How To Make Money on Audible

With more than 180,000 titles, Audible is the largest and fastest-growing online audiobook supplier. However, few people realize it's also a great tool for earning money!

If you're wondering how to make money on Audible, here are a few different ways to generate income as an author, content creator, or affiliate marketer.

What Is Audible

Audible is Amazon's platform for audiobooks. You can download thousands of titles and listen to them on phones, laptops, tablets, and more.

You'll need an Amazon account, but it doesn't have to be Prime; a regular account will do. An app is available for mobile users.

As for payment, you can make one-time, full-price purchases of your desired audiobooks or sign up for one of Audible's renewable subscription services. There are several options to choose from, including monthly and annual memberships, and a subscription will give you access to members-only discounts and other perks.

You can also make money through Audible. If you've ever wondered how to get paid to read audiobooks, this is your chance to find out!

Four Ways To Earn Money on Audible

You may be a freelancer looking for extra cash or a writer interested in branching out to audiobooks while planning your next novel. It's a venture worth considering for authors, affiliate marketers, and entrepreneurs.

Create an Audiobook

Creating an audiobook is the most straightforward way to earn money on Audible. Amazon even has its own self-publishing platform called the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), which will walk you through the process step by step.

The first thing to decide is whether you want to narrate your manuscript or have a professional do it. Here are four factors to consider before recording an audiobook:

  • Skill: Do you have a good reading voice? Can you narrate your book with a pleasant accent and use the right inflections? Do you have the stamina to read out loud for hours on end?
  • Equipment: Unfortunately, your iPhone isn't going to cut it. You'll need professional-level recording equipment to make an audiobook. Think microphones, pop filters, shock mounts, recording software, and soundproofing materials for your office.
  • Technological requirements: The ACX has submission guidelines for its audiobooks. These include everything from decibel and file type restrictions to the amount of distortion allowed in recordings.
  • Price: You'll need to pay a professional narrator, but it might be worth the cost compared to investing your own time, labor, and equipment.

Once you've recorded your audiobook, the next step will be uploading it. Fortunately, ACX makes it easy: It'll take you through the process screen by screen, letting you choose distribution deals, upload cover art, and advertise using your chosen keywords.

Remember that you'll still need to publish your book's print or digital edition before creating an audiobook version. ACX's automated process will ask you to “claim” a title, which must already exist in Amazon's database.

Another thing to take note of is Audible's distribution deals. You'll be prompted to pick exclusive or non-exclusive distribution for your audiobook, which will impact your earnings. Here are the differences between the two:

  • Exclusive distribution: Audible can sell your audiobook through Audible, iTunes, and Amazon, but you can't sell it anywhere else. This will earn you a 40 percent commission on the royalties.
  • Non-exclusive distribution: You can sell your audiobook on not only Audible, iTunes, and Amazon, but on other platforms too (for example, Google Play). This will earn you a 20 percent commission on the royalties.

There's no charge for using ACX as a service. However, you'll need to pay narrator fees if you go the professional route, and Audible will claim a percentage of your royalties.

Additionally, you can't set the price of your audiobook: Audible generates it automatically with an algorithm based on runtime. Longer books cost more.

Be an Audiobook Narrator

To make money through Audible, you don't have to be a fiction or non-fiction author. Instead, you can narrate works from authors.

You'll start by creating a “narrator profile” on the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), Audible's audiobook self-publishing platform.

It's free, and your profile functions as your resume for authors looking to hire. You can outline your work history, upload samples, and demos, and submit audition audio files for various projects.

As for how to make money on Audible, there are three ways that you can get paid as a professional narrator:

  • Per-Finished-Hour (PFH): This is a flat rate fee based on the total runtime of the audiobook. For example, if you charge $100 PFH for an audiobook that winds up being nine hours long, your fee will be $900 at the end. Remember that recording, cleaning, editing, and preparing your sound files for distribution usually takes two or three times as long as the official runtime.
  • Royalty Share: Royalty Share is an option that lets authors pay little to no PFH costs in exchange for giving their narrator a percentage of the book's royalties for a certain length of time. Royalties can come from Audible, iTunes, and Amazon sales.
  • Royalty Share Plus: Royalty Share Plus is a hybrid of the two methods above. Authors pay a reduced PFH rate while also offering a lower percentage of royalties. It can be a good option for writers and narrators who want to compromise on the “pay now, pay later” format.

