Did you know that audio books outsell eBooks by 3 to 1? According to Tina Dietz, world class audiobook publisher, sales of audio books have experienced a meteoric rise in the past several years, with over 20% growth year over year. People are listening to audio books while driving, flying or working out at the gym, when reading isn’t convenient. At the same time, the cost of producing an audio book has dropped by 50%. It’s also a different audience than readers of print books and eBooks, so if an author does not get their book made into an audio book, they are missing out on a sizeable audience.

Tina shared a number of issues to think about when considering whether to have a book made into an audio book. First, she suggested that every author read their book out loud prior to publishing the book. The more conversational the book, the more the book will build an intimate relationship with the reader and the greater likelihood that the reader will enjoy the book. Reading the book out loud will provide a very different sense of the book than reading it silently. It will also give the author a sense as to whether there are portions of the book that could be problematic for narration, such as exercises for the reader.

Another consideration is how the audio book fits in with the business. Interestingly, when an author has an audio book, the author can do 2 launches, using basically the same marketing material, thus doubling the bang for the buck. Also, if the author has plans to do the audio book as well as the print book and eBook, the author can include a link to a sample from the audio book in the print and eBook versions, which can drive more traffic to the author’s website.

Audio books do not require much equipment to produce. The most important equipment to have is a good microphone, and that runs less than $100. Tina recommended either the Blue Yeti or the Audio Technica 2100. The software can be downloaded for free, such as GarageBand or Audacity. It is essential to record the audio in a room that will be absent of any road noises or echo. The author can narrate the book herself, but it is strongly recommended that she take the time to learn good vocal and breathing techniques that are central to audiobook narration. 

From a timing perspective, Tina advised that a professional narrator spends about 5 to 6 hours recording one hour of audio, which is about 10,000 words; so for a typical 100 page book, or 30,000 words, it’s about 20 hours for a professional to complete the narration. For an amateur, it would take considerably longer. 

Tina has developed a 12 step Audiobook Production & Best Practices guide for authors interested in producing an audio book, and has offered that guide to the SkillBites community. You can download it by going to launchyouraudiobook.com. For more information about Tina Dietz, visit her website, StartSomethingCreativeBizSolutions.com.

SkillBites has partnered with Tina Dietz and StartSomething Creative Business Solutions to offer special audiobook production packages. If you are interested in getting your book turned into an audio book, click here for details or contact us.