Ways to Get Paid to Read Books
There are several companies out there that will pay you to read books. You can either earn cash or free books. Here are the ones we know of. Leave a comment if you know of any others!
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.
To be considered as a book reviewer for Kirkus, you need to submit your resume’, writing samples and a list of reviewing specialties, talents or experience to the email address on their web site.
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. The books they send you are also sent out at no charge.
Know that the first review you do with Online Book Club has to be done for free – this is their way of being able to determine that you’re right for a job as a book reviewer with their company. All subsequent reviews done for them will be paid jobs.
3. Reedsy Discovery
Reedsy Discovery gives book reviewers the chance to read the latest self-published books before anyone else. You can browse through hundreds of new stories before picking one that piques your interest. And if you’ve built up a brand as a book reviewer on Reedsy Discovery, you can liaise with authors who contact you directly for a review.
4. Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly is an online magazine focused on international book publishing and all that that entails. More pertinently, it regularly reviews both traditionally published and self-published books, which means that it does occasionally have a call for book reviewers. As of right now, it’s closed to applications — but if you check its Jobs page every once in a while, you might see an opening again.
5. 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.
As they post available books for review on their site, the hired reviewers request to be accepted as a book’s reviewer. After the review is returned, you will be paid on a monthly basis for all reviews you completed during the previous month.
To apply, submit a resume, sample work, and two professional references via email. Check out some previous examples of their book reviews here to first get a better sense of what they’re looking for.
6. Women’s Review of Books
Women’s Review of Books is a long-running, highly-respected print publication that’s a part of Wellesley Centers for Women. This feminist magazine has been published for 36 years and is looking for more book reviewers to join their force.
To be considered for reviewing assignments, you must send in your resume’, samples of published reviews and a cover letter. 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.
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.
Upwork offers thousands of jobs in a variety of genres, often including jobs for books reviewers that are paid as independent contractors.
8. 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. Each month they send out both a fiction and a non-fiction list of books available for review, and approved reviewers who respond first get a book copy for reviewing purposes.
9. 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.
Book Browse asks that your review is around 50 to 100 words without exceeding 300 words. Note also that Book Browse will provide you with the book for free, but will not pay you for the review.
10. 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.
11. 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. After you submit your online application and are accepted as a reviewer, you can browse the books that are available for review and select one title at a time to be sent for review.
Moody sends the books to you within 7 to 10 days via U.S. Postal Service Media mail after you’ve made your selection, and they require that book reviews are completed within 60 of receipt of the book.
12. 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.
How it works is pretty simple. Publishers put digital review copies out on NetGalley for perusal, where NetGalley’s members can request to read, review, and recommend them. It’s a win-win for both publisher and reviewer: the publisher is able to find enthusiastic readers to provide an honest review for their books, and the reviewer gets access to a vast catalog of books.
13. New Pages
NewPages.com is an Internet portal to small book presses, independent publishers and bookstores, and literary magazines. More importantly, they’re looking for short book reviews (generally between 100 and 200 words) on any recent literary magazine or book that you’ve read. Perfect if you just want to write short reviews!
14. Tyndale Blog Network
Tyndale Blog Network runs a program called My Reader Rewards Club, which is based on an innovative rewards system. If you join as a member, you can earn points for participating in the program like referring friends.
Writing a review for a Tyndale or NavPress book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble gets you 10 points, with a maximum limit of 50 points in 30 days. In turn, you can use your accumulated points to receive more books off of Tyndale’s shelves.
Instaread has an open call for book summaries, which recap “the key insights of new and classic nonfiction.”
Each summary should be around 1000 to 1500 words, which makes it a fair bit lengthier than your average flash book review. However, Instaread will compensate you heartily for it: as of 2019, Instaread pays $100 for each summary that you write. You can peruse Instaread’s recommended Style Guide on this page, or download Instaread from your App Store to get a better feel for the app.