So you can read my books

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


{The Angel of Death courtesy of the genius of Leonora Roy}
Should you consider making your self-published book into an audiobook?
Reason #1:
The Size of the Audiobook Industry is Nearly a Billion-Dollar Industry.
Reason #2:
Book Lovers Listen to Audiobooks.
A book lover is the kind of person who reads 50+ books a year and has hundreds of books on their GoodReads bookshelf.
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 mavens who listened to the audio.

Reason #3:

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.

Or they may be a busy CEO or reporter.

When you have an audiobook, the pie of potential readers gets bigger, which is exactly what the publishing industry needs.

Reason #4:

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.

Reason #5:

Audiobooks Are Cheap & Easy to Make.

In the recent past ( the early 2000's), producing an audiobook was expensive and time consuming.

 Even now talented voice actors charge from $100 to $400 an hour.  Ouch! 
An average book is usually 8 to 9 hours.  $900 to $3600 is more than most of us have to spend!
If you’re not oriented towards selling a kidney, there are lots of great companies to do it for you. I highly recommend ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange)
ACX connects writers with narrators and studios. 
This is a great place to listen to potential narrators and shop around for the best studio to produce your audio book. Better yet, if your product meets the standards of ACX, you can apply to sell you work as an mp3 download on
Still flinching from that possible $3600 to shell out?
ACX has something they call Royalty Sharing.   
ACX offers the royalty share payment model.
Under these terms, you, the rights holder, forgo up front payment. Your producer will do the same work described above, and deliver the same retail-ready audio product.
The time spent, and the value of the producer’s work is the same as if they were being paid up front. That’s why it’s extra important to have a solid plan for how you’ll market your title, and how your producer can fit into that plan.
Choosing to split the royalties can get you a “partner in crime,” and double the marketing force behind your audio version.
It’s important to note that the royalty share option is only available when you grant ACX exclusive distribution of your title.

The graph below displays, for the benefit of the Rights Holders and Producers, how ACX’s Royalty Share Deals work. The Rights Holder and Producer split all royalties fifty-fifty.
For example, if Audible or any of Audible’s third party distributors sell a total of 1,100 copies of an audiobook created on ACX and the Rights Holder and Producer have entered into a Royalty Share deal, then Audible will pay the Rights Holder and Producer a royalty of 25 percent each for the initial five hundred units, then 25.5 percent each for the next five hundred units sold, then 26 percent each for the next five hundred units sold, etc., per Option #1 in the above Escalator Royalty Rates Chart.

What do you think? Should your book become an audiobook?


  1. I do some voice over work and while I am not really a writer and don't expect to have a book to turn into an audiobook, the vocal part of this does appeal to me. I will check them out~

  2. I think it would be cool, but my publisher said the audio market is shrinking and they're hesitant to go that route.
    And $3600? You'd have to sell a lot of audiobooks. I can see why the royalty route is a better deal.

  3. I know quite a few people who love audiobooks for drivetime--they have long commutes and so that is how they 'read' and spend those hours they are stuck in the car.

    It had only recently occurred to me that it was an option for self-publishing, but it makes total sense. I probably am not going to on THIS round (I think it works best for first person, single narrator), but it is on my list of things to learn about. Thanks for the info!

  4. My publisher goes through ACX. My first novel, Flank Hawk, has sold okay, but not near the sales of other audiobook works released by my publisher. Part of it is similar to print/ebook. Often readers are interested in more than one title by the author before they commit. My second novel in the series is in production.

    I will say it's pretty neat to hear someone read your novel to you.

  5. Shelly:
    ACX is a clearinghouse in a way that matches voice actors with inquiring authors. Give them a shot. I wish you luck.

    The CD audio route is shrinking but DOWNLOADS have increased tenfold in a single year at ACX.

    It is easier to stand out in the crowd when it is a smaller crowd.

    Besides prose sales have gone flat where audio downloads have soared.

    Even first person narratives include different voices and sexes. Think it over. :-)

    As I said in the prior post, it is usually only by the 3rd volume in a series that audiences begin to grow in prose -- the same is true for audiobooks, too. Best of luck!

  6. This is very interesting, Roland. Thank you for sharing! :)

  7. I like the option for sharing. Gives more writers a better chance at breaking into the market.

    And a good list of reasons!

  8. I never considered audio books. Thanks for all the info about it.

  9. Carrie:
    I try to help my friends get the Big Picture in areas that might interest them. Thanks for liking this.

    Words Crafter:
    Yes, sharing is the way to go. It gives the voice actor incentive to be creative since his or her profits will be on-going from this book from now on!

    It might be something to look into. :-)