No doubt about it. Audio books are growing in popularity. The Wall Street Journal calls the popularity an “explosion.” An article in The Telegraph in 2015 said: “Sales of audio books have doubled in the last five years, thanks to the popularity of digital downloads.” In fact, according to the American Publishers Association, audio books saw a 19.5 percent rise in unit sales over just the past year alone (The National).
What has caused such a dramatic interest in audio books?
For me, it’s been a number of factors. First, I have an iphone which allows me to carry an audio book everywhere I go. Listening to a book is only one touch of the button away. So when I’m exercising, driving kids to activities, cooking a meal, or any number of other tasks, I always have an audio book that I can easily flip on to make the mundane more meaningful!
Secondly, the cost of audio books has become more reasonable, especially with a monthly plan through Audible.com. I also get Audible’s Daily Deal emails, where a new book is put on sale every day usually for $5.99 or less. Sometimes Amazon even has the option of buying ebooks and digital books together for a bargain. There are also sites like Loyal Books which contain free public domain books, mostly classics, and Project Gutenberg which also has free audio books for many classics.
Finally, the ease of listening on my digital devices has saved me from having to track down books on CD from the library (among the very limited selection) only to get home and find out that half of the CD’s are scratched. The other trouble is finding a CD player in my house that actually works.
Yes, audio books have become my comfort food. I’d even go as far as saying that they are fast becoming the NEW READING EXPERIENCE.
Because of how much I’ve grown to love digital audio books, I’ve become more aware of the need to get my own published books into an audio format. As I mentioned in my post earlier in the month, one of the things I’ve been working on recently is doing exactly that, publishing the audio version of some of my books that were previously not picked up by audio companies.
The first step was getting the audio rights back from my publisher. This process took some time and involved signing a contract reverting the audio rights back to me. But once I had the rights, then I was free to essentially “self-publish” my audio book. (As a side note, I also had to get permission to use the cover from my publisher as well as purchase it from them.)
Once I was ready to start, I used ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) which allows authors to partner with narrators in a fairly simple process. First the author must open an account and start the project by giving information about the book as well as a sample chapter. Then authors can start accepting auditions from interested narrators. ACX has quite a large pool of narrators to choose from. But rather than wait for the right narrator to come along, I sought out recommendations.
Once I found a narrator (who came highly recommended) and listened to her audition of my book, we signed a contract stating due dates, cost, etc. I had to provide her with a digital copy of the book (and as a bonus I also gifted her a paper copy). Then she set to work recording the book.
After she was finished with her part (which took about a month), then I was responsible for proofing the book to catch any mistakes, mispronunciations, etc. Upon finishing the proofing, I gave my narrator an editorial sheet and she made the corrections.
When I was fully satisfied, I paid her (there are a couple of options to work out the payment to the narrator). After receiving my payment, she released the book for publication. It took the ACX team about a week to approve it and get it up onto Audible, ITunes, and Amazon.
There you have it! Now A Noble Groom is available as an audio book!
To celebrate its release in audio format, I’ve been giving away Audible copies this week! I’d like to give away one more here today! To enter to win a digital download of A Noble Groom through Audible, enter the Rafflecopter form below!
And if you don’t have an Audible membership yet, I invite you to check out their 30 Day Trial Membership and try A Noble Groom for FREE!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do you listen to audio books? If yes, what do you like best about them? And if no, tell us your biggest hang-up with them! We’d love to hear!
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