Audiobooks are voice-recorded audio files that you can listen to while on-the-go. It is becoming more popular than ebooks because of today’s fast-paced lives. In fact, audiobooks are the fastest growing segment of publishing and estimated to be a $3.5 billion industry (as of December 2016).
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If you’re an eBook author or planning to be one, do you know that turning an eBook into an audiobook can bring in more cash? Many people are doing it; some even go straight to audiobook format without writing an eBook first. And here’s why audiobooks can be lucrative:
The ebook industry is packed with authors from all corners of the world. And tons of new authors are releasing ebooks on a daily basis. Because audiobooks require a bit of technical skill, money for software, and someone to narrate for you (if you don’t have that smooth, pleasing-to-the-ears voice), authors prefer ebooks instead (since it only requires a word-processing program and that’s it).
New generations of learners
Millennials are a tech-savvy generation, which means they take advantage of every possible technology that could make their lives easier. This extends to learning new things because audiobooks give them an easy access to knowledge.
Libraries make them available
With partnerships from Overdrive and other technology and publishing companies, libraries are making audiobooks readily available to the masses.
The cool thing about growing sub-niches like audiobooks is that new service providers pop up as well. For example, a company like Archangel Ink can produce an audiobook for you for about $25 for every 1,000 recorded words. Audiobook narrator freelancers are also available on Fiverr and other micro job sites with the possibility of splitting royalty fees as payment.
How Much Money can an Author Make with Audiobooks?
Sales of audiobooks are much lower than ebook prices. Those who have been in the ebook- and audiobook-selling business report that their audiobook sales are about 10% to 20% of their ebook sales. So if you’re bringing in $1,500 a month in ebook sales, you could expect to make an extra $150 to $300 in audiobook sales.
Of course, the amount would vary significantly due to various factors, such as following of the author’s blog, how popular the audiobooks’ topic is, and if the author already had success with other audiobooks (such as an installment of an audiobook series).
If you’re an Audible affiliate and you have a massive subscriber’s list, you can earn more by inviting your followers to listen to your audiobook without charge. They simply have to sign-up for a free 30-day Audible trial, listen to your book and you earn $10 for every listener. If one of them converts into a paid Audible member, you’ll receive $25 instead of $10.
5 Things to Consider Before You Dive In
Because of the nature of audiobooks, not every ebook can be converted into audio versions successfully. Books that rely on visuals, such as recipe cookbooks, many not sell as much as fiction. If you’re still on the ebook writing stage, various genres have been success over the years, and you could take a slice of the pie there. These include action or adventure, fantasy, fiction, How-To’s, and reviews, among others.
2. Book Length
The length of an ebook is one of the determining factors most authors face when deciding audiobook production, since the longer your book, the longer narration it would require, and the higher investment you’d need.
3. Investment Costs
In general, a 50,000-word ebook can be converted into a 40-hour audiobook. If you’re confident about your speaking voice, all you need is software to record your voice and a quality microphone. If you don’t have a decent speaking voice and would rather hire someone to narrate the ebook for you, such a service would cost per hour or per page. Special requests, such as British accent or female voice, may also affect the cost of narration.
4. Audiobook Pricing
Ebooks rely on agency pricing, which means authors have no say in offering discounts or promotions. The best thing about audiobooks is that authors have flexibility when it comes to pricing their products, so they could give huge discounts to bring in customers, or price it high when demand increases.
5. Growth Limitations
The problem with audiobooks is that review websites that focus on audiobooks are only a handful. Ebook review sites are plenty and helps drive sales to ebooks and even the ebook platform it is hosted.
The Bottom Line
Now that you are introduced to the world of audiobooks, it’s up to you to add another passive income to your portfolio. You may just earn as little as $5 per audiobook, but if you sold one a day, that’s about an extra $150/month or $1,800/year.