Making An Audiobook: What Authors Need To Know

It’s no surprise that audiobooks have grown so much in popularity! With an audiobook, readers can listen to the story while doing something else, whether it’s exercising, baking bread, cleaning out the garage, driving a car, or folding laundry. Making an audiobook of your self-published book can help you reach new readers and increase sales. But before deciding to tackle this new medium, here’s what self-published authors need to know.

What To Consider When Making An Audiobook

Audiobooks Are Popular And Accessible. For readers, the barrier to purchasing an audiobook is extremely low. Audiobooks can be listened to on smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and smart speakers (thanks, Alexa!). The audience for audiobooks continues to grow, and avid listeners are always on the hunt for new content to consume.

Be Wary Of Doing It All Yourself. If you have the necessary software and equipment, you could produce an audiobook on your own — but that doesn’t mean you should. Given all the bookkeeping and potential legal headaches involved, it would be better to work with a company that specializes in producing audiobooks. You could consider serving as the audiobook narrator as a way to stay more involved in the process, or voice talent could be hired to read the story for you.

If you choose to hire a professional narrator, the cost will depend on a number of factors, including how long your book is and the narrator’s level of experience.

Choose The Right Platform. A popular platform for creating audiobooks is ACX. ACX is Amazon’s Audiobook Creation Exchange. It is a marketplace where writers can connect with narrators and others capable of producing a professional-quality audiobook. When you’re selecting an audiobook company or a suitable narrator, make sure to ask questions, read contracts thoroughly (you might even want to have a lawyer review any contracts), and choose carefully so that you’re happy with the final results.

Listen To And Review Each Chapter. Depending on how long your book is, the audiobook version could be several hours long. Make sure to listen carefully and take detailed notes for any changes that need to be made. Be diligent to ensure the final product is one you’ll be content with.

Decide On Distribution. When your audiobook is ready, you’ll have to choose the distribution platform/retailer that works best for you. If you choose ACX, Audible will play a major role in your audiobook’s release. There are other reputable services available, such as Findaway Voices, so be sure to do your research.

While creating an audiobook takes a lot of time and effort, the audiobook market is an exciting avenue that many self-published authors feel is worth pursuing. If you want to give your book sales a boost, discoverability is crucial, especially for self-published authors. If you can afford to go the audio route, it’s likely to be a good investment in your book and in your career.

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