Is it Costly to Produce an Audiobook?

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November 1, 2017
Our reading experience is now evolving. As you’ve probably noticed, audiobooks are now becoming a viable option for book 

produce an audio bookslovers; it has become a growing and promising format in today’s publishing scene.However, most printed books are never converted to audiobooks. Why? Because many authors are stuck with these questions:

How much do I need to publish an audiobook?
Is this a correct marketing move to make?

So, before you decide converting your content into audio, here are some answers to your frequently asked questions.

What do you need to prepare before producing an audiobook?

Before you dive into this growing segment of publishing, it’s important to remember that this format is effective for fiction and nonfiction prose only. Once you publish your final draft in its e-book format, let it simmer in the digital library for a while first. If there are mistakes in its content you can scrupulously check the grammar, even the story plot and other elements.

How much does audiobook production really cost?

Well, it depends on your option. To know which option can pave way to your success, here are three major ways you can publish an audiobook:

1. Publish an audiobook through publishing houses.

LitFire Publishing – With 3,000 words for $650, you can convert your book into a high-quality audiobook mp3 format. Your audiobook will be made available to all major audiobook readers.
Infinity Publishing – Infinity gives an hour of audio for $779 (11,000 words) for nonfiction, fiction short stories, poetry and children’s book. And your audiobook will be available in Amazon, BBOTW. It will also be downloadable at and iTunes store.
Dog Ear Publishing – Their first audiobook package ($1,600) gives you the option to read and record your own book, and they will edit and polish your audio quality. The second package ($4,600) involves professional voice-over actors for your book.

You can also hire a narrator in audio services like,,, and

2. Try Audible’s Audiobook Creating Exchange.

With this service, you can create and publish your own audiobook with the help of an actor, producer, and distribution retailers. Make sure to confirm your own audio rights of your book, and create a profile to your preferred producer. Review auditions, contact narrators, or narrators may contact you with sample recordings.

For actors/narrators, the final quote will depend on the book’s length and production cost, which is usually $5,000 or more.
In ACX, there are three options to make a deal with your narrator.

1. Royalty Share: 40% of retail sales split equally between Rights Holder and Producer
2. Pay for Production (Exclusive Distribution Rights to Audible): 40% of retail sales paid to Rights Holder
3. Pay for Production (Non-Exclusive Distribution Rights to Audible): 25% of retail sales paid to Rights Holder

Check their website for more detailed royalty rates here.

Your audiobooks will be available on these online retailers:
Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

3. Narrate your own book via DIY audiobook publication.

Narrating a book isn’t simply reading your manuscript. Usually, it involves an extremely painstaking production. And the fact that there are tons of aspects a professional narrator needs to struggle with before they do the voice-over, surely you have to prepare different software and materials for decent results.

What to do?

1. Hire an in-house audio producer to clean, check and listen to some of the misspoken lines on your audiobook.
2. Go to your local recording library in your area, or just create your own soundproofed recording booths. Use a USB microphone (from $50-$100), and a free audio software like Audacity to improve the voice quality.
3. Promote your audiobook with ACX under higher royal percentage.

If you have the patience and perseverance to do this grueling work, then it helps make your audiobook publication more affordable. Sure, readers would love to hear the writer read their own work. But if you want to immerse your time on writing rather than recording, you can actually do that too!

Free Online E-Book Maker. Click here.

What are the benefits of publishing an audiobook?

As your e-book and printed sales increase, your book’s reach expands. There are services available such as Voices, ACX , where you can produce an audiobook for free, but share a 50/50 revenue with the narrator.

audiobooksIn addition, audiobooks can be synced to your Kindle book through Amazon’s Whispersync. Thanks to this new format, more readers may purchase your physical copy. Audiobooks also widen author’s demographic. You provide solution and comfort to those people who are suffering from dyslexia, blindness, or just want to prefer listening than reading.

According to reports, audiobook sales are increasing via digital downloads from platforms such as Audible, iTunes, and ChristianAudio. Currently, Audio Publisher’s Association (APA) indicates that “this third consecutive year, audiobook sales have expanded by nearly 20 percent.”

So, can authors afford an audiobook?

Authors need to consider the time, skills, and production necessary to produce a well-made audiobook. Audible/ACX offers various options for authors with no money up-front. You can check them here.

If you only want to hear your book in audio format, you need not to hire a narrator for recording sessions. But if you want a professional result, you should hire one and hand extra cash to get the result you want.

Audiobook production really depends on how much money you’re willing to spend. You can rent a room, audio gear, and possibly, an editing software to fine-tune the voice, which may cost much. But with a little bit of creativity and thorough research, you can rig up a decent and affordable audio service and narrator to publish an audiobook.

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