This article explains how to produce and market a professional quality audiobook using Amazon ACX. Through ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange), I was able to audition voiceover talent, choose a professional producer, review the work in progress, and make my audiobook available through popular audiobookstores without spending a cent.
The market for audiobooks is currently worth over US$2 billion. Audible.com claims to offer over 150,000 titles. Split that catalog apart by genres and even if you’re small fish, the endless ocean of books available in print or eBook form becomes a small pond. My book is one of only 5,936 books available in the “Personal Memoirs” category. The same category on Amazon.com contains 92,014 titles.
As with any form of publishing, a chasm exists between “getting your book out there” and producing a quality, professional product. Reading your book into your computer’s microphone doesn’t cut it. Audiobook production requires professional recording gear and talent. A quality audiobook has no dogs barking in the background, no aircraft flying overhead, and no sirens blasting down the street in front of your house—and though this might sound self-evident, the equivalent happens with self-published printed books all the time. Aficionados of audiobooks can hear “amateur” the moment they sample a self-produced audiobook.
Amazon ACX offers an alternative to DIY. This service connects writers with voice talent, monitors production progress, and handles distribution and payments.
I used ACX to publish an audiobook version of The Blue Monk, my sailing memoir. I had the good fortune to meet my narrator/producer in person when he sailed through Miami from the Carolinas. The video footage in this article shares our discussions about audiobooks. Continue reading