You may or you may not already know that audiobooks are famously difficult to create, more so for traditionally published authors than self-published authors, especially if you no longer have the rights to your own titles.
If you’ve self-published traditionally then chances are you also sold the rights to your work when you sold the manuscript. First things first: find out what control you have over when, how, and if, your publisher decides to move your book into Audiobook format.
However, if you still have the rights in your own name then the creation of your audiobook is completely in your hands, leaving you the chance to make the characters, narrator and personality of the story exactly how you imagined it. If you choose to put your self-published novel on an audiobook, make sure that you have full control over the way everything pans out; the last thing you want is for a narrative that doesn’t sound the way you imagined.
The latest big thing to hit both self-publishing and the audio world is ACX, the most popular and most effective way of getting your book on audio. Created by Amazon and Audible, the ACX service is the Kindle Direct Publishing of the audio world. ACX will distribute your book to Audible.com, Amazon.com and iTunes, meaning that with just one click your book is available for download through the top online audio retailers out there.
You’ll need to decide whether you want to read the book yourself, which will inevitably work out a lot cheaper, or cast a narrator, characters or anybody else to read the book for you. This will of course depend on what voice the book is in, if you’re a male writer and you’ve written the story of a female in first person, you will struggle to read the book yourself. Most importantly, you need your book to feel and sound the same way that it reads, so decide on your voices and narration accordingly.
ACX will even find a narrator for you if you input your preferences, and you’ll be presented with audition tapes to listen to so that you can decide on the perfect voice for your book. This process can be as quick and easy or as long and difficult as you want it to be.
As far as royalties go, this will depend on the exclusivity arrangement that you have with ACX. If you choose to distribute your audiobook solely through ACX then royalties will start higher, but your book will be distributing where ACX see fit, and you won’t have a choice in the matter. If you want to distribute non-exclusively, then you can sell your audiobook wherever you like, however you will be paid the base escalator royalty rate which grows depending on how many copies you sell.
All narrators are screened by ACX for quality and they are required to produce the recording in their own studies, making them extremely instrumental in your project.
So if you want your book to be the escape that adds depth and distraction to a walk, a drive or a mundane task, give ACX a try, and let us know how it goes!