How to Self-Publish an Audiobook

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The written world has a new competitor; the audio world. The written market is as crowded as it can be, and now people are shifting to audiobooks. Audiobooks are perfect for the modern world, which, more often than not, deems multi-tasking a necessity. It allows people to listen to a book while commuting, using a smartphone, or even when while at work.

The audiobook market is similar to the early days of the eBook market. The potential audiobook market is undersupplied, flooded with opportunities. According to Statista, audiobooks are now a multibillion-dollar industry. In another study by Pew, one in five readers has turned into an Audiobook listener. The shift in this consumer behavior places authors in a well-fertilized place of growth.

Self-publishing audiobooks open up a new avenue for authors to increase their sales and diversify revenue streams. There are various platforms for authors to publish their audiobooks. Let me walk you through the two most obvious options for you to self-publish your audiobook:

ACX

ACX is an Amazon platform that connects authors or publishers with producers and narrators to facilitate audiobook production. ACX allows you to publish your book on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

If you want to use ACX, it must be for you to legally own the rights. For example, you have to be an independent self-publishing author or a traditional writer without licensed audio rights. As of now, ACX caters to residents of the UK, US, Ireland, and Canada. If you live outside these countries, Findaway Voices can help you. Here's how you can self-publish through ACX:

  1. Amazon Login and Book Claim
    Visit Amazon and type your ASIN, the number assigned to every book on the store by Amazon. You can also use your book title and then claim your book. By doing so, your book will be assigned to your ACX account. As your book is on pre-order, you can launch our audiobook at the same time as your print book or eBook. You can use a pre-order period for you to time to produce and publish the audiobook.
  2. Book Details for Narrator
    ACX will use your eBook profile information, but you need to include your notes on your author platform and sales. This will help you get royalty share deals and attract an experienced narrator.
    You will need to add a sample for the audition and the type of voice you want. The accent and the tone of the voice should be according to the requirement of your book, e.g., a young adult female or an African-American adult male, etc.
    You can add your audiobook cover at the time of publishing but adding it right at this step can attract more narrators for auditions.
  3. Contract and Exclusivity
    This step requires you to choose a deal you would like to offer to a narrator. You can either pay straight away or interest him in a royalty split deal. However, the royalty split deal will be a seven-year contract, and you will be exclusive to ACX.
    If you narrate the book yourself or you have hired a narrator to be paid at the finished hour rate, you have to make the choice of going non-exclusive or exclusive with ACX for distribution.
    If you choose to be exclusive, your audiobook will only be available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, but you will receive a higher royalty rate. It will also be a seven-year contract. However, if you choose to own the rights, you can contact ACX after a year to be moved to a non-exclusive contract.
    If you choose to be non-exclusive, you can publish your audiobook on any platform and even sell directly from your website, but you will receive a lower royalty rate.
    I would advise you not to be exclusive with ACX because if you do so, you will miss out on major global companies and markets like Kobo Audio, Scribd, Storytel, and more. You will also miss out on library distribution, and you cannot use promotional services like "Chirp" from Book burb.

Findaway Voices

Findaway Voices can help you find a narrator, or you can publish your own files separately. You will find two payment options as royalty share option and finished hour pay contract. You can add the price separately for library markets and retail.

Most of its features are available all over the world, but some regions are in the process.

First of you need to decide you want to produce the audiobook yourself or through Findaway Voices. You can use Findaway Calculator to calculate the cost of production. You can calculate how many sales are needed to cover the cost of production.

Explain the platform what kind of narrator you are looking for in your audiobook, and choose one of the recommended narrators. When your narrator has sent you the files, you need to quality-check the files thoroughly.

There are different ISBNs for retail and library editions. Findaway can help you with them. Then you need to provide your metadata, e.g., title, subtitle, author, publisher, book description, BISAC categories, and copyright notices, etc., and cover. You can set up a payment profile for receiving royalties.

Finally, you decide the distribution channels you want, price, and timetable for distribution and get ready for revenue.

Tips for Self-Publishing Your Audiobook

  1. You can choose ACX with a non-exclusive contract and then acquire the services of Findaway Voices to reach a wider market.
  2. In the beginning, if you have less money to invest, you can opt for royalty deals. It is your choice.
  3. ACX sets its own price according to the length of the audiobook and promotions used by Audible. Findaway Voices allows you to set your own price for markets separately, and you can also do promotional pricing. So, if you want control over your pricing, you should choose Findaway.
  4. Audio Publishers Association survey 2018 showed that 91% of audiobook sales were in the digital version in the USA. The rest of the countries will catch up very soon, too, so avoid selling your audiobooks on CD.

Audiobooks are the future. Authors and publishers strap your shoes and get ready to take advantage of this tide of opportunities and growth.

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