12 Sites to Get Paid to Read Books

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Do you like to read? Do you want to earn money? If so, you might be able to find some side hustle gigs that pay you to do what you love: read books.

Check out this list of companies that will pay you to read books, and think about whether a partnership with one of these book reviewer companies is a good way for you to make some extra cash while doing something you love to do.

Get Paid in Cash to Write Book Reviews

This is a list of companies that pay cash for book reviews. As you’ll read later, not all companies pay reviewers in this manner.

1. Kirkus Media

Kirkus Media is a company that specializes primarily in book reviews. That means they are often hiring reviewers to read books and write reviews of roughly 350 words.

You need to submit your resume’, writing samples and a list of reviewing specialties to Kirkus if you want to be considered for the job. Adding talents or experience to the email address on their web site will help too.

The company also occasionally hires for copy editors and editors as well, meaning you have three opportunities with Kirkus to get paid for reading books.

2. Online Book Club

Online Book Club is a company that pays between $5 and $60 for book reviews, depending on the length of the book, etc.

The company is looking for honest reviews of the books they send to members, and it is free to become a member. Online Book Club sends out books to you at no charge.

You have to do your first review you do with Online Book Club for free. This is the company’s way of being able to determine that you’re right for a job as a book reviewer with their company.

You will get paid for any subsequent reviews done for Online Book Club.

3. Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly is a weekly news magazine that focuses on the book publishing business. Their website does have a career page that often features job opening information for editors, copyeditors and book reviewers.

However, they also occasionally look for book reviewers. All reviewers hired by Publishers Weekly are paid an honorarium, although the site doesn’t specify what that amount is.

The company looks to publish reviews for all types of fiction (including graphic novels) and non-fiction books.

Publishers Weekly wants reviews for both traditionally published and self-published books. You need to send the company a resume’ as well as a 200-word sample review of a recently published book if you want to apply as a potential reviewer.

4. The U.S. Review of Books

The U.S. Review of Books is a company that publishes book reviews of thousands of books in a variety of different genres. The company regularly seeks reviewers to write 250-300 word reviews of books for publication on its company site.

You request reviewer status for this company when they post available books for review on their site. You’ll earn pay for reviews you complete on a monthly basis.

5. Women’s Review of Books

The Women’s Review of Books is a publication that, well, reviews books written by and about women. The site is based out of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, in collaboration with Old City Publishing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

You must send in your resume’, samples of published reviews and a cover letter to be considered for assignments.

That’s not to say that they won’t accept someone who hasn’t reviewed for pay, but it’s important that your review samples are “lively, thought-provoking and accessible to a broad audience of interested readers”.

Timeliness and professionalism are important as well to the powers-that-be; they want reviewers who can meet a deadline. Most reviewers get fourteen cents per paid word, and the company welcomes suggestions for books to review as well.

6. Upwork

Upwork, a freelancing network that connects freelancers with those in need of help, may offer some positions for writing reviews on books for websites or blogs. Of course, job availability varies.

Upwork offers thousands of jobs in a variety of genres, often including jobs for book reviewers that are paid as independent contractors.

Related Post: How to Make Money Writing a Book

Get “Paid” with Free Books

Some sites that look for book reviews won’t pay you in actual cash, but they will give you a free hard copy of the book you review for keeps.

Here is a list of some of the sites that will send free books for you to review and keep:

7. Bethany House

Bethany House is a publisher that focuses on publishing books that represent historic Christianity. The company requires that those who review for them own their own blog and be willing to post Bethany House reviews on that blog site.

As a reviewer for Bethany House, you must write reviews at least 75 words in length (not including the plot synopsis) and publish the review both on your personal blog and on a retailer website such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

The company chooses reviewers on a first come, first served basis. Bethany House sends out both a fiction and a non-fiction list of books available for review each month. Approved reviewers who respond first get a book copy for reviewing purposes.

Note that they do have a limited number of each copy of the books they need reviews for. For that reason, it’s important to act fast if you want to be accepted as a reviewer of a book after the lists are published.

8. Book Browse

Book Browse is an “online magazine for book lovers” that publishes reviews and other information. They are looking for reviewers who want free books in exchange for a review.

Members get books on a varying schedule depending on how many publishers are sending books to Book Browse. Review opportunities range from every three months to more often, and occasionally less often, based on opportunities.

9. Chicago Book Review

The Chicago Book Review is a popular literary site with the goal of highlighting “Chicago’s publishing world and the great books it produces”. The site shares reviews of many of the books birthing from Chicago’s 125+ book publishing companies.

The company is looking for reviewers who are “dedicated to providing quality, considered, well-written reviews that go beyond ‘I love this book!’ and ‘What a great book!’”.

