More than Audible

Hello SErs! It’s Monday again … but not to despair: Christmas is only a WEEK away!!! (Ahem. Sorry.) Right, back to today’s post … after making so much noise, let’s take a look at what options us authors have to do just that very thing — get our voices out there.

Until recently, the only avenue I knew of to turn my books into audio books was Audible. Unfortunately, you cannot set your price, and they are so expensive for listeners to use. I could go on and on about what I don’t like about Audible; however, I shall refrain.

Right off the bat, I couldn’t afford for someone to narrate for me. I just didn’t have that kind of cash … it’s pricey. So, I set about buying my own recording kit: microphone, sound-absorbing walls (two sets to make a tiny cubicle!), and audio editing software. Okay, that all cost a pretty penny still, but at least it didn’t ramp up into the thousands.

Then I had to learn all there was to learn about reading aloud and editing the result, as well as the standards and requirements that Audible demanded. Finally, at long last, I got one of my books on there! I started with the shortest one I had: Slices of Soul. After an initial flurry when it hit the virtual shelves, it fell into oblivion among the many other gazillions of audio books on there.

With Audible, I could run no promos. Nor could I tweak the price. I couldn’t even give away a bunch of free copies. What a let down. I didn’t have the heart right then to put in all that work (and it was a LOT of work) to turn another of my books into audio, especially as they are all significantly longer than that poetry book.

Then, lo and behold, I came across a new online company for selling audiobooks. One that didn’t have all those strict requirements and meant that I could upload pretty much whatever I wanted.

The company is Audiopub, and they work via apps from the App Store and Google Play Store. Readers/listeners can find your book on there and listen to samples. As the author/narrator, you have the option to keep it all free or set a pay wall at a certain chapter.

While you can simply speak into your device microphone (smartphone, iPad, etc.), I personally cannot live with the poor quality that that puts out. So, I have begun recording my longest book (The Glade) using all the set up I bought for Audible. That way, I get the best of both worlds. I get my book into audio, don’t have all that fuss, and can decide how much of my book folks can listen to before they have to pay. I still can’t set the price point, however, as Audiopub sets a standard fee of $2.99 per book once that pay wall is hit. To me, though, that seems like a more than reasonable price for a book, and isn’t extortionate and convoluted like Audible can seem.

So, what does it all cost?

Nothing.

Not until you sell a book.

Every Audiopub book is either free or sells at $2.99.

If you selected Paywall in Setup for your story, the reader will be charged $2.99.

The App Store or Play Store will take 30%. Audiopub will take 10%. And you will
earn 60%.

Audiopub makes payments once per month via Paypal.

The big drawback that I have found is that I have no way of tracking sales or knowing when I’ve made a sale. I did contact them, and they said that they had overlooked that aspect and would address it, probably within the week. That was a couple of months ago now, and still nothing has changed on the author dashboard. So, we’ll see where that one goes.

The big positive is that you don’t have to worry about every single tiny pop and click on your audio. Also, you can reach a huge audience. Your book is affordable (or free). And there’s no outlay at the beginning (other than any kit you might want to buy). Your royalty percentage is much higher than you get with Audible.

Here, I have to make a disclaimer that I am in no way an affiliate of Audiopub and gain no benefit whatsoever from posting about them. I simply want to share something I have found useful.

Have any of you come across any similar ventures/avenues for audiobooks? What has been your experience? Have you thought of going the audio book route before? I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

