How to Get Paid to Read

Get Paid for Reading -- Here's How

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Question: How to Get Paid to Read? 

Allena, I've heard you mention getting paid to read. How exactly do you this? 

Answer: Great question. Here are a few ways you can get paid to read: 

Book Reviews

Many magazines and newspapers accept book reviews that relate to their target audiences. Pitching book reviews is similar to pitching to write for a magazine. The "Writers" or "Submissions" page on a publication's website will often tell you if and how they accept book reviews.

You might also consider writing for a dedicated book review publication whose sole purpose is reviewing books. 

A word of warning, however -- find out in advance how you'll be paid to read if you're thinking about taking on this kind of work. Some companies pay with copies of the book, not cash, although some pay both so you can bulk up your home library and earn some spending money as well doing something you enjoy. Depending on who you sign up with, the work can be intermittent and pay can be a bit slow. 

Literary Agent Freelance Reading

I have to admit that this is a new field for me, so I'll send you over to the experts, the friendly writer ladies over at WOW-Women on Writing.com. Jennifer Wright has written a good piece on How to Break into Freelance Reading.

In a nutshell, freelance readers are responsible for giving the agent a heads up based on a synopsis and an excerpt from a manuscript: "This is good, worth your time to read and consider" or, "Don't invest time in this one because it's not marketable."

A freelance reading position depends on finding a literary agent who still accepts unsolicited manuscripts from new writers and may have a mountain to wade through too find a gem. Not all agents do this. And, of course, you must demonstrate that the agent can trust your opinion. 

Book Summaries

Many companies cater to busy execs who don't have time to read the latest business books but still want to talk about them -- and sound knowledgeable doing so -- at their next cocktail shindig.

Book summary companies sell polished summaries of books to those who want the short version. Many of these same companies pay freelancers to read, as well as freelance writers to write the summaries. How to find this gig? I've personally found freelance writing jobs through my Freelance Writing Jobs Lists.

Read Emails

Lots of businesses communicate with clients and prospective customers through emails these days, and the emails must be clear and well written if they're going to generate business and sales. There are companies out there that recruit and pay freelancers to read the emails before they're sent out. It may not be as enjoyable as reading and reviewing books, but it's a paying gig. And there's nothing to say you must choose only one of these options. Double up and balance that captivating manuscript or book with reading a sales pitch or two.