Why Authors Should Consider Audio?
Going for a walk or drive? Smartphones and bluetooth-ready vehicles have made audiobooks the fastest-growing book format in recent years.
We live in a modern world where our minds crave constant consumption of media. A recent article from The Wall Street Journal reports that “sales [of audiobooks] in the U.S. and Canada jumped 21% in 2015 from the previous year” and that “the surge is continuing in 2016…downloaded audio sales were up 37% in January and February compared with the same period in 2015.”
Independent authors must expand their product line to meet the demands of this growing audience. Whether you have a number of previously published books or are putting the finishing touches on your debut novel, now is the right time for you to take advantage of the audio boom.
How to Produce an Audiobook?
It is possible to produce an audiobook yourself, but the challenges of creating a professional piece without the experience or proper technology can be overwhelming. The most popular channel for independent authors is the Audible Creation Exchange (ACX). ACX will aid you through the entire production process and then distribute your completed audiobook to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
While there are audiobook creation platforms other than ACX to choose from, we’re going to stick with it alone in this article for brevity and simplicity.
First thing first, head on over to ACX.com and sign up for an account. Once your details are set you are ready to create your audiobook.
From there ACX guides you through the step-by-step creation process. You will create a profile for your book and then select a few paragraphs to put up as an audition piece for potential narrators to read. Remember that you are the boss. This is your work. You want to find the best narrator possible who fits in your budget. Do not settle for the first voice actor that submits an audition for your script.
Authors also have the ability to search through all of the registered narrators on ACX and listen to voice samples from previous works. This is how I found Zehra Naqvi, my narrator for my novella Silhouette. I was not happy with the auditions I was receiving from other narrators, so I took it upon myself to find the voice I wanted for my book and I reached out to Zehra with a proposal. We worked out a deal and got started.
Once you have discussed payment with your producer (you choose between a one time fee or royalties) and a schedule for production, it is time to create. ACX has a structure in place of reviews and approvals so that you, the author, have complete control over the quality of the audiobook throughout its production. Then, much like your ebook, as soon as the audiobook is finalized it is distributed and put up for sale.
What to Expect?
Like any written novel some audiobooks may explode with popularity, but most do not. Sales will likely be similar to the print and ebook versions of your novel. Audiobooks expand your reach to a new audience which increases your overall sales potential.
ACX has some great marketing tips available for those new to the arena. Remember that this is a growing market. An investment now can reap large rewards for your future as an author.
Purchase the audiobook of Silhouette from Amazon/audible here:
Born a slave to an alien corporation, Susan Singh escaped with the help of a politician who would shape the young girl into a deadly force of human vengeance.
Alien factions are tearing down the walls of human civilization. Men and women struggle to survive in a universe where humankind is considered an inferior species to all other sentient life. Leslie Folami presides over a clandestine council of world leaders bent on establishing the respect humanity deserves, even if it means starting a war that they cannot win. Unknown to her peers, Folami has sent her assassin on a perilous mission that might give them a fighting chance.
Raised as a secret tool for Folami’s political schemes, Susan was trained in the ways of the Enforcers from the past, taught to harness the shadow to her will and live as death incarnate. A decade passed under Folami’s tutelage before Susan was given the assignment she had been waiting for, revenge on the alien menace plaguing her home world and a chance to free her.