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Check Out These 6 Websites That Pay You to Read Books

Bookworms, unite! (And make some money while you’re at it!)

library shelves with books

For some, reading books is a hobby. Others would call it a bore or even (gasp!) a waste of time.

We beg to differ with the latter group. (Respectfully, of course.)

Aside from the obvious intellectual benefits, reading books can reward you in ways that are quite tangible. So tangible, in fact, that you can collect these rewards from an ATM.

That’s right—reading books can actually earn you some money.

We’re not talking about long, dramatic journeys to success, either. You see, there are websites out there that will pay you to write reviews of books that they’ll make available to you. Of course, the people running these sites can spot plagiarized, unauthentic reviews from a mile away. In order to write quality reviews, you’ll have to pore over your assigned text with an analytical eye.

Evidently, the title of “book review writer” isn’t for everyone, but if your membership in the league of certified bookworms hasn’t expired yet, you’ll have a blast writing these paid reviews!

Let’s take a look at six websites that offer this fantastic opportunity to make money in your spare time:

Kirkus Media

Key features

  • Reviews are featured in its magazine Kirkus Reviews.
  • Get the book you’re reviewing for free!
  • Applicants who have experience in the field of writing reviews will be prioritized.

At Kirkus Media, you’ll be writing reviews of around 350 words in length. You’ll also be expected to turn in your review two weeks after the task is assigned to you.

Heads up: Mastery of Spanish is a plus since Kirkus Media assigns Spanish titles as well. To that, we can only say mucho dinero!

Publisher’s Weekly

Key features

  • Relatively shorter reviews that typically have a word count of 200
  • An assortment of genres to work with—from romance, sci-fi, and fantasy to indigenous spirituality and the occult (seriously)

Talk about an enduring company: Publisher’s Weekly has been around since 1872! Make sure you put your best foot forward when you apply there, especially when you turn in samples of your past work. 

At present, Publisher’s Weekly isn’t looking for new book reviewers. Make sure you stay tuned to its Jobs page so that you’ll be the first to find out about vacant slots!

Reedsy Discovery

Key features

  • Focuses on indie books
  • Tipping system for book reviewers (in which they can receive $1, $3, or $5 from readers who like their reviews)

When it comes to self-published books, Reedsy is one of the biggest names out there. As you can imagine, the writers of these indie works would love to get constructive criticism from reviewers. By writing reviews of their books, you’d be giving them valuable support in honing their craft.

New Pages

Key features

  • Reviews that are only 100 to 200 words long
  • Affiliated with independent publishers and small presses

If you prefer to keep your reviews really short, New Pages is the site for you. Think of it as the counterpart to flash fiction (which, if we’re being honest, should be called minuscule fiction).

Hey, it’s quality over quantity, right? With a good choice of words, you can get your point across when it comes to a book you loved, hated, and everything in between. To find out more about New Pages’ guidelines for its flash reviews, click here.

Women’s Review of Books

Key features

  • Devoted to books on (and written by) women
  • Experienced reviewers are very much welcome.

Created by the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, the Women’s Review of Books offers $100 for reviews that are published. 

Before you get to this nice payday, you’ll have to send an outstanding pitch and turn in an exceptional review. Don’t mess around, now: The Women’s Review of Books accepts nothing but the highest quality.

Online Book Club

Key features

  • Transparency when it comes to pay rates ($5 to $60 range)

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There’s no way we can gloss over the stark declaration on this site’s FAQs page. Here’s a straightforward message for you, dear reviewer: “First of all, this is not some crazy online get-rich-quick scheme. You won’t get rich and you won’t be able to leave your day job.”

That’s the spirit.

As long as you don’t let your expectations for these book review sites get out of hand, you can relish the experience of reading a new text and writing an honest, concise review. After all, for bona fide bookworms, expressing personal insights about a literary piece is highly satisfying.

As for getting paid to express said personal insights? Now that’s some next-level satisfaction.

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