Do you want to earn money online through Audible?
Perhaps you’re using the service and you’re curious how to leverage Audible to make money. Or, you might want to know how to make passive income on Audible.
Whatever your reason, this guide will help you.
I’ll discuss how to make money on Audible in different ways with comprehensive step-by-step instructions and strategies.
I’ll also introduce the Audible platform and the Audiobook Creation Exchange.
Table of Contents
What Is Audible?
Before we begin, I’ll discuss how the Audible platform works.
Audible is Amazon’s online service for audiobooks and other spoken word entertainment.
It’s one of the most popular audiobook platforms, accounting for 63.4% of the U.S. audiobook publishing market share.
Many users subscribe to Audible’s subscription plans, but you can also use it for free. You can buy audiobooks from Audible without a membership.
Here are Audible’s most noteworthy features.
Audiobooks allow book lovers to experience books by listening rather than reading.
A narrator reads the book out loud word-for-word. You won’t miss any context, but you get the convenience of experiencing a book while doing other things.
Audiobooks have soared in popularity due to their accessibility. You can play Audible audiobooks on various devices, making them ideal for listening while doing household chores, exercising, or driving.
Audible offers tons of content you won’t find on any other platform. You can find exclusive audiobooks, podcasts, and audio programs on Audible Originals.
The Audible platform updates its exclusive content regularly, so there’s always something new.
Note that Audible Originals are only available with Audible’s paid membership plans.
You don’t need a membership to buy books on Audible. However, subscribing to an Audible membership plan gives you access to much more content.
Audible has two subscription plans: Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus.
How To Make Money on Audible
Now that you’re familiar with the platform, let’s discuss leveraging Audible to start making money online.
How are people making money on Audible?
I’ve found four ways of getting paid by Audible:
- Narrate audiobooks.
- Create and sell Audible products.
- Become an affiliate through the Amazon Associates Program.
- Promote Audible to your audience.
Don’t worry we’ll discuss them all one-by-one, so read until the end.
What Is Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX)?
If you’re thinking of selling audiobooks or becoming an audiobook narrator, you’ll need to study this platform to earn money on Audible.
What is ACX?
The answer depends on who’s asking.
For authors, ACX is a self-publishing platform that allows them to sell their audiobook titles.
For narrators, it’s a job marketplace where they can land voice acting projects.
As a whole, ACX is Audible’s audiobook production and distribution platform. It allows authors and publishers to collaborate with narrators, recording studios, and producers.
Benefits of ACX for Authors
Budding and seasoned writers can use the Audible self-publishing platform to sell audio versions of their existing books or new titles.
Thy can use it to find professional voice actors who can bring their story to life.
Here are some reasons why authors use ACX:
- Audiobook Production Tools
The platform also provides audio quality control before publishing your audiobook.
- Skilled Narrators
ACX simplifies the process of turning your book into an audiobook. It allows you to connect with talented narrators with or without upfront payment (with royalty sharing).
- Creative Control
You have complete creative control over the audiobook production. You can collaborate with the narrator to produce an audio version that reflects your artistic vision.
- Wide Audience Reach
Producing an audio version of your book lets you tap into the rapidly growing market of listeners.
You also access Amazon’s lion’s share of customers by publishing your audiobook to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
- Long-Term Income Stream
You can create a long-term income stream from audiobook sales with a royalty share model.
- Support and Resources
ACX fully supports collaborators by providing resources and guidelines. These help both authors and narrators maintain industry standards.
- Insights and Reporting
Oversee your audiobook’s performance with ACX’s detailed tracking metrics. Using these insights, you can adjust your strategy and maybe get a new idea for your next title.
Benefits of ACX for Narrators
Having an ACX profile helps you connect with authors looking for your skills. You can collaborate on creating high-quality audio books.
Here are some reasons why ACX is a good platform for narrators.
- Great for Beginners
ACX accepts narrators without prior voice-acting experience. It’s free to join, allowing you to build a portfolio and reputation in the audiobook industry.
- Additional Income Streams
ACX distributes audiobooks on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. You can potentially increase your earnings by reaching a broader audience.
- Negotiating Payment Terms
Narrators can negotiate the contract with the rights holder. You can choose to earn a percentage of the audiobook sales, or you can receive a flat fee for your work.
- Opportunities for Collaboration
You can expand your network by collaborating with different authors and publishers. You can audition for various projects, allowing you to build relationships even when you don’t get the gig.
