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YA Indie Carnival: Do You Audiobook?

I don’t.

My books aren’t published as audiobooks and I don’t listen to audiobooks. Well, not usually, when I got my first kindle I tended to use the text-to-speech function quite a bit, but that’s the closest I’ve come.

Don’t get me wrong, I am intrigued by them. In college, I co-hosted a weekly radio show on campus and I also read the news and operated the soundboard at an AM station on the weekends. I’ve thought through the technique of it many times. If I wanted to record my books as audiobooks, how would I do it?

But it’s not as simple as recording.

For an indie writer, recording the audiobook can be difficult, but it’s not the most complicated part of the process–we’ll get to that later.

First, one must decide if the piece will be author-read or if professional talent will be used. If going the pro route, consider the speaker AND the audience. Keep the gender and age of the voice talent in line with the POV of the story. Keep your ego in check. You may think that as the author, your voice would be best (after all, who knows the work better than you), but I urge you to think about the listener’s experience. If you have no previous experience in voice work; perhaps it’s best to leave that to the pros.

After recording, it doesn’t get easier. Distribution seems to be the project killer. It’s tough to get the right formats, and even then, getting your work listed in top stores like iTunes and Amazon can be a Herculean task. So, your next question is – Do I want to make money? Blunt, but necessary.

If the answer is no, consider podiobooks.com or a similar service. With podio, the author can record the book in pieces (aka serials) with nothing more than a good microphone and a laptop (although you sacrifice quality). Audiobooks on Podiobooks.com are free. Also, Smashwords will list your podiobook on the ebook’s page.

If the answer is yes, than you need to tackle the giant – Audible. Audible supplies audiobooks for the big guys like iTunes and Amazon. Don’t go to audible.com. You won’t find any info there. Go to www.acx.com. It stands for Audiobook Creation Exchange. ACX is to Audible as KDP is to Amazon (roughly). This is the site you must use to get on Audible, unless you go through a production service like openbookaudio.com.

Even on ACX, you can “audition” talent and search for a producer or submit your self-recorded files. Keep in mind that if you use pro talent and production (on ACX or another way), you must be willing to pay for it. A few weeks ago, I got a basic quote from one of the indie-friendly production shops, and for my 250-page novel, Of Sun & Moon, I was quoted $2,575 for talent and production of iTunes-ready files.

ACX does appear to offer tons of free marketing resources, and as I write this, it touts 90% royalties. So, you’ll have to do the math for yourself. Do you audiobook?

Share your audiobook experiences and see what these authors have to contribute on the subject…

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. Melissa Pearl
4. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed

2 Responses to YA Indie Carnival: Do You Audiobook?

  1. OOOO! Great post Bryna:D I didn’t know about podiobooks.com I’ll have to check them out. I’ve used acx.com and they’ve been really great to work with! I talk about my experience with them on the blog today….

  2. Scott Jacobi says:

    Hi Bryna. Scott from ACX here. Thanks for the post! One thing I wanted to note is that we also offer a royalty share model in which you pay the producer nothing up front, but agree to split your portion of the royalties 50-50. You can find more info here: http://www.acx.com/help/what-s-the-deal/200497690#options-for-you

    Also, ACX stands for Audiobook Creation Exchange 🙂

    Good luck!

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