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Creating an Audiobook

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Black Dragon, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    Would you ever consider publishing your work as an audiobook? If not, why not?

    Do you have any experience in creating audiobooks? If so, what is the process like?
  2. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

    Yes, cause I think it would be the best medium to capture the voice I am writing the story in. But...I have not done so as yet, even though I said I would some time back. I think I should make my word true on that and do the one I said I would. Not thought on that in a long time.

    I listen to many audio books and it is true that some readers hit it out of the park and others pull the story down, so its not enough just to get someone to read it on tape. They also have to be good at it.
    Black Dragon likes this.
  3. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

    I have 3 audiobooks out that were done through royalty share. Not many narrators do this anymore because it really doesn't benefit them financially. Was it worth it? Not for me. They don't see hardly at all but it is pretty neat having the stories narrated.
  4. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

    Well. Now that i know chessie has one ill buy it.
    Chessie2 likes this.
  5. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    Finding someone that can narrate a story is not that easy. It is a skill and is not just "reading the book aloud". They have to bring life to the words and suit the tale they are telling.
    You have to find someone that can speak in a coherent and consistent way for hours at a time, and sometime on several separate days. The human voices change day to day and even from morning to evening.
  6. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

    Eve of Snows is out in Audiobook on a profit share. A narrator jumped on it the day I offered it. It was fun trying to get the pronunciations more or less right! but other than that, a cool experience. The narrator and I clicked, and he was onboard fast because he believes in the book and series.

    Now, to profit share or not to profit share? I’m leaning away from it. Eve of Snows has had pretty decent sales in its first couple months with limitied ad budget, but most of the sales are through Audible subscriptions, which murders your profit margin on advertising right off the bat. Basically, no profit share on a 15 hour audio is about the same as the profit on an ebook sold at $5.99, $4+, now you cut that in half... There’s no way to advertise and hit adequate sell through to make money on a $2 sale. A day here and there, maybe.

    Hindsight... Pay for the Audiobook narration and have it ready at launch or damned close. I spent 6 months advertising an ebook, when I could have been pushing the audio at the same time. Having both essentially creates a “second book” or income stream off of the same advertising, much like books 2 and 3 will. The crossover advertising is solid, the International Bookbub moved a decent number of audiobooks to go with ebook sales.

    I also contemplated doing it myself, but... the amount of time getting it right would kill writing time.
    Malik likes this.
  7. Malik

    Malik Archmage

    I sold my audio rights back in January and just learned this morning that Dragon's Trail is coming out in April, with The New Magic following in May.

    Audio is exploding right now; audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment of publishing. As we become more and more pinched for time and more people look to read passively, it will probably keep getting bigger. The numbers and long-range models are insane. The CEO of Penguin Random House said last year that audiobooks are the future, not ebooks. He could be wrong, but just taking into account that he said it out loud, I'd argue that every author needs to assess their business model and see where audio fits in.
    Demesnedenoir and pmmg like this.
  8. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Staff Leadership

    We are in process of working on our first audiobook ourselves, but we also have the benefit of my wife, who is voice trained and theatre trained. Lovely voice. My in-laws are also professional musicians with all the equipment we need and their own studio, so awesome hax. The major challenge we're facing is nailing down the software, which has a HUGE user's manual and is very versatile up until you only want to record a paragraph at a time, and dealing with background noises like the heater kicking on or the dogs wandering by on the hardwood floor outside the office.

    So far it's been a lot of fun, but also a huge amount of work. Will it be worth it? Given the market share that audiobooks have right now I do believe so. We have fans constantly asking when the books will be available on audio, and these are folks who I know already have us in paperback and ebook. Audio is well worth the investment.
    Malik likes this.
  9. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

    I don’t know if it’s “the future” because at least for me, audio narrators tend to bore the shit out of me, and it takes me longer to listen than read. Audio won’t take over, but it is an additional revenue stream on the same advertising, and one that can generate more revenue per sale than print or ebook. These are complimentary technologies, and not necessarily with the same audience. They create another market separate from ebook and print... Plenty of crossover, of course, but do heavy book consumers buy audio? I doubt it. My hope and expectation is that audio expands the “reader” market rather than playing in some zero sum game. And never trust industry folks to know what the hell they’re talking about, LOL.

    On average Eve of Snows is moving about 1.5 audio copies per day with minimal (but not 0) advertising and those ads aren’t specific to audio... which they could be. I’m sitting on cash waiting for the launch of book 2, so keeping things tight for the time being. If I’d not done a profit share... Odds are good I’d be kicking my ad budget up, but with the share, it brings my advertising into the red. So, book two needs to be out to get things happy black.

    My wife likes audiobooks because of an eye issue, so I downloaded Way of Kings by Sanderson, and I CAN NOT listen to that reader. He bores the daylights out of me. Might as well smack me upside the head with a bag of sand. And the bad thing is, he seems to read many or all of Sanderson’s books. Now, what I might really like is listening while redaing. I did that with Eve of Snows to listen for errors, and it’s awesome... slows my reading down and I really pay attention to detail. If that worked for other others, it might be the ideal way to read for me.

    In general, audio does not engage my brain at all.


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