So you can read my books

Thursday, April 18, 2013

K is for KEY as in Audio Books Could be the KEY to Your Novel's Success

{Cover to the audio book courtesy of Leonora Roy}
KEY #1 -
Having an Audiobook Makes You Easier to Find.
There are over 100,000 books on Audible.
There are millions of books on Amazon.
I can’t think of an easier way to break your book out of the crowd
than to turn it into an audiobook.
It’s a lot easier to stand out from the crowd if you’re in a small crowd
KEY #2 -
Audiobooks Give You Access to Non-Readers.
There are millions of people in the world who hate reading, but love listening.
 These “non-readers” either can’t or won’t take the time to sit down and read a book.
Perhaps they struggle with slow reading, dyslexia or are blind.
There are thousands of commuters who daily listen to audio books.
You burn through A LOT of audio books on daily commutes!
KEY #3 -
Book Lovers Listen to Audiobooks.
Audiobook lovers are able to read so much
because they listen to books while driving, working out, or cooking.
If you have an audiobook, not only will you make money selling the audio versions,
you’ll make additional money
through the recommendations of book lovers who listened to the audio version.
KEY#4 -
Audiobooks Are Cheap & Easy to Make.
Prior to the new millenium, producing an audiobook was expensive and time consuming.
Publishers could only afford produce their most popular titles in audio.
Now, services like ACX and make producing an audiobook cheap and easy.
ACX even lets you produce the audiobook for free,
provided you split the revenue with the narrator 50/50.

Many publishers still do audiobooks the old expensive way,
which isn’t a problem as long as they make the audiobook.
Unfortunately they often retain the audio rights and yet don’t pay to make the audiobook,
which is the worst scenario.
The best scenario is for your publisher to pay to get the audiobook created.
The second best is where you record it yourself or go through a service like ACX.
Have you thought about making audio books?
It is nearly a Billion Dollar Industry.
Do you think you should try at a getting a small
piece of that money and attention?


  1. Roland,
    This is a great post! I always thought the process was ridiculously expensive and not worth the time and effort. But you make such excellent points. I am off to check out ACX. There is no way I would want to record it on my own.

  2. Susan:
    Yes, the thought of the immense cost to audio books put me off until I learned about ACX. But be sure you have the audio rights to your books. :-)

  3. Great suggestion Roland!

    I've had several people to me to record my books. When I read to them they say I have a terrific narrative voice. and even my blind client wants me to record for her. SO I just might check out ACX...

    First I need to find tune my novels to perfection. Read them aloud from start to finish a few times. I can record on my computer just to see how it's going before I jump into it.

  4. An excellent suggestion, Roland, and one I'll keep on the back burner. Thanks for letting us know what's changed about the process.

    We had to get audiobooks for our father-in-law when his vision went south. He had served at the Dew Line and had damage from snow blindness coupled with the age factor.

    I think this would be excellent for commuters. Just listening to Kerouac read some of his books makes a big difference. . .(he recorded some of his readings)

    Good Luck with this venture!

  5. I need to ask my publisher about audiobooks. And check my contracts.

  6. The thought of publishing an audiobook had never occurred to me but you make it sound so obviously beneficial I can't help but be curious.

  7. I have two of my books in production through ACX, however, with Amazon's whispersync, folks can now buy audio for just $4 thru Amazon if you use ACX, because they have the rights.

    So, I'll look at that other service for the other books. Or, I'll wait to see how things go with the first to.

    Audio is great and i've been wanting to get into the media for some time.

  8. I must admit to not having ever listened to an audio book. I must work on that, actually. I suspect I'd enjoy it.

    Perhaps your book will be my first :)

  9. What a great idea Roland! So glad I stopped by. It's always great to hear your 'voice'. :)

    ~ Olivia

  10. Michael:
    I wish you luck! You have such an artistic flair that I know you will do well.

    I listen to audio books as I drive my blood runs and I burn through a lot of them. I hope to get most of my backlist in audio to take advantage of that hunger for audio books.

    Your visit to Meilori's is in your inbox by the way! :-)

    I think your books would do great in audio!

    J Keith:
    I think 2013 could well be the year of the audio book for Indies.

    M Pax:
    I've heard of authors' concern about whispersync. John Layton talked about $2 audio book prices. You talk of $4. I've looked and seen $6 to $8 ebook prices.

    It is the Wal-Mart principle:
    Let's say our audio books do go for $4. We had priced our books at $10 now they are $4.

    If we had sold 2 books that would be $20. At $4, more people may well be tempted to gamble on an unknown like us.

    It would take 2 sales for us to earn $20 -- 5 sales at $4 to earn that $20 --

    But with the cheaper price, there are now FIVE mouths to give word of mouth about our books instead of just TWO. And at the cheaper price, we will entice more readers than the larger cost. This will work to our advantage in the long run.

    I've been listening to on-going recordings of THE LAST SHAMAN and THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS and I cannot wait for all of you to hear how awesome they sound!

    Well, I am smart enough to use the professional voices of others!! Always good to see you here! :-)

  11. Great post! Very, very informative, Roland. The idea of a writer choosing his or her narrator is cool, too. I don't think with traditional publishers that's the case, is it? As a frequent listener of audiobooks, I know (as I'm sure you do) the narrator can make or break a book.

    VR Barkowski

  12. VR:
    James Marsters IS Harry Dreden -- so much so that when Penguin chose John Glover to do Harry in GHOST STORY, the sales dropped like a rock!

    Mike Vendetti IS Wolf Howl in THE LAST SHAMAN!

    I'm glad you liked this post! :-)

  13. Hi Roland - I've been thinking about audio for a while, when I get round to doing something .. fairly soon now - especially with my British voice and overseas listeners ... I can then put my own intonation into each story ... I know it works as these are the kind of things I did with my mother.

    Great post - I hope your book is going to be audioed?!

    Cheers Hilary