$2,500/Month Passive Income From Audiobooks [Beginner Guide]

Audiobooks represent an excellent passive income opportunity, and the market is exploding  Even if though may take a couple hours to produce a high-quality audiobook, the profit it can provide in the long term is worth the initial time investment.

How do you become an audiobook narrator? If you love to read, have a talent or passion for reading out loud, it is fairly easy to become an audiobook narrator. Once you have the necessary gear to get started, you can offer your talent on platforms like Fiverr and get new clients fairly quickly.

This guide for beginners provides tips on how to get started narrating books for others, or for yourself. You will learn how to get started and get a couple pro tips to help you produce quality content for your clients.

The Audiobooks Market is Exploding

The growth of the audiobook market is exploding. According to the Audio Publishers Association, a new survey supported by data from The Infinite Dial 2019 shows that 50% of Americans age 12 and older have listened to an audiobook. 55% of all audiobook listeners are under the age of 45 and over half (55%) of audiobook listeners have also listened to a podcast in the last month.

Audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular, as more and more people spend less and less time actually reading. Many people prefer listening to an audiobook on the go instead of reading an eBook on a Kindle. Although most listen in their car (74%), others like to listen while doing less cognitively demanding tasks (ex. cleaning).

Passive-income-large

According to the APA survey, 74% of audiobook consumers listen in their car, up from 69% last year.

Audio Publishers Association
There definitely is an opportunity to make (eventually) passive income as an audiobook narrator. But you may be wondering what options you have to get paid in this industry.

How Do Audiobook Narrators Get Paid?

You can get paid to narrate other people’s books, or your own. Payment options differ depending on whose books you are narrating.

Narrating Other People’s Books

There are a couple ways you can get paid as a freelance audiobook narrator. You could you get paid a flat rate or hourly to narrate other people’s books. You could also make money through royalty shares.

“If the title is 10 hours long, you get paid an hourly rate based on the finished hours. I believe starting salary is approximately $100 per finished hour for newcomers, and can go up to anywhere in the neighborhood of $500 for the cream. This would not include celebrity reads.”

Renee Raudman for Business Insider
As a beginner, you will probably get paid a flat or hourly rate. You will have to prove yourself as an experienced audiobook narrator to be able to receive royalty shares. That is the most passive form of income in this industry, and probably the most interesting option for our readers.

Narrating Your Own eBooks

If you are starting out and want to go towards making passive income right away, you can take on the option of narrating your own content. You can potentially make more money because the sales go directly to you and are recurring.

On the other hand, building your own audiobook from scratch takes time. You need to be prepared to possibly not make any sales in the first few months, especially if you don’t yet have a website or an audience. However, using platforms like ACX or Kindle Publishing, you can sell your audiobooks directly to users who are looking for content.

Some are making over 2,500$/month on ACX alone.

Making Passive Income from Audiobooks for Beginners [Guide]

Below is a list of actionable tips to get started on this amazing adventure of earning passive income with audiobooks. There are always two options available to you: narrating for someone else, or narrating your own books. We will cover both options.

Choose a Niche You are Passionate About

If you are passionate about entrepreneurship, fiction books or biographies, then you should probably narrate books in the areas you are most interested in. If you are narrating your own books, it will be easy! You already wrote about something you are interested in. However, if you narrate for someone else, you may not be able to choose the niche.

When Narrating for Others

One of the best ways for a beginner to get started is by narrating for someone else. However, you probably won’t be able to choose the topic in this case. You will be provided content to narrate by your client.

We will explain how to create a Fiverr profile to start narrating for others later on in this article. When you are starting out you probably shouldn’t reduce your client base by stating that you don’t narrate fiction books for example. But once you gain experience, you can definitely specify which topics you prefer. This will help improve the quality of your leads, and work.

When Narrating Your Own Books

If you have already written a book, have a website with a lot of content, or already have a large audience, you can easily create your own eBook and also transform it into an audiobook. For those with a website or a large audience, try to see how you can provide your audience with premium value and turn it into an eBook (here is a guide on our site on how to create an eBook).

However, if you do not have an audience or website, and are still looking for a profitable niche, you could do the following:

  1. Go to Amazon.com, select a topic and then search for books in that niche: “[niche name] book”. At the top of the screen, you’ll see the total number of search results. More than 10,00 means that this is a highly competitive niche. Look at the best seller rank of the items on the front page. As you can notice, the lower the rank, the more they sell.
  2. Look for a niche with few results in Audible: Next, try to find books in niches that few people are searching for. Search for these on Audible, not Amazon. If you find zero books on Audible in a certain niche that is very strong on Amazon, this means the potential of this niche is huge. This is an indicator of an opportunity you can capitalize on.
Make sure, of course, that this is a niche you are interested in. You could also follow the information in this guide to learn more about niche sites, how to build and monetize them.

