Question: i beg your pardon of the following book formats has the highest year over year growth in the last three years?

AudiobooksPaperback bookseBooks

If chose A, you absolutely correct. Uneven you’ve to be living in a cavern for the last couple of years, you have actually experienced the “advent of audio.”

Think around it—we listen to podcasts in our cars and at the gym, portable high-quality Bluetooth speakers are abundant and everyone is listening to audiobooks. Together a matter of fact, almost fifty percent of every Americans listened come an audiobook critical year and the audiobook industry is virtually 3.5 billon dollars!

Putting this together, the audiobook market is growing at a price of 30% per year, which practically quadruples the development rate because that eBooks. This is a wave you have to catch!

The problem is this: just how does a self-published writer get their book onto Audible or iTunes? What actions are involved and also how facility is it to publish one audiobook? The obstacle to entry right into Kindle posting is low—write a book, get a cover, input some metadata, and you’re done. Audiobooks have actually a greater barrier come entry since you need high high quality recorded audio, however the revenue stream deserve to be huge. So how do you get started?

In this article, you will learn:Why you have to make an audiobookAudiobook formats and what they meanThe ideal route for making your audiobookWhere to sell and how to industry your audiobooks

Table the Contents

What space The Audiobook Formats?Ways To develop An Audiobook How To make Your own AudiobookExclusive vs Non-ExclusiveAsking because that Reviews From skilled Reviewers

Why do An Audiobook?

The answer come this is nice simple: If you not producing audiobooks, you’re leaving money top top the table and not getting to all your potential readers. With numerous audiobook listeners an international consuming audiobooks at a fairly rapid clip, the service case because that audiobooks simply makes sense.

You are watching: How big is an audiobook file

The incredible facet of this growth is the there seems to be no finish in sight. Styles for listening to audio change (remember mix tapes or 8 monitor players?) yet the combination of smartphones, MP3s, and also busy lives have actually yielded fertile ground because that audiobook growth. In fact, many readers now prefer audiobooks to any other style for publication consumption.

Here space some impressive statistics top top audiobook industry growth and evolution:


Books That execute Not Make good Audiobooks

It’s critical to note right here that some species of publications do not make good audiobooks. In fact, Audible even specifically proposal against recording any of this books varieties as audiobooks.

These book types include:

Reference booksQuotation booksHome and also garden or interior architecture books (image hefty books)Any type of picture bookCookbooksTravel guides

Books the Make great Audiobooks

Conversely, several varieties of book genres commonly sell really well top top Audible. Individual outcomes obviously vary, but typically these book genres offer well:

Self-help/spiritualityHistory/biographyMystery/thrillerScience fiction/fantasyHealth and fitnessRomanceBusiness

What room The Audiobook Formats?

Just favor with Kindle eBooks, you have the right to have multiple styles of the documents for audiobooks; this deserve to be quite confusing. With Kindle, you have actually MOBI files, ePub files, and more, and with audiobooks, you have actually MP3 files, M4B files, WAV files, and even AIFF documents for CD’s. Let’s describe what these records are and where lock used.

1. WAV files

WAV documents originated way back in 1991 and also you might remember them native the at an early stage Microsoft days. Psychic those “ping” error sound under the “Sounds” ar of your regulate panel? all those very short sounds were WAV files. That worked great for really short sounds, since WAV records are HUGE. This days they’re offered as the uncompressed record that stores all the nuances that the recording that then is used by the audio engineer during file mastering. Its easiest to know all this by knowing what happens once you record a file. Let’s say you record in GarageBand. That origin file is a “.band” file, which then is offered by the engineer to extract all the separation, personal, instance WAV document tracks for each book chapter. Those records are mastered and also then the master WAV records are exported as MP3 documents (for the Audiobook production Exchange (ACX)) or M4B files.

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2. MP3 files

As we simply learned, MP3 is the final audio document format for many audio, including ACX audio. They’re much smaller and compressed files as compared to WAV, therefore they’re portable. It is huge—the MP3 format has allowed us to placed thousands that audio papers on ours smartphones, for this reason that record format has actually been foundational to the growth of audiobooks.

3. M4B files

M4B files are similar to MP3 documents in that they are lot smaller than WAV files, and also M4B documents are offered by iTunes. So, when you download one audiobook indigenous iTunes, she actually downloading M4B files–whereas that MP3 records with Audible. The main benefit to M4B papers is the they deserve to be bookmarked, vice versa, MP3 cannot; this process, though, is very difficult for a do-it-yourselfer.

The main point here is if you’re making use of ACX come publish your audiobook, the MP3 documents that you upload to ACX will certainly go come BOTH iTunes and Audible and also you don’t need to do any conversion come M4B files to obtain your audiobook on iTunes.

