Fact Check

Is WordsRated Paying $200 per Book to Readers for a Living?

We looked into the legitimacy of a purported job listing that promised hired candidates $200 for every book they finished.

Published May 16, 2022

A job listing from WordsRated promised $200 per book for every novel read, meaning that a company was paying $200 for reading books. (StockSnap from Pixabay)
A job listing from WordsRated promised $200 per book for every novel read, meaning that a company was paying $200 for reading books. (Image Via StockSnap from Pixabay)
A company named WordsRated posted a job listing that promised $200 for every book read by hired candidates.

Fact Check

In mid-May 2022, readers asked us by email if it was "a scam or legit" that a company named WordsRated was promising to pay a new job candidate $200 for every book read. In the end, we found that this was a real and legitimate job listing. In fact, a spokesperson for the company told us it was looking to hire several people, not just one person, for the position.

Believing at first that the rumor came from Facebook (as many rumors do), we searched the social media platform for posts about the claim. We quickly found several different posts from users that mentioned the subject and linked to WordsRated.com.

"We're hiring: Get paid to read books," the headline of the page on WordsRated.com read. On May 9, WordsRated had posted a job listing with the title, "Bibliophile-at-large." According to the page, the person or people who would be hired for the role would work "100% remotely," read books, and be tasked to "take notes on specific details."

Some examples of those details included noting the number of a book's characters by gender, how many questions were asked by the characters, and what animals made appearances. "We will use this data to create unique, data-driven studies and statistics about books," the job listing read.

As for WordsRated's promised $200 per book salary, the job listing noted that, "There’s no limit on how much you can read – one book per month or one book every day. You can do this in your spare time or you can make this a full-time job, whatever makes more sense to you."

A job listing from WordsRated promised $200 per book for every novel read, meaning that a company was paying $200 for reading books.

A library like this would make for an ideal setting for one of the hired candidates. (Courtesy: wal_172619 from Pixabay)

We reached out to WordsRated and asked several questions. By email, Danny McLoughlin, a research director for the company, told us that WordsRated was founded in January 2022. The company's employees are based around the world and all work remotely.

"We're a research organization looking at interesting topics in the books, literature and publishing industries," McLoughlin said. "We have published three research programs so far and the reason for the job post is that we're looking for help to analyze the contents of the books. For each of our research directors to analyze the content of, say, 20 books would take months, but for 20 people to read one book each means we can get through the work a lot faster. That's the idea behind the job post."

We also asked about the status of the hiring process. "We are looking to hire the first people towards the end of May [or] start of June," McLoughlin said. "We're looking to start off with 5-10 people. Then we'll assess how this goes and take it from there."

In sum, yes, this job listing from WordsRated that promised $200 for every book read was indeed real and legitimate. It had no signs or being a scam. For this reason, we chose the rating of "Legit."

Curious about how Snopes' writers verify information and craft their stories for public consumption? We've collected some posts that help explain how we do what we do. Happy reading and let us know what else you might be interested in knowing.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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