Can You Make Money Reading Books on YouTube?

Oct 26, 2020


There are many different ways to make money on YouTube. Vlogging, gaming- there are plenty of videos that can be created and monetized. But what about reading books? Can you make money reading books on YouTube? Or, will you get in trouble from authors and publishers for reading books and monetizing your videos?

Book reading on YouTube falls into a grey area in regards to copyright. Most of the time, you will be fine reading books on YouTube. However, be aware that for certain books, the publisher or author could place a copyright claim on your videos. To be safe, it's always a good idea to reach out to authors or publishers to ask for permission to read their books.

Reading books on YouTube can be a great way to build a channel. The biggest issue that arises when it comes to reading books on YouTube is monetization. Many content creators hope to monetize their videos with AdSense. While this can be done, there is another way to monetize book reading videos that might prove to be safer and more profitable.

Is It Legal to Make YouTube Videos From Books


Before you start reading any books on YouTube, you should know the answer to the question: Is it legal to make YouTube videos from books? After all, you don't want to put time into creating videos and building a channel if you're going to run into issues from book authors and publishers.

So, here's the deal: Different authors and publishers will have different reactions to their book being read on YouTube. Some authors and publishers will appreciate the increased visibility of their product. Whereas with other authors and publishers, conflict will arise and you may be forced to remove your videos for copyright reasons.

I recommend always including a website link to the official website of the book you are reading or the author. This will show good faith towards the author and publisher. If the book author or publisher sees that they might be getting traffic from your videos, they'll be more likely to not raise any fuss.

If, however, you read a book and are told to take your video down, it's in your best interest to do so. As I mentioned above, book reading falls into a grey area in regards to copyright. However, this doesn't mean you should go ahead and create audiobooks for The Lord of the Rings series- stick to books that aren't as well-known to start.

How to Get Permission to Read a Book on YouTube


It's never a bad idea to reach out to an author or publisher for permission to read their book on YouTube. Depending on the author or publisher, they might look at your proposal as an opportunity to get more exposure for their book. In this case, you would almost always be permitted to read their book on YouTube.

To reach out to an author or publisher, you will need to visit their website and find a contact email address. Then, simply send an email to the recipient stating what it is you plan on doing and asking them if they object to your plan. If you get a response, then do whatever the response says.

If you reach out to an author or publisher for permission to read their book but don't get a response, you have a few options. You can either not read the book, or you can read the book and see if you run into any issues. Most of the time, you will not run into any issues- especially if the book you're reading is older or isn't incredibly mainstream.

Out of good faith, you should always include links in your video descriptions to websites where books can be bought. Along with this, you should include a link to the author's website. By doing this, you can help support the author. After all, without the author, you wouldn't be able to read their book!

Making Money Reading Books on YouTube


Many content creators go about making money reading books on YouTube by monetizing their videos with Google AdSense. While this is a good option and can be a great way to make money, another option is providing an audiobook creation service for lesser-known book authors and publishers.

Nowadays, there are plenty of authors who self-publish their books online. As your channel becomes larger, you can leverage your audience and offer to create an audiobook version of self-published books for authors. Monetizing your channel this way is less passive, but it can lead to more money and security for you and your channel.

Also, when you monetize your channel through creating audiobooks for self-published authors, you avoid the risk of copyright issues. While many of the books you read on YouTube will not result in any copyright issues for you, it only takes 1 author or publisher to throw you for a loop and ruin your chances of earning money on YouTube.

To find potential clients, you can leverage freelance platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr. Many authors go to these platforms to find voice actors that can create audiobook versions of their books. Create a profile on these platforms, price your service accordingly, and reach out to authors or wait for them to contact you.


One of the many ways content creators make money on YouTube is by reading books. While many content creators monetize their videos with AdSense, this runs the risk of copyright issues. While copyright issues do not typically pop up for less-mainstream books, a more secure way to make money would be to create audiobooks for self-published authors.

So, can you make money reading books on YouTube? You definitely can! Just be aware that as with any YouTube video, you should make your videos as high-quality as possible. If you create low-quality videos, your channel will not grow. It doesn't matter if audiobook videos are simple to make- quality still matters.

Daniel James
Hi there! I’m Daniel, the founder, and CEO of Tubefluence. I help businesses and influencers utilize the power of YouTube marketing to grow an audience and generate leads.
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