Turn your love of reading into a lucrative side hustle with these innovative strategies.
Are you a book lover who wants to earn some extra cash?
You’re in luck!
This article will explore five creative ways you can make money by reading books.
From starting a book club to writing book reviews for cash, book lovers have many opportunities to turn their passion into profit.
Whether you want to earn a full-time income or just some extra pocket money, these ideas will help you make money from your love of books.
1. Earn From Reviews (Own Them)
Starting a book review blog or YouTube channel is a great way to share your love of reading with others and earn cash. Here’s how to do it:
- Choose your platform: Do you want to write reviews or make videos? Pick a platform to host your content — like WordPress or YouTube.
- Find your niche: What sets your reviews apart from others? Maybe you only review thrillers, or you focus on middle-grade books. Figure out what makes your reviews unique.
- Create awesome content: Start writing or filming your reviews and share them on your platform. Be consistent and provide valuable insights to engage your audience.
- Grow your audience: Share your reviews on social media and other platforms to attract more readers or viewers. Respond to comments and interact with other book bloggers or YouTubers.
- Monetize: Once you have a decent-sized audience, you can start making money through advertising or sponsorships. Advertisers will pay you to include their ads on your site, and sponsors will pay you to mention or promote their products in your reviews. You can also earn money through affiliate marketing by including links to books you review on Amazon or other book retailers.
Starting a book review blog or YouTube channel is a fun and profitable way to share your love of reading. It’s also a long-term project; you’ll need at least six months of consistent posting to start making money for it.
But it’s a great way to establish your personal brand and make money by doing what you love.
2. Earn From Reviews (On A Platform That Pays)
Some platforms allow you to earn money by writing book reviews.
These platforms typically assign you a book to review, send you a free copy and require that you submit the review within a set time frame.
To get started, you must create an account on the platform and apply to become a reviewer. Once accepted, you can start writing reviews and earning money.
The amount you can earn varies depending on the platform and the length and quality of your reviews.
How to get paid for writing book reviews?
Some platforms that pay for writing book reviews are:
- Online Book Club ($5-$60 per review)
- Booklist ($15 per review)
- Reedsy Discovery (Tip-based with tips varying from $1, $3 or $5. Sometimes, they also have flat-$15 review contests on their platform)
- Kirkus Review (Payment is on a freelance basis)
- US Review of Books (Not disclosed, but reviewers are paid monthly for every review completed during the previous month)
Writing book reviews on platforms that pay can be a great way to earn extra cash and share your love of reading.
3. Earn By Reading Aloud
If you have a passion for storytelling and an excellent speaking voice, you can earn money by narrating audiobooks.
Some platforms pay narrators to record and produce audiobooks, which are then sold to customers.
To become an audiobook narrator, you will need a good-quality microphone, a recording setup, and a quiet space.
You need to send a sample of your recording to be accepted by these platforms. Once accepted, you can start narrating audiobooks and earning money based on the length and number of books you narrate.
How to get paid for narrating audiobooks?
Here are some platforms that pay for narrating audiobooks:
- ACX ($150 to $250 per hour or 50% royalty share).
- Findaway Voices ($150 to $300 per hour)
- Audible (Payment is project-based)
Here’s a case study of an audiobook narrator who made $650 by narrating a single audiobook-
4. Earn From Your Community: Start a Book Club
Creating a book club is a great way to connect with fellow book lovers and earn money.
Here are a few steps you can follow to create your own successful book club:
- Choose a specific genre for your book club. You can attract like-minded members interested in the same type of books. For example, you could start a mystery book club, a romance book club, or a non-fiction book club.
- Decide on a schedule for your book club meetings. You can meet weekly, monthly, or even quarterly, depending on your preference and the availability of your members.
- Find a convenient location for your book club meetings. This could be a coffee shop, a library, or even someone’s home. Just make sure it’s a comfortable and conducive space for discussions. Post-2020, several online book clubs that stay connected through periodic newsletters or Zoom meetings have emerged.
- Promote your book club to potential members. You can do this through social media, local bookstores, or community organizations. Offer a brief description of your book club and what members can expect.
- Set a membership fee for your book club. You can charge a monthly or annual fee, or even a per-meeting fee. The amount will depend on the number of members and the expenses involved in running the book club.
- Select the books for your book club meetings. You can take turns choosing the books among the members or decide as a group. Make sure the books are available in physical or digital format so everyone can access them.
- Host engaging and interactive book club meetings. This is where the real fun and discussion happens. Encourage everyone to participate and share their thoughts and opinions on the book. You can also include fun activities like quizzes or games to make the meetings more enjoyable.
By following these steps, you can create a successful book club that brings people together and earns you some extra cash.
How to earn money from a book club: Case study
Witherspoon earns money from her book club through a variety of means.
- She earns a commission on the sales of the books she selects for her book club.
- She makes advertising and sponsorship revenue from her partnerships with publishing companies and retailers.
- She earns revenue from the membership fees for her book club, which give members access to exclusive content and offers.
5. Earn From Your Collection
If you’re a book lover with a collection of old books you no longer need, you can sell them to earn extra cash.
There are several ways to do this, such as selling online on platforms like Amazon and eBay, selling to a local bookstore, selling at a flea market or garage sale, or donating to a library or charity.
Make sure to price your books competitively and provide good customer service to maximize your chances of success.
Summing Up: 5 Ways to Make Money By Reading Books
Here are five creative ways to earn some extra income by reading books:
- Start a book review blog or YouTube channel and make money through advertising, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.
- Write book reviews for platforms that pay reviewers.
- Narrate audiobooks for platforms that pay for narrators.
- Start a book club and charge members a fee to attend meetings and discuss books.
- Sell books you no longer need or want on online marketplaces or at local book fairs, garage sales, or used bookstores.
These are just some ways book lovers can monetize their passion for reading. If you love books and want extra cash, consider trying one of these ideas.
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