According to the latest statistics, audiobooks are now a billion dollar industry. And audiobook sales outstripped print and e-book sales recently. Turning your book into an audiobook now gives you access to a wider audience to convert into fans.
You can find that narrator/producer through ACX, a freelance site such as Up work, or contact them directly through social media or their website.
It’s most important you choose a narrator whose voice fits your book’s style. Even if you like the narrator’s voice and demo, it’s a good idea for them to narrate at least 5 minutes of your book to confirm the fit.
Your book’s length will determine the cost of the conversion. Every 9000 – 10,000 words represent one hour of narration, so a 20,000-word book is going to be approximately 2 hours long.
For the narrator/producer, the project begins with narrating that first 5-minute segment. Once the contract is complete, the narrator needs a final manuscript delivered in a format such as Word, PDF, or through Kindle. Most narrators use a tablet to narrate nowadays as its quiet.
The narrator/producer reads your book, making notes on pacing, pronunciation, and characters. Getting a character right involves detailed notes and sometimes online investigation. I once watched Speedy Gonzales cartoons to get a character voice right.
The initial narration on a 2-hour book can take as long as 3 hours or more in front of the mic. Then, the narration requires editing for pacing and mistake correction. Most narrator/producers figure 2-3 hours of editing per one hour of narration.
The edited files need mastering to Audible standards, followed by delivery to you for upload to Audible. I often provide mastered files to the author as I go along in the editing process so they can listen in segments rather than getting the files in a big lump.
If the initial quote to convert your book into an audiobook appears a bit steep, think of all the work which goes into the process. And think about the extra sales and fans you’ll gain.
Contributed by Author Kris Keppeler