If you love writing thoughtful and detailed book reviews and getting free books to do so, consider sending The Chicago Book Review your resume’ and writing samples.

10. Moody Press

Moody Press Publishers also pay reviewers in the form of free books – books that their company publishes.

As with Bethany Publishers, Moody wants reviewers who own a blog and are willing to share their book reviews on that blog as well as on a retailer site such as Amazon.

You can browse books that are available for review after you submit your online application and are accepted as a reviewer. Reviewers select one title at a time to be sent for review.

Once you’ve made your selection, Moody sends the books to you within 7 to 10 days via U.S. Postal Service Media. You have to return your review within 60 of receipt of the book.

11. Net Galley

Net Galley is looking for librarians, booksellers, educators, reviewers and bloggers to read the books promoted on the Net Galley site and write reviews for those books.

Know that Net Galley only gives away digital copies of books in exchange for a review.

12. New Pages

New Pages is a site for “Engaged Readers and Creative Writers”. If you like to read books, you can sign up to send them suggestions of books you’d like to read or write a review on and they’ll send you a copy of the book.

The company is looking to hire reviewers that can write a lively, engaging review in easy-to-read yet intelligent language.

Honest reviews are important, but they prefer reviews that are about books you love and not about books that weren’t so great.

Summary

There are several companies out there that actually pay people to read books. Imagine indulging in one of your favorite pastimes – reading – and getting paid to do so.

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    Comments

    1. Another site I have used to get free books is called Blogging For Books. You have to have a blog and you have to agree to post your review there, but there are no traffic qualifications or anything like that. I’ve gotten at least a half dozen free books from them over the last year or two.

      • Thanks, Budget Kitty! We just added it to the list. I appreciate the suggestion!

    2. Copy editing and proofreading are skilled positions that require specific education and training. You need to have an in-depth knowledge of the appropriate style guide, at a minimum. You need to be up to date on current trends in publishing and conventions for each specific genre you work in. These aren’t the kinds of jobs you just pick up to make some money; that’s like saying people who are struggling should just see if anyone is hiring heart surgeons on the side.

      Book reviewing isn’t as strict about your education and background, but it is a very competitive field and can be hard to break into.

      • That’s why we recommend Proofread Anywhere as a good training course to help people get started! 🙂

        • I want to reenter the workforce, and this is perfect!

          • It’s a start!

      • We do not all have the same skill. What you speak about as a hard is suitable, and funny, for others. Don’t close the door for youth who want to work hard and learn about the culture.

    3. Thanks for this resource. I am always reading both a fiction and nonfiction book at the same time. Getting free books, or getting paid to read and review them, sounds awesome.

      • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Dave! Yes, many are taking advantage of these income avenues.

    4. This is an awesome resource! Thanks for sharing! I’m looking forward to trying one out.

      • I’m glad to hear it.

    5. When I think of getting “paid”, as the article states, I don’t think of “books”. That’s like getting paid in beans for people who don’t have a job and are looking for ways to make money.

      • I’m not sure you understand the article. They don’t pay you in books, they pay you to read books. 🙂

        • No, Deacon,. Several listings specifically state that the reviewer will be trading a review for a free copy of the book in question, not actual money. I hope you aren’t a copy editor.

          • Some may provide a free copy for you to review and keep. However, I believe some of them do pay for you to actually review the books. I think you have a good point, though. Those who wish to sign up and make money should be cautious and read the fine print. That way they’ll know what they are receiving in return for their time to review books.

      • Hello. I’ve had thirty two years working in resorts, from crew to management. Placing hospitality management on a resume gets me jobs as a traveling nurse or a truck driver. I’m neither. I’m a caregiver of elderly ladies lied to about elder abuse by my half-sister so mom could be forced from our home. She was made to pay for all her 5 husbands that divorced her. I was struck by a 93 year old retired attorney on August 11th, at 4 p.m. on my bike. I’m on disability without an MRI from Waukon Memorial Veterans Hospital. I can not test out of higher math. I loath poverty. I get $671 a month disability. I’m losing my home above a roller rink (with no shower and the sink has not drained since February). I have been writing since 1985. Around the first of August my cat and I will be living in a red pickup and hoping I have a place for my treasures.

        • I’m sorry you are having such difficulties. You might try to see if any of these opportunities would help you.

        • So I will start with Val…honey, have you ever heard of the term TMI? Trying to get work on the internet is a lot like the offline world. You sound desperate. Don’t. It isn’t going to help and a blog post isn’t going to make your career dreams come true. Do you want to write? Jon Morrow – Googling him not only can help with writing but he can help you cancel your pity party.