- Control over Narration Projects
You have control over your projects, choosing which ones align with your interests and skills. You can choose the genre and author you want to work with.
How To Sell Audiobooks on Audible
A straightforward way to earn money on Audible is to publish your own book. You get royalties for every sale, so the earning potential is unlimited and doesn’t expire.
With the growing popularity of audiobooks, you can reach a wide audience of listeners with a relentless craving for spoken word entertainment.
Whether you’re a seasoned writer, aspiring author, or anyone with a story to share, you can make money by publishing on Audible.
Here’s the audiobook income process for authors:
- Exclusive distribution rights: 40% royalty share
- Non-exclusive distribution rights: 25% royalty share
How To Sell on Audible: Step-by-Step Method
1 – Sign Up for an ACX Account.
On the ACX home page, click Login or Get started.
If you have an existing Amazon account, use the same credentials to log in. Otherwise, create a new one.
2 – Prepare Your Audiobook.
Following our tips below, create a high-quality audiobook. Ensure it’s complete and edited, and the audio files are ready for submission
Familiarize yourself with Audible’s submission requirements for smooth processing.
3 – Claim Your Book or Create a New Title.
When uploading an audiobook, you have two choices:
- Claim your book if it’s already on Audible as an eBook or a print book so that you can upload its audio version.
- Create a new title by providing the necessary information.
4 – Choose a Distribution Option.
Decide whether you want to give Audible exclusive distribution rights or not. Exclusivity gives you higher royalties, and it makes your title an Audible Original.
On the other hand, non-exclusive distribution offers lower royalties, but you can sell your work through other audiobook distributors.
5 – Upload Your Audiobook.
Next, upload each audio file corresponding to each chapter. Make sure it follows ACX’s requirements.
6 – Review and Submit Your Audiobook.
Review your audiobook one last time before submitting it for review. If you followed the guidelines, ACX will send the files to retail within 10 business days.
However, ACX regularly rejects submissions for improper formatting. Ensure everything is in order before you submit to prevent delays.
7 – Monitor Your Book’s Performance.
ACX provides performance insights for your titles. Through the Sales Dashboard, you can check your sales, returns, and Bounty.
Read these reports regularly to measure your audiobook’s performance and adjust your strategies accordingly.
Tips and Strategies To Become a Successful Audible Author
- Choose a Niche and Topic.
Do you want to create a fiction or a nonfiction audiobook?
Select a genre with a sizeable audience and demand on the platform. Look into keywords that earn a high number of searches with low competition.
However, remember to consider your interest and knowledge. No single genre on Audible sells the most.
- Focus on Quality Content.
Whether you have a unique store to share or an informative guide, take time to structure the narrative well.
For fiction books, develop interesting characters with compelling dialogue. Create an immersive world through your story.
For nonfiction books, back up your claims with factual data and sources. Ask yourself, “How does this add value to my audience’s life?”
You can write the book yourself, or you can hire a ghostwriter. Choose the better option for making your story come to life.
- Encourage Reviews and Feedback.
After publishing your audiobook, encourage the listeners to leave reviews and ratings on its Audible page.
Positive reviews can help boost your book’s visibility and attract more listeners, increasing your earning potential.
- Collaborate with a Professional Narrator.
Mind the listening experience of the audience. You can voice it yourself or hire a professional narrator through ACX.
Your success as an audiobook author hugely depends on the narration quality. A skilled voice actor can bring your story to life, allowing more listeners to enjoy your Audible book.
If you have excellent narration skills, feel free to create your own audio content. I’ll give you some narration tips later in this guide to create the best audiobook version of your work.
- Promote Your Audiobook.
Develop a marketing plan to create buzz around your audiobook before publishing it. Leverage social media channels and offer promotions to grow your audience.
- Use Audible’s Marketing Tools.
Audible also has self-marketing tools on the platform to help you get your audiobook off the ground.
ACX gives you 50 promo codes to share with your friends, family, and audience. Each promo code entitles them to a free copy of your own audiobook.
Each download counts as a sale. The higher the sales, the higher the ranking on Audible, and the higher the income potential.
- Optimize Your Audiobook.
When uploading your audiobook, use the proper tags. Optimize the metadata, including relevant keywords, to help your audience find your audiobook more easily.
- Design a Captivating Cover Art.
We always say don’t judge a book by its cover, but the cover art remains to be the most effective attention grabber.
