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Blog – Posted on Tuesday, Sep 24

Get Paid to Read: 17 Legitimate Sites That Pay Reviewers

Serious question: do you want to get paid to read? You might laugh it off at first, thinking that that sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. You can get paid for spending time on what you love: reading books. 

Of course, the key to this #hack is book reviewing, where you offer your personal opinion of a book after you’re done with it. (If you’d like to learn more, check out this post to discover how to write a book review.) Because books are constantly being published, book reviewers are generally always in demand. 

So whether you’re a voracious reader of nonfiction, genre fiction, classics, or indie books, there’s probably an outlet that’s willing to compensate you if you read (review) for them! Without further ado, here’s a definitive list of the 17 sites that will help you get paid to read.

 1. Kirkus Media

💸 Pay: Freelance basis

👀 More information: Check here

If you’ve ever lingered on a book’s Amazon page before, you’ll have heard of Kirkus Reviews. It’s one of the most respected sources of book reviews out there, publishing many of the blurbs that you’ll see on Amazon, or on the cover of your favorite titles.

You have to wonder: where do all of these reviews come from? That’s where you come into the picture. Kirkus Media lists an open application for book reviewers. As of right now, they’re specifically searching for people who will review English and Spanish-language indie titles. Some of the qualities that they want in reviewers include: experience, a keen eye, and an ability to write about a 350-word review in two weeks’ time.

To apply, simply send your resume and writing samples! You can find out more about this opportunity here.

2. Reedsy Discovery

💸 Pay: Tip basis

👀 More information: Check here

A powerhouse in the world of indie books, Reedsy Discovery gives book reviewers the chance to read the latest self-published books before anyone else. You can browse through hundreds of new stories before picking one that piques your interest. And if you’ve built up a brand as a book reviewer on Reedsy Discovery, you can liaise with authors who contact you directly for a review.

Its application process is pretty simple: just complete this form to be selected as a book reviewer. Once you’re accepted, you can start looking through the shelves and reading immediately. One more thing: book reviewers can get tips for their book reviews. Readers can send $1, $3, or $5 as a token of appreciation (which, let’s be honest, all book reviewers deserve more of).

If this system intrigues you, you can “discover” more about how it works on this page.

3. Any Subject Books

💸 Pay: Freelance basis

👀 More information: Check here

Any Subject Books is a full-suite self-publishing service. More importantly for you, it hires book reviewers on a book-by-book basis to help them review new books.

They’re big on in-depth, honest, and objective reviews. No fluff here! They’re also happy to give you books in your preferred genres, so if you’re a voracious reader of war fiction, you won’t typically be asked to read the latest paranormal romance hit (or vice versa).

Sadly, Any Subject Books is not currently open to book reviewer applications, but check back again — this could change at any time.

4. Book Browse

💸 Pay: Free ARCs

👀 More information: Check here

First Impressions is a program provided by Book Browse in which members get to read Advance Readers’ Copies, or ARCs, of books months ahead of their publication. Between four to six titles are offered each month, and you can decide whether or not you’re interested in reading any, simply by responding to their members-only newsletter.

That said, there’s a chance that you won’t always get the book that you requested, since Book Browse only has 25 ARC copies of each book on order. If you are matched with a book, Book Browse asks that your review is around 50 to 100 words without exceeding 300 words. Note also that Book Browse will provide you with the book for free, but will not pay you for the review.

5. Online Book Club

💸 Pay: $5 to $60

👀 More information: Check here

Online Book Club’s FAQ begins with a warning for all aspiring book reviewers: “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 daunting reminder aside, Online Book Club’s setup is pretty reasonable, not to mention straightforward. You’ll get a free copy of the book and you’ll get paid for your review of that book. Moreover, it’s one of the few sites that’s transparent about their payment rates (anywhere between $5 to $60). To begin the sign-up process, simply submit your email here.

6. U.S. Review of Books

💸 Pay: Freelance basis

👀 More information: Check here

U.S. Review of Books is a nation-wide organization that reviews books of all kinds and publishes those reviews in a popular monthly newsletter. The way that it works for a book reviewer is simple: when a book title is posted, reviewers can request to read it and get assigned.

A typical review for U.S. Review of Books is anywhere between 250 and 300 words. They are looking particularly for informed opinions and professionalism in reviews, along with succinctness. To apply, submit a resume, sample work, and two professional references via email. But we’d recommend that you check out some previous examples of their book reviews here to first get a better sense of what they’re looking for.

7. Women’s Review of Books

💸 Pay: $100 per review

👀 More information: Check here

Women’s Review of Books is a long-running, highly-respected print publication that’s a part of Wellesley Centers for Women. This feminist magazine has been published for 36 years and is looking for more book reviewers to join their force.

If you plan on writing reviews for Women’s Review of Books, you should be aware that its reviews are published “in the service of action and consciousness.” Most of its writers are also academics, journalists, or book reviewers with some years of experience behind them. If you meet these qualifications and are accepted, you’ll be compensated $100 per review.

To apply, send them an email with information about your credentials and a writing sample. For more details, click here.

8. Upwork

💸 Pay: Variable

👀 More information: Check here

If you’re a freelancer, you’re probably already familiar with Upwork! One of the biggest marketplaces for freelancers, Upwork has fingers in every industry’s pie. So it won’t be a surprise to learn that people who are looking for freelance book reviewers regularly post listings on its marketplace.

Because each job caters to an individual client, the requirements and qualifications will differ. A listing, for instance, might look like this one, or perhaps this one. It might be a one-time project, or the gig might turn into a long-running collaboration with the client. Generally, the listing will specify the book’s genre, so you’ll know what you’re getting before you agree to collaborate with the client on the other end.