          Next – There is a huge list of companies that pay for reading books. Some pay cash ($40-$50 or more) for a review, others in books. Linda Formicelli has a free list on her website.

          Last- Although some places will hire a newbie proofreader…newbie meaning you at least have some kind of training. “Proofread Anywhere” can help with the training part but I must warn you that most of the companies want at least a few years experience and/or a B.A. in English or Journalism. I’m not trying to be a downer here. You can say I have been around the block a few times. I’ve been burned too. I like keeping things real. I guess some don’t. I started out with the same questions y’all did. It could have saved a lot of time if people were just honest (I’m not saying that you aren’t Deacon, but there are those out there). You should see my website. What a disappointment.

          Anyway these ideas are not impossible. They just take a little longer than some would like to admit. Take care…

    6. This is very helpful information. Thank you so much for sharing this important information with the world. ????????????

    7. Any Subject Books isn’t taking submissions right now. Upwork is a rip-off, Online Book Club doesn’t pay for reviews, and Contena charges the freelancer to use their site when it used to be free.

      • We’ll have to take a look into those and see. Thanks for pointing it out.

      • Online Book Club does pay, but you have to jump through a lot of no-pay hoops that are hardly worth it unless you really are a book worm.

        • I agree with at least some of what you said. It’s true that you’ll probably need knowledge, skills, and training at the very least to become a book reviewer. This is not a “get rich quick” scheme anyone can do.

          As for the rest of what you said, it might have been a bit harsh even if at least partly true. Not everything belongs in a comment. However, you also do not know how someone else was feeling or what they were going through at the time they commented.

          I am sorry to hear you did not have a good experience with Online Book Club, though. Hopefully you will with any others you might decide to try in the future.

          To Val: We should all have sympathy for what you are going through. Hang in there and don’t give up!

      • Thank you so much your review. Really helped, much needed.

    8. I love reading, and I try to set aside as much time for it as possible. It’s great to know that I can make some extra money doing something that I enjoy! This is a great post!

      • Reading is one of my hobbies too!

    9. You’re pretty much paying Book Browse, not the other way around. Only members have access to the books to review, but you have to pay $3/month to become a member.

    10. Ultius has book reviews available as well. While their orders aren’t always book reviews, I’ve completed quite a few. I think they are always hiring writers, although there aren’t may orders over the summer months.

      I’m excited to check out some of these other sites. I love writing book reviews!

      • Thanks for that tip!

    11. Hi, Laurie! You gave me some very good tips on how to make money from my book reading hobby. Probably, I will try out Kirkus Media and will see how it works. Thanks for the valuable info!

      • I hope that works out for you!

    12. I have been with onlinebookclub for over a month and have written 4 reviews. I have not gotten paid for any yet, as you have to accrue points and move up the levels to receive any pay. The system of earning points includes posting in their forums and using social media.

      Part of your point base is the score you get on your review, which is weighted very heavily on grammar and formatting. Misuse a few commas and/or forget to add in a line space, and your score sinks like a rock. This is particularly ironic as many of the self published books you are reading, are rife with grammatical and formatting errors, so you are held to a higher standard than the authors are.

      I have seen many reviewers who seem happy with the system and I assume they are earning money.

      I have been offered two ‘bonus’ reviews (bonus because I’m not yet at the earning level) and have yet to be paid for the one I did. Complaining is frowned upon, so if you place a question in one of the forums and you seem too disgruntled, it is shut down. Getting a comment back from the admins takes days.

      I’m not saying you can’t get paid here, but don’t expect to get paid after one review, especially if you don’t have excellent grammar skills.

      • Thanks for adding that information. I agree that many people see these types of posts as ways to make fast money. Of course, some of the links do pay faster, but as you pointed out, others can take time, too.

      • For me, after the first five reviews I was eligible for paid opportunities. They have cut back on the comma use but will go after other ‘errors’. The majority of my reviews are between 50 and 59% with one being 90%.

        I don’t use social media for the club but have filled in my bookshelf and participated in the forums. It takes a while for sure but it’s worth having on the side in addition to other opportunities.

    13. For a lot of these I cannot find how to apply on these sites. In the first 10, I only found one that I could apply for. I typed in job, apply, editor job, freelance, and others in the search bar. Can you tell me what keywords to use in the search bar? Thanks in advance!

      • Well, I could not pull up the site for Any Subject Books. If you read the blog post, for Kirkus, it tells you how to submit your resume’. If you pull up Online Book Club and scroll all the way down almost to the bottom of the page you will see a link. It says: “Get your books for free by becoming one of our official reviewers.” Click it and I suspect you will get the info you need. For Publishers Weekly, scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on “Job Zone”. That will take you to a page that lists their available jobs. Moments ago one listing was for book reviewers for them. That’s just the first four listed in the blog. My guess is the others are similar – you just have to dig a little deeper to find the info you’re looking for.

