There has been hype in the self-publishing business since the pandemic Convid 19. If you are one of the aspiring entrepreneurs who’d like to jump on the bandwagon, you might be wondering if self-publishing on Amazon is lucrative.
One of the most popular courses is Audiobook Income Academy. The founders Mikkelsen Twins claim that this course can provide you with a blueprint that has been proven to work and is easy to duplicate.
Mikkelsen Twins said they had earned a fortune from their self-publishing business. But are they a scam? Is it possible that they are just con artists who have made most of their money from selling courses?
To start with, let me make it clear that I’m not affiliated with Mikkelsen Twins or paid to write an article for her.
To give a review that is comprehensive, I have actually purchased the program.
Below is what I’ll be covering in the review of Mikkelsen Twins and their course Audiobook Income Academy.
What is Audiobook Income Academy 2.0?
Audiobook Income Academy 2.0 (aka AIA 2.9) by Christian and Rasmus Mikkelsen is a course for people who want to learn how to self-publish audiobooks on Amazon’s Audible platform.
In the program, you can learn where to look for affordable, high-quality authors, narrators, and designers. Instead of keeping a portion of the book’s profits for themselves, these authors simply publish the audiobook under a pseudonym and pocket the money.
AIA has evolved from a training program to a partner program. The Mikkelsen team not only provides you with a great book idea, but also gives you access to their low-cost ghostwriters, editors, and cover designers.
In late summer 2018, the Mikkelsen twins founded Audiobook Income Academy. In 2022, it was transformed into a partner program.
Who are Mikkelsen Twins?
The twins Christian and Rasmus Mikkelsen are the founders of Audiobook Income Academy. The two have been in the audiobook publishing and online education industry for more than six years.
The Mikkelsen brothers’ rise began with two years in Aarhus, Denmark, where they were high and could not keep a job for more than six weeks. In 2015, both returned to New Jersey to live with their parents while attending community university and working part-time. Stephen James of Project Life Mastery, who guides audiences on how to write short books and publish them on KDP, was played while they delivered Chinese food.
This sparked their interest in making money through the Internet. They explored many options, including publishing and mail-ordering electric bicycles. Eventually, they concluded that publishing would be the most reliable source of passive income with the least amount of effort. Without informing their parents, they finished their studies.
The Mikkelsen twins earned $60,000 in 2018 just from selling audiobooks. Unfortunately, Christian had his account terminated when he tried to use translation AI with their library materials. Inevitably, Amazon terminated the seller’s account after a flood of low-quality customer reviews appeared.
In an attempt to use Rasmus’ account, Amazon blocked access to the service. However, the ACX account was not terminated, and the company continued to profit from audiobooks. However, they used this time to create videos for YouTube.
Remember, the twins still could not sell their books on Amazon in March 2021. The Freedom Shortcut will be available as a Kindle eBook in 2022.
What’s Inside Audiobook Income Academy 2.0?
Audiobook Income Academy is broken down into 7 weeks (a module each week) that teach you how to make money publishing audiobooks on Amazon.
Let’s take a closer look at each module:
Week 1: Millionaire Mindset
In courses on how to make money online, mindset training always seems like fluff to me.
In week 1, you’ll learn about success habits and how to approach this business mentally.
There isn’t much significance to it.
Week 2: Picking Your Niche
A niche refers to either a topic or a content type. The process of writing a book starts with picking out a topic.
But how do you choose one that is both interesting and in one of the most profitable niches?
If you want to self-publish, publishing books in a popular niche is essential for success. Finding the right category and niche for your book can make the difference between getting noticed and getting lost in the shuffle.
In week 2, you’ll learn how to choose your niche.
Also included is training on accounting, setting up publishing accounts, and forming a limited liability company.
Week 3: Creating Your Book
In week 3, you will learn how to create your audiobook.
Here are some of the training you’ll receive:
- How to build a brand
- How to create a customer persona
- How to create a book outline
- How to write a bok title
- Copywriting skills
- How to outsource the writing
Week 4: Growing Your Audience
You need to promote your audiobook and get traffic to it after you create it.
