One of the awesome things that came about from reading the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast was learning more and more about Audiobooks and what they can do for authors. Until the episode with Leeland Archer, I had never even thought about audiobooks. I don’t listen to them, they’re expensive, and the setup and production are ridiculously expensive.
Or so I thought.
The first blow to my thinking there is looking around and realizing that so many people really do listen to audiobooks. This is one of those things that, though it might not apply to me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to readers. Audible, being owned by Amazon, is a major player and there are authors discussing making good money with the audiobooks. Even more importantly, it helps build that portfolio of work. Digital, print, audio, whatever you want. It is also a way to get more from your work but I’ll go into more detail on that in a minute.
What I also didn’t realize was ACX…well, existed. I had no idea Amazon had an analogous company to KDP and Createspace. Under the ACX deal, authors and narrators can put up their work (samples or auditions) and then bid against each other for projects.
So, say you’re an author. Put up fifteen minutes of your work and narrators can submit “audition tapes” for you to choose. They can choose their rates, based either on royalty or a flat fee, and then they make the book.
And that’s where getting more from your work comes from. I have absolutely no way to make an audiobook. It’s expensive (like several hundred dollars an hour) and I can’t front that much. I also can’t do it myself, I don’t have the equipment and addition of a well crafted Tennessean/Mississippian/Arkansan accent. Also, I find public speaking to be one of the three most terrifying things ever (the others being spiders and the ocean).
So, barring this, a Sorcerer Rising audiobook is not going to exist. If a production company comes along and pays me, sure, but those are as bountiful as movie deals or publishing contracts. It’s just not something I, or most, would have the time, money, or expertise to do.
That said, I have put next to no research into this. Giving up a sizable royalty and relying on someone else to maintain the quality of the work, is daunting. Hell, relying on myself to know what makes a good narrator is even worse, especially given that I don’t listen to ebooks. It’s something I’m still looking into, and I’ll add whatever research I find as I go along.
Additionally, if anyone has any experiences or articles they’ve found, feel free to share them.