8 Companies That Pay for Book Reviews (Plus 3 Ideas That Pay to Read!)

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Reading is a favorite pastime for many, but it doesn’t pay the bills, unfortunately.

Or, does it?

It can, with the help of paid book reviews, a fun job that’s perfect for bookworms.

As a book reviewer, you can make money reading new books from famous and new authors and sharing your opinions in a helpful review.

Sure, there’s some work involved besides just reading.

But most books reviews only require a few hundred words which, if you’re a fast typist and decent writer, shouldn’t take you very long to do.

This guide will show you where to find companies that pay for book reviews and what you need to know to get started with them.

Plus, we outline a few extra ideas for ways to make money from your love of reading!

Book Reviewing Jobs from Online Companies

The following companies specialize in paid book reviews.

What, exactly, is a paid book review?

Each company will have a set of guidelines for what it requires from its book reviewers, but generally, you’ll:

  • Read a book selection that either you or the company chooses (some companies give you a few choices).
  • You delve into the book, taking note of the storyline, characters, themes, etc.
  • Provide a review, usually between 100 and 500 words, going into depth with your opinions to help others who might be interested in reading it.
  • Get paid!

Why do these companies pay you to review books?

Usually, they’re in partnership with book publishers who want to learn more about what readers like and dislike.

This helps publishers keep producing books that people will love and gives them constructive feedback to use for the future.

Since you’re taking your time to read the book and write a review, you get compensated.

Some companies pay real cash for your time, while others pay only in free books.

Still, it’s not a bad deal to get a free book for writing a short review!

Either way, it builds up your library and pays you, in some way, for your favorite hobby.

Let’s dig into the sites:

Any Subject Books

This company is a literary agency that publishes, edits, formats, distributes, and markets books.

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It works with a variety of authors that cover almost any subject, hence the name!

As a book reviewer here, you could tap into just about any genre you love or try something new.

Any Subject Books will occasionally send out books to interested reviewers to read and review.

Currently, the site isn’t open to more reviewers, but you can continue to check back to see if there are openings.

You’ll get one book at a time and won’t be eligible for another until you complete your review submission form.

Unlike some companies, Any Subject Books sends out a form for reviewers to guide them into giving details about the characters, plot, story, etc., to help them with their reviews.

Their main focus is honesty.

If you disliked a book, say so.

Just be sure to give constructive feedback explaining why you didn’t like it and what could have been better.

The rates aren’t disclosed on the site, but it does mention that you’ll get paid according to the length of the book.

Short stories, for example, will pay less than a long novel.

Each time you get a review offer, you’ll be allowed to accept or deny it, and you’ll see Any Subject Books’ payment offer included.

BookBrowse

This company apparently gets so many requests from new reviewers trying to apply each week that it had to put a notice up on its website.

The notice explains that reviewers should look at current reviews to get an idea of the site’s style and expectations before applying.

If you feel you can meet its needs, then by all means, apply!

BookBrowse works with reviewers all over the world, but most are based in the USA because many publishers won’t send books overseas for reviews.

Payment isn’t disclosed on the site, but BookBrowse says its “modest.”

However, all reviewers will receive a byline, which is great if you’re trying to make a name for yourself in the book industry.

Booklist

Booklist is a journal from the American Library Association filled with reviews of books not yet published.

Most of the reviews come from in-house writers, but Booklist does also seek freelance contributors to help carry the workload.

Each book review is $15, and you’ll even get $5 if your review gets declined for whatever reason.

You can also contribute blog posts for the Booklist website, which pay $12.50 each.

BookLook Bloggers

BookLook Bloggers is one company that doesn’t pay reviewers for their time, but instead compensates them with free books.

This is a review program specifically for bloggers who have book-based blogs.

Bloggers should have new content on their blogs at least once a week and should have a minimum of 30 blog subscribers.

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You’ll get a list of available books to choose from and can pick one at a time.

In exchange for keeping the book, you’ll agree to post a review on your blog with your honest opinions.

Each review should be at least 200 words, and should also be posted on a site that has book reviews, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

When you’re done, you’ll just need to go to your account and send BookLook Bloggers your links to your reviews to be eligible for future books.

Kirkus

Kirkus offers services to authors, like editing and reviews.

You can become a freelance reviewer for Kirkus and review new books for Indie authors from anywhere in the world.

Kirkus offers paperback, hardcover, and digital books, but not all formats may be available for each book you want to review.

