When considering a new side hustle, Audible - best friend of the hot-girl-walkers and bored commuters alike - is probably not the first thing that springs into to your mind.
But while many people just use Audible as God intended, for listening to audiobooks, there are plenty of opportunities to make money on the platform.
This is because of the demand for audiobook content. Audible, which is owned by Amazon, is at the forefront of the audiobook market as the largest provider of audiobooks in the world.
In this article, we’re gonna take a look at some of the ways you can earn money on Audible, whether you're an author, a narrator, or an entrepreneur looking to tap into the audiobook market. Plus hacks for maximizing your earnings on Audible.
There are 4 main ways to make money on audible:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Creating Audiobooks
- Selling other Audible products and services
Let’s jump in.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Even if you don’t know affiliate marketing, if you listen to podcasts or audiobooks, you know affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when your fave podcaster gives you a discount link to a product - examples engrained in our subconscious include Hello Fresh and SquareSpace.
We talk more about affiliate marketing in our blog on making money with social media. But in a nutshell, if you have a following on social media, this technique involves promoting Audible to your audience and earning a commission for any sales that are made through your unique referral link.
To get started with Audible's affiliate program, you'll need to sign up for an account with Amazon Associates, which is Amazon's affiliate marketing program. Once you're signed up, you can then apply to join Audible's affiliate program specifically.
As an Audible affiliate, you'll be provided with a whole range of marketing materials and tools to promote Audible's products, including banners, text links, and customizable widgets. You can use these tools to promote Audible's audiobooks and membership plans to your audience, whether that's through your blog, social media channels, email list, or whatever other platform you kids are using these days.
When someone clicks on your referral link and makes a purchase on Audible, you'll earn a commission on that sale. The commission rate varies depending on the type of product or service being sold, but can range from 4% to 10%.
To maximize your earnings as an Audible affiliate, it's important to focus on promoting products and services that are relevant to your audience and that you genuinely believe in. Like, don’t promote Audible if the thought of listening to an audiobook makes you inwardly scream. On the other hand, if audible helped you unlock your inner bookworm, you’re in the perfect place to get started.
2. Create Audiobooks
Are you an expert in the field on some niche, from gut health to sustainable living? Do you have a creative flair for fiction? Are you neither of those things, but you have some extra cash to put into a project? This one’s for you.
Through Audible’s self-publishing platform, Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), you simply have to make an account, upload your audiobook and start making money with every sale made. The books appear on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, and they typically sell for $15 to $25.
The process of creating an audiobook can look different depending on how much time and money you have, and what your specific skills are…
To create an audiobook, you'll first need to write your content. If this isn't your strong suit, and you're struggling to write your own book or don't have the time to do so, hiring a ghostwriter can be a viable option - if you have the cash. A ghostwriter can work with you to develop your book's concept, structure, and content, allowing you to focus on promoting and selling your audiobook on Audible.
Next, you’ll need to record your content. If you’re long on time and short on money, it might be cheaper to record it yourself, given that narrator’s rate can range from $80-$480 an hour.
This can be done using a variety of tools, including audio recording software and professional-grade microphones.
Once you've recorded your content, you'll then need to edit it. At this point, you could invest in professional editing and production services if you’re not confident in your own editing abilities.
Once your audiobook is complete, you can upload it to Audible's platform and set your own price for it. Audible will take a percentage of the sales, but you'll earn a royalty for each sale that’s made. The royalty rate varies depending on the price of the audiobook and the type of distribution agreement you have with Audible.
Here are a couple other ways you can save money and maximize your profits:
Improve your audiobooks visibility by adding profitable keywords in your book's title, subtitle, and description. By doing keyword research and incorporating relevant terms into your book's metadata, you can improve its searchability and attract more potential readers. All you need to do is find keywords that are trending and related to your subject, and weave them in.
Enhance your audiobook's visual appeal by creating a beautiful book cover. Maybe you have the graphic design skills yourself. Maybe you have some extra cash to splash on a professionally designed cover. Because we are simple creatures who like pretty things, a cover that accurately reflects your book's content and vibe can attract potential readers in a way a bog-standard one won’t.
3. Sell Audible Products and Services
Don’t have the time, resources, the cheek, the nerve, the gall, the audacity and the gumption to sell your own product? (Sorry, that was a rogue Ru Paul reference there.) Help Audible sell its products!
For example, you might sell audio versions of books, eBooks, courses, or any other services Audible offers. With this option, all you have to do is create your own account, record the product in your own sultry voice, and upload it to the platform. You’ll then receive a commission for each sale made.
Also, it doesn’t have to be in a sultry voice. Sorry.
4. Become a Narrator
Speaking of sultry voices, if you’ve ever caught a cold and thought to yourself “damn, I sound incredibly attractive right now,” this one’s for you.
If you have a love for storytelling and a passion for reading, narrating is a viable option for making money with audible. A characterful voice does help, too.
As an Audible narrator, your job is to bring books to life for listeners through your voice and interpretation of the text. Because of the amount of content being added to Audible, hundreds of authors are looking for narrators for their audiobooks at any given time.
You can use a platform like ACX to audition for audiobook projects. Once you’ve created a profile and uploaded samples of your voice, you can start searching for the kind of books you’d love to work on.
To get started, you'll need to have a professional-grade recording setup - a quality microphone and recording software. You'll also need to have a strong reading voice. The ability to perform different character voices and accents is an added bonus.
There are three ways to get paid narrator:
- Hourly/ PFH (per-finished-hour), with a flat rate you set for yourself
- With royalty shares, where you split royalties with the author or rights holder
- With a Royalty Share Plus arrangement, which combines PFH and a royalty share
An important point: to make money for audiobook narration, you need to play the long game for a bit. When you start out, you won’t generate much in terms of royalties. The second option is to set an hourly rate, which again won’t be super high, but once you build a portfolio, you can start increasing your rate.
There’s one more thing…
Use Cleo to help up your money game
If you’re looking to make money on social media, are interested in starting out in the influencer game, or are someone who… uses money… you’re gonna need a budget. And that’s not in the notes app on your phone. And definitely not just in your head.
With Cleo’s free budgeting feature, you get:
💙A personalized budget designed for you
💙 Visuals showing you how much you have to spend per day
💙 Roast mode, for any late night, unhinged Amazon purchases
Enjoy this post? Give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference. Big love. Cleo 💙