To begin, you’ll need to sign up as a freelancer on Upwork. Find out more information on Upwork’s FAQ here!

9. Moody Press

💸 Pay: Free ARCs

👀 More information: Check here

Moody Press is a nonprofit publishing house of Christian titles and Bible study resources. If this is your niche, you’ll definitely be interested in Moody Press’ Blogger Review Program! As part of the program, you’ll get free copies of book published by Moody Press.

Like some of the other programs on this list, you won’t get paid for your review, but you will get a free book. Moody Press also asks you to write your honest review within 60 days of reading it. To get a feel for it, try joining the MP Newsroom Bloggers Facebook group, where you can directly interact with existing members of the program.

10. New Pages

💸 Pay: Variable 

👀 More information: Check here

Not interested in writing anything longer than 300 words? Are quick flash book reviews more your pace? If so, becoming a NewPages reviewer might be just your speed. NewPages.com is an Internet portal to small presses, independent publishers and bookstores, and literary magazines. More importantly, they’re looking for short book reviews (generally between 100 and 200 words) on any recent literary magazine or book that you’ve read.

If you’re already a fan of books from small presses or unknown magazines, even better: that’s exactly the kind of reviewer NewPages wants to work with. If you’d like to look through some of their past book reviews to see if your style matches, check out their book review archive here.

11. Publishers Weekly

💸 Pay: Freelance basis

👀 More information: Check here

Publishers Weekly is an online magazine focused on international book publishing and all that that entails. More pertinently, it regularly reviews both traditionally published and self-published books, which means that it does occasionally have a call for book reviewers. As of right now, it’s closed to applications — but if you check its Jobs page every once in a while, you might see an opening again.

12. Tyndale Blog Network

💸 Pay: Freelance basis

👀 More information: Check here

Tyndale Blog Network runs a program called My Reader Rewards Club, which is based on an innovative rewards system. If you join as a member, you can earn points for certain actions that you take on the site (for instance, inviting a friend to the program and sharing a direct link to MyReaderRewardsClub.com on Facebook each fetches you 10 points).

Writing a review for a Tyndale or NavPress book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble gets you 10 points, with a maximum limit of 50 points in 30 days. In turn, you can use your accumulated points to receive more books off of Tyndale’s shelves. If this sounds like something that may be up your alley, check out their FAQ here.

13. Booklist Publications

💸 Pay: $12.50 to $15 per review

👀 More information: Check here

Booklist is the American Library Association’s highly respected review journal for librarians. Luckily for freelance writers, Booklist assigns freelance book reviews that vary from blog posts for The Booklist Reader to published book review in Booklist magazine.

As the site itself suggests, it’s important that you’re familiar with Booklist Publication’s outlets (which include Booklist magazine, the quarterly Book Links, and The Booklist Reader blog) and its writing style. Reviews are generally very short (no longer than 175 words) and professionally written. You can discover more of its guidelines here — and an archive of previous Booklist reviews here.

To apply, contact a relevant Booklist editor and be prepared to submit a few of your past writing samples.

14. Instaread

💸 Pay: $100 per summary

👀 More information: Check here

Not interested in writing critical takes on the books that you read? Then Instaread might be for you. Instaread has an open call for book summaries, which recap “the key insights of new and classic nonfiction.”

Each summary should be around 1000 to 1500 words, which makes it a fair bit lengthier than your average flash book review. However, Instaread will compensate you heartily for it: as of 2019, Instaread pays $100 for each summary that you write. You can peruse Instaread’s recommended Style Guide on this page, or download Instaread from your App Store to get a better feel for the app.

15. NetGalley

💸 Pay: Free ARCs

👀 More information: Check here

If you’ve dreamt about becoming an influencer in the book reviewing community, you may want to give NetGalley a look. Put simply, NetGalley is a service that connects book reviewers to publishers and authors. Librarians, bloggers, booksellers, media professionals, and educators can all sign up to NetGalley to read books before they’re published.

How it works is pretty simple. Publishers put digital review copies out on NetGalley for perusal, where NetGalley’s members can request to read, review, and recommend them. It’s a win-win for both publisher and reviewer: the publisher is able to find enthusiastic readers to provide an honest review for their books, and the reviewer gets access to a vast catalog of books.

The cherry on top is that NetGalley membership is 100% free! Simply use this form to sign up. And if you’d like more information, you can dip into their FAQ here.

16. getAbstract

💸 Pay: Freelance basis

👀 More information: Check here

Are you an avid reader of nonfiction books? getAbstract is a site that summarizes 18,000+ nonfiction books into 10-minute bites. Their Career Opportunities page often includes listings for writers. At the time of this post’s writing, getAbstract is looking for science and technology writers who can sum up the latest magazine articles and books. They pay on a freelance basis, so apply through their website to get further details.

17. Writerful Books

💸 Pay: $10 to $50

👀 More information: Check here

Writerful Books is an author services company that provides everything from beta reading to (you guessed it) book reviewing. As such, they’re always on the lookout for book reviewers with fresh and compelling voices.  

One of the benefits of this gig is that you can review any book that you want for them (although they prefer contemporary award-winning American, Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, and New Zealand authors). Getting a regularly paid gig with Writerful Books isn’t a guarantee, but if you regularly publish quality reviews for them, they may contact you. 

To apply, you’ll have to be able to provide previous book review samples. Here’s the job listing if you’re curious to learn more about this role.

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If you're an avid reader, sign up to Reedsy Discovery for access to the freshest new reads — or apply as a reviewer to give us your hot takes!


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