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  • Shelagh Clancy

Audio Tales for Self-Published Authors

In a sea of new books, readers look for any fresh angle to grab onto.

And some of these readers aren’t even reading—they’re listening.

Audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing, and one in five people in the U.S. listen to audio. They listen while commuting, cleaning, working on the car, and at work.

Audio Advice

Many companies will help publish your audiobook. As usual, there’s Amazon, and then there are the others. (Audiobook Creation Exchange) is a one-stop shop for authors, offering narrators, producers, and distribution. It’s an Amazon company and its audiobooks are offered on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes, the most common audiobook sites.

On ACX, you select a narrator and work with them to make your spoken book sound like it does in your head. You choose a contract, and there are two types: You can pay up front, or you can sign an exclusive contract that gives royalties to you, the narrator, and ACX. ACX offers you 20 to 40% net royalties.

Independent Audio Publishers

There’s a publishing world outside of Amazon, and independent publishers also offer audio services. They may require more of you, but you may have different options.

Distribution is, again, usually on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. You’ll need to select a good narrator and decide on a royalty split or if you want to pay at the outset. The market is still young, so look around for small press and other independents that offer the services you need.

The Sound of… Beeping

Hours go into narration, and you must be prepared to listen carefully to your audiobook several times to catch any errors. Does the narrator clear her throat? Do you hear a car alarm beeping in the background? Is a word changed? You’ll mark these glitches and listen again to the corrected version.

Learn more about the mechanics of creating audiobooks:

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