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The Ultimate Guide to Self-Publishing Audiobooks

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Self-publishing audiobooks is a step into the future for any author looking to expand their reach in the book market. This comprehensive guide will answer...

Self-publishing audiobooks is a step into the future for any author looking to expand their reach in the book market. This comprehensive guide will answer your key questions on the subject: how to self-publish, the costs involved, profitability, the job of an audiobook narrator, and what you should know before publishing one.

How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish an Audiobook?

The cost to self-publish an audiobook varies depending on multiple factors such as the length of the book, the narrator you choose, and the quality of production. On average, expect to spend between $200 to $400 per finished hour if hiring a professional narrator and audio editor.

How Do I Self-Publish an Audiobook?

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to self-publish an audiobook:

  1. Choose a Publishing Platform: Platforms like ACX, Findaway Voices, and Author's Republic offer indie authors ways to create and distribute their audiobooks.
  2. Select a Narrator: You can hold auditions on ACX or hire directly from professional voice actors.
  3. Audio Production: Ensure your audio files are high-quality. Your narrator may handle this, or you may need to hire a separate audio editor.
  4. Cover Design: Your audiobook's book cover should be high-quality and professional, as it will appear on retailers like Amazon, Audible, Apple iTunes, and Google Play.
  5. Set Your List Price: The pricing structure for audiobooks is different than print books or Kindle eBooks. The platform you choose will guide you.
  6. Upload and Publish: Once all elements are ready, you can upload them to your chosen publishing platform and set a release date.

Is Publishing Audiobooks Profitable?

Publishing audiobooks can be profitable. The audiobook market has seen a steady growth, with audiobook sales reaching a record high in recent years. Indie authors who have ventured into audiobook publishing report a significant boost in their overall book sales. While it requires an upfront investment, it can diversify your income stream.

How Much Do Audiobook Authors Make?

Earnings from audiobook sales vary significantly. Some authors make a few hundred dollars a year while bestsellers can make tens of thousands. Earnings are influenced by factors such as your book's genre (non-fiction typically earns more), your marketing efforts, the publishing platform used, and whether you have an exclusive or non-exclusive agreement with distributors.

What Are the Benefits of Self-Publishing an Audiobook?

  1. Reach a Broader Audience: Not everyone has the time or inclination to read print books or Kindle eBooks. Audiobooks appeal to busy individuals, long-commute drivers, and people with visual impairments.
  2. Additional Revenue Stream: With the growth in the audiobook market, you have the potential to earn more.
  3. Leverage the Power of Voice: A great narrator can make your story come alive in a different way than print.

What Is an Audiobook Narrator's Job?

An audiobook narrator brings the book to life by using their voice. Their job involves understanding the book's tone, characters, and plot, and portraying them accurately and engagingly through speech.

What Should I Know About Audiobooks Before I Publish One?

  1. Quality Matters: Poor audio quality can ruin an otherwise excellent audiobook.
  2. Narration Style: A good narrator is worth the investment. They can turn your audiobook into a bestseller.
  3. Marketing is Key: Leverage social media, bloggers, and other book marketing strategies to promote your audiobook.

Top 8 Self-Publishing Software/Apps

  1. ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange): Owned by Amazon, ACX is a marketplace for authors, narrators, and producers.
  2. Findaway Voices: They offer distribution to 40+ retailers and libraries, including Apple, Google Play, and Kobo.
  3. Author's Republic: This platform offers wide distribution, including Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.
  4. Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing): While primarily for eBooks, you can also manage your audiobooks here.
  5. Audible: A popular platform among consumers, it's often used in conjunction with ACX.
  6. Podbean: This podcast platform can also be used for distributing serialized audiobooks.
  7. Soundwise: An all-in-one platform for selling audiobooks directly to listeners.
  8. Scribl: This platform offers a unique CrowdPricing system, which adjusts the price based on popularity.

As we move further into the digital age, the role of audiobooks in the publishing industry is set to increase. As a self-published author, it's an avenue worth exploring for potential profitability and reaching a broader audience. Your journey into audiobook publishing may require a learning curve, but the rewards can be significant. Start your audiobook publishing journey today!

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.