6 Smart Ways Bookworks Can Pocket Extra Money (for More Books)

I’ve always loved books, even if I wasn’t the strongest reader.

I’d thumb through the Scholastic Book Club flyers and circle my most desired choices: “Britney Spears: The Story of Britney Spears” and the latest Magic Treehouse book. I’d buy big reference books from Sam’s Club because they were pretty, and I liked the weight of the pages.

This obsession became more intense after I was fitted with my first pair of glasses — and learned to actually read. I started making pricy trips to Barnes and Noble. I stockpiled books and magazines. I made long reading lists — lists I’ve not been able to conquer to this day.

My obsession continued in life, as I majored in English and became a full-time writer.

But this isn’t the only way I could have made — and can still make — money from my love for books and words.

6 Ways to Make Money From Your Love of Books

If you’re drowning in books, that totally makes my heart happy. It can make your bank account pretty darn happy, too.

Here are six ways you can get paid to read books:

1. Give Your Books a New Life

monels/Getty Images
monels/Getty Images

I have a closet full of stuff I just can’t part with. Luckily, this is my childhood room at my parents house and not in my 500-square-foot apartment. But I can tell you my mom would be very happy if I cleared these out.

Sites like Amazon and Letgo make selling your used books super simple.

Go ahead and let the internet know you’re a pack-rat book-lover and start watching those crusty pages regain life.

2. Hunt for Other People’s Used Books

encrier/Getty Images
encrier/Getty Images

This sounds weird, right? But The Penny Hoarder’s founder and CEO Kyle Taylor wrote about making money as a “used book hunter.”

Basically, his first step was to clean out the books in his house, then get a feel for the books’ going rates. Try using a site like Biblio to figure out a book’s value.

Once you get the hang of it, hit up garage sales, used book stores, flea markets — you name it. Find books on the cheap. Use your phone to look up what these books go for online. If the resale value is good, buy it.

Finding these gems is a thrill.

3. Become a Virtual English Teacher

SamuelBrownNG/Getty Images
SamuelBrownNG/Getty Images

If a classroom full of squealing kids isn’t your scene… we get it. You can still work as a teacher. Better yet: You work as a teacher, set your own hours and work from home.

Angela Brumbaugh is a QKids teacher. She teaches 36 half-hour sessions a week and makes up to $20 an hour.

“The students are hard-working, curious and light up the classroom with their smiles,” she says. “Class time actually goes by fast, and the only con I can see is sometimes I wish I had more time to spend with them!”

QKids is an online-learning platform that’s been around since 2015. It’s focused on teaching English as a second language to students between ages 5 and 12. Right now, it’s hiring.

Here are the basic qualifications:

  • You must be a native English speaker based in the U.S. or Canada.
  • You should have a bachelor’s degree or be currently enrolled in a university program.
  • You need to be available to teach a minimum of six hours a week. That’s 12 half-hour classes.
  • You must consider yourself digitally literate, have an outgoing personality and show passion in the classroom.
  • Prior teaching experience is preferred, but not required.

4. Publish Your Own Book

lechatnoir/GettyImages
lechatnoir/GettyImages

I’m not brave enough to do this yet, but it’s certainly on my bucket list: Write a book.

However, one of our contributors, Steve Gillman, took the leap. He wrote a book about ultralight backpacking. It only took him a few days (holy cow), and he had it published on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform.

Over time, Gillman’s banked up to $350 a month from the ebook in a very passive manner with no promotion. He outlined how to get started self-publishing on Kindle.

5. Get Paid to Catch Mistakes

lechatnoir/GettyImages
lechatnoir/GettyImages

Meet Caitlin Pyle, the “proofreading powerhouse” behind Proofread Anywhere, a blog she started in 2014. Pyle’s been proofreading transcripts for years, and she wanted other people to get in on the action.

She offers a free introductory workshop to help you get started. She estimates you can make about 35 cents per proofread page. If you can get through about 50 pages an hour, you can bank $17.50 an hour.

6. Share Your Opinions on the Books You’ve Read

Have you ever tried online book reviewing? Basically, you read a book, then you’ll get paid to write a review.

We rounded up some websites and publishers that’ll pay you to read and review books.

Bonus: Reading list dried up? Dive into our favorite books about investing.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She was never a strong reader… until she was fitted with her first pair of glasses in second grade.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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