You’ll need some graphic design skills. Otherwise, you can hire a professional graphic designer to create an appealing book cover art.
Either way, ensure it perfectly represents your audiobook’s genre and content.
- Keep Up with the Trends.
What something new can you offer? What are the bestselling genres today? How can you improve?
Stay updated on the changing trends and listen to feedback from your audience. You have to evolve and adapt if you want to stay in the industry for a long time.
How To Make Money on Audible as a Narrator
If you don’t want to create audiobooks, you can read audiobooks instead.
Narrating books can help you earn some extra cash, but many have turned it into a lucrative professional career.
Whether you have a sharp or baritone voice or anything in between, there’s a niche for you. Audible is the leading audiobook platform, so there’s no shortage of authors looking to collaborate with narrators.
Skilled narrators are in high demand, but aspiring artists can also find lots of opportunities on this platform.
Here’s how to make money with Audible by narrating audiobooks:
- Per Finished Hour (PFH): You receive a flat rate fee per hour of the finished recording, which typically has around 9,000 words.
- Royalty Share: You split royalties with the book author or rights owner.
- Royalty Share Plus: This payment scheme combines Per Finished Hour and Royalty Share. You receive a fixed amount for narrating the book plus royalties.
10 Essential Audiobook Narration Skills
Are you an aspiring newcomer seeking to break into the industry, or an experienced narrator aiming to expand your skills?
Either way, you must develop key skills to succeed in the industry. Let’s explore the essential skills to become a proficient and sought-after audiobook narrator.
1 – Articulation
Master clear and precise pronunciation to ensure clarity for listeners.
2 – Breath Control
Regulate your breathing to maintain a smooth and uninterrupted narration. Avoid fading or gasping in the middle of sentences.
3 – Delivery
Tailor your delivery to match the content and author’s goal. Your pitch must be consistent and enthusiastic throughout the narration.
4 – Accuracy
Stay accurate to the author’s words. Avoid any alteration, addition, or omission of words and phrases.
5 – Consistency
Establish a consistent level of quality and dedication to your narrating projects. Showcase your enthusiasm, articulation, pitch, and delivery to increase repeat hires by authors and publishers.
6 – Familiarity and Understanding
Familiarize yourself with the storyline, characters, and world of fiction settings. In nonfiction, you need at least a basic understanding of the subject to explain it to listeners.
7 – Bringing Characters to Life
Bring characters to life, especially in children’s audiobooks. Use distinct and consistent tone, attitude, and accent for each character.
8 – Distinguishing Voices
Distinguish your narrating voice from the characters’ voices, using dialogue tags (e.g. he said, she said) in your own voice to avoid listener confusion.
9 – Endurance
Maintain a healthy stamina for recording as narration requires hours in front of a microphone. You need unwavering energy and a consistent voice throughout recording sessions.
Professional narration is like running a marathon — you need physical and mental stamina.
10 – Emotional Involvement
Immerse yourself emotionally in the book to create an engaging narration.
Remember, narrating isn’t just reading aloud. It’s creating a vivid picture to depict the events accurately and evoke the same emotions in the text.
Maintain an enthusiastic voice with less exciting subjects, especially in nonfiction work.
Tips and Strategies for Becoming a Successful Narrator
- Invest in a Professional Recording Space.
Set up a dedicated recording space, which you can do in your own home. The least you need is a quiet room with minimal background noise. However, improving it with acoustic treatments, such as soundproofing, is ideal.
You also need the right equipment, including a good-quality microphone, headphones, and recording software to produce professional-grade recordings.
- Record a Demo Reel.
A demo reel allows you to showcase your talents when you have no prior experience. Experienced narrators can also create a demo file to exhibit their best works.
Choose around three different genres that best align with your skill set. Select passages that allow you to demonstrate a range of character voices, emotions, and accents.
- Ensure High-Quality Recordings.
Choose the best recording software to ensure the audio quality is crystal clear and noise-free.
Edit your audio files and listen for any mistakes. Don’t settle for a less-than-stellar performance, and re-record when necessary.
- Back Up Your Work.
Here’s a tip from professional narrators and other voice artists around the world: back up your work every night.
Imagine losing some or all your recordings the night before the deadline. Stay on top of these mishaps by having enough storage and making backup copies.
- Avoid Coffee and Dairy.
Voice actors, singers, and other professionals who use their vocal talents often avoid coffee and dairy products.
