesn’t want to earn money from something they love?
There are more ways to earn money from reading than you may think. From proofreading and editing to reviewing books, you could make decent cash on the side. If you’re going to read anyway, why not profit from it?
Here are 6 ways you can make money reading.
You don’t have to be a literary scholar to review books. All you need is a love for reading, and have the ability to form honest, fair opinions about the books you read. If you are asked to review a particular book, you will need to be open to reading genres or authors outside of your usual, and give them a fair chance. You really can’t judge a book by its cover with this one!
There are many websites online that pay you for your reviews. All you have to do is search ‘get paid to review books’ into Google, and a plethora of results come up. It is important to research, as the number of opportunities, level of pay and depth of reviews required may differ.
It’s also important to remember that reviewing books won’t make you millions, nor will you be able to quit your day job. However, it can be a lucrative and fun side hustle to help you put away extra into your savings, pension or even spend on more books!
OnlineBookClub.org is a great place to start. Publishers and authors will often give you a free copy of a new book in exchange for an honest, written review from you, the reader. You will get a free copy of a book, then on top of this, get paid to give it an honest review. The best part is, you don’t have to lie.
OnlineBookClub encourage you to be honest. You will get paid no matter what you think. You don’t have to claim you loved it if you didn’t.
Pay outs current range from $5 to $60 per review. This is approximately £4 to £50 GBP. As previously mentioned, you won’t get totally rich from this venture, but you could earn a decent sum if you do a few reviews per month. The thing to note with this, is that you won’t get paid for your first review. However, you will get the book for free.
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Blogging is a great way to earn money on the side, and could actually become a full-time job should you build your brand and grow your blog successfully. Book bloggers are can be very popular and successful, with blogs such as BookWritten getting over 75,000 hits per month.
The site contains articles on a range of things, from finding places to read books for free, to looking after books to keep them in pristine condition. However, you could write about anything that tickles your fancy.
The Literary Edit is a more personal blog, written by award-winning book blogger and writer Lucy. She blogs about all things books, with a more informal, chatty style, Lucy writes reviews of books she’s read, tells her followers her favourite books of all time, and even has a great little section called ‘Desert Island Books’.
You could even find a niche and discuss books particularly close to your interests. Crime By The Book is a fascinating book blog, written by a lover of crime fiction, with a particular skew towards Scandinavia. Although most of the books are general crime fiction, the niche is particularly interesting.
But how can you make money from blogging? Well, mainly ads on the site, as well as partnerships and affiliates with brands. You may even get a sponsorship for a particular series. As your blog grows and develops, you may be sent freebies of books, and even asked to review them on your blog in return for payment.
If your blog grows large enough, people may even pay monthly subscriptions for exclusive content, or you could use widgets such as Buy Me A Coffee, where people can buy you a virtual coffee to help fund your mission. Plus you will be able to make this money reading.
Our frugal columnist, and award-winning blogger Jane, owner of shoestringcottage.com, first started her blog over a decade ago:
“I began with a free WordPress blog, as I was writing as a hobby. However, when I realised it was possible to monetise my site, I purchased a domain name and server hosting. I also bought a theme (design) to make it look more professional. I maybe spent £400 initially and now pay around £150 a year.
“The key to getting a steady readership is to post regularly – at least once a week, preferably more. I also did a couple of cheap blogging courses, and learned some of the technicalities of running a blog. I think it is worth doing this if you are a complete beginner.”
Not sure where to begin? Here are some websites we recommend to start your blog:
These websites are free, easy-to-use and allow you to build your blog using templates available. They are straight forward and you can create a beautiful, unique blog in very little time.
Social media is a brilliant tool. Many people actually become full-time ‘influencers’, and earn a good sum of cash using their platforms.
One of the biggest platforms that appreciates books is Instagram. As with blogging, people use their Instagram pages to review books they’ve read, share their favourite books and interact with other people who love reading as much as they do.
The money comes from sponsorships, affiliates and brand deals. You may collaborate with a brand on a post, for example promoting a new book being released, or encouraging your followers to follow a new author’s work. You may be given affiliate links as well as upfront payment, where you make a cut of a sale when someone buys a book through your link.
Of course, you won’t get these opportunities immediately, and it will take some hard graft on your end to build a following. But through following others, interacting with them and posting a steady and constant bout of content, you could grow more quickly than you may think.
‘Bookstagrams’, as they are fondly know in the book-lover community, are a hugely popular part of the platform. Elizabeth Sagan (@elizabeth_sagan) boasts a whopping 203k followers. A self-confessed ‘book whisperer’, Elizabeth posts beautiful imagery of her books and fun, engaging short videos. Other accounts such as @coraliebickfordsmith and @stacked_shelf have 25.8k and 10.3k followers respectively.
