Getting paid to read books is a thing, but the options are limited and rather than getting paid in real cash, this MAY just entail getting a free book in many cases.
When it comes to actual websites or businesses that pay you to write book reviews, the list is small (If you know of more legit opportunities, let me know in the comments!).
Most of the companies also require that you already have experience writing reviews and will ask you for examples and a resume.
To get started, some writers will start doing reviews for free initially, so that they can build up a portfolio of work and also obtain references.
Unfortunately, when it comes to writing online, there are a lot of scams out there too – so you need to tread cautiously.
If you’re interested in writing, I recommend this freelance writing course.
If You Want To Read Books For Free:
There are a few options I’ve seen out there for giving reviews in exchange for free books.
When it comes to ebooks in particular, there are tonnes of Facebook groups you can find looking for people to read their book and give honest reviews.
But there are options for books that are traditionally published as well.
If you would just love the option to read books for free, you could try something like librarything.com – where you can request free copies of books prior to being released.
However, it appears that hundreds of people request these books and there are limited availability.
While you don’t get paid, you do get to keep the book in exchange for a review.
Moody Publishers Newsroom:
If you’re a blogger, this company has a review program for you.
You will get a free book, in exchange for a review that you’ll need to publish on your blog, as well as an additional website like Amazon.com
First you need to fill out their registration form. Once accepted, you can view the available books on their website.
You can request a book and it will be sent out in 7-10 days. You must send a competed review in 60 days and it needs to be a review of the book in its’ entirety.
If you love to read & are wondering how you can get paid real cash for it, here are some options.
Online Book Club:
This website claims to give you free books in exchange for a review & also to pay you after your first review is accepted.
So, you will need to write your first review for free.
Only if this initial one is accepted will you be able to also write paid reviews – how likely it is for your review to accepted, or how frequently you can books, I do not know.
They claim to pay $5-$60 per review – (the higher end definitely seeming on the high side to me).
If you have any experience getting paid from this company for reviews, let me know in the comments.
Wellesley Centers For Women:
This company is looking for experienced reviewers, who are able to provide an example of at least one previously published review.
You will need to pitch to them, giving details about your experience and evidence of a previous review.
However, they do pay well – $100 per article and you will also get a subscription to their magazine.
Be careful to follow the guidelines carefully in your application, or else it’s unlikely they will respond. Learn more here.
US Review Of Books:
This company are looking for experienced writers in a professional capacity – you’ll need to provide evidence of previous work and have two professional references.
Each review is expected to be 250-300 words and must include a book summary, as well as your own insights made from reading the book.
You have two to three weeks to complete reviews, examples of reviews are given on their site.
They don’t reveal how much you’ll be paid per article, but they do pay monthly via check.
Kirkus are looking for people with experience writing reviews and each one needs to be 350 words.
You need to have the review complete 2 weeks after receiving the book.
If your review is accepted, you will be paid by cheque 60 days. You will need to apply for a position, by having a resume and writing samples available.
A news focused magazine, targeting the book publishing business – they do have a jobszone section which frequently has work advertised.
Here they will advertise a variety of work from editorial, copywriting and freelance writing opportunities.
Book reviewing opportunities are going to be more scarce and were not available when I checked personally but worth checking back for when they do show up.
They review a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books but the amount they are prepared to pay per review is unknown.
You will need experience of publishing at least one book review previously, as well as a resume outlining your relevant experience.
Upwork is a free freelance website, where I have frequently gone to find & hire freelance writers.
You’ll need to set up a profile and having previous experience will be desirable, although many people do find their first writing gigs here.
Check the job listings regularly to look out for companies offering review opportunities.
Create some writing samples that you can provide to clients as an example of your best work.
One way to get started is to contact bloggers and offer to write content for free – this is a quick way that you can build your portfolio and showcase some websites your work has been published on.
Getting Paid To Review Books – Via Affiliate Marketing:
Another way you can get paid to review, read and recommend books – is via affiliate marketing.
This is something you can incorporate on your own blog, website or YouTube channel.
If you check out YouTube, for example, you’ll find many people who review books on their channel.
They will then leave a link below their video, directing you where you can pick up the book, usually on Amazon.
If you click their affiliate link and purchase the book, (OR ANYTHING ELSE) on Amazon, you will get paid a small commission.
While the commission on a book is going to be very small, the great thing about the Amazon program is, you will get paid for anything your referral purchases within 24 hours.
Since Amazon is the most used and well-known online marketplace in the world – their conversion rate to sales is high.
The great thing about this option is, you don’t need any prior experience and you can get started right away.
The downside of this option is that it can take several months of hard work before you start seeing any consistent sales.
You can read more about being an Amazon associate here.
If you’re interested in learning all about affiliate marketing, I highly recommend the free training here.
If you’d like to get started Freelancing but don’t want to spend tonnes of money on a course, I recommend the book below.
It’s co-authored by the creator of the course I recommend and has over 100 five star reviews.
While there are some companies out there that will legitimately pay you for writing reviews, they usually expect that you have some previous experience.
However, as noted, getting experience needn’t be so difficult – especially if you’re prepared to write some of your initial reviews for free.
Long-term, getting paid to write MORE than simply book reviews is going to be the way to go and there are many opportunities online to earn money from your passion for writing.
With millions of websites online looking for content writers, quality writers are in demand… If you’re a talented writer, there are opportunities out there.
If you have any experience writing reviews, or freelancing online – I’d love to hear from you! Simply leave a comment below.