If you’re good at spotting grammar and spelling errors, you can get paid to read. Several sites enlist freelancers to copy edit and proofread everything from business documents to books, resumes to college essays. A few also pay for reviews of fiction and non-fiction books.

Here’s how you can get paid to read, how much you’ll earn, and where you can find these jobs.

Get paid to read

The vast majority of freelance sites that pay you to read seek copy editors and proofreaders. Clients of these companies range from independent authors and academics to businesses that need a second look at proposals, letters, brochures and documents sent to investors.

With some sites, you set your own rates and reading specialties. You could, for instance, charge $2 per page to read investing and economics copy, but charge just 50 cents per page for fantasy fiction and romance. Or vice versa. 

However, with other sites, the site sets the terms. The site sets the rates, which are usually based on the type of document, the number of words and the turn-around time. Pay is set per project, not per hour. So, the faster and more efficiently you read, the more you earn per hour. With these sites, the only choice the freelancer gets is whether to accept or reject an assignment.

The best sites to find work, according to SideHusl.com:

PenguinFreelancers

Two factors make PenguinFreelancers our top choice for freelance copy editors and proofreaders. The first is that Penguin Random House publishes great books. Collaborating with best-selling authors, noteworthy celebrities and politicians, you’re sure to find interesting reading here.

And you are paid reasonable rates — $31 to $36 per hour, depending on what type of editing you’re doing. There is a copy editing or proofreading test to qualify. It will likely include familiarity with the Chicago Manual of Style. The site expects editors to read at least 10 pages per hour. But since this copy is likely to be in pretty good shape when you get it, that shouldn’t be too difficult. If you’re accepted at PenguinFreelancers, you can pick the literary genres that you prefer to read.

Reedsy

Reedsy helps aspiring authors find ghostwriters, writing coaches and all types of editors. The site encourages seasoned editors to apply with a resume and portfolio. If you pass the site’s screening, you’ll create a profile that explains your experience and specialties. You also list the publications that you have edited.

You determine what type of editing services to provide — developmental editing, copy editing, proofreading, etc. The site will send you appropriate projects to bid on. You decide what to charge based on the length, scope, and difficulty of the project. The site takes a commission on each sale.

Fiverr

Where broad-based work platforms are often tough places to find good work, Fiverr is an exception. The site has evolved from a low-rent job platform to one that allows professionals to charge professional rates for limited-service “packages.”

Freelancers delineate what they do and what they charge, narrowly defining the scope of the work. One freelance editor, for example, says she’ll correct spelling and grammar on a 500-word document for $25. If you want her edit to improve clarity and language, it costs $50 for the same document. Rewriting and feedback can be had for $75. Of course, if you have more words to edit, it’s more.

This structure is intended to create cost transparency to both worker and client.

Scribendi

Like many straight proofreading and copyediting sites, Scribendi pays by the job specifications, number of words, and the time you’re given to edit. (Rush jobs pay more.) The site posts a description of each available job, the pay and the deadline. You get to decide whether to accept the work or pass. The faster you edit, the more you earn.

Editors here say they earn anywhere from $5 to $50 per hour. The most common complaint? The site specializes in helping English as a Second Language students clean up their assignments. Many editors maintain that means “rewrite” their papers, a time-consuming process. And, even a simple edit can take more time when the copy is in bad shape.

That said, if you’re picky about the jobs you accept and are skilled at editing at a rapid pace, you could earn good money here.

ProofreadingPal

ProofreadingPal enlists graduate students and PhDs to proofread and copyedit everything from business documents to academic research papers. However, the site has a complex pay structure and poor pay for new editors. ProofreadingPal also appears to strong-arm editors into signing up for “guaranteed availability” hours, where editors must accept any assignment that comes in. If there are no assignments during those hours, you don’t get paid. But if you miss your guaranteed availability shift, you get fined.

This arrangement appears to be both unfair and a potential violation of U.S. labor laws. (ProofreadingPal maintains its proofreaders are independent contractors not subject to minimum wage laws. But U.S. government definitions of employees vs. freelancers pivot on worker control. The lines are murky, but this appears to stack the deck in favor of classifying proofreaders as employees. You can learn more about the difference between federal definitions of freelancers and employees by taking this quiz.) This is the one proofreading site that SideHusl.com does not recommend.

U.S. Review of Books

If you’re more interested in simply reading for pleasure, you may be able to make a few bucks reviewing books.

U.S. Review of Books is one of a handful of sites that will pay you to read and provide brief reviews of independently-published books and authors. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t pay much. But it also has reasonable rules about what ought to be in a review — half summary; half commentary — and length. Reviews generally run 250 to 300 words and pay $25. Longer reviews of 500-600 words pay more — up to $75.

Another site called OnlineBookClub also promises to pay for reviews. However, reviewers maintain the site has a litany of ways to deny pay for completed work.