It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. Every month, the organizers announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. Remember, the question is optional!!! Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG, and the hashtag is #IWSG.

April 6 question – Have any of your books been made into audiobooks? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?
Not yet though I have looked at the prospect many times over the years. At first, in the 90s, I contacted a few voice artists here in New Zealand. I was shocked at the cost. Audiobooks were expensive to produce and the province of a select few professionals. I found the experience so intimidating that I gave up.
A few years went past before I revisited the idea. I had heard that it was possible to create your own audiobooks through Amazon and I looked into the ACX division. Although Amazon had done an admirable job of making the production of audiobooks easier, the most important ingredient, the voice talent, was still non-negotiable. I still needed to find someone who could read my books for me.

When I released my trilogy, The Chronicles of Aden Weaver in 2020, I gave a twenty-minute keynote presentation. One friend who is dyslexic said audiobooks were vital to her as reading the books herself would take far too long. She said, “When you talk about your books, you speak with such passion and conviction. Have you ever thought of reading your own audiobooks? I’d be the first to buy them.” That got me thinking for the first time about the possibility of doing the voice work myself. Was it possible? Could I do it?

I began to look into it. I’d say the best guide I found was an extensive set of instructions on eBookIt!

Check out the How To Make An Audio Book: A Do-It-Yourself Guide, which details the most basic kit required:
‘A computer with a USB port
A high-quality microphone with a stand and pop filter (that round cloth thing in front of the mic)
A way to connect the mic to the computer (either directly via USB or through a mixing board)
A recording environment with very little to no background noise and no echo
Recording software
Editing software
Audiobook creation software.’

For distribution, Amazon has the largest share of the market through Audible. ‘The author’s choice, as with ebooks, is whether to receive higher royalties by keeping the audiobook exclusive to Amazon/Audible/iTunes, distributing through ACX, or to earn less but cover multiple retailers by distributing on Amazon/Audible/iTunes AND other retailers, services and libraries like Google Play, Kobo, Nook, Overdrive, and Scribd.’
I guess the long and the short of it is that creating and distributing your own audiobooks is a lot of work, whichever way you go. These things are always toughest on Indies. Narrating and producing my own audiobooks would take time and dedication. It comes down to the bottom line. I nearly always end up with the same question. Do I want to tinker around with audio, considering the returns are unlikely to cover the costs when I could be writing my next book?

The new book wins every time.
What about you. Do you want to publish audiobooks? Do you listen to audiobooks?

Keep Writing!
Yvette Carol
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Do not be troubled by things that have not yet happened. ~ Anon


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Comments
  1. cleemckenzie says:

    I don’t have any audiobooks yet, so I’ll take a look at the book you’ve linked to in this post. Thanks for posting that.

    That anon quote is on my wall above my computer. I’m reminded daily how futile worry about the future is futile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Cheryl. The link is to an in-depth blog post which leads to other pages from there. Ebookit has an excellent information-rich site that is a good resource.
      I love that quote! Anything that reminds me to let go.

      Like

  2. Olga Godim says:

    Great post. I quite agree with you on all counts. I know that many people love audio books, but I doubt I’ll ever produce any from my stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      One of my writing tutors used to listen to audiobooks every day while jogging. I have to admit I’ve never listened to one. It strikes me that if I did listen to audiobooks all the time I might have produced an audiobook by now.

      Like

  3. I have one audiobook, but I’ve yet to listen to it. I don’t even want to think about why that is. I wish I had an answer for you. I’m on the fence, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. emaginette says:

    Very informative. I had some suspicion about cost when I researched but didn’t dig too deep.

    Great post.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Anna!
      I’d have to pay a professional, and reading a whole book is hard work. Take a listen to cartoons sometimes with your eyes closed. The amount of energy those voice artists put into every single word is phenomenal. But with a book, they have to have a strong voice that can stay the same from beginning to end. I feel like I could do it myself but I wouldn’t want to shortchange the books by putting out a less-than-professional end product.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Making your own audiobook could be fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      That’s true. I have been amused by stories of authors who narrated their own books and created “blanket forts” inside their spare rooms for recording. Apparently, blanket forts do cut out a significant amount of background noise.

      Like

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