Did you know that you can have a professionally developed audio book for no investment?
Yes, it’s true. One thing I sigh about continually is how many people try to sell to us authors. Classes, webinars, conferences, marketing, and on and on. Don’t get me wrong; I participate in these activities as much as I can. Many are helpful and work to promote our books, but costly none the same. I have recently found a way to drive more revenue out of the book I already wrote by getting it produced as an audio book! It’s true! Sandy Weaver Carman of Voicework on Demand, Inc. is in the business of helping authors grow their “revenue river”.
Here is how you get started. Amazon has a company called ACX. http://www.acx.com/ ACX walks you through registering and uploading your book for auditions. That was actually very fun and extremely rewarding to hear people read your book in character. Then you chose the narrator that you feel captured the essence of your story and you are on your way. You review each chapter and if there is anything you want reread, you let the narrator know and they will redo any mistakes. Once you are happy with the finished product you accept it and it is uploaded to the ACX library. Within a few weeks your audio book will be published on Audible.com, Amazon.com and iTunes! At no cost to you. So here is the catch…some narrators want a fee upfront, and others work on a 50/50 split. Sandy works on a 50/50 split of the royalties. So what do the royalties run? Let’s say you price your book at $20. Audible/Amazon/iTunes keeps 50% and you and Sandy split the other 50%. If you did your math right, that’s $5.00 per audio book to you for doing no additional work. If you are interested in working with Sandy, check out her sample page for the various voices available at http://voiceworkondemand.com/blog/audio-samples/.
You can listen to a sample of my audio book, Roswell Redemption, at http://www.audible.com/.
Best of luck and don’t delay – there is a “revenue river” waiting for you!
Cindi Crane -Author of the 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Rosewell Redemption.
Useful information. I intend to take advantage of it.
Cindi, that is great to know. I attended the session on audiobooks at the 2012 Self-Publishing Book Expo in October. Two of the three moderators represented Infinity Press, which produces audiobooks. They, however, have you pay up front for production costs. Still, the advice they gave can be applied to anyone interested in producing an audiobook, from whatever source. Here’s what I learned:
Advantages of Audio Books:
• Audio books are becoming more popular for people on-the-run, for instance with long commutes.
• There is a shortage of audio books, which makes it a good market to explore.
• Libraries LOVE audiobooks
Steps to Audio Produciton:
1. Create a script from your book
a. Describe the best kind of narrator(s)
i. Can be one person or multiple people
ii. Male, female, adult, child?
iii. Accents required?
b. Suggest background tracks, including music [NOTE: Almost ALL published music is copyrighted, but some can be found as free downloads if you cite the source]
c. Use phonetics for words that might be hard to pronounce
d. Include signals for the narrator, like pauses and tone
e. As a rule, sentences should be no longer than 22 words [Maybe]
2. Sound quality is important and should be produced in a professional studio.
a. A home recording is acceptable is it doesn’t have distracting background noises like cars honking or “heavy breathing” by the narrator.
3. Format in DVD or MP3 or both
4. Assign ISBN
5. Distribute audiobook
a. According to Ms. Camilleri of Infinity Press, it’s difficult to get into Audible.com as a self-publisher
Audiobooks in general:
• About 5 hours of work goes into each one hour of audiobook
• There are about 10,000 words per CD
• MP3 is less expensive
• Check out Audiofile magazine
• Will cast the narrator(s)
• Will direct the production in a professional studio
• Offers a one-hour audiobook “teaser” which includes a synopsis and a narrated scene exciting or intriguing enough to make people want to purchase the whole book.
• A nine-hour audiobook costs about $3500
I was just researching this the other day and was impressed by their website. Thanks for reinforcing the message. One of the things I was considering is reading the book myself. A friend in the music business says that time in a recording studio is not that expensive – around $25 per hour, so I am checking that out. ACX offers a way for you to do the recording at home for free, but I want to create a polished product, so this seems like a small investment considering that then I can also split the royalties just with the site that sells the work. I may ultimately end up using someone like Sandy. Still exploring my options. Thanks for the post!