Make Money by Reading and Selling Books

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You probably have a good amount of money stashed away in your living room, bedroom and basement. Where exactly is this money located? Why, it’s right there in your old and unwanted books.

Various bookstores and online businesses will pay you good money for your textbooks, photo books, novels, books-on-CD, etc. Other businesses will pay you money to submit reviews of their own books. So, where can you start?

Start with Bookscouter

Determine what your old books are worth by going to the Bookscouter website. There, you can input the ISBN codes of your books and obtain their value. Even better, Bookscouter will match your books with purchase offers from used book vendors. If you see an offer you like, just accept it. You’ll then print out a free shipping label and send your books off to your chosen vendor. Once those books are received, you’ll be mailed a check.


Bookscouter is not only useful for clearing off your current book collection, but it can also be used while you’re shopping for books at garage or estate sales. Here, you can determine if those books would command higher prices than they’re being sold for. If yes, you can stock up and make a nice profit.

Sell your books online and offline

Even if you can’t get any book vendor bids, don’t fret. Here are some other book selling sites you should check out:

Amazon– This site has long had a book buy-back program that pays sellers in Amazon gift cards (which can be traded for money on sites like Cardpool). Textbooks are preferred, but the site will accept almost any recent book that’s in good to new condition.

amazon-trade-in– This website, now owned by Ebay, enables you to upload all your books by their respective ISBNs and store them online. Should a buyer come along who purchases one of your listed books, you’ll get paid through Paypal. also allots a given amount of money from the buyer to cover your shipping costs.

Of course, you can also list your tomes on Ebay, which is useful if you have really old books with no ISBN codes.

Half Price Books– This brick-and-mortar store accepts new and used books and pays for them on-the-spot. HPB is ideal for sellers who need cash right now and/or just don’t have the space for all their books. Incidentally, the biggest money maker at HPB is recently released textbooks.

Review books for extra cash

What if you don’t have that many books to sell but are an avid reader of the printed word? Then you can review new books and get paid for this task. As a freelance reader, your efforts will also help all those freelance writers out there who are trying to get published.

Kirkus– This site offers book reviewers e-books and hardcover books written (mostly) by new authors. The book reviews must be submitted within two weeks of being assigned; however, the reviews themselves can be fairly short and span just 350 words. Payment varies by member seniority and is made by mailed check.

Additionally, the site also currently posts in-house copywriting and editing positions.– This site offers free books and payment to members who agree to read and review new books submitted by aspiring authors. Payment ranges from $5-$60 per book review, with senior members making more money for their work.


Book reviews don’t need to be long either- OnlineBookClub asks that you submit a minimum of 400 words spaced out over five paragraphs.

AnySubjectBooks– While this site is currently not accepting new book reviewers, it should remain on your RADAR screen and be checked periodically. AnySubjectBooks assigns books to its members, then pays them when they submit their review to the book author.


Tap into literary agencies

Literary agencies receive more book manuscripts that they can reasonably process. Some agencies get around this problem by hiring freelance readers to read the manuscripts and compile “book reports” on them. Reports range from two to three pages at most, and the work is steady.

AgentQuery– This site offers authors a place to find literary agents; however, non-author members can also reach out to agents and find out if they would be willing to collaborate with a book reviewer. The site also occasionally posts book review opportunities; most requested reviews span no more than two to three pages.

PublishersMarketplace– Here, you can peruse the site’s extensive job board and usually find at least a handful of book reviewer postings each week. If doing that doesn’t turn up what you’re looking for, you can also contact literary agents about working with them directly.

Making money through books

Books can be more than a source of reading pleasure; they can also make you some cash. Whether selling or reviewing them, you can easily earn a few extra hundred bucks each month by being on the lookout for these monetary opportunities.

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One Comment

  1. I read this article with great interest. Currently, I am searching for new opportunities to earn some extra money online and I have always loved to read books and discuss them. Thanks very much for your suggestions!


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