The audiobook market is exploding, with a staggering $1.3 billion in sales revenue generated in 2020 alone, offering creators many ways to make money online. With a well-executed strategy, you can now make a quality audiobook in just a few hours and generate a significant return on your investment.
Audible primarily allows you to make money by creating podcasts and audiobooks, but you can also leverage affiliate marketing, referrals, and narration opportunities. The Amazon-owned platform has more than 180,000 audiobook titles ranging from all-time classics to fresh releases. Unlike other audiobook platforms such as iTunes and Google Play, Audible boasts a broad selection of celebrity and professional narrators and unique features that users love.
No matter how you choose to make money on Audible, the platform is a great place to polish your entrepreneurial skills. So, if you are ready to dive in, keep reading this guide for 4 unique opportunities.
What is Audible?
Audible is an Amazon-owned platform that produces and sells spoken-word entertainment. Even though it offers a wide range of content, including television and radio programs, the app is best known for producing books on tape, also known as digital audiobooks. Audible enables users to listen to their favorite books on MacOS, Kindle, Windows, iOS, and Android.
How much money can you make on Audible?
Although the royalty splits on audiobooks are not high as what you get with eBooks, Audible can still be a very profitable pursuit.
Whether you are an artist, writer, or any other person who needs a side hustle, you can use multiple monetization techniques to create consistent income on Audible. You can sell goods and services to consumers, produce your own audiobooks, promote other audiobooks through affiliate links, or narrate other writers’ books.
Here’s a rough guideline for how much you can make on Audible:
- Creating audiobooks: $15 to $25 per book sale
- Narrating other people’s books: $500 to $5,000 per book
- Hosting a podcast: Percentage of ad sales
- Affiliate marketing: $15 per trial sign-up
4 ways to make money on Audible
If these numbers get you excited, and you are looking for ways to get in on the action, here are four ways to make money with Audible.
1. Create audiobooks
If you are a creative person with an artistic mind, Audible allows you to produce audiobooks and make money without a significant upfront investment. You can create audiobooks on almost any subject and follow your own interests, from history to how-tos to romance and everything in between. Once the script has been written, you can either record the book yourself or hire a voice actor to do the heavy lifting.
The great thing about creating audiobooks is that there are no printing costs and very little overhead. You can produce an audiobook in just a few hours and make a profit almost immediately. And, if you produce a quality book that resonates with listeners, you can create a passive income stream that will generate money for years to come.
Tips for creating audiobooks on Audible
Most audiobooks on Audible sell for $15 to $25 each. To maximize your sales, here are a few key tips for creating a profitable audiobook:
- Choose profitable keywords: To get the most out of Audible, you need to pick profitable keywords. Careful keyword selection can provide a stable foundation for success in selling your books, as it will help you maximize your market size and potential for profit. So before selecting a niche or crafting your book title, perform some Audible keyword research. This process should surface ideas that people are interested in and already searching for. If you choose a topic with good volume that you are well-versed in, you should have a clear path toward maximizing your sales.
- Write the book: Once you have chosen appropriate keywords, either write the book yourself or outsource the work to a ghostwriter. Whichever route you go, be sure to factor in time (or costs) for thorough editing. You can find many book editing services online, or you can ask a few friends and family members to help you proofread.
- Make a cover: Creating a book cover that looks professional, stands out, and grabs potential readers’ attention requires serious graphic design skills. Unless you are an expert designer, consider hiring a professional agency. For a more affordable middle-ground, look to Fiverr or Upwork to complete the project.
- Get a narrator: Narrating a book is not as easy as it looks or sounds. If you don’t think you can do a good job, hire a professional voice actor from a website like Voices.com. Voice actors typically charge around $100-$400 per finished hour (PFH), but remember that is not just an expense. Voice actors are an investment in the quality of your book and the listener’s experience.
Once the book has been narrated, you can publish it on Audible and begin promotion. To start, join Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), a marketplace for authors, publishers, and narrators. This platform gives you 50 promotional codes that you can distribute to family, friends, and followers to download your audiobook for free.
This is an important deal to take advantage of because every download counts as a sale in Audible’s rankings. So, be sure to claim all 50 free downloads to boost your ranking and earn more paid sales!
Don’t forget to advertise your audiobook on your podcast, YouTube channel, social media platforms, emails, or blog posts. Wherever you spend time online, share your book with your community to find potential listeners. From forums and discussion boards to Q&A sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers, there are countless ways to spread the word.
2. Become a narrator
Audible is a platform that features over 180,000 downloadable audiobooks. A large percentage of these books have audio narrations made by someone other than the author. These voice actors either charge per completed hour or take royalty shares from the rights holder.