Harmony Kent

@harmony_kent / Harmony Kent Author Pages: Facebook / Amazon

36 thoughts on “More than Audible

  1. Pingback: Curated Writing Content | Story Empire

  2. I am hoping to have my books produced via ACX through their 50/50 royalty split option. I definitely do not have the time (or the patience) to produce my own audiobooks. lol! It’s nice to know there are other options out there, so thank you for sharing that with us, Harmony! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I admire your initiative in building your own studio, awesome! There is another alternative to these two choices: Findaway Voices, a Draft 2 Digital partner. I haven’t tried them, but they seem to have a wide range of supported venues so it might be something worth looking into.
    A couple of points:
    Audible does in fact give you as the author, and your narrator if you have one, twenty-five free codes to distribute as you wish. All you need to do is email them requesting this. They also give the same amount of UK codes, should you need them.
    The 50/50 royalty split is a great alternative to spending a ton of money on a maybe.
    And, you can’t set your price, true, but if you start making sales Audible lowers the price of the book (you still receive full price royalties) to help push it into the rankings. One of mine has gone as low as 5.99, more than fair for an audiobook.
    Hope this helps, happy holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is all useful information, Jacquie, thanks. When I asked about freebies for my book, they told me this wasn’t available … perhaps they’ve changed their policies? Even with this though, I like to be able to run promos from time to time. I guess it comes down to perspective too, because as a reader, I find Audible too pricey, lols. Findaway Voices sounds like it might be one to look into. It’s always good to hear about what’s available. Thanks for mentioning them! Happy holidays, Jacquie! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very interesting, Harmony. I looked into Audible years ago and was frightened away by the cost. I’d love to have a narrator, but again, that is way out of my budget. I have recording equipment. Perhaps I’ll tackle it one day. Thanks for the info!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t usually comment on here, because I don’t usually have anything to say. I do today though.

    It’s great that there’s an alternative to Audible. I would like to point out something though. Well, a couple of somethings:

    First of all, I’d like to point out that the price of Audible’s audiobooks is only expensive when compared to eBooks and paperbacks. Trust me when I say that their price is actually not too bad compared to what a lot of audiobooks cost. Yes, it could be better, but I’ve seen a lot worse. Bearing in mind, since my brother and I are both blind, I’ve had a lot of experience with buying audiobooks over the years. Yes, it’s annoying that you can’t set the price yourself, but I still think the prices aren’t too bad. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d actually be a bit suspicious of an audiobook costing so little unless it’s something really short.

    Secondly, those background noises, pops and clicks, etc… Really annoying to the listener. I know it’s frustrating how picky Audible are about you getting the recording just right, but your listeners will thank you if your audiobook is free of those things, so it’s worthwhile doing so, regardless of whether you use Audible or not.

    Thirdly, not everyone is cut out to be a narrator, so for many people doing it yourself isn’t a good idea. Besides, production of audiobooks on audible doesn’t have to be expensive. They have a royalty share option, which costs you nothing up front. OK, yeah, it does mean you get less royalties, but it also means you get to employ someone who should know what they’re doing with the production process without spending anything, so any royalties you get – even the 20% you end up with – will still be money in your pocket, so to speak. All you have to invest is time.

    Honestly, based on my own experiences with Audible so far – bearing in mind, I’ve now got 23 books available in audio, with a couple of others currently in various stages of production – and what you’ve said in your post about Audiopub, the only way I would consider Audiopub better is because you get a higher percentage of royalties.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Victoria, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m glad you’ve gotten along so well with Audible. For me, I like a choice, and at last, we have options with new ventures popping up, such as Audiopub. Hopefully, many more will follow. As I said in my post, I can’t live with poor standards of recording either. As with anything, if you’re not happy with it, you don’t have to use it. As a user of both platforms, I can say that for me, there are a few more pluses to Audiopub than just bigger royalties. This post is all about letting folks know about alternatives and options and definitely not saying you should use this, that, or the other. Have you come across any other audiobook platforms? And if so, what has been your experience?
      It’s great that you’ve felt moved enough to comment today, as we love inspiring discussions here on Story Empire 😊

      Like

      • No, I’m not aware of any other audiobook platforms that are options for self-published authors. Although, someone did tell me not too long ago that Barnes & Noble are planning on doing something similar to Amazon’s ACX option. I’m not sure if that’s true though. Either way, I do agree that it’s nice to have options, and am glad you’ve found one that works for you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • It’s good to hear about Audible from a subscriber’s perspective. As the author, you have no say in what they do with your book once it’s live. Glad you found it interesting, Robbie! 😊

      Liked by 2 people

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