In this module, you will learn about email marketing, including the basics of building an email list, how to engage your readers, and getting some ready-to-send email sequences.
Everyone in this course will have access to the same email marketing templates
Therefore, it might be best to make some minor adjustments to the templates.
Afterward, there is a discussion on how to write a good description, followed by a checklist.
Module 5: Launch Week
The launch is when it’s time to make sales and get your book out to the public. You will learn how to do that in this module.
The first step in ensuring your audiobook is ready for publication is to perform a thorough quality control check manually.
You will also learn a number of launch strategies that will help you make sales as quickly as possible.
Module 6: Ads An Audiobooks
In this module, you’ll learn how to optimize your ads for search engines by focusing on specific keywords before you launch your first campaign.
It can take a long time to get sales if you rely on people finding your books by accident on Amazon.
That’s why it’s important that you allocate resources to marketing. The first half of this module is devoted to this topic.
In the second half, you’ll learn how to turn your e-books into audiobooks.
Thus, you can make your potential customers come across your content more often and earn a passive income in the process.
You’ll also learn the basics of using ACX, a tool provided by Amazon for editing audiobooks, and how to get reviews for your audiobook.
Module 7: Next Level Publishing
Next Level Publishing is a professional design and brand extension company.
You will also get more tips on how to promote your audiobook using Facebook ads.
Audiobook Income Academy 2.0 Bonuses
This course also comes with a variety of bonuses.
The breakdown of each is as follows:
1 On 1 Coaching
If you purchase this course, you will receive four coaching calls.
It is worth noting that these calls will probably not be with the Mikkelsen twins themselves.
That would take up all of their time.
They will most likely receive a call from one of their “coaches”.
You will have no idea what experience these coaches have or if they are even experts in creating audiobooks.
This is the only way to reach the Mikkelsen twins directly.
Everyone attending the course is expected to participate in these weekly calls for two hours.
Right here you have the opportunity to ask questions.
You will also be able to join the exclusive Facebook group of the course.
In this group, you can ask questions and get answers.
Guaranteed Profits Workshop
This workshop will teach you how to earn your first publishing profits quickly (or your money back).
Top 50 Proven Niches
Many people find it difficult or simply lack the necessary knowledge to find a profitable niche.
These 50 subgenres have proven to be the most lucrative for audiobook producers and are listed here as a special bonus for you.
VIP Access To Experts
The service provides access to book cover designers, narrators, and writers.
These services require a fee, but you will not have to search for them or waste money on poor-quality ones.
10K Case Study Vault
You’ll find interviews and case studies here of 17 Audiobook Income Academy students who make more than 10K each month.
Low Content Kickstarter
In this bonus, you’ll learn how to make money creating short audiobooks.
How Much Does Audiobook Income Academy 2.0 Cost?
The original price was $997, but the Mikkelsen twins have raised it to $1,997, which can be paid in three installments of $797 each.
If you pay three months in a row, your investment increases to $2,391.
If you are unable to pay for AIA 2.0 immediately, the Mikkelsen twins recommend that you apply for PayPal credit.
Audiobook Income Academy 2.0 Pros And Cons
- You can learn the basics of how to sell audiobooks on Amazon.
- Mikkelsen twins seem to know the stuff although I cannot verify if they really make a lot of money from Kindle publishing.
- Selling audiobooks is a difficult business model. It takes a lot of effort to make a few bucks.
- The course is very much overpriced. Very likely, you cannot make the money back.
- The course content is not unique. Some information can be found online for free.
- There are no verified success stories of students.
Audiobook Income Academy 2.0 Refund Policy
There is a 24-hour money-back guarantee, no questions asked.
Upon expiration of the 24-hour period, you have 180 days to make a profit or get your money back, provided you meet the following conditions:
- You must watch all video lessons from week 1 to week 6.
- Coaching sessions must be held in person twice.
- A published audiobook must be available on Audible.
You have 180 days to complete the tasks. If you don’t earn $5,000 by then, Mikkelsen Brothers will refund your money plus $1,000.
A student, however, reported that a customer service representative brushed him off and that the “publishing twins pretend to be helpful, but they aren’t.”
8 Reasons Why I Don’t Recommend Audiobook Income Academy 2.0
1. Lack of a Helpful Community
If you join the Audiobook Income Academy course, there is only a private Facebook group. Most of the time, the group is not helpful and your questions will be ignored and remain unresolved. You may feel helpless especially if you are just a beginner.
2. Audiobook Income Academy is Overpriced
The course is very expensive and not everyone can afford it. After all, Audiobook Income Academy’s course is merely a course. It’s not an all-in-one platform that gives you everything you need to publish an eBook from scratch.
I don’t recommend investing so much money into a course when you have not made a penny. It’s risky to invest thousands of dollars when you are not sure whether it works or not.
3. Lack of Successful Stories of Students
While Mikkelsen Twins claim that there are thousands of their students who see results from the training, there is no verified evidence to show this.
You may see some reviews posting screenshots as proof of the success stories. But there is no way to verify if those are true results or not.
Moreover, while Audiobook Income Academy teaches people how to make money, most of their revenue comes from their courses instead of what they teach. That makes the whole thing not convincing at all.
4. There is No Free Trial
There is no free trial for the Audiobook Income Academy course. You have to pay a thousand dollars upfront to get started. The risk is much higher in case you don’t like the course or don’t feel good about it. Although they offer a money-back guarantee, there are some procedures or criteria to get your money back.
5. It’s Expensive To Produce Audiobooks
According to the Mikkelsen Twins, you’ll need a ghostwriter, narrator, and graphic designer to produce an audiobook.
To begin, they recommend that you find a ghostwriter through The Urban Writers because using more mainstream companies will be too costly.
You can expect to pay $500 to $600 for your first book of 25,000-30,000 words. This book will last approximately 3 hours.
In reality, it is significantly more expensive!
As an example, this level-2 seller on Fiverr is charging $6000 to write a self-help book.
Then, on ACX, select a professional audiobook narration specialist from Audible. You can find a narrator within your budget or for a percentage of your sales royalties. According to the Mikkelsen twins, a three-hour book could cost around $150. This figure is actually much higher… at least $250 per finished hour.
Finally, you have to hire a Fiverr graphic designer freelancer to create a book cover.
6. Exaggerated Earning Potential
The Mikkelsen twins claim that their successful students have made over $20 million. That’s a complete lie.
According to the twins, their business model requires only 30 minutes a day to make thousands of dollars a month.
Certainly, their webinar makes it seem so simple – I felt I knew enough about it to start an online audiobook business without buying the course.
However, based on my previous experience with making money online, I know that this business model can not be as simple as the Mikkelsen twins make it out to be.
7. Poor Refund Policy
There is no free trial for Audiobook Income Academy. You won’t be able to get back your hard-earned money even if the course doesn’t live up to its promise. Their money-back guarantee is not unconditional for sure.
8. Lots of Free Audiobooks on YouTube
The Mikkelsen twins said you could become a millionaire selling audiobooks. In reality, not many people are willing to pay for audiobooks when most of them are free on YouTube.
There are even free audiobooks of Rich Dad Poor Dad available on YouTube!
Also, most people can join Amazon’s Audible Membership Plans at a starting price of $7.95 per month to listen to as many audiobooks as they want for free.
The Mikkelsen twins say you can also list audiobooks on other platforms such as Ingram Spark, Author’s Republic, and Draft2Digital.
But if readers can get an audiobook for free on Amazon and YouTube, they will not bother going to other platforms.
Is Audiobook Income Academy a Scam or Legit?
Audiobook Income Academy is a not scam. It is a legit program that teaches you how to publish and sell audiobooks.
The problem is whether you can really make money by enrolling in this course. Self-publishing audiobooks is a very time-consuming business model. It takes a lot of effort but has no guaranteed return.
When selling audiobooks, the biggest challenge is advertising. Without promotion, no one knows your eBook exists. Unfortunately, the cost of advertising on all platforms has skyrocketed since many people got into the internet business.
Did you know that Amazon makes most of its money from advertising, not from the fees it collects from Amazon sellers?