If you want to become a narrator, you can make money on Audible by recording audio as you read books aloud. To get started narrating books, you need to be at least 18 years old. You must own a high-quality recording microphone and know how to edit audio files to create professional-sounding recordings.
If you meet the requirements, apply to narrate other people’s books on Audible by visiting the website and clicking on the “Get Started” button. You will be asked to provide some basic information about yourself and your experience as a narrator.
Audible will then review your application and, if approved, grant you access to the ACX platform. From here, you can browse through the available projects and audition for the ones that interest you. if approved, you can expect to make $50 to $500 per hour of finished audio.
This of course means that your total earnings depend on the length of the book you’re narrating, the number of projects that you’re able to complete, your performance, and your experience level. Nevertheless, becoming a narrator on Audible can be a great way to make money on your own schedule.
Tips for successful audiobook narrations
- Buy quality equipment: Invest in a fast laptop, a noise-free microphone, and a pop filter to create professional audio.
- Read while standing: Narrate your audiobooks while standing up to open the diaphragm, which improves sound quality and clarity. Ensure that you maintain proper posture, and keep your shoulders back and relaxed when reading.
- Don’t consume dairy or coffee: Dairy items such as milk or cheese can give you phlegm, and coffee will make your mouth dry. It’s best to avoid these products and instead drink water before starting your book narration.
3. Host a podcast
Audible has a “Podcasts” section where people can listen to popular shows such as Consider This by NPR, NBC Nightly News by Lester Holt, and Pod Save America by Crooked Media.
If you have an engaging personality or valuable insights to share, you can make money on Audible by hosting your own podcast. To get started, create high-quality audio recordings of yourself talking about a particular topic or interviewing guests.
Once you have at least 10 episodes recorded, submit your podcast to Audible by visiting the website and clicking on the “Podcasts” tab. Click on the “Submit a Podcast” button and fill out the necessary information.
If your podcast is approved, it will be added to Audible’s catalog and available to a global audience. But keep in mind that podcasting is a competitive market. So even if your show is approved, you will still need to work hard to get paid.
However, if you can create a stand-out podcast and attract listeners, Audible has a royalty share program where you can earn a percentage of the Ad Sales that your show generates.
The amount of money you will make depends on how many people listen to your podcast, how many downloads you get, and how much advertising revenue your show brings in.
4. Become an Audible affiliate
As an Audible affiliate, you can earn commissions by referring people to sign up for the service. To get started, head over to Audible’s website and enroll in the affiliate marketing program. Once the company accepts your application, you will have access to a custom affiliate link to promote Audible’s 30-day free trial.
You can share this link on social media, your blog, or anywhere else people might see it. If someone clicks on your affiliate link and then signs up for a trial, you will earn a flat $15 commission.
Audible’s affiliate program is known as the Creator Program and is subject to pretty standard affiliate marketing rules. Fortunately, becoming an affiliate is a pretty straightforward process. And because you are promoting a free trial, not a paid subscription, the earning potential is high.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to make money on Audible. It’s a simple platform that allows ambitious writers, readers, and marketers a chance to earn extra cash on the side.
Plus, there is really something for everyone. If you love writing, create your own audiobooks. If you love reading, consider narrating for an hourly wage or ask to split royalties. If you are a digital native, enroll in the affiliate marketing program to make money online.
No matter which method you choose, the opportunities on Audible are plenty. So, get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Pick one of these four ways to make money on Audible and start your new side hustle today.
Audible offers you a great opportunity to make passive income through its referral system. You can earn a commission for every paying listener you refer to the platform. All you need to do is enroll in the affiliate program and link future customers to Audible’s 30-day free trial. Your link will continue to generate passive income as long as the referral program exists.
Audible narrators generally get paid per finished hour of audio. If you are a new voice actor, expect to earn money at a rate of $10 to $100 per hour. More experienced narrators, on the other hand, may command an hourly wage of $100 to $350 or negotiate for a royalty share.
The time it takes to narrate and edit an audiobook varies based on book length, reader preparation and proficiency, and recording practices. As a rule of thumb, you might expect to record and edit 10 pages per hour. Two effective ways to reduce the time you spend narrating audio are reading ahead before recording and using stop signals.
If you are interested in narrating other people’s books for the Audible platform, you need equipment that sounds professional and passes Audible Exchange’s (ACX’s) audio prerequisites. However, the equipment doesn’t need to break your budget. You can get started with a noise-free recording tool, personal computer or laptop, recording software, USB or XLR cables, and a pop filter.
Quality audiobook narration is about more than having a good voice and reading words off pages. Your performance in the audiobook can make or break the listeners’ experience. To ensure you bring the characters to life and add emotion to the recording, work on your breath control, intonation, pronunciation, vocal stamina, and verbal acting skills.