Home Finance Four ways to turn your love of books and reading into a...

Four ways to turn your love of books and reading into a successful side-hustle

woman reads a book

MoneyMagpie offers its tips on how to make cash from reading (Image: Getty)

World Book Day really brings out us bookworms in droves. Whether it be the adorable kid’s costumes, the exclusive releases or the incredible events. It is catnip for book lovers.

However, if, like me, you really love your books all year round – then why not try and monetise this passion?

As we wave goodbye to another World Book Day Vicky Parry from MoneyMagpie shares the best ways to make money from reading.


Another way to make money reading is to become a proof-reader. Proofreading is essentially a final quality check before publishing.

A proof-reader will carefully check the work for any errors before it is published or shared. It’s the last stage of the writing process, and it is essential for any publication.

The job of a proof-reader is to bring attention to any spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors, as well as any typos or formatting issues. You may even alert the author and publisher to any inconsistencies within the copy.

Many proof-readers do it on a freelance basis. You can advertise your proofreading services on websites such as PeoplePerHour and Fiverr.

Some people offer their services for under £5, however when you build up your reviews, ratings and reputation, you could be charging hundreds for longer works and novels.

You could also go in search of opportunities. Websites such as UpWork and Freelancer are goldmines for people looking for proof-readers to help them. From doing last-minute checks of novels to going over important documents and even checking for spelling and grammar in examination papers, proof-reading involves a huge range of tasks.

The roles range from £8 per hour to a few thousand pounds for large, important projects.

In order to be a successful proof-reader, you will of course need a love for reading, but some key skills are required also. You will need a great attention to detail and a solid understanding of spelling and grammar. You’ll need to be self-disciplined and be able to meet tight deadlines.

Scribbr have a great guide to proofreading, which you can read here. Need a flexible schedule? Check out these work from home roles for everyone.


One of the biggest platforms that appreciates books is Instagram. As with blogging, people use their Instagram pages to review books they’ve read, share their favourite books and interact with other people who love reading as much as they do.

The money comes from sponsorships, affiliates and brand deals. You may collaborate with a brand on a post, for example promoting a new book being released, or encouraging your followers to follow a new author’s work. You may be given affiliate links as well as upfront payment, where you make a cut of a sale when someone buys a book through your link.

Of course, you won’t get these opportunities immediately, and it will take some hard graft on your end to build a following. But through following others, interacting with them and posting a steady and constant bout of content, you could grow more quickly than you may think.

‘Bookstagrams’, as they are fondly know in the book-lover community, are a hugely popular part of the platform.

Elizabeth Sagan (@elizabeth_sagan) boasts a whopping 203k followers. A self-confessed ‘book whisperer’, Elizabeth posts beautiful imagery of her books and fun, engaging short videos. Other accounts such as @coraliebickfordsmith and @stacked_shelf have 25.8k and 10.3k followers respectively.

Review Books

You don’t have to be a literary scholar to review books. All you need is a love for reading, and have the ability to form honest, fair opinions about the books you read.

If you are asked to review a particular book, you will need to be open to reading genres or authors outside of your usual, and give them a fair chance. You really can’t judge a book by its cover with this one!

There are many websites online that pay you for your reviews. All you have to do is search ‘get paid to review books’ into Google, and a plethora of results come up. It is important to research, as the number of opportunities, level of pay and depth of reviews required may differ.

It’s also important to remember that reviewing books won’t make you millions, nor will you be able to quit your day job. However, it can be a lucrative and fun side hustle to help you put away extra into your savings, pension or even spend on more books.

OnlineBookClub.org is a great place to start. Publishers and authors will often give you a free copy of a new book in exchange for an honest, written review from you, the reader. You will get a free copy of a book, then on top of this, get paid to give it an honest review. The best part is, you don’t have to lie.

OnlineBookClub encourage you to be honest. You will get paid no matter what you think. You don’t have to claim you loved it if you didn’t.

Pay outs current range from $5 to $60 per review. This is approximately £4 to £50 GBP. As previously mentioned, you won’t get totally rich from this venture, but you could earn a decent sum if you do a few reviews per month. The thing to note with this, is that you won’t get paid for your first review.

However, you will get the book for free. We also recommend:

Overrun with books? Find out how to make money from your old books.

Start a book blog

Blogging is a great way to earn money on the side, and could actually become a full-time job should you build your brand and grow your blog successfully. Book bloggers are can be very popular and successful, with blogs such as BookWritten getting over 75,000 hits per month.

The site contains articles on a range of things, from finding places to read books for free, to looking after books to keep them in pristine condition. However, you could write about anything that tickles your fancy.

The Literary Edit is a more personal blog, written by award-winning book blogger and writer Lucy. She blogs about all things books, with a more informal, chatty style, Lucy writes reviews of books she’s read, tells her followers her favourite books of all time, and even has a great little section called ‘Desert Island Books’.

You could even find a niche and discuss books particularly close to your interests.

Crime By The Book is a fascinating book blog, written by a lover of crime fiction, with a particular skew towards Scandinavia.

Although most of the books are general crime fiction, the niche is particularly interesting. But how can you make money from blogging? Well, mainly ads on the site, as well as partnerships and affiliates with brands.

You may even get a sponsorship for a particular series. As your blog grows and develops, you may be sent freebies of books, and even asked to review them on your blog in return for payment.

If your blog grows large enough, people may even pay monthly subscriptions for exclusive content, or you could use widgets such as Buy Me A Coffee, where people can buy you a virtual coffee to help fund your mission.

Plus you will be able to make this money reading.

MoneyMagpie.com also has advice on how you can make money listening to music.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here