Brightly coloured books on a yellow background, symbolising getting paid to read books.

Calling all bookworms! Here’s how to get paid to read and review books  

Are you a bookworm who dreams of turning your hobby into a side hustle? Have you ever wondered how to transform one of your favourite pastimes into some extra pocket money? 

With the rise of digital platforms and online book communities, there has been an increased demand for bookish opinions, content, and more. From freelancing as a book reviewer to creating reels on BookTok and BookTube, or even participating in market research, book lovers can now utilise their knowledge and passion for the industry to help them earn money. 

In this blog, we’ll explore different avenues you can take that will allow you to turn your love of books into an extra bit of cash. 

How to get paid for reading and reviewing books 

Join BookTok or BookTube  

BookTok is a sub-community on the social media platform TikTok where bibliophiles can create and engage with the literature they love. In the last few years, it has blown up to something huge, the hashtag #BookTok has over 218 billion views on TikTok at the time of writing, with some videos amassing millions of views. 

Similarly, BookTube, the elder sibling of BookTok, thrives on YouTube. With its longer-standing presence in the digital realm, YouTube hosts a plethora of bookish content, often characterised by in-depth video essays rather than quick memes. Notable bookish content creators, such as Jack Edwards, initially gained traction on YouTube, amassing a significant following of over a million subscribers on his YouTube channel and more than 640k on TikTok. 

On both TikTok and YouTube, creators can monetize their bookish content through various means. For YouTube, creators can join the YouTube Partner Program which allows them to earn money from ads displayed on their videos. Additionally, they can use affiliate marketing by including links in their video descriptions which can earn them commissions from sales.  

TikTok offers a similar program, the Creator Fund, which allows creators to earn money based on their content’s performance and engagement metrics. Creators can also secure brand deals and partnerships, promoting goods and services in exchange for payment or free products. Creators could also consider starting a Patreon membership or partnering with publishing houses or authors to monetize their bookish content too. 

Freelance book reviewing 

Freelance book reviewing is an effective way to get paid to read and review books. 

To get started, there are a variety of freelance platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr. These offer a range of different freelance opportunities, including book reviewing. Upwork requires you to create an account and complete some questions about your skills and experience, whereas Fiverr requires only a quick signup process with no additional questions or applications required. 

Furthermore, various online platforms specialise in connecting book reviewers with authors and publishers seeking feedback on new releases. Sites such as NetGalley, Reedsy Discovery, and BookSirens facilitate this process, allowing reviewers to request complimentary digital copies of books in exchange for honest reviews.  

While direct compensation for reviews is not offered, active participants who consistently produce well-written and thoughtful content can enhance their reputation within these platforms. This, in turn, opens doors to professional opportunities within the literary community. 

If you would like to delve even further into freelance opportunities, we would recommend reaching out to literary magazines, publishers, and book blogs personally. You may need a portfolio of work or book reviews at the ready, or a small online following 

Many publishers already have influencer programs established, including Random House, who require you to have at least 5,000 followers on a social media channel to qualify. If writing content for a blog/publication, some may pay per article, whilst others may compensate based on web traffic or ad revenue generated. 

Taking part in book-themed market research 

Taking part in market research is a great way to share your opinions, shape future brands and products, and earn a bit of extra money along the way. Whilst market research often covers a whole variety of topics, publishing and book-themed market research opportunities do become available, and as a reader, your participation can have a huge influence on the decisions of publishers and authors, whilst also getting paid for your time. 

In the past, Angelfish Opinions have recruited for publishing and book-related focus groups based around some of the most popular authors in the UK. Genres can include anything from children’s fiction to romance and literary fiction, and publishers will often provide exclusive content or advanced reader copies, as well as the incentive payment. Incentives vary but we’ve previously incentivised £70 for a 90-minute Zoom focus group. 

Want to be the first to find out about new market research and any publishing-based opportunities. Join our community today

There’s never been a better moment to harness the power of online platforms to express your literary insights. By making the most of digital offerings, researching for market research opportunities, and building a strong online presence, bibliophiles can turn their love of literature into a bit of extra money.