You don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of followers to start making money. Once you reach 5,000 followers you are considered a ‘micro-influencer’, and can start reaching out to brands and companies to see if they’d like to work with you. Remember to work with other influencers and help to build each other up.
One of the largest video-sharing platforms in the world is TikTok, and ‘BookTok’ is an integral part of the platform. BookTok even has its own Wikipedia page, and the tag #BookTok has over 112.2 billion views on the app.
You may start on another platform and as you feel more confident, move over to making videos. It can seem daunting, but the BookTok community is a warm and welcoming one. Despite the criticisms of social media, this corner of the internet is full of friendship, enjoyment, and great connections over a shared passion.
We love @bookishbytammi, who shares books she’s read monthly, her favourite books in different genres such as fantasy and romance, and does fun challenges too. She has 64k followers and almost one million likes across her videos.
If you aren’t feeling ready to make videos, join the platform and have a browse. As you watch other people make videos and discuss topics you love, you may become inspired to start creating videos yourself.
As with other social media platforms, the money you can make comes in the form of sponsorships, brand partnerships and affiliates. You may be asked to do ads for a certain product or company, and get paid to attend events.
Another way to make money reading is to become a proof-reader. Proofreading is essentially a final quality check before publishing. A proof-reader will carefully check the text for any errors before it is published or shared. It’s the last stage of the writing process, and it is essential for any text.
The job of a proof-reader is to bring attention to any spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors, as well as any typos or formatting issues. You may even alert the author and publisher to any inconsistencies within the text.
Many proof-readers do it on a freelance basis. You can advertise your proofreading services on websites such as PeoplePerHour and Fiverr. Some people offer their services for under £5, however when you build up your reviews, ratings and reputation, you could be charging hundreds for longer texts and novels.
You could also go in search of opportunities. Websites such as UpWork and Freelancer are goldmines for people looking for proof-readers to help them. From doing last-minute checks of novels to going over important documents and even checking for spelling and grammar in examination papers, proof-reading involves a huge range of tasks. The roles range from £8 per hour to a few thousand pounds for large, important projects.
In order to be a successful proof-reader, you will of course need a love for reading, but some key skills are required also. You will need a great attention to detail and a solid understanding of spelling and grammar. You’ll need to be self-disciplined and be able to meet tight deadlines.
Scribbr have a great guide to proofreading, which you can read here.
Need a flexible schedule? Check out these work from home roles for everyone.
Do you have a smooth as butter voice that people love to listen to? Perhaps you are good at doing accents, making a book come to life as you read to others. Do your children or grandchildren guffaw when you make a funny voice, pretending to be the monster in their book? Narrating audiobooks could be just the thing for you.
If you are an avid reader, this is a great way to supplement your income. You may even choose to pursue this as a freelancer on a full-time basis if you find it is a successful career path for you. You can make money reading books, out loud!
But how can you get started? Well, the internet is a powerful thing, and there is a plethora of opportunities waiting for you.
The Audiobook Creative Exchange (ACX) is a huge online platform that pays people to read books out loud. Books you narrate for this popular platform could even appear on iTunes and Audible, which would be a great boost for your portfolio. Simply create an account, upload some high-quality samples of you narrating a small paragraph or passage, and then set your hourly rate.
Authors and publishers will be able to find you and review your work and may ask you to narrate for them. The great thing about ACX is that you could even earn some of the royalties earnt on the book!
There are many ways you can get work, as well as the ACX. As previously mentioned, you could advertise your work on freelance sites such as Fiverr. There are also many more companies which specialise in voiceover and narration.
Here are some we recommend:
Listen to thousands of audiobooks, podcasts and Audible originals, with Audible. Sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Do you speak more than one language? Many people are crying out for people to translate texts for them. From novels to documents and even old texts, your language skills could earn you a decent bit of money on the side. If you speak multiple languages, even better! You will be a very valuable asset to many companies and be able to make decent money from reading.
You could advertise your services on freelance websites, or go in search of opportunities. We have previously recommended Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer and PeoplePerHour, all of which are relevant to this route too.
However, there are also websites dedicated to translation work. Blend is one of the most popular and successful translation websites. They guarantee continuous workflow and fair pay for every project. You can also apply as both a translator and a voice artist, so you can mix things up! Although the pay doesn’t start out high, the progression system makes it easy to build up your pay and your reputation on the website.
Unbabel is another great site which allows you to earn by translating. This is a very flexible website, where you can choose whether you work part-time or full-time. You also get paid hourly and can request pay outs on the go, via PayPal or Payoneer.
However, if you want to make real money from this, you could consider going full-time as a freelance translator. On Freelancer, text translation jobs range anywhere from £7 to £25 an hour for simple texts, and a few thousand pounds for more in-depth, intense texts.
Do you have some exciting ways to make money reading? Leave your comments below!