219: Audiobooks - How to Create One for Audible, Amazon, and iTunes (Part 1) - Plus Help Me Cast a Voice Actor!
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I have a confession to make.
Even though I love listening to audiobooks and I’ve been in the podcasting world since 2015, I’ve never actually created an audiobook for myself or for a client!
Did you know that: “In 2020, audiobook sales revenue in the United States reached 1.3 billion U.S. dollars, continuing the upward trend which began in 2018”? (according to Statista)
So, in today’s episode, I thought it would be fun to take you along for a new journey into the world of audiobook creation.
I have a client who has a series of 5 books for kids ages 8 to 12 and she just published them on Amazon as a Kindle boxset but wants to get the audiobook version up as well. I volunteered to jump in and help since I need to know the full process for myself too!
Here’s what we’ve done so far in the Audiobook making process:
We set up a free account at ACX.com (Audiobook Creation Exchange)
On August 16, 2022, we uploaded a sample of the book and opened it up for voice actor auditions.
As I prep for this podcast on September 1st, we have received a whooping 33 auditions! [Edit: now we have 37 as of Sept. 5, 2022]. Some are incredible. Others need to improve the sound quality around the set up they have. So, totally for free, we have received a range of what sounds like beginner voice actors to super professional.
As a side note, you may be wondering how the voice actors get paid.
You have two options:
1: You can pay upfront at a fixed price per finished audio hour (and no royalty sharing)
2: You can pay with a 50-50 royalty split on future sales (and no upfront cost for the work)
Review the auditions and pick someone to make an offer to. This is as far as we’ve gotten so far, and we need help choosing! We’ve starred 10 of our favorites, but that’s still too many to put forth when asking for feedback I think.
So, I’m narrowing them down to our top 5 and will play a short sample of each coming up next in this episode!
It’d be so helpful if you’d share your favorite and feedback! Be a voice casting director with us!
You can send your votes and feedback by:
Emailing me Laura@CopyThatPops.com Pinging me on social media – I’m all over @ LaptopLaura
And if you want to grab a copy of the full 5-book set of Kid Star Squad, check it out at CopyThatPops.com/KidStarSquad which will take you to it on Amazon (it’s free with Kindle Unlimited, by the way).
The 6 Auditions
Okay, let’s take a listen to our top 6 auditions and then I’ll tell you what’s next on the list of to-do’s for audiobook creation.
Audition 1 and 2 will be reading Chapter 1. Audition 3 and 4 will be reading Chapter 2. Audition 5 and 6 will be reading Chapter 3.
Listen now to the 6 auditions above or go here for the audio file with only the auditions and the book sample to read along: CopyThatPops.com/auditions
Great voice actors, right? It’s so hard to pick! Part of me wants Emma to pick a female voice, but some of those male voiceover artists were fire. What should we do? Help!
Email me Laura@CopyThatPops.com Ping me on social media – I’m all over @ LaptopLaura
And I’ll collect and tabulate the feedback to help advise Emma on the final choice.
Next up in the Audiobook process? After we pick our favorite voice actor, we’ll make an offer for payment – we are thinking about the upfront payment way. If he or she accepts, we have a deal and legally binding contract! Then, the voice actor, called “producer” in ACX will record and upload a 15-minute checkpoint of the audiobook for us to listen to, give feedback, and approve. Once that’s done, the productor will keep going and record the full project. We can ask for up to two rounds of corrections to the finished audiobook. Then, when we’re happy, we’ll approve it and pay the producer! From there, it’s time to make the book live to the world. ACX distributes it through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
More on these next steps in a future podcast episode. For now, we have to settle on a producer!
No matter who we choose or if you want to share your vote, I hope this episode was helpful in inspiring and/or motivating you to take action by bringing your books to life in audiobook form!
Talk to you next time. Keep finding ways to write copy that pops! :)