When people find out that I'm a freelance audiobook narrator, the question that usually follows is, “How much do you make doing that?”
In this post, I'm going to show you how much I made as a brand new audiobook narrator with no experience because I think that information is helpful (and interesting) to people who are just getting started.
Disclaimer: These are my personal earnings. I can't promise or guarantee that you will earn the same amount. Your results will vary and depend on a variety of factors including but not limited to your background, experience, and work ethic.
Before I dive into the numbers, let me tell you a little more about how audiobook narrators get paid.
There are two main types of audiobooks “deals,”
Royalty share, and
Flat rate or “PFH.”
Flat rate payments are pretty self-explanatory, so let's cover royalty share deals first.
Since I get all of my royalty share book projects through ACX, I’m entitled to 50% of whatever the author gets as his or her royalty.
For example, if the author makes $8 on every audiobook sale, I would get $4 each time one of their books is sold.
This is a great deal if the book is selling well.
For example, if my share is $4 per book and the book sells 200 copies in a month, that one book would make me $800 per month or, roughly $9600 each year.
If I narrated 12 books per year (or one per month) at this rate, my annual royalties would hit an average of $115,200. And that’s all passive income.
To be clear, this is a hypothetical scenario but it's not unattainable.
Not every book that you record will sell that well.
I go into the factors that you should consider when choosing royalty share books to find the ones that are likely to pay the most in my Audiobook Narration Quickstart course (it’s free!)
Now let’s talk about flat rate or “PFH” audiobook deals.
A “PFH” deal is one where you get paid "X" number of dollars for every hour of audio that you record.
For example, if your rate is $100 per hour (PFH) and the book ends up being 10 hours of audio, you would get paid $1000 for the book.
But you might be thinking, “That sounds pretty good, but what are my chances of getting flat rate books deals that pay this much as a new narrator?”
How much can you expect to make as a beginner?
Here’s a screen shot of one of my very first flat rate (PFH) book offers.
I got this offer in the first week that I started auditioning on ACX.
This book is 71,000 words which works out to about 7 hours of audio.
The author was offering $80 per finished hour of audio or $610 for the completed audiobook.
This is a pretty average deal that most new narrators should be able to get if they're auditioning regularly.
The next question I usually get is, “Do I need special training and expensive equipment to get offers like this?”
In my experience you don't need to spend a lot on equipment or have any prior experience to get started (however taking classes and/or working with a vocal coach is advised if you want to improve your skills over time.)
I had NO formal voice over or acting training, so if you have a background in either of those areas you already have a leg up.
I got started in audiobook narration because I love books and thought it would be an enjoyable way to earn additional income.
I started out with a basic computer and an inexpensive microphone that I bought on Amazon.
Once I started to see the opportunities that existed in the audiobook industry and had decided that this was something that I wanted to pursue longterm, I invested in a Rode Nt-1A microphone which makes my audio sound really crisp and clear.
Audiobooks are now the fastest growing form of media in the world. Last year more audiobooks were downloaded than ebooks. Authors are racing to get their books into Audible as fast as they can to take advantage of the growing market.
Right now there are more than 2500 titles on ACX alone that are looking for a narrator ASAP!
If you would like to learn how to start recording audiobooks from home for ACX check out my free Audiobook Narration Quickstart course.
During the free course you’ll learn how to set up a narrator profile, create audio samples using free software, find books that are the best fit for your voice, learn how the audition process works, and the steps you’ll need to take to get listed on Audible.
Are you ready to get started?