As authors wrap up their writing journey and put the finishing touches on their books, a crucial question often arises: “Should I create an audiobook?” The resounding answer for most authors nowadays is a definite “yes.” Audiobook demand is increasing exponentially, with 3 of 10 Americans embracing this format. In this article, we will cover all audiobook aspects, telling how it benefits all the parties involved.
Why Authors Need an Audiobook
a) Expand the Author’s Market
Trade organizations have been publishing staggering data on audiobook consumption. During the pandemic, audiobook sales soared, with publishers reporting a double-digit increase in revenue. The audiobook market is predicted to be a $19 billion industry by 2027. Experts say it will grow at an astonishing compound rate of 27%. People also argue that the hike in audiobook demand is merely due to the pandemic. However, if we look at the data, about 60000 new titles were produced in 2019, which was way more than the previous year.
b) Increase Author Visibility
In a sea of traditional bookstores and digital marketplaces like Amazon, where millions of titles vie for attention, it’s easier for authors to stand out in the audiobook realm. Technological advancements have made audiobook listening more user-friendly. Platforms like Amazon and Audible offer features like Whispersync, which connects audiobooks with Kindle versions, enabling readers to seamlessly switch between devices and pick up where they left off. In a world where convenience is king, such innovations attract readers.
c) Does Your Book Make a Good Audiobook?
Not every book is suited for the audiobook format. To ensure your book’s success in this medium, consider the following criteria:
Recommended book types:
- Business books
- Religious books
Non-recommended book types:
- Reference Books
- Highly visual books
- “Gift” books
Benefits for Listeners
Audiobooks are the top priority for those who crave information but need more reading time. Non-readers are likely to choose audiobooks and enjoy the same luxuries a book provides without investing energy in reading.
Here are some key benefits for listeners:
a) Ease of Use
Many people struggle to find time to read, but audiobooks allow them to absorb information while doing other tasks like exercising, cooking, or commuting. A survey found that 73% of audiobook consumers listen while driving or commuting, making monotonous activities more enjoyable and efficient.
b) Increased Understanding and Literacy Skills
Audiobooks are not only easily accessible but also contribute to building literacy skills, especially among children. Research by The Audio Publishers Association shows that audiobooks assist readers with learning challenges or those learning English by improving their reading ability, pronunciation, comprehension, and vocabulary.
c) Group Listening and Interaction
While reading is often solitary, audiobooks transform it into a shared experience. Listening to an audiobook during a road trip or as an alternative to television can foster lively discussions and create memorable shared moments.
How to Make an Audiobook
If you’ve decided to create an audiobook version of your eBook or printed book, you have several options to consider based on your technical expertise, available time, and budget:
a) Hire a Narrator and Handle Technical Components Yourself
Most authors opt not to narrate their audiobooks. Professional narrators are skilled in creating an enjoyable listening experience and mastering tone, inflexion, and pronunciation. If you’re tech-savvy, this option allows you to hire a narrator while managing the submission and distribution logistics.
b) How to Find Narrators:
Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) is a valuable resource for locating narrators, although they require a royalty cut. You can also explore platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Voices. Request sample reels from potential narrators to help make your decision.
c) Take care of Production
If you are an author with the primary resources available, taking care of audiobook production alone is an option. However, production is not for people who are afraid of taking initiatives. It’s because the process involves a plethora of technicalities like recording devices and sound engineering, which can only be handled by people with good knowledge. However, this route can be cost-effective and suitable for specific authors.
Weigh the upfront equipment costs against potential savings and the creative control you’ll have over the project.
In a world where audiobooks are in high demand, authors should seriously consider producing this format alongside their printed and eBook versions. It expands the author’s market and visibility and offers numerous benefits to listeners, from convenience to improved literacy skills. When deciding how to make an audiobook, authors can choose between hiring a narrator or embarking on a DIY production journey, considering their technical skills, time constraints, and budget.