Make Extra Money From Home Recording Audiobooks

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In this post I am going to show you how you can earn an extra $1000 a month recording audiobooks from home in your spare time.

Now, I realize that $1000 a month isn't “quit-your-day-job” money (even though narrating audiobooks did help me make the leap), but having an in-demand skill that allows you to earn extra income whenever you want can have a major impact on the quality of your life. 

Just think - with and extra $1K you could: 

  • get a new car
  • take a vacation
  • pay down debt faster
  • grow your savings 
  • fund your own side business
  • or, if you’re self-employed life me, you can use that extra $1K to grow your business.

 

How to get started recording audiobooks

A few years ago I had a major health crisis that involved multiple surgeries, countless doctor appointments, and a radiation treatment that forced me into isolation for over a  week. This meant I was working less at my 9 to 5 (and earning less) but I had major medical bills coming in everyday.

I desperately needed to find a way to earn extra income from home to make up the difference. That’s when I discovered ACX.com and started narrating audiobooks. I didn't have any experience with voice acting or editing audio. But I did have an old laptop and an inexpensive microphone and, as it turns out, that's really all I needed to get started. 

 

What is ACX?

ACX is an Amazon company. It’s basically the audiobook equivalent of the Kindle self-publishing platform. Authors and publishers post book titles that they want to turn into audiobooks and freelance narrators audition for narration jobs through the site.

If you want step-by-step guidance on setting up your narrator profile on ACX and auditioning for audiobooks, check out my free 5-Day Audiobook Audition Challenge here. This is a fun, free workshop that I created to help you get set up and started quickly!

When audiobook files are submitted through ACX they are sold in places like Audible, iTunes, and Amazon (these are the most popular sites for purchasing audiobooks.) ACX handles all of the sales tracking, royalty payments, and makes sure that you get paid by authors and publishers for the work that you do.

 

How to make $1000 a month

Right now, on ACX there are more than 2,600 books that are actively looking for an audiobook narrator. And more titles are added every single day.

When you get to ACX, you’ll quickly find that there are two different ways that narrators get paid for their work.

1. The first way is a “royalty share” where you spilt all audiobook sales 50-50 (this is a great way to build a passive income stream by the way.)

2. The second way is through PFH or "pay-per-finished-hour" arrangements where you get paid a flat rate based on how long the book is.

The average “per hour” rate is between $50 and $300 per hour.

Let’s do some math --

The average length of an audiobook is somewhere around 4-6 hours. Some are much short than that, and some are much longer.

If you recorded two 5 hour long books at a flat rate of $100 “per finished hour” each month, you’d hit $1000.

And if you start combining flat rate books with royalty share book deals, that’s when things start to get really interesting. This strategy allows you to continue earning income upfront with flat rate projects while building a source of passive income with book royalties. Pretty cool, right? 

 

Bonus: ACX Bounty Program

When you take on royalty share projects through ACX, you also benefit from their $50 Bounty Program.

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This means that you and the author get an extra $50 to split (you get $25) whenever a book that you recorded is the first purchase of a new Audible subscriber. That's in addition to your regular royalty payment! 

If either you or the author are promoting your audiobooks to an email list or via social media, these bounties can really add up! 

 

Do I have to spend a lot on audio equipment? 

No! I got started with an inexpensive microphone with a pop filter,  and I used the free program Audacity to record and edit my audio (Audacity works with every type of computer or laptop.) 

My total startup cost was a little over $50 and I made 12 times that much with one full length PFH book that I auditioned for on ACX. 

Once I knew that this was something that I wanted to do longterm, I did upgrade to this microphone, which gave me slightly better sound quality and allowed me to get even better paying projects. But I didn't even think about investing more in higher quality audio equipment until I had completed around twenty books and knew for sure that this was something that I wanted to do long term. 

Want to learn even more about creating audiobooks?

If you’d like to learn how to break into this growing industry, I’d love to help you get started. I went ahead and put together a free course that covers all the basics of audiobook recording. Click the button below to enroll.