Finding the Right Platform For Your Needs

The platform you will use to narrate your own books is very different from the platform you would use to start narrating for others. Here are some places you can start in both cases.

When Narrating for Others

Fiverr.com (learn more on our site here) is an excellent place for beginners to start narrating for others. All you have to do is sign up to the platform and do the following:

  1. Have a look at your competition: Search for other audiobook narrators on the platform and study the best ones. You will be creating a profile as compelling as theirs (but, of course, don’t copy their content word for word).
  2. Fill out your profile: Make sure you add as much relevant information as possible to your profile, and insist on your strengths. Being a new user, you will have to convince buyers to work with you
  3. Create your offer (or “gig”): Add a compelling title, description, and create packages per number of words if you would like. Enter your pricing. If you speak other languages, put that in the title and description. People are looking for narrators in all languages! Not just English.
  4. Make sure to upload samples! If you upload a video of yourself or sample content, you will have more chances of finding buyers because they will have heard your work.

When Narrating Your Own Books

There are a number of platforms that allow you to upload and sell your own audiobooks. You should study these platforms before joining and decide which one(s) are the best for your needs:

  • ACX
  • Awesound
  • On your own website, direct to consumer, with an Ecwid store

 

Selling though your own website is the most profitable as you do not have to pay any commissions on your sales. You could also upload them to a platform like Awesound that contains a search engine – meaning people will be able to find your books on the platforms they use most. No matter what, you will have to promote your work, either through social media, affiliate marketing or other.

Promoting Your Content

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

When Narrating for Others

When narrating for others, you won’t have to promote their content – you will have to promote your job offer. Your goal will be to build up a portfolio demonstrating your work so potential clients will want to work with you. Keeping your Fiverr profile up to date, and your ratings high, will help you rank higher in Fiverr’s search engine. You could also promote your services on a YouTube channel.

When Narrating Your Own Books

The statistic from the Audio Publishers Association is clear: over half (55%) of audiobook listeners have also listened to a podcast in the last month. Promoting your audiobook via a Podcast is an excellent way to reach potential listeners. But you may not know how to create a Podcast or have the time to do so.

If you are an expert in your domain and have an excellent audiobook to share, instead of starting your own podcast (which you would also have to promote) you could be a guest on other people’s podcasts. This is a great way to build your audience and reach new people.

Narrate Other People's Books - Or Your Own?

You can make quick money by narrating for others – but this is an active side hustle. In that case, you are an audiobook narrator. You would find authors or clients willing to pay you to narrate their content. You would get paid per hour or per project. This is a great place to start as a beginner, especially if you do not have your own content to narrate at this point, or do not have a large audience to sell to. You can offer your narration services on numerous platforms, including Fiverr.

Once you are experienced, then you can move to the next level, which is narrating your own books. This is similar to creating an eBook, but it will be less time consuming as it takes much less time to say 10,000 words than to write them. Selling your audiobooks can be very profitable if they are in demand and if you can sell them direct to consumer from your own website (guide on how to sell digital goods direct to consumer here). To better understand royalties, we recommend this article.

Pro Tips for Beginners Interested In Becoming Audiobook Narrators

  • To improve the quality of your audiobooks, you will probably have to invest in a mic. Check out our recommended gear here.
  • Stand up when you read your audiobook content to open your diaphragm and increase the sound quality
  • Drink a glass of water thirty minutes before starting and avoid coffee that will dry out your mouth, or milk products like cheese that could give you phlegm
  • Make the listening experience interesting, do not have a monotonous voice but do not overdo the intonations either.
  • Make sure to have good posture when reading, keep your shoulders back, breath deeply, and relax

How Passive is Narrating Audio Books?

Making money with audiobooks can become very passive after a few years, especially if you decide to sell your own audiobooks online or narrate for others for a royalty. If you offer your narration services and work as a freelancer and get paid per project or per hour, narrating audiobooks will not be passive. Of course, you could do a combination of both, but in that case you won’t have a 100% passive income source.

Startup Costs

You can embark on this business opportunity for free, even your recent cell phone can record decent sound if you do not want to invest in a mic right away. However, you should eventually invest in a quality mic. Check out our suggestions here.

Scalability

Narrating audiobooks for others is not scalable of course, because it depends on your capacity to produce quality content for a client. However, if you are selling your own audio content and making direct to consumer sales, then you can make a lot of money from marketing your product well. Therefore, selling your own product is more scalable.

Difficulty

Making money with audiobooks is not as hard as it might seem. If you have a great voice and you’ve done this before, it will be super easy for you to earn money from narrating books. Moreover, if you are experienced in a niche that is growing fast, you should have no problems advertising your audiobook and selling it online.

Time

You will need to invest some time in the beginning to build this as a passive income stream. This will especially be the case if you want to create your own audiobooks and advertise them yourself. Expect to invest months to years building your business to make it passive. However, if you do not mind doing it as a side hustle, you can make income from it fairly quickly on Fiverr.

Risk

Narrating audiobooks is one of the less risky ways to make passive income. You do not have to invest a lot of money to get started. You can also start slow and still get an edge over other narrators in the future. This industry is growing super fast, so the need for audiobooks will only continue to increase. One way you can fail is to stop before making your first sale.

Seasonality

Fortunately, this passive business opportunity is available all through the year. You can start it any time suits you. For example, if you are one of the lucky ones who get more than a month a year off from work during summer, you can start it during that time.

ROI (Return On Investment)

Now, in terms of money, expect to make between $10 and $50 an hour in the beginning for narrating for other people depending on your skills. Once you make a name for yourself, you can easily get to make over $200 for just one hour of narrating.

However, if you choose to upload your own audiobook on Audible.com, or on your own website, and if you are in a profitable, expanding niche, after advertising it well enough, you can end boost your passive income to $10k/month.

Related Questions

How much does an audiobook narrator make? Audiobook narrators can expect to make between $10 and $50 an hour in the beginning for narrating for other people depending on their skills. Once established, audiobook narrators can make between $100 and $500 per hour of narrating.

How do I become an audible book reader? Before you become an audible book reader, it’s important to decide if you would like to narrate other people’s books, or your own. If you would like to narrate books or content for others, you can get started on Fiverr. If you would like to narrate your own books, you can get started on ACX.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this Website and the resources available for download through this website are for educational and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, professional advice. Results mentioned are not guaranteed. Starting a business or an online business always involves risk and demands a lot of time. The success of your (internet) business depends on your hard work and skill. We do not guarantee any business or income. It is also imperative that you consult a tax and/or legal professional in your area to ensure you comply with local, or nation-wide rules and regulations that pertain to your area before you join a peer-to-peer platform or start a business with the purpose of making money. Consult our Disclaimers page for more information.

Beginners Passive Income

Passive income for beginners. Ideas, guides, motivation, inspiration and everything in between.

Affiliate Disclaimer

Beginnerspassiveincome.com is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to their sites and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. There are no extra costs to you if you sign up to any service through an affiliate link. Please refer to our Disclaimers page for more information.

Content Disclaimer

This blog does not provide legal, financial or tax advice and does not create an attorney-client or client relationship. We are not trained or certified financial advisors, and we are not your financial advisor. For legal, financial or tax advice, please contact a qualified professional in your area.We do not guarantee any business or income. Consult our Disclaimers page for more information.

Try Tidio Chatbots
5 Step Passive Income Blueprint
Our passive income blueprint provides five steps to financial freedom. From learning what passive income is, setting up your passive income goals, choosing your passive income idea, having what it takes to achieve your financial dreams, and then give back.
Outsource The Work
Plan Your Passive Income Success
passive income journal tracking

Plan your success to financial freedom over 24 months. Commit. Organize. Track. Grow. Build and execute your plan to replace your current active income with passive income.

Related Articles

Passive Income

What Does Passive Income Mean?

Passive income is income that is earned without trading time for money on an hourly or per-project basis. Not trading time for money means income is not bound to a fixed rate or a 24h/day limit, thus lifting many limitations of active income. Passive income can, however, require a very large financial and/or time investment to set up. Learn more here.

Read More »
eBooks

How To Make An eBook [Video Guide]

You can easily make an eBook for free. You only need a Google account, a computer, and a stable internet connection and eBook content. Using Google Docs, you can create and format an eBook fairly quickly and easily. Learn more here.

Read More »
Audibooks

Audiobook Narration For Beginners

There are many ways you can improve your narration skills. Some factors that affect narration include your posture, vocal cord exercises, intonation, your interest in the content and what you consume before narrating. With the right posture, healthy diet, and preparation, it is possible to produce high-quality audiobook content. Learn more here.