You can expect to make anywhere from $50 – $250 PFH, depending on your skills and experience. You're allowed to set your price, but you'll need to stay competitive while also figuring out what generates a profit for you. The more experience you have, the higher rates you can set.

In their Royalty Share and Royalty Share Plus programs, Audible offers a 20%-40% cut of the royalties; this figure is split equally between the author and the narrator.

The percentage depends on whether the author has chosen exclusive or non-exclusive distribution rights through Amazon and its affiliates. Giving them exclusive rights means more royalties.

Over time, you can email Audible and ask to be vetted as an Audible Approved Producer, which will distinguish you from the amateurs and give you greater visibility among authors looking to hire.

Ultimately, if you're wondering how to get paid to narrate audiobooks, ACX can be a great place to start. It's open to everyone, including those without prior experience, and it'll let you learn and refine your skills as you make money.

You can also decide whether you're more interested in fixed upfront fees or potentially bigger royalty payments.

Become an Audible Affiliate Marketer

You might be asking yourself, “how does Audible make money?” In addition to selling distribution deals and taking a chunk out of royalties, they also utilize affiliate marketing.

Businesses use affiliate marketing for product or service awareness. An affiliate is a person or website that promotes them, and in exchange, the company offers a commission for every click, sale, or sign-up they receive.

Audible's affiliate program works through referrals. In other words, you refer new people to Audible with a unique promotional link, and if they sign up, you get a commission.

It's called the Audible Creator Program, and it offers $15 per referral along with a free ebook for each new customer.

To get started with the Audible Affiliate Program, you'll need to sign up, generate promotional links, and share them with others. Here are just a few ideas for spreading the word:

  • Post them on social media like Facebook and YouTube
  • Add them to your blog via links or banner advertisements
  • Share them with friends, family, and colleagues
  • Advertise them on podcasts and other promotional platforms

Affiliate marketing is just one way to make money from your writing. It can be lucrative if you reach a broad audience and generate many commissions. Even if it doesn't make you rich, it can bolster your book sales and supplement your royalties with another potentially steadier source of income.

Sell Audible Products/Services

Consider a more promotional role if you're wondering how to make money from Amazon Audible without being a narrator. You can sell Audible products and services and earn a commission through their Amazon Associates Program.

The Amazon Associates Program allows you to earn money for every sale generated or every trial completed through your special promotional links. It's a bit like their affiliate program, but there are several ways that you can earn, and they each have their payouts.

For example, someone signing up for a free 30-day trial will net you $5. If a website visitor signs up for a paid, premium Audible membership plan, you get $10.

Another way to make money is through a la carte (ALC) sales. These are small, independent sales where someone purchases a book from Audible without having an Audible membership. They're only worth $0.50 each, but they can add up over time.

The Amazon Associates Program can be an excellent choice for people who want to make money through Audible without actually being Audible content creators themselves.

You don't have to write any ebooks or narrate any audiobooks. You just spread the word about Audible through whatever networks, forums, or fanbases you already have, reaping the benefits of a commission-based service powered by your social circles.

Making Money on Audible

That's right Audible fans – it's possible to generate a passive income stream on the very same platform where you spend it. You'll have several options as both a creator and a non-creator. Remember: no previous experience is required.

If you've been wondering how to make money on Audible, you can sign up today and start bringing in cash as an author, narrator, affiliate marketer, and more.

This article was produced by Wealth of Geeks.


Bobby Kania is a full-time blogger with multiple blogs spanning topics in education, music, and advice. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife and cat. Learn more at Capitalize My Title.