The Beginner’s Guide to Selling Audiobooks Online

We are currently experiencing an audiobook boom. Audiobook sales may be on the rise, even though physical book sales are declining.

You can take advantage of the growing popularity of audiobooks and sell them on your website or marketplaces such as Amazon.

This post is a complete beginner’s guide to selling audiobooks online. It will take you step-by-step through the process, from researching the market to recording the audio and preparing it for sales.

We’ll also share with you some powerful online strategies that will help you drive sales for your audiobook.

Why sell audiobooks online

Audiobooks are among the most popular digital products that you can sell on your website. Here’s why:

Market undersaturated. Oversaturated print and ebook markets make it difficult for amateur authors. Audiobooks are still a good choice for authors who want to establish themselves.

Market durability. Audiobooks are gaining in popularity and this trend is likely to continue for many years. Audiobooks will always be in demand, unlike other products that come and go.

High earning potential. Selling audiobooks has a high earning potential. Audiobook sellers often make modest passive incomes. You never know. You could earn millions if you create a bestseller.

No production costs. You can sell your audiobook an unlimited amount of times without incurring any additional costs. You don’t have to keep any physical stock, so your overheads are reduced.

Create your own audiobook

Create the audiobook first. You can skip this section if you have already recorded your audiobook. If you haven’t yet, we will show you how.

Market research

You should have a business plan before you spend time and money recording an audiobook. All good plans begin with thorough market research.

You can browse the Audible bestsellers to find out what audiobooks are popular or analyze your competitors’ marketing strategies.

You’ll want to ask yourself questions such as:

What are the most popular audiobook genres?

What are the audiobook genres that are least competitive?

Is there room for me to sell on the market?

How can I distinguish my audiobook from other competitors?

What are the expectations of readers in my target audience for an audiobook?

What are the factors that audiobook listeners take into consideration when choosing a book to read?

Where do people most often buy audiobooks from?

How do I price my audiobook? What is the price of my audiobook?

How can I promote my audiobook?

After doing your research, it should be pretty clear what type of audiobook to sell and how to promote sales.

Select a book or write your own

Next, you will need to select the book that you would like to create an audiobook.

You can use this option if you are not a good writer or if you don’t have the time to spend months creating a book. But there are a few things you should be aware of.

You can’t simply turn any book into an audiobook to start selling.

You must obtain the audio rights for the work. This usually involves negotiating a royalty agreement with the author/publisher and signing a contract.

One way is to register as a Narrator in ACXor another similar platform. Search for audiobooks you’d like to create and send a few minutes of recorded manuscript as an audition.

You can negotiate with the publisher/author if they are interested in working together. You might, for example, receive 50% of royalties in return for audiobook production.

A PLR ebook can be purchased from a marketplace online like or the PLR store. PLR ebooks licenses usually include resale right that gives you the ability to convert it into audiobook format and sell it in your store. Always check the fine print before buying to make sure.

You only need audio rights for books in the public domain. Copyrights expire when a book is placed in the public domain. Anyone can then creatively reinvent the book, including turning it into an Audiobook.

Public domain books are any book that was published before 1927. You should do some research yourself to be sure. There are also tons of new books that enter the public domain each year.

The Great Gatsby, for example, entered the public domain by 2021. There are already many audio versions of the book on the internet.

You can choose to create your own audiobook. However, some genres work better than others.

For example, you can’t convert DIY books or recipes into audiobooks. Stick to popular genres such as crime, sci-fi and YA fiction.

You can reach a wider audience by writing your own book.

Check out our list of the top platforms for selling ebooks if you’re interested in this option.

Please remember that I am not an attorney. We have covered some copyright issues, but you will need to conduct your own research. I am not a lawyer. Consult a lawyer if you are unsure.

Hire a professional narration

Audiobooks are all about the quality of narration.

The voice of your narrator is what draws the listener in and makes them feel immersed. Your narrator’s voice is what makes your characters come to life, evokes emotion, and creates a feeling of place.

It’s therefore important to select the right voice for your novel. Most of the time a professional will be able to do it better than you.

ACX is the best option if you decide to hire a professional to do your narration. You can register as a rights holder as long as you own the audio rights for your book. Producers will be invited to audition.

Negotiate an agreement with the narrator when you have found one you’d like to work with.

Costs of narration/production vary depending on the project. You can expect to pay between $200 and $400 per hour if you pay flat rate. This should come out to around $1,000-$3,000 depending on the length.

If you do not want to spend that much money upfront, then you could agree to pay a royalty to your narrator. In royalty-share arrangements, money is divided between audiobook publishers (narrators), and rights holders.

ACX isn’t the only place you can find a narrator. Also, you can find narrators at voice actor websites like Bodalgo or Voiceovers.com and freelance marketplaces such as Upwork and Fiverr. Be aware that the quality of the candidates is not always consistent on these platforms.

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