If reading is your great love in life, why not turn it into a side hustle and get paid to read books?
Publishing companies hire people solely to read manuscripts for clarity and readability. The extra set of eyes on a novel can also help spot editorial issues, such as misspellings, grammatical errors and sentence structure. Professional readers understandably do not make as much money as editors but it is an effective way to get your foot in the door of the publishing industry. Whether you aspire to be an editor, agent or to run your own publishing house, professional reading is a stepping stone to a future helping shape literatures future.
Who Is It Recommended for?
A beta reader business is recommended avid readers.
How much can you earn?
How much you van earn as a beta reader ranges from about $5-$10 per 500 words on freelancing sites like Fiverr; that’s about $1,000 to $2,000 for a 20k-word book (however, those projects are definitely rarer!).
There are no startup costs – just your time!
Beta reading is another online revenue stream for avid readers. Since fans will do anything to read your works before anyone else, even if they have to give comments, some authors, especially established ones, can get beta readers for free, but it’s far safer and more successful for authors to utilize a more experienced beta reader.
This is due to the lack of incentive for free beta readers to provide you with constructive criticism, if they are even able to do so. They are most likely participating because they will receive a book they like for free.
On the other hand, a good, paid beta reader is being compensated for a particular service: thoroughly reading your book and offering insightful, helpful criticism. They won’t provide you many detailed suggestions on how to improve character development because they aren’t editors, but they will give you their honest opinions on the book, including whether they found any obvious mistakes or even if they didn’t like a certain section.
Therefore, if you enjoy reading, visit Fiverr and register for an account to market your beta reading services. It’s a terrific opportunity to earn additional cash while doing something you actually enjoy.
Make extra money with book review opportunities
You might be able to find work as a paid book reviewer or at the very least receive a free book in exchange for an online review if you aren’t necessarily wanting to pay all of your costs by reading books. Here are a few websites where you can purchase new books or write compensated book reviews.
- Online Book Club requires your first review be unpaid, but you will still get a free book to review! After your initial review, most projects offer $5 to $60. As you can see, book reviewing really isn’t a gig that compensates well for the time involved. You really need to love to read — and quickly — and consider any compensation a bonus while having fun.
- Kirkus hires freelance reviewers and expects a 350-word review within a 2-week time frame.
- Booklist accepts freelance book reviews – assigned reviews only. Freelance opportunities are limited but pay $12.50 for a blog post and $15 for a full book review.
- The US Review does pay for reviews, though their website does not say how much. Reviews must include a short book summary, be turned around within 2-3 weeks, and follow a style guide.
- Bethany House specializes in Christian books and is specifically looking for reviewers who have an existing online platform like a YouTube channel, a book blog, etc. There is no mention of compensation, but you may be able to use your affiliate marketing link within your review on your own website or channel.
- Writerful will allow you to submit an honest review of any book of your choosing. You just won’t get paid as a new reviewer, so expect to put in some time on the site. Paid book reviewer opportunities are offered if you become a trusted, experienced reviewer. These paid opportunities compensate $10 to $50 per review.
- Moody Publishers is another publishing house specializing in Christian titles. They do not pay for your reviews, but you will receive free books.
If you need to earn a living from your side hustle, you will probably have to do more than review books. Here are some additional opportunities that pay more and will still have you reading.
What do I need to start?
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