How to Get Paid for Reading

One of my favorite things to do is read. If I can read 100 pages in a day, I feel like I accomplished something. It doesn’t matter if it’s pulp fiction or something a little more hardcore. As I flip through the pages and I can see the book going from front to middle to end, I get a sense of fulfillment. Unfortunately, there are few ways to make reading pay the rent. I certainly haven’t figured out how to get paid for reading, yet, but I want to. Here are some suggestions I’ve run across:

Book Reviewer

You can review books and get paid. Yes, this is a real job, and if you’re lucky enough to find a place that will pay you a regular, living salary to read and write about what you read, hold onto it. Unfortunately, most book reviewers will spend years before they ever make any money for their book reviews. Some won’t ever make any money because they’re doing it on websites like Amazon and Good Reads – super helpful to the authors; not so much to the people writing the review (unless they are hoping to get more of that kind of story from the author.

A book blog is one way to build a resume to help find a book reviewer job. You can even monetize it, but unless you’re getting thousands of views a day, you won’t pay the bills. Chances are you won’t even pay for the site itself.

Book Editor

People will, sometimes, pay you to edit their writing, whether or not you have actual qualifications. The going rate for editing is two cents a word. For a 100,000-word book, you’re looking at $2,000. Almost no author wants to pay that kind of money to get the edit on their book done. Whether or not this will sustain your lifestyle will depend on how quickly you can edit. Of course, this is the median price for basic proofreading. Developmental editing should cost more.

The biggest problem here is that most editing will be done on a computer. It’s certainly more efficient that way. There’s less a sense of accomplishment, and when you’re reading to correct, it takes longer. In my case, I often only get 3 pages done in an hour. There aren’t 33 hours in a day.

Get Inspired

A lot of the books I read for fun lack the ability to inspire me to write something about them. The Forgotten Realms: The Harpers series is great. They’re a set of loosely connected stories that are based in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. They are fast to read, and enjoyable. But they are just so much bubble gum; by the time you’re done reading them, the flavor has run out and you forget what you’re chewing. Great for relieving stress and getting out of the real world, just difficult to write anything of worth.

Still, there are some mass market books worth writing about. Currently, “Bravely” looks like a read that is fun and inspiring. It’s just hard to find them, and if you want to get paid for reading, you have to be able to read and write quickly enough to churn out the articles for your audience.

This article contains affiliate links. If you click on a link that takes you to Amazon, and you buy something, we get a small portion of the sale. It doesn’t cost you or the author anything extra.

Darren Lamb Releases ‘The Pit Bull’

When I was editing Darren Lamb’s “The Pit Bull,” I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. After all, pit bulls are the monsters of the dog world, mostly because people made them that way. Darren introduces the reader to a mash-up of train wrecks waiting to happen, and the explosion promised to be catastrophic. He puts his motley crew of people in a company selling healthy, prepared meals, and allows them to come together in a way that is surprising and full of promise. But what does a pit bull have to do with it? Spoilers.

“The Pit Bull” is a special story that dovetails beautifully with Lamb’s “The Happiness Program.” Darren puts forth a way of looking at life and the differences between people that will help you believe again. We are all imperfect. We are all broken. Maybe, that’s exactly how we’re supposed to be, so that we can become our best selves.

Darren Lamb is a former Marine and Buddhist monk who uses his unique perspective to bring to life stories that are full of tension, love, joy, and anger. The way he fuses these things together in “The Pit Bull” will help you find your faith in humanity again.

This article uses affiliate links for Amazon. When you purchase the book through Amazon, our website gets a finder’s fee that doesn’t cost you or the author anything extra. However, if you want to purchase a book directly from Darren Lamb, you can visit his website www.theworstbuddhist.com. He may even sign it for you. If you happen to be in Salt Lake City for FanX 2022, check out Darren’s booth, where he will have copies of his books, geek Buddhas and likely some surprises.

The Hardest Part of Finishing a Book: Finding a New Book

(This article contains affiliate links. An affiliate link takes you to the product page for the book, so you can purchase it. It doesn’t cost you anything additional, and we make a little money to support our website and writing.) The hardest part of finishing a book is choosing the next one because saying “yes” to one book means saying “no” to dozens of others. The decision-making process is often paralyzing, and as laid out in “The Paradox of Choice,” having more choices isn’t better. So, when I finished “Hidden Mickey 3: Wolf!,” I had to choose my next book.

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Virtual Author Signing: Mar 1, 2021 ‘My Life in the Peace Corps’

On Mar. 1, 2021, I’ll have a virtual author signing for “My Life in the Peace Corps.” Using the live function on Facebook for my new page @ShadsBooks, I will show some of the items that I brought back with me from Africa. What will these items be? That will depend in part on a vote at my Patreon page. People who join will get the first shot at telling me what they most want to see.

The Format of Signing

This live video will start on March 1, 2021 at 7pm. The first 20 minutes will be show and tell, I’ll leave 20 minutes available for questions and answers, and the last 20 minutes will be for signing your books. If you want to watch me sign it and have more input on what I write in it, this will the time for you. Plus, you’ll get my personal gratitude. Questions and answers will be done in the chat. You can pre-order your autographed copy, so I know how many books I need to order. I will send out all books on March 2.

What Are the Possibilities?

I brought a lot of stuff back from Guinea. In the Christmas theme, I have a stockings, a commemorative t-shirt, and Santa Claus outfit a tailor made for me, including a beard. We celebrated Christmas at the Casse in 1998 as told in “My Life in the Peace Corps.”

Other items include a mancala board, my formal Guinean attire, tin cars made by the kids in my town, three nicely carved wood boxes, and Le Patron (which is a bit risqué, but part of my life there). Join our Patreon and vote for what you want to see. You could also just leave a message, but there is a limited amount of time for items, so Patrons get first dibs.

What Is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators as they work to become free from the constraints set on them by having to earn a living. You get to play patron to someone (or multiple someones) to help bring more of what you want into the world. In our case, you get to help us make more penguins and write more stories. You will also get some pretty cool items, sneak peeks, recognition, and voting privileges, depending on the level you pledge at.

Do I Have to Buy a Book?

You do not have to purchase anything to join this virtual author signing. You can simply show up and walk down memory lane with me.

What Do We Need to Make Our Store a Reality?

I was asked what we need to make our store a reality, and the list I came up with was long and filled with all the things you might expect. However, the first thing we need is to learn how to get people to the store. We’ve had a Facebook page, an Etsy shop, a Patreon, an Instagram account, a now-deleted YouTube channel, an Amazon author page, and a website long enough to know that we don’t know how to get people to any of those. We tried ads. We’ve cross promoted. I’ve used all of my SEO knowledge to rank us higher. I’ve taken classes in marketing, gone through five day challenges, and spent a month with a marketing guru; nothing has worked to bring sustained traffic that converts to buyers.

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The Fussy Duck in Salem, Or: Penguinate.com

The Fussy Duck in Salem, Or is a locally owned, small business that brings together several other small businesses and gives them a place to display and sell their creations and products. Whether you’re looking for handmade items, like penguin plushies, cool wooden signs, snazzy holiday fragrances, or you want a vintage toy that reminds you of when you were child, the Fussy Duck has a treasure waiting for you to find it.

Penguinate.com is one of the small businesses you can find at the Fussy Duck. Our penguins are waiting for you to adopt them for the Christmas Season, read more about them, our books and what the Fussy Duck has done for us!

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Buy 5 Times the Number of Books You Plan to Read

In his book “Time Drive,” Gleb Arhangelsky recommends that you read at leas one serious book a week and that you buy five (5) times the number of books you plan to read. For those who plan to read a book a week and are buying for the month, that means buying 20 books. As an author, reader, and book hoard… er, collector, I am totally on board with this. However, beyond my monetary and intuitive biases, there are some good reasons to follow this tip from Arhangelsky.

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The Creative Process of Writing ‘My Life in the Projects’

Someone once said that being creative isn’t just about having ideas. There are billions of ideas out there. The creative person has to choose one of the ideas and bring it into the world. As a writer, I have tens of ideas for books and series, and hundreds of ideas for articles. (This year alone, I’ve written over 275 articles on my website and more at my day job.) So, how did I come to choose to publish “My Life in the Projects” as my first book? Here’s a peek at the creative process of writing that book.

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Creating a New Experience at Penguinate.com

As we move forward and adapt to our new world, we’re creating a new experience at penguinate.com. We plan on opening a shop of sorts, but we’re going to change the focus from an in-house experience to a virtual one. We’ll still have penguins and indie author books and people will be able to come in and see them. However, our space is going to move toward being more of a workplace.

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