It’s no secret that we’ve been living in a gig economy for a while now. There is legitimate criticism of the gig economy and how it affects capitalism, but for those of us who like to have our fingers in many different pots at the same time, this can have an advantage. Personally, I like to have a lot of different projects going on so that I can switch at will and keep a high level of commitment and interest in my work. Even so, I tend to stick to book endeavors. The world of books is one of the things I know best, so I tend to do literal sideline activities. If you’re looking for a book gig yourself to fill just a few hours a day or to supplement your income, this list will help you get started.
Bookish Side Hustles to make a little extra cash
Being a book critic can mean money at times, in addition to free copies for advanced readers. If you have the credentials, it is usually not too difficult to get started. Some magazines require or encourage special experiences. For example, the library journal (which is not paid for) usually prefers the use of library staff as its content is intended for libraries. The application process varies depending on the magazine. Some offer one-time reviews, while others have a regular schedule for you. Check out this list of verification options.
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Writer or content contributor
If you’ve ever wondered what the situation is like here at Book Riot, you can be sure that the content writers are getting paid for our work. There are many websites similar to Book Riot that will pay you for your brilliant thoughts and words. However, if you’d like to join us, please find more information here. As always, different platforms have different approaches, so it can be useful to look around and find the right solution for your schedule and creative needs.
Bookish Etsy shop owner
Do you love the book life, but also do handicrafts? Etsy could be a good match! Many people have set up Etsy bookstores where they can meet their creative needs as well as their love of the written word. The beauty of Etsy is that you may or may not be as invested as you like and in full control of your hours. You are your own boss for this kind of literal sideline! I’ve sold book embroidery on Etsy and TBR star glasses because I love putting together lists of books on a topic. You can also try bookmark designs, book-inspired candles, clothing, stickers, or other book-inspired merchandise. In a way, this is the king of bookies because of all the flexibility and self-control it offers.
Audio book narrator
This freelance audiobook narration might even surprise you, but it is indeed an option. Sites like ACX allow users to sign up, record a book, and get paid to do it. Many platforms will walk you through the process. So if it’s something completely new to you, don’t be intimidated.
If you can hack it, you can offer a paid newsletter. To have a paid subscription relationship, you need to make sure your content is worth paying for. It is less common for individuals to create a paid newsletter. However, you can take inspiration from Omni by Quill & Quire.
Literacy or literature teacher
Whether you work for a company or go out alone, tutoring is a great way to introduce others to the love of books part-time. Start with the basics of reading as a literacy teacher of all ages or consider delving into the details of literature for advanced students. Since most tutoring gigs would work around school hours, you can probably easily stack them onto a 9-by-5 game if you prefer.
It seems that retailers always need extra help on weekends and evenings, and although indie bookstores like many other small businesses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, their existence is still very much valued by book lovers. Booksellers are some seasoned people so it may take some experience to be among the best, but the job is important. Working with an indie bookstore is a great way to support your immediate community. However, you can also consider getting a part-time job at a large store like Barnes & Noble.
Part-time library staff
There are many library jobs that don’t require an ML (I) S. While it may be for those of us who have careers in libraries, there are also plenty of part-time opportunities in libraries. You are most likely to find these type of jobs in public libraries, but you may get lucky with other types as well. Regardless of your preference, part-time library jobs can be peaceful, methodical, or exciting and chaotic. Like a job at a local indie bookstore, working at a public library will help you embed you deeper into the community, and there are few things that are more rewarding.
This is one of the more difficult book problems. With a decent following on a social media platform (or, in some cases, a successful blog), some content creators have made some money. Payment can be offered for things like promoting a product. However, watch out for scams and review every offer as it comes in. If you don’t have a large number of followers yet, don’t worry just yet. When new platforms hit the market, it is not impossible for you to gain a large number of followers relatively quickly, even with no experience. Find something special and unique about what you create and build your presence and connect with others in an app of your choice.
Whether or not you choose to monetize your love for books is entirely up to you. My advice? Don’t do it if it is no longer fun and you may lose the extra income. Why should you work on something you don’t love when you can use that time to read?