Read More »
Side Hustles

17 Online Passive Income Side Hustles

There are tons of side hustle ideas you can undertake outside of your normal schedule or day job to earn passive income. Making passive income from a side hustle is not something new. Passive income ideas such as eBooks, eCommerce, podcasts, dropshipping, and stock photography can make for excellent side hustles. Most of these ideas are easy to start even for beginners. Learn more here.

Read More »
Jobs

9 Passive Income Ideas for Illustrators

As an illustrator, you can earn a passive income by sharing a passion via a passive income idea. Some ideas include print-on-demand, blogging, affiliate marketing, chatbots, podcasting or selling eBooks. Your choice depends on your interests and what you would like to share. You can combine ideas to create multiple streams of passive income. Learn more.

Read More »
Jobs

8 Passive Income Ideas for Real Estate Agents

There are numerous passive income-earning opportunities for real estate agents. Some streams include blogging, podcasting, creating niche sites, chatbots, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing, YouTubing and many more. With hard work, dedication, and skill, you can turn your passion into a passive income stream. Learn more here.

Read More »
Chatbots

How to Make Money Selling Chatbots

You can make an excellent income by creating and selling chatbots. One way of monetizing your blog is by selling it to a company/business or offering it to them for free, and earning a commission on sales from it. Many businesses are willing to buy chatbots to automate parts of their sales, support, and marketing processes. Learn more here.

Read More »
Chatbots

9 Ways to Make Money From a Chatbot​

You can make money from chatbots in a variety of ways. You can monetize your chatbot with affiliate marketing, eCommerce, advertising, lead generation, surveys, landing page, and sales funnel processes. You could also sell your chatbot to businesses to reduce customer support overhead. Learn more here!

Read More »
eBooks

How to Sell eBooks on Your Own Website

It is possible for you to create and sell eBooks on your website. eCommerce tools such as Ecwid make it super easy to sell products online. For instance, if you run a niche site on educational content you can create and sell eBooks about your niche topics and earn income through your online store. Learn more here.

Read More »
Jobs

6 Passive Income Streams for Lawyers

There are numerous passive income-earning opportunities for lawyers. So long as you are passionate or knowledgeable in something, you can turn it into a passive income source. Some easy streams you can earn passive income from include blogging, podcasting, creating niche sites, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing and many more. Learn more here.

Read More »
Ideas

10 Ways to Create Multiple Streams of Passive Income

Yes, you can create multiple streams of passive income by combining different passive income ideas. Online, you could combine affiliate marketing, blogging, YouTube, and Ad placement, and monetized chatbots. If you were running passive income businesses (brick and mortar) you could combine a laundromat with an ATM, self-service vending machines and more. Learn more here!

Read More »
Jobs

8 Passive Income Ideas for Massage Therapists

There are numerous passive income-earning opportunities for massage therapists. Some streams include blogging, podcasting, creating niche sites, Chatbots, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing and many more. If you are passionate about massage therapy, you can build a passive income stream to turn it into a passive income source. Learn more here.

Read More »
Passive Income

What are Passive Income Streams?

Passive income streams are sources of income that enable a person to make a regular, sustainable income without having to trade time for money. Although the income you earn is passive, it takes time, money, effort and skill to initially build, and then run a passive income stream to keep it profitable. Learn more here.

Read More »
Ideas

6 Awesome 3D Printing Money Making Ideas

You can make money 3D Printing, even if you are a beginner. Some ways you can make money 3D printing include selling 3D printed objects, leasing your 3D printer, offering 3D printing training, or creating 3D printed models. You do not have to have advanced development or design skills to get started. Learn more here.

Read More »
Jobs

9 Passive Income Ideas for Students

You can earn passive income as a student by dedicating time to building a passive income stream. Some great ideas for students include blogging, building niche sites, selling digital products, charging scooters, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing and more. Learn more here.

Read More »
Jobs

8 Passive Income Ideas for Artists

Artists can make income passively, but not just from their artwork. The growth of technology and especially the internet has brought about many opportunities that artists can use to grow their income streams like blogging, affiliate marketing, print-on-demand services, eCommerce, 3D Printing and more. Learn more here.

Read More »
Jobs

8 Passive Income Streams for Teachers

There are numerous passive income-earning opportunities for teachers. So long as you are passionate or knowledgeable in something, you can turn it into a passive income source. Some passive income streams teachers can build can include blogging, podcasting, creating niche sites, chatbots, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing and many more. Learn more here.

Read More »