Here’s another one I have heard quite a few times. A lot of newer authors, or those who just don’t know, think that being on Audible or having an audiobook is a huge hassle or is very expensive… while it can be the case—it doesn’t need to be.
If you have the right skillset or a little guidance you can take your published work and have it put into print in paperback for absolutely no cost. You can also have it converted for absolutely NOTHING into a Kindle ebook (and it will be available also on nook, kobo, apple, etc.) Finally, an option exists to do the same for an audiobook. You might think that you must own some high-end audio recording equipment to do it for free—THAT IS NOT THE CASE!
I’ll level with you early. I do have some recording equipment and all the software necessary as part of my music-making days. That is something necessary for an audio producer: the person who records, mixes, masters, and encodes the sound files necessary for your ebook: they essentially transcribe your written piece into audio. That person can be you if you desired (and had the equipment and skillset) but it doesn’t have to be to have your audio book made at no cost.
So here’s how it works: once your book is listed on Amazon.com (I prefer to use Createspace so I have complete control over the product) click the “make ebook” tab in the production guide for your book—this will send your files to Kindle. Many users of ebooks find audiobooks directly through the books they’ve downloaded, so don’t skip that step (if your goal was to get read, this opens many doors). Once that is done, go to the site where audiobooks are made: acx.com… it stands for Audible Creation eXchange.
The trick is to understand that you can opt for a commission split with a recording engineer giving him or her a vested interest in your audiobooks. This allows them, without any pay upfront, to create your audiobook and receive 50% of your earned royalties on the book’s audio format (only the audio—which they will pour many hours of skilled labor into.)
Here’s how it works:
Audible.com will host your files and do the listing/distribution of the files. They get their cut off the top and earn a whopping 60% of the royalties (I know! That’s a lot—but it’s their game. You can either take your ball and go home, or let them help you sell your stories—and remember, you don’t have to put any effort into your audiobook once you find an audio producer.
Select the commission split option and follow the guide (tell them what you’re looking for in a voice and copy/paste a script for narration which the engineers will read as an audition.
Pick the one you like best, and then let them do the work! This does take some time, but it’s all labor that you won’t have to do.
The main thing you would need to do is just watch the sales through the tracking console (it’s the same kind of format as amazon/createspace and Kindle… the only difference is that it doesn’t tell you immediately what your earnings are because of their sliding scale (as a service, Audible has three different rates which they pay out at depending on the buyer’s subscription rate or if they aren’t a subscribing customer.)
Here’s a great article which lists a few details I didn’t go into (like profit rates, how amazon decides to price your audiobook, etc.)