If you still believe eBooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing, think again. It is actually the audiobook format that is experiencing the most growth since 2020, rising at a rate that is four times that of eBooks. People are looking for ways to be more efficient with their time, and audiobooks offer that in spades. Audiobooks provide consumers with a way to “read” the books on their wish list while commuting to work or doing chores around the house.
Authors who are working on, or have already published in print or eBook format, should definitely consider adding an audiobook to the list of options available to their readers. Doing so is a sure way to increase royalty revenues from your books while capturing more of the market. This handy step-by-step guide helps you learn how to make an audiobook once your eBook is completed.
Why Make an Audiobook?
Consumers of literature are constantly evolving. Just twenty years ago, the majority of readers consumed books by holding a printed and bound copy in their hands. In 2007, eBooks burst onto the scene, allowing readers to store hundreds of titles on a handheld device. In the last three years, a dramatic uptick in audiobook sales promises to drive growth for the foreseeable future. So, why not capitalize on this exciting trend? Now, in addition to your print version and eBook, you can offer customers an audio version as well.
How to Make an Audiobook
Granted, making an audiobook is not a no-brainer, as it does require a certain level of technology and voice talent to pull off. However, with some guidance and an adequate budget, you too, can create an amazing audiobook. The following steps can show you how.
Write an Excellent Book
Writing a high-quality book is the most important step of the audiobook creation process. Without a well-written, compelling book to read, there is no point in making an audiobook. Start with the basic storytelling skills: create a strong plot, develop well-rounded, interesting characters, and infuse the story with meaning.
Working alongside a professional editor is a must. Consider developmental editing at the outset of your book project, which provides essential input on structure, plot development, characters, and dialogue. Once the manuscript is finished, a copy editor addresses any inconsistencies, syntax, and copy errors. Finally, a proofreader snags the remaining typos, and spelling or grammar snafus. Now, your book is not only ready for publication but is ready to be narrated for an audiobook.
Work With an Audiobook Company or Record it Yourself
This is the most crucial step of the audiobook creation process – the actual recording of the audiobook file. If you are on a tight budget, it is possible to record the narration yourself. If you attempt the DIY method, be sure to rent high-quality recording equipment and create a makeshift recording studio.
The better option is to hire a professional audiobook narrator to narrate your book. There are several audiobook production companies available to provide voice talent, such as:
- Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX)
- Deyan Audio
- John Marshall Media
- Mosaic Audio
Once you have decided on the best voice artist for narrating your book, that person will begin the recording process for the audio files. After the book is recorded, an audio engineer edits, proofs, and masters the audio files.
Listen to the Entire Audiobook
Whether you record the audiobook yourself or use a production company, you will want to listen to the entire book before publishing it. This allows you to identify any sound quality issues, background noise, or technical glitches that could compromise the quality of the finished product, and fix them before publishing the audiobook.
Create a Cover
Just like an eBook, an audiobook will also need a book cover, although an audiobook cover uses a square template. Creating a high-quality cover design is essential, as this image is what attracts a potential customer to your book on the bookselling platform, Audible. Unless you happen to be a talented designer, it is recommended that you hire a professional cover designer in order for your audiobook to compete on Audible. A high-quality audiobook with a low-quality cover won’t get the sales it deserves.
Upload to ACX
Now that you have written a stellar book, narrated and edited your book, and had a captivating book cover designed, it is time to release your book to the audiobook market. Most people use ACX to publish and distribute their audiobook. ACX is owned by Audible, which is owned by Amazon. ACX can also distribute your book to iTunes.
Why You Should Publish a Physical or eBook Copy First
You may be tempted to publish your audiobook from an unpublished manuscript on your desktop. Resist this urge and instead prioritize publishing your eBook and/or print book first. This forces you to refine and polish your book by having it edited and formatted into a quality product. Once you have published your book, you should create a marketing plan to promote the book while also encouraging readers to leave reviews. The more reviews you accumulate, the more street cred your book has, which helps drive sales. This process helps lay a strong foundation upon which to introduce your audiobook to the world.
Self-Publish Your Book with Gatekeeper Press
An audiobook can expand your book revenue channels and your reader base, but before you produce an audiobook you’ll need to first publish your book. That’s where Gatekeeper Press comes in, to provide the full array of editing and design services you’ll need for self-publishing. Call us today or contact us online!