How to Make Money on Audible

Audible is an audio storytelling service featuring audiobooks and podcasts founded in 1995. Amazon acquired Audible in 2008, and today, it has a global reach in over 180 countries and in 47 languages.

With hundreds of thousands of titles in the platform’s catalog, it’s no wonder listeners turn to Audible. But can you make money on Audible?

If you want to expand your income stream through a side gig, social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram often come to mind. But there is profit potential with Audible. The key is to focus on two areas — content creation and affiliate marketing.

How to make money on Audible with content creation

You can create audiobooks on Audible, narrate someone else’s book or apply for an influx of cash to produce a podcast through Audible’s development program.

Narrate audiobooks

Audiobook Creation Exchange, also known as ACX, is Audible’s marketplace for connecting people involved in the creation of audio storytelling — think authors, agents, publishers, narrators and producers.

The platform can help you link up to authors who are seeking a narrator for their books. Contracts can be structured in a few different ways:

  • Pay-for-production deal: you’ll receive a flat fee based on your narration services.

  • Royalty share deal: you’ll receive a royalty for each sale of an audiobook you narrated.

  • Royalty share plus deal: you’ll receive a flat fee upfront for services performed plus a royalty on each sale.

Depending on the distribution rights, narrators can earn up to 40% in royalties.

Create your own audiobook

While narrating someone else’s audiobook can earn you a fee upfront and/or royalties over time, you also have the option to create and produce an audiobook through ACX.

This method will likely work better if you already have a built-in audience, such as through blogging or social media followers. If you don’t, there are still opportunities to earn but you may have to get creative.

For example, say you are a decluttering wizard employed as a professional organizer. You create your audiobook on how to declutter a home in seven easy steps.

Even if you don’t yet have a social media audience, you can still visit topic-specific groups on social media platforms to promote your audiobook. For instance, the group Decluttering & Organizing Tips & Tricks on Facebook has almost 150,000 members and averages 10 new posts a day. That’s a good number of people already interested in the topic to share the link to your audiobook.

Not only do you earn royalties from the sales of your book from those who clicked through and purchased it, but you also can earn up to $75 through the Bounty Referral Program for each new member you bring to Audible.

Audible Podcast Development Program

Have an idea for a podcast? The Audible Podcast Development Program grants a $10,000 commission fee to bring a podcast idea to life. This includes production costs, guidance on scripts and production, and access to high-quality equipment and resources.

At the time of this writing, the submission window had closed but check Audible’s website frequently to get updates on when the next call for entries will take place.

How to make money on Audible with affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is when you promote someone else’s product in exchange for a commission each time you net a sale. Audible provides two affiliate programs, Amazon Associates Program and the Creator Program.

Amazon Associates Program

The Amazon Associates Program has been around for 18 years and allows you to advertise and promote products through Amazon. In 2015, the program expanded to include the option for earning advertising fees for referring Audible purchases.

The program encompasses more than advertising audiobooks, though. The wide net of commissions creates profitable opportunities if strategically applied. For instance, let’s say you’re a travel blogger. You can use the Amazon Associates Program to advertise luggage, carry-on essentials and travel toiletries — in addition to the latest travel audiobooks — and earn a commission on each referred sale.

For Audible, the following fee structure is available for each type of purchase you refer through Amazon Associates:

  • Audible Gold digital membership: $10.

  • Audible free trial digital membership: $5.

  • Audible audiobook purchase: 50 cents.

Creator Program

The Audible Creator Program is similar to the Amazon Associates Program, but is specific to Audible and used by podcasters. The program gives you $15 for every free trial membership you successfully secure.

The idea is that you promote the 30-day free trial of Audible to your podcast audience. When someone you refer follows your link and signs up for the free trial, you earn a $15 commission. You get paid monthly for commissions, as long as you reach a $30 payout threshold.

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Other ways to make money online

If creating and marketing audiobooks isn’t your thing, there are other ways to build a side hustle online. Consider: