How to Publish Your Book in an Audiobook Format
One of our lines of business over the years has been helping authors translate their already published or soon-to-be published manuscripts into audiobook format. Since we started doing these projects in 2006, the process of publishing an audiobook and distributing to multiple channels has become easier to do. We typically handle the entire production of an audiobook and assist with the distribution as well.
Why Publish an Audiobook?
First, determine WHY you are considering publishing your book in an audio format. Offering your book in audio, and for that matter, e-book/Kindle, is a good strategy if you’re looking to increase the likelihood of success in the market with a multichannel approach. You already have committed to creating and publishing a print or e-book version of your work. At the most basic level, producing an audiobook format offers “readers” an additional option consuming your content. Not everyone likes to sit and read. For them, an audiobook is the perfect way to experience your book while walking, running, commuting, driving or doing other tasks at home.
The Aesthetics of Audio.
In terms of the aesthetics, for consumers, listening to an audiobook brings a uniquely different experience than reading a print version. When reading text, the reader “hears” their own voice as they read. When listening to an audiobook read by the author or by a voice-over professional, the reader is essentially being “read to”. If the author is the audiobook reader (as is often the case with non-fiction works), the listener has the opportunity to get to know the author in a more intimate way. This can be a powerful device for developing the “know, like and trust” factor that can be essential to brand building and business growth. After hours of listening to the author, the listener gets a sense that they have gotten to “know” the author. In fact, personal brand building can be the primary reason to publish an audiobook!
The Audiobook Market is Booming.
According to www.goodereader.com, “Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment in the digital publishing industry. The United States continues to be the biggest market for the audio format and in 2017; there was over $2.5 billion dollars in sales, which is a slight increase from the $2.1 billion generated in 2016. Michelle Cobb of the Audiobook Publishers Association stated, “26% of the US population has listened to an audiobook in the last 12 months. In their 2017 annual report, the APA reported a 33.9% increase in the number of audiobooks published compared to the year prior; although the final numbers are not in, I believe publishers will have issued over 79,000 new audiobooks, which is a 29% increase from 2016.”
The Production Process.
Once you are clear and understand why you’ll publish and distribute the audiobook, it’s time to consult with an audiobook producer-distributor. Here’s a quick outline of the process and what to expect.
2 Basic Questions.
The production process begins with a consultation to determine the length of the book as well as a discussion about who should read the book for the recording? Both factors will affect pricing, so these are important elements we’ll consider together from the start.
Our pricing model is based on word count. Once we have the manuscript word count, we’ll provide a cost to record, edit, process the audio files and upload your final product for distribution and sales. The pricing for an author-read production is less than for a professional voice actor, as you would expect. For pricing specifics for your project, you can contact me directly: [email protected].
Who Should Be the One to Read the Book?
The subject of who should do the read for the recording is critical to success. For non-fiction works, I often start by asking the author to consider doing the read. He/she has deep “ownership” of this content. Doing the read offers the opportunity for the writer to connect direcdtly with listeners. That said, not every author is equipped to do a series of recording sessions. Working with a microphone is not for everyone, and so if there’s any question about whether the author has the vocal capacity to do it, we can do a test.
If we decide with the author and/or publisher that it would be best to hire voice talent, we then move to cast the appropriate voice actor to perform the read for the recording sessions. Generally, we’ll offer samples from 3-5 different voice talents, and make the best choice together.
Recording and Production.
Once the reader question is resolved, we will schedule the required series of recording sessions. I’ve produced audiobooks by traveling to the authors home office, having them travel to us in Albuquerque, and even produced the recording sessions via Skype. Depending on who reads and where they are, we work out the most efficient method to get the raw recordings completed.
The post production phase includes all the required editing of the raw recordings for each of the sections and chapters. Once the initial editing is completed, we’ll submit those audio files privately to the author and/or publisher for approval. If any revisions are required, we will accomplish them. Once the edited version is approved, we’ll process the audio files in compliance with ACX, which controls the platform for distribution into Audible.com, Amazon.com and iTunes.
Setting Up an Account for Retail Sales.
The author or publisher will typically set up an account on ACX or Findaway Voices – the two key distribution platforms we work with. For more information about where your audiobook can be distributed, go to http://podcastandradio.com/audiobooks/ .
Uploading the Final Audios for Sale.
The final step in the process is the uploading of the final audio files, by section or chapter, to the author/publisher’s account. This is a process we also typically do for our clients.
The final product will be subject to a review and approval by ACX/Findaway. Once approved, your title goes live! From there, you can track your sales and promote the audiobook.
Unless you’re a huge, bestselling author, you should plan to promote your audio version across your social media platforms and with appearances on multiple podcasts. There are companies that help authors get booked on podcasts such as
www.podcastguests.com or http://www.interviewguestsdirectory.com/, or www.podcastguests.com .
Authors Voice Radio-an Exciting New Opportunity.
We have a unique project in the works – streaming internet radio channel available 24/7/365. It will feature author interviews with distribution on both podcast RSS feeds and on a dedicated internet radio channel.
Please reach out to me at [email protected] and I will happily answer any of your questions. I’d love to hear from you.