15 Bookish Side Hustles for Anyone Who Loves to Read

MAKE MONEY - SIDE HUSTLES
If you love to read, there are freelance jobs that may pay you to share your love of literature with others
Updated April 22, 2024
Fact checked
Woman reading a book

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If you down books the way others down drinks, you should consider making your hobby a side hustle.

There are plenty of ways you can pursue your passions and add to your bank account simultaneously. So if you’re trying to earn extra money, here are a few side hustles that can channel your passion for the written word.

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Audiobook narrator

fizkes/Adobe young female narrator sitting at table using laptop at work

Audiobooks are popular with readers who want to listen to the story while driving, on a daily walk, or doing chores around the house.

Not every audiobook is narrated by a famous actor or author. You can start as a narrator for independent authors.

Note that you will need quality recording equipment and should research the going rate for newcomers in the audiobook narration space.

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Book reviewer

undrey/Adobe freelancer working from home using laptop

If you’re already reading books, why not make some money giving your opinion on them? Book reviewers often freelance for websites or magazines, such as Kirkus Media or Publishers Weekly.

Or you could start your own review site or newsletter to publish your reviews. In that case, you may want to focus on a particular genre or subject in order to attract specific readers.

As you build popularity, you can monetize your website or newsletter by selling advertising space.

Newsletter publisher

BullRun/Adobe asian man working on laptop

Take your love to the next step with a newsletter to tell other readers about the latest literary news or share reviews for books they may be interested in.

In addition to getting advertisers, you can also charge authors to be featured in your newsletters.

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Marketer

Artem Varnitsin/Adobe happy female entrepreneur working from home using laptop

If you work in marketing or advertising for your day job, you may be able to use your skills as a side hustle.

Authors or publishers may hire you as a freelancer to set up ads on social media sites, like Facebook or Tiktok. You could also design a marketing plan for a book launch.

Book club leader/curator

Monkey Business/Adobe multi ethnic friends sitting in club reading books

Create a book club in person or online. You can charge a fee to access weekly or monthly discussions about different books.

You can also offer your services as a book club curator. In this role, you can help book clubs find new books or set up their schedules with particular books to read.

Book clubs also may need notes, questions, or discussion topic ideas to keep things rolling at their book club meetings. So think about creating book club study guides to sell to clubs.

Graphic designer

Pixel-Shot/Adobe graphic designers working at office

Authors need graphics for all kinds of items, from advertisements on social media to promotional items like bookmarks and stickers.

To start, you can offer your design services for book covers for self-publishing authors. You may also be able to produce more elaborate designs or illustrations for children’s books.

Podcaster

Arsenii/Adobe young man sitting at office using microphone to record podcast

Podcasts may be a great way to talk about books while also making money. You can interview authors or review books with friends.

To make money from a book podcast, you’ll want to solicit advertising, especially as you build the number of listeners who are interested in your content.

Proofreader

Andrey Popov/Adobe woman using orange highlighter to find out grammatical errors in script

There are several steps in book publishing, including editing, fact-checking, and proofreading.

To get a side gig as a proofreader, you could contact publishing houses for freelance work or advertise your skills to self-publishing authors. Freelancing sites, like Upwork, can help you find jobs.

Proofreaders are responsible for ensuring a manuscript is free from typographical, grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. You can charge authors by the number of words you checked or by the book project.

E-book formatter

Tinatin/Adobe woman using digital tablet to read ebook at home in couch

Self-published authors and publishing houses may be willing to pay extra money to have their books properly formatted for e-book publishing.

You will need to learn how to use specific software, add graphics and photos, and ensure chapter titles are correct and the typeface looks right in a final e-book form.

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Tutor

Halfpoint/Adobe male tutor teaching young boy with down syndrome

Share your love for books with others by becoming a literary tutor.

You can choose to work with clients in person or through video conferences. Working with students, you may teach them how to analyze literature, write essays, or increase their reading comprehension.

Library staff member

Drazen/Adobe african american male student standing in library returning book to female librarian

Libraries can be a great place to make extra money while surrounded by books.

You can work nights or weekends restocking shelves, helping librarians check books in, creating materials to hand out about library events, or even reading books to younger patrons.

Crafter

AnnaStills/Adobe children using paint brushes and water colors to paint sketches

Do you have books just collecting dust now that you’ve read them? Or perhaps books with pages ripped out or general wear-and-tear?

Give your books a new life by using them for crafts. Cover small wood furniture pieces with book pages and sell them to book lovers. Fold or cut pages to create unique shapes, or craft them into bouquets or centerpieces for bookworms who want their love of books reflected at their wedding.

Blogger

BullRun/Adobe male student sitting at table using laptop to prepare academic notes

A blog is a website devoted to a specific topic, usually. You could create a blog where you talk about books. 

Book lovers may learn about books that are due to be published a month or so in advance, unusual books that they may not know about and would enjoy, or attend author readings and review them.

You can charge authors, publishers, and even other book side hustlers for advertising space to get their books or other talents out there for readers and other authors to find.

Influencer

Prostock-studio/Adobe Someone filming on smartphone

Are you comfortable using social media? A side hustle as a book influencer could make you some extra cash.

You can build followings on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and other social media sites and eventually promote books for authors. You might earn free books and cash by promoting certain books.

Writer

AntonioDiaz/Adobe female author writing on a diary

Do you have a dream to go from book reader to book author? Then see if you can make that a successful side hustle.

Authors can try to get publishing deals with traditional book publishers, or they publish the books on their own. As with any business start-up, it’s a good idea to do some research before you write your first book to understand the market.

What is your story going to be about? How is it different from other popular books in that genre? Do you want to self-publish or try to find a publishing house that will publish your book? Who knows — you could be the next Stephenie Meyer.

Bottom line

Ejatu Shaw/Adobe african american woman sitting in couch reading book

You can lower your financial stress with a side hustle, and doing something you love may make it an easy task.

So if you’re a book lover, find ways that can make your hobby earn some extra cash by doing something you love.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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