There aren’t many things more enjoyable than curling up with your blanket and getting immersed in a new book. Whether you like fantasy, sci-fi, classics, or anything else, reading can help you relax, expand your horizons, and soak up new knowledge.
There are countless careers that book lovers can pursue. Some will essentially pay you to read. Some of them could be more challenging than others, but when your job involves reading, no challenge is too great.
So, instead of just reading books about making money, start reading books to make money. These jobs can help you pursue your dreams and monetize your love of books.
1. Offer Your Services as a Proofreader
If you’re pragmatic, detail-oriented, and have excellent knowledge of grammar, you could find fulfillment as a proofreader, working directly with a writer or finding employment at a publishing agency.
As a proofreader, you’d be responsible for reading through a piece of work and fixing all grammar, spelling, and syntactic mistakes. You’d pay close attention to punctuation, formatting, terminology, and more.
However, you need proof of your linguistic mastery, if you want to work as a proofreader, you need proof of your linguistic mastery. It’s not enough to know the difference between “their,” “there,” and “they’re.” You need to show that you can deliver the utmost accuracy and professionalism.
As a general rule of thumb, a BA in English Language or even Journalism should do the trick to get you the job.
💰 On average, you can expect a median salary of between $49,046 and $63,820 as a proofreader in the US.
2. Become a Copy Editor
At first glance, proofreaders and editors seem virtually identical. They are both responsible for fixing linguistic mistakes and making a book look better. However, editors tend to have a more involved job.
Editing is often more akin to writing. Your responsibility wouldn’t just be to add a few missing commas here and there. You’ll be working to make the entire book more readable.
For example, that can include making stylistic changes to connect with the intended audience better, for example. It can also include fact-checking, changing up the structure of the book, clarifying the work, and having some back-and-forth with the author to ensure that they’ve properly conveyed their message.
Of course, editing can also include some proofreading for linguistic accuracy, but it’s more focused on improving the piece of work as a whole. Like with proofreading, you’ll need at least a BA in English or Journalism.
💰 Your efforts to obtain the necessary education will certainly pay off, as editors have an average salary of $73,929 a year in the US.
Both proofreaders and editors can work full-time, contractually, or as freelancers, and both can work on books, manuscripts, articles, blog posts, and more. Wherever text is published, a proofreader or an editor is needed.
3. Test Your Skills as a Script Editor
Script editing is a subcategory of editing. If you’re interested in reading screenplays for theater, film, and TV shows, you might enjoy this job more.
Like book editors, script editors are responsible for improving the overall quality of the script. You’d have to work closely with the writers and producers, have excellent analytical and critical skills, and have extensive knowledge of the entertainment industry.
If you believe this is the career path for you, you’ll need to obtain either a BA or an MA in Creative Writing, Screenwriting, English, Journalism, Media and Communication, or a related field.
💰 Script editors’ salaries can go up to $109,760 or more, depending on the place of employment and the specific project.
4. Get Into Publishing
Getting into publishing might be one of the most lucrative and fulfilling career opportunities for avid readers. You’d spend your days reading books, reviewing manuscripts, and purchasing works from authors for distribution.
The role comes with many responsibilities. You’ll need to be able to discern excellent literary works from poorer quality ones, negotiate the terms and conditions of your publishing contracts with the writers, and work closely with editors.
Additionally, you’ll be responsible for setting budgets, creating publishing schedules, coming up with marketing plans, and more.
Though there are no specific formal education requirements to become a book publisher, higher education is always a plus. A degree in English, Journalism, or Literature can be helpful, but even degrees in sciences, IT, or other fields could be useful if you want to publish books relevant to your chosen field.
💰 Book publishers in the US typically earn a salary of between $53,850 to $187,200.
5. Start Your Career as a Literary Agent
If you’re not too interested in the business side of publishing books, you might find more enjoyment as a literary agent rather than a publisher. A literary agent is a bridge that connects authors and publishers.
Your job would be to go through manuscripts, represent authors, and find publishers interested in purchasing their books. You’d most commonly be an intermediary in all communication between authors and publishing houses.
However, this job wouldn’t solely involve reading books and facilitating communication. You’d also need to be familiar with legal terms and processes, as you’d be responsible for protecting your clients’ intellectual properties.
As with publishers, there are no formal education requirements for literary agents. Still, having at least a BA in English, Journalism, or even Law is preferable.
💰 The average salary in this position is around $78,553 a year.
6. Get Into Book Scouting
Book scouting is the other side of the coin. Whereas literary agents work with authors and try to find publishers, book scouts work with publishers and “scout” for books that would suit them. Additionally, book scouts may work with film production agencies or movie producers to identify the best books suited for film adaptations.
Most commonly, book scouts will look for books published in foreign markets, bringing them to the attention of their employers. It’s advantageous to have mastery of at least one foreign language if you wish to pursue this career.
You’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree in English, Communication, Journalism, or even a foreign language if you want to work as a book scout.
💰 On average, book scouts earn about $56,816 annually.
7. Put Your Foreign Language Skills to Use as a Translator
Though foreign language skills are often needed for book scouts, if you want to truly put your skills to use, you could seek employment as a translator.
