audio-book production

Creating an Audiobook on a Shoestring

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by Patrick Jones, Author of The Wolf’s Moon

Audio-Book

http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/The-Wolfs-Moon-Audiobook/B013TNC3H2
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The Wolf’s Moon has been on the market for the past three years and is still holding its own.  I sent copies to my brothers only to find out unless there are pictures with the words, well… you can imagine the rest.  Then, I met a fourth-grade teacher who told me she no longer had time to read novels anymore. Rachel said she did miss that part of her life, but her kids came first – as well they should.

My plight was how to reach people who just did not read for whatever the reason. After spending some hours talking with my wife, she suggested that we again look into an audio book.
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Creating an audiobook takes a rather long-term commitment to follow-through with the project.  It requires due diligence in learning everything you can about the world of audiobook publishing and it has the same learning curve as print or eBook author publishing.  Anyone who dives headfirst into this career choice is committed to a lifetime of learning about the publishing industry.
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In the following article, I will touch on important points to consider during your path how to create your audiobook masterpiece.
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Is your book ready for audio?
Remember, the book itself must be well on its way to popularity by the use of various marketing techniques. Branding is a critical technique so that your followers recognize all of your works.
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Are you ready for audio?
This project takes time and a lot of critical thinking about bringing the book to life. For example, one must choose the narrator who is capable of transforming the written words from reading to listening pleasure, an entirely different platform altogether.
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You now have a new audience to court in addition to everything else!
Do readers necessarily like to listen to audiobooks? Some yes, some no. Audiobook lovers have their very own niche! It is critical to read everything you can get your hands on in order to understand the audio niche.
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How do you choose the right narrator?
This is critical in the creation of the story you wish to tell.  Storytelling is the most important function you will provide to the reader.  Please refer to my post about Storytelling by Sarah-Jane Murray (used by permission).
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Thus, the narrator that you choose must be exactly what you are looking for. You are prompted to describe what you are looking for insofar as the accent, a regional accent, language, man, woman and so on. It is actually a fun process to begin to hear your book come to life. ACX Audible has a wealth of narrators from which you can interview. They direct you how to upload a sample reading for the narrator. At that point, you can accept or reject that audition and move on to the next narrator. Please note…this is NOT an easy task and takes quite some time to choose the right fit for your book. Luckily, we auditioned two excellent narrators that ACX selected from our specifications.

We chose Mark Westfield with Westfield Audio Arts.  He is an independent contractor that owns his own business. To read about Mark Westfield, please refer to this SNEAK PEAK blog post.

If you would like to contact Mark Westfield to produce your audiobook you can contact him at Mark@WestfieldAudioArts.com

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The Wolf’s Moon by Patrick Jones is exclusive on Amazon, thus available on KDP.  We have 114 reviews with a rating of 4.3 at Amazon.  We published in 2012 and it is now 2015… so we weren’t ready to consider audiobooks for 3 years.
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However, in which stage of book publishing you are in, you must consider the possibility early on so as to capitalize on every piece of information you can gather.  We began the audiobook publishing process at the beginning of 2015.  We had previously entertained looking at other audiobook production vendors, thus having a rudimentary idea of what we were looking at.
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We ultimately chose ACX Audible as the vendor of choice.  Why, you ask?

  • Vendor recognition and popularity in the industry
  • An Amazon subsidiary
  • Education and literature accessibility
  • Prompt response
  • Phone support
  • A wealth of narrators to choose from
  • And last, but not least, the cost.  Audiobooks can be a very expensive proposition.  At ACX Audible, we created an audiobook for no initial outlay of funds.  However, we do share the rights for 7 years with Amazon on a 60/40 proposition…the 60% royalty goes to Amazon; the 40% royalty is split between the author and the narrator.  There is also a $50 “bounty” program for attracting new audiobook listeners to Audible (also split between the author and the narrator).  Make sure to study your contract before you sign on the dotted line. There are also other packages at ACX Audible to produce your audiobook, all differing in cost to the author. The Wolf’s Moon chose to share the royalties for 7 years. Please refer to the article on the ACX blog for further information:
    http://blog.acx.com/2015/07/14/you-kept-your-audiobook-rights-now-what/
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    Now, you may ask yourself: “Why in the world would someone want to give up 80% of their royalties in order to produce an audiobook?”
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  • The audiobook royalties are just that – only applying to the audiobook itself, not your original book royalties.  The production cost of an audiobook can run into the thousands of dollars on other platforms.
  • The audiobook is available on 3 platforms, ACX Audible, Amazon, iTunes for better market penetration. In other words, this ALSO markets your book
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Now your “buzz” is logarithmic
  • Support narrators worldwide…they are very special because they have the talent to “become” the book and bring it to life…plus, they have to work directly with you which is not always easy!
  • Amazon is still the largest book dealer and owns virtually everything with Jeff Bezos as the CEO
  • Exclusivity with ACX Audible as well as Amazon
  • More books, more audiobooks, more “buzz” for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • A wonderful gift to leave to other generations when you are gone
  • Bringing your book to life is the most indescribable feeling when you hear it
  • PLUS…when you produce the audiobook, the narrator also finds errors in your book because they have to read it thoroughly and create the atmosphere, thus another edit per se, although then you have to go back and re-Kindle the book for the errors
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A new adventure begins…

For more information about audio-book production, links and addresses, please see the following blog post: http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/how-else-can-you-leverage-your-manuscript/

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Thank you for taking the time to digest all of the information above!
The Linden Chronicles is the home of The Wolf’s Moon by Patrick Jones. We have reached this point in our adventure and will periodically update you on the progress as we make it.  We also thought we would never get to this point, but the release is this week in August 2015!  How exciting is that?

If you would like to purchase this brand new audiobook at
http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/The-Wolfs-Moon-Audiobook/B013TNC3H2
and if you wish to write a review, I would be most humbled.

For assistance with writing audiobook reviews:
http://blog.acx.com/2014/12/17/the-elements-of-a-well-reviewed-audiobook/

 

Authors: never, ever give up!
Pat Jones

Copyright © 2015 Patrick Jones

 



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