    14. These comments don’t exactly entice one to go running for the PC to offer up services.

      It seems in some cases you even have to pay them for the privilege of working for them.

      Pay seems to be slow or delayed. Replies to inquiries also come slowly or not at all.

      Are there really any publishers who are seeking good people for a decent return? I don’t mean books.

      Would you consider this site a blog? If so, you now have my review on this advertising. They must be paying you to post.

      • Yes, they are legit and actually pay money. Of course, you have to have very good language skills. Even one small error could get your application eliminated. Also, some of the companies have pretty strict and intense screening processes due to the high volume of inquires and applications they receive.

    15. Deacon

      You seem like an expert on reviewers and proof readers. I thought I would be a great candidate because I love to read. Now you have me scared to even try. I’m currently not working and can read all day long. I’ve got the time and devotion, I just nee a chance. Do you have any good advice?

      • Well, it can’t hurt to try. You could end up with a hobby that makes you money! Good luck! 🙂

    16. Thank you for this resource. Do you have any suggestions to read for children’s books?

      • That’s a good question! Other than looking into places that will pay you to narrate children’s books, I don’t know for sure. You might start by checking each of the sites listed in this post. Also, you could conduct an internet search to see if you can get a narrating job. I wish you luck if that is what you are interested in doing.

    17. Reading this article has helped greatly. I never knew there were so many sites that reward readers. I will ensure I check those websites to see if I could get some benefits from my reading hobby.

      • I’m glad you like to read and hope that you find some of the websites useful. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

    18. How do we get started and can you show me?

      • Use the information in this site to help you get started. Good luck!

    19. I read 184 books last year. I read every chance that I get – fiction books usually are my favorites. I’m reading a lovely book at the moment, “The Newcomer ,” by Fern Britton. It is a really good read and the easy flow of writing make you sail through the book. I like taking a break from thrillers and the physiological twist of reading. It’s the greatest time to give yourself.

      • Wow! That’s a lot of books in one year! Nice job! Yes, it is nice to swap genre’s every so often to keep from getting bored with your reading.

    20. Proofreading may be a skilled profession but I still see lots of errors in the books I read across all genres. Most are grammar issues, but many are issues of the wrong character being referred to, and spelling errors. Spell check won’t catch everything, because some words can be spelled right but be in the wrong context. It drives me nuts.

      • Yes that’s true. Sometimes what is needed is a fresh set of eyes to proofread, catch, and make those corrections. Thanks for your comments.

    21. How much does reading books pay?

      Thanks!
      Leslie Davis

      • Each of the sites has their own payment scale as well as policies, terms and conditions, etc. You would just have to check with the ones you are interested in. 🙂

    22. This is a very interesting post. thanks for the insight. Are these opportunities only limited to the US? I’m from South Africa doing my undergrad in Communication Science. I want to practice my writing skills and sort of embark on the journey of becoming a writer. Which site would you recommend for an inexperienced person like myself?

      • Honestly, you just need to check them out for yourself to see which ones interest you. Then, check out their information about submissions before sending them anything to give yourself a greater chance of success. 🙂

    23. Blogging for Books is no longer in service.

    24. Hello. i am a Copywriter and proofreader with over a decade of experience. I am a graduate of Sociology with an MBA in Marketing. I’m a seasoned advertising practitioner with good analytical ability as well as remarkable writing skills. I have a knack and penchant for book reviews. I await your feedback. Thank you.

      • Use the information and links in the post to see if you can get paid to use your skills.

    25. I would love to join your team of paid readers. Words and reading and reviewing my reads are my passion. How so I start?

      • This is not really a team of readers. You just need to follow the links and use the information in this post to see if you can get paid to read books. Good luck!

    26. I am from Malaysia. Is there any chance of hiring a Malaysian?

      • I don’t see why not! All you have to do to find out is give it a shot. Good luck!

    27. Hey, Some of these sites use Paypal as a way of payment, so is PayPal safe?

      • Yes! Many companies use PayPal and it has a good reputation.

    28. For this type of gig. What all do a person have to do in order to get paid for their reviews? Some of the sites are not completely clear and I would live to do this since im disabled and confined almost to home.

    29. Hi , I can quote myself as Good English reader and speaker!

      I need assistance to get well employed in this regard!

      Thank you!

    30. I would love to join the reading team. Reading is what I love doing, to improve my vocabulary.

    Comments are closed.