People love audiobooks and there is more demand than supply. So it just makes sense to consider creating one for your book. Don’t worry, you don’t necessarily have to be the voice actor. You can offer your book as a podcast, too! Browse these tools and services for a solution that matches your skillset and budget level.
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You can narrate your own book, share royalties with a narrator, or pay a narrator up front with ACX. Every audiobook you make on ACX will be available on Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes, but also if you grant Audible exclusive distribution rights, then you’ll earn royalties of 40%.
I use Audacity a lot to record interviews or audio lessons. It is free, open-source recording software that you can use to record your own audiobook To record your own audiobook you’ll also need the following:
- A computer with a USB port
- A high-quality microphone with a stand and a pop filter
- A quiet place with no background noise or echo
- Audiobook creation software (like Audiobook Builder for Mac) to create a MP3 file at CBR recorded in mono format, with opening credits, closing credits, and each chapter a “track.”
You can sell your audiobook on your own website using an ecommerce system like Gumroad, or distribute it using Kbuuk or Amazon ACX.
Author’s Republic is an “aggregate distributor” that claims to be the world’s widest audiobook distribution network with over 30 major retailers, library providers and distributors, with new channels added monthly. (Though Findaway, below, seems to have more. You upload your audiobook (made by you or with a service) for distribution, they check to make sure it meets their minimum standards and, if it does, they send it to their distributors who have the right to accept or reject it (takes 5-60 days), and receive 70% of earnings.
Book2Pod transforms your book into audiofiles using text-to-speech technology and publishes each book chaper as podcast episodes on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify. You get your own podcast channel and landing page. The robotic voices are not perfect but at $147 for a conversion a fraction of the cost of a professional narrator.
Narration, production, quality-checking, and distribution to retail, library, and K–12 consumers in more than 170 countries. Royalty rates vary by retailer but works out to about 80%. Narration cost is calculated on a per-finished-hour basis and varies based on book length, narrator selected, and complexity. There’s a calculator on their site. The $49 administration fee, waived when signing up as part of Draft2Digital’s distribution service.
Listen up is an award-winning, spoken-word audio production company and audiobook publisher based in Atlanta, Georgia with studios and talent country-wide. They can distribute your audiobook at no extra cost at 80% net.
Podiobooks merged with Scribl to supply readers with companion audiobooks and podcasts. Create an audiobook, upload the files, and upload your e-book files (EPUB and MOBI). In a few days (or hours, sometimes), you’ll see your paid audiobook version in all of the audiobook outlets to which Scribl distributes, plus a free, serialized version will appear on iTunes and Stitcher, plus others, like Google, for 70 percent royalty. You earn 85 percent of the sale on Scribl and you can opt-in to CrowdPricing Everywhere (for 90 percent royalty) to boost sales on other retailers, too. This royalty is higher than going direct to some retailers, including Amazon.
SoundCloud has been called “the YouTube of audio.” It’s a social sound platform that lets you create audio and share it everywhere on the web, privately and publicly, and to all your social networks. They also provide an embed widget for your site and blog. With the free account, you get 120 minutes of uploaded audio. It’s easy to use and a great way to offer free audio previews of your work (excerpts, story readings, interviews) though there is no way for visitors to pay you for the content unless you set up private access via your email list or a site like Gumroad, PayPal, or Patreon.
Get high-quality, professional audiobooks produced without paying royalty fees, keep all the rights to your audio, and distribute it however you choose. Crowdsourcing technology lets you choose from over 28,000 voice actors in many languages, accents, and age groups. VoiceBunny, the audio book creator, recently partnered with Kbuuk.com, the audio book distributor to get your book into Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. When you’re ready to convert it to audio, check out the new VoiceBunny App available in the Kbuuk Publishing App Store. From there, a member of the VoiceBunny client services team will personally assist each author, ensuring they get great results for their audio book. You can either 1) browse for actors and book one, or 2) run a contest, or 3) get a speedy (do it for you). That last option (speedy), for a 60,000-word book, will cost $1,197.