There are many attractive benefits for indie writers who choose the self-publishing route.

One of the top advantages to choosing this pathway to publication is the freedom you have to expand the distribution of your book in various ways. Meanwhile, as the author, you will retain complete control over the financial rewards gleaned from these ambitions. Recording an audiobook is one such example.

Learning how to make a book into an audiobook is not as hard or scary as it might seem. In fact, knowing that the audiobook segment of the publishing space now packs a $3.5 billion punch is a pretty powerful motivator to figure it out.

Keep reading to learn how to turn almost any book into an audiobook.

How to Turn Your Book into an Audiobook

Considering the many ways we now consume content, it isn’t surprising that more people are spending their quiet time listening to audiobooks.

There are times when it simply isn’t conducive to physically read a book, such as when you are driving. An audiobook is the perfect solution. With Google Auto and Apple CarPlay, streaming books through the car’s sound system greatly improves the listening experience.

And let’s face it, sometimes we prefer to kick back and passively listen to a book being recited to us instead of reading one ourselves. You still get to digest the book, but without expending any energy.

Lastly, there are some people who just do not enjoy reading. These folks might never get to read your amazing book unless an audiobook version is made available to them.

It is clear that, as pastimes and personal preferences evolve, audiobooks present a potentially lucrative additional revenue stream for your self-published book. So, how do you make a book into an audiobook, you ask?

There are basically two routes you can choose from when it comes to making a book into an audiobook. Either budget for a voice actor to record the audiobook for you, which can cost $1,000-$3,000 depending on the length of the book, or record it yourself.

If you choose to record it yourself, you will need to purchase the proper equipment and set aside a good deal of time.

Whether you hire a narrator or record the audiobook yourself, you will need to budget for an audio engineer to do the editing and post-production tasks.

To create an audiobook yourself, follow these seven steps:

  1. Work from a finished, edited manuscript. The book must be edited and proofed before you begin the audiobook recording process. You will be reading your book in a digital format of an e-reader in order to avoid distracting page-turning sounds.
  2. Purchase the right audio equipment. If you decide to record the book yourself, you will need to buy a quality microphone, such as a Blue Yeti, and also a pop filter.
  3. Prepare your studio space. Ideally, you will want to record in a very quiet space; even a walk-in closet will work well. Once you have selected the space, you will need to cover any hard surfaces, such as wood floors, desks, and tables with blankets or towels. This helps absorb random sounds.
  4. Set up a recording schedule. Do not attempt to record the book all at once, as that is virtually impossible. Plan on recording no more than two chapters a day to prevent your voice from becoming weary, and keep a glass of water handy. At this rate, narrating a book should take a couple of weeks.
  5. Send the files to an audio editor. While some folks might have the technical skills to edit an audiobook, most will need to hire an audio editor. These professionals will be experienced in preparing audiobooks for the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) website. Once the edited files are delivered, you will still want to proof the book by listening to the entire audiobook. Any last-minute issues can be adjusted prior to uploading the audiobook on ACX.
  6. Create a cover. The cover image specifications for your audiobook on ACX are for a square image, so you will need to modify your book cover design accordingly.
  7. Upload your audiobook to ACX. Uploading the audiobook onto the ACX platform is quite straightforward. You will also upload the cover file and a book description, and select a category for your book. The audiobook is then published on Audible, iTunes, or Amazon.

Everything You Need to Know About Creating an Audiobook

Here are some commonly asked questions about how to make an audiobook:

How much does it cost to create an audiobook?

The answer to this question depends entirely on whether you hire a narrator or do the recording yourself. The voiceover actor may cost $1500-$2000 on average. Some will charge less than that but will expect 50% of royalties. If you hire a narrator, you would not have to purchase any equipment (a cost of about $150). Either way, you will need to hire an audio editor (about $200).

How long does it take to make an audiobook?

Again, this depends largely on whether you hire a narrator or record the book yourself. If you plan on recording it yourself, plan on a few weeks for the whole project to be completed and your audiobook uploaded.

Where do you locate a voiceover actor?

The ACX website offers a freelance service for authors to peruse narrator profiles and listen to voice samples. They then select a few narrators and request samples of them reciting a chapter from their book before picking one.

How much can you earn from audiobooks?

This is a good question, especially if you spent a good amount of money on a narrator. After all, you have to consider the return on investment. The fee charged for an audiobook is based on the length of the production, so an audiobook can retail between $3.95-$35.00. The royalty paid is based on the retail price of the audiobook and will depend on whether you select exclusive distribution (40%) or non-exclusive (25%).

An audiobook project can add a whole new dimension to your writing career. If you have an attractive voice and are comfortable performing, why not try out the audiobook option to reach more readers?

Add Another Revenue Stream to Your Self-Published Book

If you are interested in expanding your market and making some additional income, consider making an audiobook. Creating an audiobook doesn’t have to be difficult, and neither should self-publishing. For all your self-publishing needs, reach out to the team at Gatekeeper Press. Contact us today to learn more about our self-publishing services!

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