Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 month ago

Is creating audiobooks of public domain books an interesting way to make money?


An acquaintance of mine does this with pulp fiction hard boiled stories. I do not know if he does this as a hobby, or if one can make money from this. 

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    There's a site called, where you can listen for free to public domain books read by volunteers. Listen to a few of those. If you can do it better than they can, there might be some money in it for you.

  • 1 month ago

    I can't understand why you don't just ASK this acquaintance whether he makes any money from it.

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Allow me to deconstruct this for you so that you can analyse all of the minute bits, which will hopefully give you an idea of how the world works... Works that are in the "Public Domain" are available to the general public for free - perhaps not in paper copies, because printing books costs money, but practically everything that's in the public domain that the average person might wish to obtain can be obtained online, nearly always for free, and can therefore be printed and run off to be read offline...

    Considering that these books are already widely available, and are nearly always available for free, it would make no sense at all for a person to go to the trouble and expense of creating audio-book versions. Firstly because the demand just isn't there, and secondly, because few people are stupid enough to pay for something that's available for free. 

    Explain where the profit would come from in such an endeavour. You could obtain the content yourself - for free, and then record the voice work yourself - for free, because you wouldn't be paying another person to do it... But you'd still have to invest in quality equipment and spend your own time doing the recordings... And for what? Who's going to give you $12 for an audio-recording of some second-rate detective story from the late 1950s? Even if you were to miraculously find some total and complete buffoon willing to hand you money, you'd still only have $12 to put toward covering the cost of your recording equipment (if you are under the mistaken impression that people who do narration are using a tape recorder and a microphone that they obtained at a second hand electronics shop for a song, you are sadly in for a surprise - you will need to spend a pretty hefty sum on what you'll need) and all of the time you spent, that will constitute a fraction of a percent of a percent of the total. 

    What's wrong with getting a goddamn job? There are millions of lazy nimrods out there who think that they're geniuses for hitting on the idea that they might be able to make some money by sitting in front of their computer. Perhaps one in every 100,000 people who make a YouTube channel or vlog get approached by people willing to sponsor them. And even then, it's nothing that might constitute a livable wage. And all of those people slugged it out in the trenches for years building up a subscriber base to justify receiving some sort of monetary compensation. If you haven't run the gauntlet and done that, who's going to throw money at you for doing something anybody with a microphone and a larynx could do? 

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