Wednesday, 17 December 2014

How to Create an Audio Book for Beginners

The creation of an audio book version of a Kindle book will open out new sales channels to a whole new audience. But how does the self published writer go about creating an audio book? The process of audio book creation is not straightforward but is possible when opening an account with the Audio Book Exchange (ACX).

Beginner’s Guide to Creating Audio Books

Self Publishing Audio Books
You have written a fantastic novel or non-fiction book. You have published it on Kindle, hardback and large print. There is only one other way to go: to publish your book as an audio book. At first, the process of publishing an audio book might seem bewildering, but is possible if following each step carefully.

Finding a Sound Producer for Talking Books 

The first thing the writer will need to do is open an account with ACX. Standing for Audio Book Creation Exchange, this is Amazon’s website for authors, voice artists and producers in audiobooks. Books created on ACX will go on to be sold on Amazon, and Itunes. The author may make arrangements to create an audio version of his book once claiming the rights to his books (referred to on ACX as the 'right’s holder').

At present, only audio book creators from the US and UK may open an account on ACX, but this is bound to change in future years. Non US residents will need an ITIN number, obtainable from the IRS, otherwise 30% of audio books earnings will automatically be withheld. Getting an ITIN number is covered on another article on this site.

Audible Book Exchange Guidelines for Authors, Voice Artists and Audible Book Producers

The self published writer can either get a professional voice artist and/or producer to create the audio book or create it himself. The former entails finding a producer and/or voice artist listed on the ACX site. The voice artist has to audition to be accepted. The author may provide a sample script for the narrator to read out after before making the commitment.

Audition for Voice Over for Audible

Once the narrator/producer has been selected, the author can then either pay ‘a pay for production’ fee, a one-off payment, or agree a ‘royalty share deal’ a fifty-fifty royalty of future sales. The royalty option can be risky for the voice artist if lots of hours have been invested in narration and recording only to yield poor sales. This is why most voice artists prefer to receive the one-off pay production fee. The author and narrator/producer will have to think carefully about the viability of such a project if the book sales are poor.

Do It Yourself Guide to Creating Audio Books

The author may decide to do all the production and voice narration himself. This will save money and retain creative control of the sound of the book. However, most authors know little about producing audio books when it comes to sound editing and narrating.

Quite rightfully, ACX are picky about the quality of the sound files and recording must be of professional standard before the audio book is accepted on Audible. This means the author will have to invest a lot of time and money on learning about sound equipment and narrating an audio book. Fortunately, ACX has video tutorials for authors and producers who wish to learn the craft of book narration from scratch.

Rights Holder of Talking Books

Creating an audio book version of a print or Kindle book provides an extra sales channel for the self published writer wanting to branch out. ACX, Amazon’s site for audio book creators provides all the resources the writer needs. This includes connecting audio book producers, narrators and recording experts with authors wishing to find a particular voice and approach. Payments can be made either by royalty share or a flat fee once the author is happy with the audition. 

On the other hand, the author may opt to create the audio book himself, but would need to become expert on sound equipment, software and the art of book narration. If creating an audio book yourself, find links on this site offering advice on sound equipment and voice techniques for narrating audio books.

Tips on Creating your Own Audio Books

The audio interface and why the audio book creator needs one
Essential recording equipment for narrating books
The best condenser microphone for voice acting
A cheap home studio for audio book recording
Tips for voice narrating

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