The job description is pretty clear – you’d be translating books from one language to another. Sometimes you’d be needed to translate books to English, and other times from English. While you could work with a specific publishing company, for instance, most book translators prefer to freelance as it gives them more freedom.
As a translator, you wouldn’t solely have to dabble with books. You could also translate film scripts, magazines, textbooks, and even websites.
Of course, if you’re to be a translator, you need native mastery of a foreign language and a relevant degree or certificate that proves it. You’ll also need the capacity to grasp the intent of a work and transfer it to another language.
💰 On average, literary translators earn about $60,563 annually, though that heavily depends on the foreign language they know and the types of material they’re skilled in translating.
8. Give Voice Narration a Try
Voice narration is the most literal way to get paid to read books. All you have to do is record your voice reading books aloud. As audiobooks are slowly taking over, with sales reaching over 1.3 billion in the US alone, voice narration could be one of the faster-growing career paths you could pursue.
Depending on the specific project, you may have to read material aloud by yourself in your normal tone. You might also be required to do different voices for different characters or work as part of a voice-acting team.
As a general rule of thumb, you don’t need any formal education to work as a voice narrator. You simply need a pleasant voice and some acting skills.
Most voice narrators freelance on sites such as UpWork, Fiverr, or FlexJobs, but many work with publishers and independent studios as well. If you decide to go the former route, invest in excellent voice recording equipment.
💰 Most commonly, you’ll be paid by the hour, earning an average of $16 per hour.
9. Post Professional Book Reviews
If you don’t just enjoy reading but have a taste for writing, you could also start posting book reviews in exchange for compensation.
Working as a reviewer can be highly rewarding. You’ll get a chance to read new books that haven’t been published yet and share your opinions with vast audiences.
While many magazines and even publishers hire book reviewers for their marketing, you’ll have more luck finding employment in the online environment. Sites such as Reedsy Discovery connect you with indie authors and even allow you to explore new authors by yourself. The site has a tip-based payment system where readers can explore your reviewer’s profile and tip you if they enjoy your work.
Depending on who you decide to work for, you might be required to provide quick book reviews that don’t exceed 300 words. You might also be asked for full in-depth reviews and analyses that can easily be a few pages long.
You don’t generally need any higher education to become a book reviewer, but you do need excellent writing skills.
💰 Salaries for book reviewers vary significantly, so you can expect to earn anywhere from $22,000 to $88,000 annually.
10. Create Your Own Book-Related Blog
An alternative to working as a book reviewer for others is working as a book reviewer for yourself. This involves much more effort, but it could pay off.
To be an independent book reviewer, you’ll need to start a book-related blog and build your audience. You’d be responsible for sharing frequent posts and updates to your blog, connecting with your readers, and maintaining your website.
Keep in mind that all of this could take some time, and it could be months, if not years, before you could start monetizing your content.
You could simultaneously work as a book reviewer for other sites, like the aforementioned Reedsy, to build up your reputation as you work on creating your blog.
Once you have an adequate number of visitors, you can start partnering with authors and publishers to earn commissions for your articles, or you could even get into affiliate marketing.
No formal education is required to become a book blogger. All you need are excellent writing skills and a basic understanding of internet marketing.
💰 Independent bloggers don’t generally have a pre-set salary. Earnings depend on how well your site performs. However, once you start monetizing, you could potentially earn as little as $200 a month or as much as $15,000. There are never any income guarantees for independent bloggers!
11. Look for Open Positions in Your Local Library
As an avid book reader, you might enjoy becoming a librarian the best. It’s a rewarding career and allows you to read as many books as possible and connect with other passionate book lovers like yourself.
However, don’t be deceived by how librarians are portrayed in films and TV shows. The job doesn’t solely involve sitting around, reading books, and pointing customers to the correct aisles. You’ll be in charge of organizing the library’s inventory, ordering new books, helping the patrons find materials and conduct research, cataloging publications, planning community activities, and more.
You’ll have many important responsibilities, so you must take your job as a librarian seriously.
Keep in mind that not everyone can work as a librarian. You’ll need at least a BA in Library Science or a related field, some basic IT skills, and excellent organizational skills.
💰 You can earn an average salary of $61,190 per year if you meet the requirements.
12. Try Your Luck as a Bookseller
If library work isn’t your forte, you could instead try your luck as a bookseller. You’ll have some responsibilities that are similar to that of a librarian. You’ll organize the store’s inventory, keep track of new arrivals, help customers find the books they’re looking for, and more.
You’ll also need to stay updated on the newest releases and keep track of all kinds of literary works, from novels to educational books and textbooks.
You’ll also have to handle the retail side of the job, communicating with customers, boosting sales, and improving customer satisfaction. You need nothing but a high school diploma to start working as a bookseller.
💰 Working for larger bookstores will earn you an average salary of $33,332 a year, but you could earn more if you open your own store.
Booksellers don’t have to run shops. Some enterprising sellers make money by scouting second hand shelves for books that are in demand elsewhere and reselling them at a profit.
From librarians to booksellers, literary agents, and book reviewers, there are plenty of career opportunities for book lovers who want to monetize their favorite hobby. Most careers in the literary field require at least a bachelor’s degree in English, Literature, or a related field, and all of them require the utmost dedication to reading.
So, explore your career options, look around for employment opportunities in your area, and start making money by reading books!