I recently stumbled across Christian Mikkelsen on a YouTube ad (while trying to decide if YouTube ads are for me) and was so intrigued, that I ended up watching his 3-hour webinar! In this Audiobook Income Academy Review, I will share what I found and whether I think it’s a good course to get started in the world of audiobook publishing.
Whenever I read anything that is ‘done for you’, I automatically think it’s a scam. As this was an element in their YouTube ad, it was with great skepticism that I started watching the webinar, but were those doubts founded? Is Audiobook Income Academy a scam? Read on to find out.
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Name: Audiobook Income Academy 2.0
Training Videos: 4.5 / 5.0
Suitability for newbies and experts: 5.0 / 5.0
Quality of actual instruction: 4.5/5
Price – $1497 (at the time of writing – this may change over time)
Overall ranking: 14 / 15
Audiobooks were originally launched in 1932 for the visually impaired but today, they are hugely popular with people on the go who either want to escape with a novel or to learn something new on the commute to work.
In 2019 the market was worth $2.69bn and was due to rise to $3.26bn in 2020 (source grandviewresearch.com). The forecast of annual growth of 24.4% would take the market value to a staggering $14.99bn in 2027 so it certainly looks like there will be plenty of opportunities for new creators.
Check out the more detailed stats in the chart below:
Who is behind Audiobook Income Academy 2.0?
The course has been produced by twins, Christian and Rasmus Mikkelsen who, until 2016, were Chinese food delivery drivers. Through creating and publishing audiobooks, they have fulfilled their dream of being able to travel the world and were even recently featured on Forbes.com!
Furthermore, their students have earned a combined total of $20m through following their system.
How does it work?
There are several elements to creating your audiobook and in some ways, the research you have to do at the start is similar to what it would be if you were setting out to be an Amazon FBA seller. (For more info on Amazon FBA check out my review of Kevin David’s course.)
1. First of all, you have to decide on your niche. To do this, you find the best-selling books currently within that niche, then create an outline that improves on the best one that you have found.
Christian does say that it would be best to pick a subject that you are already passionate about but he also added that he had success with one he knew very little about (on the subject of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency).
You will need a really strong title and make sure to research suitable keywords to make sure that anyone and everyone searching in your genre will find your book.
2. Next you have to find a ghostwriter. Did you know that many books written today, especially in the biography and non-fiction niches, are written by ghostwriters? There is no shame to it – it is the done thing and this is what you will be doing.
There are websites where you can find good ghostwriters to write your book of around 20,000 words (which apparently equates to around 3 hours long in audiobook format) for in the region of $500. Why so cheap?
They say that there are many young writers who have perhaps just left college who are looking to make some money and will do it for something close to this price.
3. Hire someone to design your cover. Christian says that it’s easy to find good designers for book covers for around $20 on Fiverr.com which I can believe as I have had some good design work created on this platform.
4. Hire a narrator on the ACX platform on audible. You can listen to samples of narration in the most suitable style and search for someone in your price range. Christian says you can get it done for around $30 per finished hour.
5, Get reviews for your book and ensure a successful launch.
6. Learn how to scale. This was a really interesting section which encouraged using the script of your audiobook to create an eBook and even a printed book as well as listing your book on other book-selling and audio platforms. (Audible only covers 45% of the market.)
What is included in the course?
In the course you get:
- 40 hours of video training – 6 easy to follow modules on the topics of mindset, how to choose your niche, title, and keywords, book creation, creating an email list of subscribers/reviewers, how to launch, and how to advertise on Amazon
- 4 x 1-on-1 coaching calls
- 2-hour long live group coaching calls every Monday where all questions are answered
- 24 ‘done for you’ templates and resources (for example templates on how to write your author bio)
- Admission to the AIA members community
- Lots of bonuses including $500 towards the writing of your first book
At the time of writing, the course is billed at $997, however, I have seen it as high as $1,997. You can pay this upfront or pay in installments.
He also said you could use PayPal credit where you pay nothing for 6 months by which time you would hopefully have made the money to pay for it.
Thoughts on the webinar and sales approach
To be honest, I thought Christian Mikkelsen was very generous in the knowledge he shared, particularly in the area of keyword research. If you get this topic wrong, you will not sell many books! He came across as very genuine and he shares a lot of video testimonials from successful students.
He also offered your money back plus $1,000 if you go through the detailed steps and have not made $5,000 within 6-months of joining. This makes the PayPal credit option quite attractive, assuming you did indeed get your money back if it didn’t work out.
The only slight niggle I had was that I tried to look up a few of the books shown in the webinar on Audible but they didn’t come up when I did a search. (I told you I was a skeptic!)
There may be a logical explanation but it would have been helpful if they had shared some of the titles of successful books openly (I just noted the titles on some covers displayed during the webinar).
I was just trying to get a feel for the sort of quality of audiobook you could expect to get for the low cost. At the end of the day, whatever you produce will have to be of good quality for it to be successful.
Just as an aside, I read an article recently, Audiobooks Are Not Easy Money about the difficulty of making money as an author (and narrator) on Audible and I wondered if these guys know more about it than published authors. (It is quite possible! I don’t expect authors know too much about keywords etc.)
“Even most of those who never have time to read a book usually have more than enough time to listen to one.” Mokokomama Mokhonoana.
Pros of the course
- Although they talk about elements being ‘done for you’, you are really just outsourcing it to people with the skills to do the job better than you so I have no issue with that
- The guys really do seem to have had the success they claim and have trodden the path they are sharing with you so you should be able to emulate their success
- The 1-on-1 calls would be very valuable – not everyone can follow a course at the same pace and everyone will have their own individual concerns. Also, I am sure this will be part of the strategy to ensure your success and consequently not be giving any refunds! Anything that makes sure you are taking the right action is good!
- The money-back plus $1,000 guarantee if you haven’t made $5,000 in the first six months
Cons of the course
- As with anything else, no one can guarantee success
- As advertising is involved in the promotion of your book, there will be extra costs. Not really a ‘con’ but good to be aware of
- There is a focus on selling book ‘bundles’ as they apparently sell the best, however, this means that you will have to invest more money. Again, not really a ‘con’, but worth bearing in mind depending on how much you have set aside to invest in your business
While I only researched this course for the purpose of writing a review, I found myself getting really quite interested! If this is the sort of thing you are looking for, by all means, check it out. As always, please do your own due diligence.
For my number one recommendation of how to build a sustainable income from your laptop, please check out my Wealthy Affiliate review. You can start with no money whatsoever and see if it’s for you.
Have you produced any audiobooks, eBooks, or indeed printed books? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.