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To Audio Book Or Not To Audio Book, That Is The Question!

So you've written a book and hope to make it available to as many readers as possible. What are your options? Option number one should be to make it an e-book for download while you're also going through the print book process. We all know that e-books are the up and coming market now. But what about an audio book? Is that a viable option? Is it a good idea for you?

The answer to those questions depends upon you. As the author, you can open up more doors to your work if you choose to turn your book into a audio book. But before you jump off that cliff, you should know a few things about audio book publishing first.

Number one, you'll need a reader with what is known as voice talent to read your book for you. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure your voice is wonderful to listen to, but a reader with voice talent has particular training on how to use their voice more effectively. They can do different voices for characters and will usually add their own flare while reading your book. I personally find their interpretations of my writing amusing to listen too, especially on one of my audios called The Campus Creeper read by Kate L.

They don't work for free though, so you'll have to look into hiring one. I'd suggest doing it through an audio book publisher. If it's your first time, they will find a person for you, or give you choices of people you can use. In addition, they'll likely give you a set price for the job. So for example, if your book runs 70,000 words, they can give you a quote on how much it would cost to read, record, and package your book. They can also help you with getting it to places like audible.com and iTunes for a small fee.

Besides hiring voice talent, you'll have to think about the scope of your project. There are generally two types of audio books you can do these days. One is the traditional kind where someone just reads your book for you and you sell it at a fixed price. That is the route many books take.

There is also what is known as a 1-Hour Audio out there for you to explore. A 1-Hour Audio can work if you're a short story writer. Maybe your story runs between 4,000 and 10,000 words. If so, a 1-Hour Audio recording can handle that format. They have one limitation though. They have to run under 11,000 words in order to fit onto one CD. And I can tell you from experience that the recording team usually suggests around 10,000 words per CD just to play it safe. It has to do with getting a better recording over all onto the CD.

As for the cost factor, well that depends on who you choose to do the job for you. But generally speaking you can get a book of 80,000 words recorded for under $4000. I know that sounds like a lot, but it usually includes the recording team, voice talent, packaging and help with distribution. If you're talking about a 1-Hour Audio, you can get it recorded for about $500-$600 with all the same trimmings.

Doing an audio book is fun but you'll have to pay more upfront for it. I can't tell you if you should do it or not, but in my case, I tend to write my stories to fit that format, so I like to use it when possible. In the end, the readers/listeners decide what they want to purchase. But just like all things in life, nothing risked, nothing gained. So if you want to try the audio book route, research it a little, decide on your options, then go for it. I'm sure you'll be happy you did it in the end.
Cheers
paclark paclark 31-35 Mar 14, 2012

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