Coffee dehydrates the body and vocal cords, affecting the voice quality. Its stimulant qualities may also influence your voice control.
Dairy products, like milk and cheese, encourage the production of mucus and phlegm. Both can affect your vocal clarity.
- Build Your Narrator Profile on ACX.
Your narrator profile helps potential clients gauge your suitability for the project.
Create an engaging profile by writing a detailed bio. Highlight any relevant experience, like past projects, voice acting work, and training. Share your accomplishments, and detail your services.
ACX allows you to upload unlimited demo files on your own account. The more audio samples you have, the easier it is to reach authors. However, make sure each one effectively showcases your abilities.
- Consistently Submit Auditions.
Browse ACX for available audiobook projects, and choose ones that interest you.
You’ll have to record a few minutes of the manuscript. Make sure to absorb the material to understand accurately what you should portray.
Try to be consistent in auditioning to increase your chances of landing a project and increase your network at the same time.
- Communicate with the Author.
Maintain open communication with the author to understand their vision for the audiobook. Before you start recording, understand their specifications and standards, including the deadlines and audio formats.
Learn how to negotiate terms, as well, such as payment, royalty shares, and creative decisions.
- Market Yourself and Promote Your Work.
An ACX profile is only the first step. You can also market yourself as a skilled narrator on other platforms, like YouTube, Fiverr, and social media channels.
When you complete a project, promote it on your narrator pages and blog (if any). Encourage your friends, family, and listeners to leave a review.
- Continuously Improve Your Skills.
Learning doesn’t stop when becoming a professional narrator. There are always new techniques, technology, and methods to stand out from the competition.
Hold yourself to a higher standard and develop your skills continuously.
How To Get Paid by Audible Through Amazon Associates Program
The Amazon Associates Program is an affiliate marketing program. It allows website owners to earn commissions by promoting Amazon’s products and services.
An affiliate marketer can create a custom URL, which tracks every click and sale. They earn a percentage from every completed sale.
Amazon owns Audible, so you can also leverage the program to earn commissions on the platform.
Through the program, you can direct your website visitors to Amazon.com, where they can buy Audible products and memberships. You earn through Bounties or fixed advertising fees.
Associates earn a Bounty for every qualifying purchase on Amazon.com, including:
- Audible Gold Digital Membership: 10$
- Audible Free Trial Membership: 5$
- Audible Audiobook: $0.50
- A La Carte Sale: $0.50
Amazon pays commissions after 60 days of the end of the month.
How To Join the Amazon Affiliate Program
First, you have to be a member of the program to promote Amazon and Audible products. Follow these steps to join for free.
- Visit the Amazon Associates Central page.
- Click the Sign Up button.
- Enter your account information.
- Provide the links to your channels, including your website, YouTube account, or other sites. Enter your mobile app URL, if any.
- Explain your traffic sources and the Amazon products and services you plan to promote.
- Choose a payment method.
- Generate Amazon affiliate links for Audible products.
Tips and Strategies To Increase Your Affiliate Earnings
- Create Relevant, Engaging Content.
Identify your target audience and create content relevant to their interests and preferences. Tailor your recommendations and offer valuable insights. Keep it genuine to build trust and credibility.
- Use Multiple Marketing Channels.
Use your blog, website, social media, and any digital platform to expand your reach. Make review videos, write audiobook recommendations, and create a newsletter for email marketing.
- Use Your Social Media Influence.
Are you an influencer on social media? Leverage your following by sharing your personal favorites, quotes, and visuals to spark interest. Use hashtags and collaborate with other influencers.
- Optimize Your Website with SEO.
Learn about search engine optimization (SEO) to boost your website’s visibility. Find the right keywords and incorporate them into your metadata, title, and content.
Being on top of SEO can help your content rank in search engines and bring organic traffic.
- Use Amazon’s Advertising Tools.
Amazon has simple marketing and advertising tools for its affiliates. You can utilize these tools without any advanced knowledge of the web.
- Track Your Performance.
Amazon also lets you track your performance on their dashboard. You can see your conversion rates and best-performing content.
Use the data to find which strategies work and what needs changing.
How To Leverage Audible Creator Program
Do you have a podcast channel? The Audible Creator Program is for you.
Like the Associates Program, you also get a customized URL. However, an Audible affiliate link takes your listeners directly to the free trial landing page.
Another difference is Audible directly oversees this program. It’s also applicable only for a 30-day free trial of Audible.