To apply, you’ll need to send your resume and writing samples to the email address listed on the website.

Online Book Club

Get paid up to $60 per book review for the Online Book Club.

In addition to your review, you’ll get to keep the books you read.

A simple online form can get you registered for free, and you can start selecting available books to review.

The US Review of Books

The US Review of Books is a book reviewing website that helps authors connect with thousands of book lovers.

Most reviews need to be between 250 and 300 words and should give a quick summary of the book plus the reviewer’s in-depth thoughts about its characters and storyline.

Deadlines for reviews are two to three weeks.

Reviewers get paid by check on the 5th of each month for all reviews completed during the previous month, but the actual pay isn’t specified on the website.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Women’s Review of Books is a publication from the Wellesley Centers for Women that gives female book reviewers a chance to read and review books written by other women.

This publication pays the most out of those listed on this page: $100 for each review.

However, it also requires that reviewers have experience as journalists, educators, or reviewers to come on board.

You can always send in pitches for books you’d like to review to the email address listed on the website to see if you’re a good fit.

Read more: 30 Best Sites That Pay You to Write Reviews from Home in Your PJs

Other Ways to Read and Get Paid

If the above sites aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, then maybe you can try some of these other ways to get paid to read books!

Freelance Writing and Editing

It’s true that the sites above won’t pay you as much as you could be getting as a freelancer in charge of your own income.

If money is the biggest thing holding you back from reviewing books, then I suggest taking a stab at freelancing.

As a freelance writer, you have more control over who you work with, how you write, and the money you can make.

You can search for clients in the publishing industry, or even work directly with authors.

Some of the services you might offer as a freelancer to be able to read books and get paid for it include:

  • Writing reviews
  • Editing manuscripts
  • Proofreading
  • Helping with self-publishing
  • Illustrating
  • Photography
  • Marketing
  • Building author websites
  • Blogging for authors or publishers

As you can see, as a freelancer, a lot of doors open that allow you to still read for money, but help you get paid in different ways in addition to reviewing.

How do you get started doing this?

Easy!

Join some freelance marketplaces or browse freelance job boards like those below:

Once you build up a portfolio of work, you can move toward cold emailing publishers, authors, or other people in the industry that you want to work with.

Through cold emailing, you’ll contact potential clients directly to offer whatever services you have available.

This method is the best way to keep you in total control of your earnings and helps you work with the people you want to the most (and read stuff that’s perfect for you!).

Read more: The Best Way to Start a Freelance Writing Career with No Experience

Blogging

Next is blogging.

Yes, you can freelance blog, but I’ve mostly covered that above.

As a freelance blogger, you can work with book review websites, publishing websites, or even other book-focused bloggers to become a paid contributor to their blogs.

However, you can also choose to start your own book blog!

It’ll take time to work your way up to becoming a paid blogger, but it’s totally possible.

Book review bloggers can eventually make money with advertising, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships.

The more readers you have, the better the opportunities that can come your way.

The best part?

You can be in total control of the books you read.

Start by reviewing some books you’ve already read.

This can help boost your content to have a few good starter pieces.

Then, keep choosing new stuff to read, review them, and watch your audience grow.

Don’t forget to connect your blog to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media channels to get more followers and eyes on your blog.

Researching

Finally, researching can be another way to get paid for reading books.

Wonder is one of the most well-known companies from which you can get paid for your research skills.

With this gig, you’ll be researching topics in-depth to provide answers to questions that requesters post.

Unfortunately, you won’t really get paid to read fiction books and genres you love.

Instead, you’ll mostly be reading research journals, interviews, scholarly guides, and other researched information to help inform your answers.

If you love reading mostly for the learning aspect, this can be the perfect gig for you.

Wonder will offer you a payment amount when it sends along the brief for each gig, which you can accept or decline.

Once accepted, you’ll have a specific timeframe with which to complete the assignment, so make sure you’re only accepting assignments you have time for.

You might also be able to find freelance researching opportunities on places like Upwork and People Per Hour.

How to Become a Book Reviewer and Get Paid to Read

Getting paid to read is a legitimate opportunity, and one you won’t want to pass up if you’re a bookworm.

Combine a few of your favorite sites above to get more opportunities for great books and payments.

You can even start freelancing and use the companies we mentioned as fillers until you start making more money with your side business.

Do you know of other book reviewing companies that pay cash or compensate reviewers with free books?

Leave a comment below!

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