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Monday, December 2, 2013


By Caroline Clemmons

Dear Readers, have you been curious about the process an indie author undergoes to turn an ebook and/or print book into an audiobook? Please say yes. ☺ I have a giveaway to offer for a commenter.

The authors at this blog diligently try to keep up with the latest trends in publishing. We love writing, but we want readers to actually read our work. Although they’ve been around for years, audiobooks are increasing in popularity. So, we are educating ourselves and dipping our toes into the audio pool.

Several companies are in the business of audiobooks, but the most visible is Audible, which is owned by Amazon. Audible is also known as ACX. They are easy to navigate and indie-author friendly. Important also, Audible is easy for customers who wish to purchase an audiobook.

There are two ways for authors to dive into audiobooks. The first is on a 50/25/25 % share of royalties with Amazon/Audible/ACX receiving the 50% share while the narrator and the author receive 25% each. Under this program, the author releases rights for heirs to Amazon. This program is easiest for those of us who have moderate royalties because it requires no cash outlay. One still needs a cover, but those can be purchased or the author can make one. In my case, my Hero created one from the print cover.

The second method is more lucrative, but requires greater investment. The author pays the narrator around $200 to $250 an hour to record the book. BRAZOS BRIDE required eight hours of narration. HIGH STAKES BRIDE will come in at approximately seven hours. That’s a large investment for me, especially considering we just moved into a home that requires a lot of repairs and upgrades. Like many things in life, it’s a gamble. Who knows if anyone will even buy the audiobook? Will enough audiobooks sell to recover the outlay? If they do, how long will it take to earn back the precious cash spent on creating the audiobook?

ACX contacted me and offered to add $700 to the narrator for the first split if I let them record BRAZOS BRIDE. Here I have to explain about Amazon algorithims. Ha! That’s a trick statement, because I cannot explain! No one understands them. Supposedly, for every five book increment an author publishes, he or she rises in the mysterious system. Then, for books that are on the Amazon bestseller top 100 list in that genre, you rise in the algorithims. How those really work and intermesh, only Amazon’s statisticians know.

However, this offer is why I contracted to record BRAZOS BRIDE as an audiobook using the first method. When the author decides to have the book recorded, he or she posts to Audible’s “board” and interested narrators submit readings of the book’s first few pages. The author chooses the voice that most suits the book and then negotiates a contract.   

Valerie Gilbert agreed to accept the split royalty only because of the Amazon bonus. She has an excellent voice and interpreted the book as I visualized it. BRAZOS BRIDE is now completed and available at Audible (free with any 30-day trial membership) and Amazon and iTunes. You can hear a sample at Whew! Now if only listeners will purchase it. (hint, hint)

After the book is recorded, the author or his or her minion listens to the narration while following the book text. Errors or oversights are then emailed to the narrator, who corrects them. An error we encountered was pronunciation of Brazos. Regional pronunciations vary. Although Brazos is a Spanish word, in Texas the pronunciation is "brahhzus" with a soft a drawn out drawl. Occasionally, the narrator loses place and omits a sentence or paragraph or repeats a sentence. With the magic of a recording studio, those errors are seamlessly corrected for the finished audiobook.

After the narration has been approved by the author, Audible takes two to three weeks to approve the final product via whatever magical process they use. Then, the book is sent to their website, Amazon, and iTunes, etc. for sale.

Several of my friends listen to audiobooks while they commute, while they do crafts, and while they clean house.

Do you ever listen to them? If so, and you would like an audio copy of BRAZOS BRIDE, please leave your email with your comment to be entered in my drawing.



  1. Wow! What a process! Hope the audio book is doing well!

  2. I haven't listened to an audio book for many years. I used to get them when I worked for the Commission for the Blind, and even recorded a few. It's exciting that you've been able to get Brazos Bride recorded and for sale! Great book.

  3. I'm just starting the process... you may be hearing from me.


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