If you want to make money in online marketing, you must learn organic traffic methods so that you don’t have to spend a penny on advertising. Unfortunately, the Mikkelsen twins only focus on Amazon PPC ads in their course.
Given the limited earning potential of the self-publishing business model, I reckon the Mikkelsen twins make most of their money from selling their online courses instead of publishing ebooks.
Therefore, I don’t recommend Audiobook Income Academy if you want to make a passive income. There is a better business model that is more sustainable and has higher earning potential.
This alternative business model has enabled me to make a full-time passive income. I’m making money while I’m sleeping.
Are Mikkelsen Twins Scam or Legit?
The Mikkelsen Twins are not a scam. They seem to be legit online marketers though I can’t verify their track record.
However, they use marketing strategies that many people believe the Mikkelsen Twins are scammers. They use emotional triggers, such as telling people that their strategy is a way to “stress-free income.”
They also tend to exaggerate the business model and make it seem much simpler than it is (as many other sneakers do). You will not hear much about the quality of their products, the slow payout through Audible, or the cost of a good author and narrator.
Finally, you will be encouraged to borrow money just to purchase the course. This includes purchasing the course using a credit card, which is called “good debt” since it will be repaid through audiobooks. Moreover, they suggest eating out less, canceling some subscriptions, and claiming that AIA’s price is irrelevant since audiobooks will make money.
In fact, the Mikkelsen Twins have received a lot of complaints on Trustpilot. They promised one customer that he could earn $10,000 per month. But the reality is far from that.
Unfortunately, most customers said that they did not get their money back when they found that the course did not work as expected.
Final Verdict: Audiobook Income Academy 2.0 Review
Audiobook Income Academy is not a course I can recommend in good conscience, especially when there are better options available.
Though the course contains some decent teaching and ideas, nothing is discussed in-depth, and its training is not comprehensive enough to help you make money with Kindle Publishing. For most of the topics covered, you can easily find better training online for free.
In fact, there are a lot of costs involved in making a book successful. Outsourcing books to Audible can cost around $3K- $5K.
It would be possible, however, to do this yourself for free, plus the cost of advertising, if you choose not to outsource it.
However, if you outsource, the Mikkelsen twins cannot give you an accurate figure. For a well-written book, expect to spend at least $5000.
Besides, you will almost certainly need to promote your book in places where your target audience can find it – another cost.
If you sell your ebook for $10 (the most common price for audiobooks), you’ll need a lot of sales to even break even, let alone make a profit.
I think this is the reason why there are few “real” success stories or positive reviews about Audiobook Income Academy on TrustPilot.
Best Alternative to Audiobook Income Academy 2.0
If you’re new to online business, you might wonder if there’s a better business model that doesn’t need initial capital and can do it as a side hustle.
I’ve tried and tested different online business models. My finding is that affiliate marketing is the easiest and most rewarding.
In affiliate marketing, you can get started with almost zero cost. Most importantly, you don’t need to invest a penny in creating and developing any products.
Also, it is less time consuming since you don’t have to manage inventory or handle customer service.
You can enjoy a steady stream of passive income while travelling or working a full-time job.
If you’re new to online business, you should definitely choose a low risk business model. And affiliate marketing is the best for beginners.
But How Much Can You Earn in Affiliate Marketing?
A 21-year old student from my #1 recommended training platform of affiliate marketing was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week. In other words, he made more than $1k a day…For many people, even a full-time job cannot pay you $1k day. But affiliate marketing does.
Wealthy Affiliate has existed for more than 10 years and there are many success stories over the years.
To give you more examples, here you can see some of the inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.
Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate is a membership site. It offers free and premium membership.
If you want to see exactly what Wealthy Affiliate is, you can sign up for the starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member without time limit.
And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, 1 free website, access to the keyword tool. You can get all these for free.
So I strongly recommend you to register a free account and see if you like it.
If you’d like to be the next success story of Wealthy Affiliate, you can upgrade to the Premium Membership later.
After that, you can get access to everything and start building your affiliate marketing business.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I will respond as soon as possible.