The Audible affiliate program participants can earn:
- $15 for every successful sign-up through the custom affiliate link.
- Monthly payment through direct deposit (with a minimum $30 threshold)
The audience also gets benefits by signing up through your link, such as:
- 30-day free trial membership
- A free audiobook
How To Join the Audible Affiliate Program
- Visit the Audible Creator Program page.
- Select the Click here to sign up link.
- On the next page, fill out the form with your personal and company information.
- Review the Program Terms.
- Click Sign Up.
Although the page only mentions podcasters, social media influencers and anyone with an active website can join.
Tips and Strategies To Increase Your Affiliate Earnings
- Consider Your Niche.
When promoting audiobooks, choose titles that align with your content and branding. This makes your recommendations feel more organic and less salesy.
What does your audience want?
Tailor your promotions to genres, themes, or authors that resonate with your audience.
- Highlight the Benefits.
Why should your audience sign up on Audible?
Highlight the platform’s benefits, like its extensive library and convenience. You can also feature the 30-day free trial plus a complimentary audiobook when they sign up through your link.
- Use Storytelling Techniques.
To make your Audible promotions sound less like a commercial, incorporate them organically into your content.
Share your honest thoughts and personal experiences. Discuss relevant topics and craft authentic dialogues to earn your audience’s trust.
- Leverage Social Media Sites.
Use your platform’s social media pages to share captivating visuals, quotes, or videos to generate interest in audiobooks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can You Make Money on Audible?
Yes, and there are a lot of people already using Audible to make money. Content creators, such as authors, publish their work on the platform. Affiliates can earn commission by recommending Audible.
Is Audible Legit To Make Money?
Yes, Audible is a legitimate platform, but it’s not a money-making machine. It simply provides some opportunities for affiliates, narrators, and content creators to earn income.
Does Audible Pay Well?
Your earnings depend on several factors, mostly on the method you choose. If you’re an author, your income depends on your audiobook’s popularity, sales volume, and royalties.
Experienced narrators can have higher earnings. Popular affiliates and podcasters may also earn more on the platform.
How Do I Get Paid on Audible?
If you’re an author, you must submit your tax information. Audible sends your monthly earnings via direct bank deposit or check with a statement of royalties. However, you must meet a minimum $50 payment threshold to receive royalties.
How Do Narrators Earn Money on Audible?
The audiobook rights holder will share the royalties with the narrator, depending on the contract.
Can You Make Passive Income From Audible?
Yes, Audible has some passive income opportunities. Authors can make passive income through future sales and royalties, but they have to work on the book first.
Affiliates can also earn passive income. Once they get their link out, they can receive commissions every time someone clicks their link without their active involvement.
Is It Easy To Make Money on Audible?
Making money on Audible requires effort, quality content, and effective marketing. It can be a competitive space, so I can’t say you can make money from Audible effortlessly. However, the right business model can help you earn a substantial income and build a career on the platform.
How Can I Earn Money Reading Books?
Train your vocal skills and become an audiobook narrator. You can sign up on Audible or through other platforms. You can also market your narration skills independently and directly to authors, publishers, and rights holders.
Can You Get Paid To Listen To Audiobooks?
No, there’s no direct way of earning by solely listening to audiobooks. However, you can monetize your passion for audiobooks by offering narration services or becoming an affiliate.
You can also get those creative juices flowing and publish your own audiobooks.
Can Anyone Make an Audiobook?
Yes, anyone can try creating their own audiobook. However, it requires certain skills and creativity.
At the least, you can craft a story in your mind or decide on a topic then outsource the rest to other professionals, like ghostwriters, editors, and professional narrators.
Can I Make an Audiobook of Someone Else’s Book?
Yes but with their permission. Creating an audio version of a book without the author’s knowledge infringes on their copyright. You must obtain authorization first and agree on a licensing agreement.
Do I Need Experience To Be a Narrator?
No, anyone can start their narration career at ACX and other platforms. However, it’s certainly beneficial to have prior experience and knowledge of the skills required. Consider attending classes to hone your vocal skills and build your portfolio.
The Bottom Line
If you want to make money online, Audible is an excellent avenue.
Hopefully, my article has given you a clearer picture of the different ways to earn extra income or jumpstart your audiobook career.
Don’t be afraid to start your journey. Make money on Audible today.
You can also learn how to earn passive income on Amazon to increase your income streams.