If because that some reason you desire to document your audiobook and also then just publish the in M4B format, there space programs accessible to violin the WAV files as M4B as soon as they’ve to be mastered together WAV files. One such program to do an M4B audiobook have the right to be found here.


Ways To produce An Audiobook

OK, so if the audiobook market is in the center of a expansion explosion, why aren’t more people make an audiobook?

The first reason is the most civilization think that it’s incredibly daunting to do. The second is that they space scared turn off by a regarded high cost.

However, recording your own audiobook—though a same amount the work—can it is in done also by novices, and also the production price is no as astronomical as you could think.

Let’s cover these the two techniques of developing an audiobook—pay for production (have someone record it) vs. Record it yourself and also discuss the pros and also cons of each.

OPTION 1: Pay because that Production

Paying to have actually a voice artist document your audiobook is the route most people take to get their book recorded.

With this process, you:

1. Find an audiobook narrator

2. They document the book and also have the audio papers mastered by one audio engineer

3. And you get the finished audiobook documents with all the rights to the audio

The vast bulk of audiobooks are released on the Audiobook production Exchange (ACX)—more ~ above this later—and it is one ar to find narrators.

Many companies likewise specialize in audiobook production. The benefit to a private company is that they commonly will do any kind of book size (even really short books around 5,000 words) and also are open to payment for production contracts. Conversely, they commonly employ under voice actors than the thousands you can find on ACX. ACX does offer much more options because that audiobook narration, however many that them space unwilling come do shorter audiobooks and also many insist top top a royalty share design where they get 7 year of aristocracy payments from her audiobook.

Cost-wise, a great rule of ignorance is the a high-quality audiobook can generally be recorded at the price of around $300 every 10,000 words. As with anything, expenses can differ widely and undoubtedly you can find cheaper narrators out there (and much much more expensive ones together well), however $300 per 10,000 indigenous is a good benchmark.

OPTION 2: record Your own Audiobook + Publish top top ACX

This is a route plenty of authors choose, particularly if they only have actually one or two books that they will be recording. Through the proper recording equipment and setup, it is possible for anyone to document their own audiobooks, however several an essential factors have to be considered before jumping into this type of project.

1) girlfriend MUST have actually quality equipment.I’ve compiled a perform of recommended tools that we use and we’ve recorded over 600 audiobooks for authors worldwide–so we recognize our stuff! girlfriend can get that PDF here.

2) You have to be acquainted with the record specifications that ACX insists upon (if she recording because that ACX)We’ve had many authors approach us around mastering their audio they’ve self-recorded. In many instances we deserve to master the audio but sometimes, we’ve had whole books recorded with substandard audio or the dorn specifications because that ACX, and also the author has had to record the entire publication over again. The lesson here is come be really familiar with the specifications and if you’re unsure around the setup, be sure to call your audio engineer before you begin recording!

3) You have to know the this project will take it a far-ranging amount that time.Voice acting, like any type of skill, bring away time and practice come master. Most world can speak at the rate of 8,000 to 9,000 words per hour, and also its difficult work come speak for an hour uneven you’re a voice actor! Voice actors can just get in their studio, sit down, and knock out hrs of record on end. Like any kind of technical skill, if you’re law it for the first time, the going to take a lengthy time. Questioning me how I understand this? i actually taped the audio for my book Recording Audiobooks myself! If you desire to hear a sample, head on over to Audible and have a listen.

It"s All about Quality

The most crucial thing come remember through either the salary for manufacturing or the DIY choice is that you’re going to require audio files that space high quality! ACX puts all audio files through a two-step high quality control check to ensure the the audio sounds great for your listeners. We have actually a perfect track record—every solitary book we’ve ever recorded has actually been accepted by ACX—but if girlfriend have negative quality files, whether those room from an ACX narrator or your own recorded files, you was standing a possibility of having your entire book rejected through ACX.

How To make Your own Audiobook

Below I’ll offer you the significant steps involved and also some initial guidance. Now, let’s jump in.

Step 1: achieve the appropriate equipment

When you record an audiobook, you just CANNOT begin recording with your iphone or your computer’s built-in microphone. Why? Well, most computer systems (and iPhones) use really low-quality recording and also audio processing devices simply because of the truth that you don’t need high-quality audio to do straightforward phone calls and run iTunes. Record audio? It’s lot different, and also you’re walking to should spend part money to obtain the adhering to items:

Good mic. My existing favorite is a Blue Yeti however be certain you have it on a hard table and also in a quiet room because it choose up background noise easily. Mean to invest $50-$100Pop screen. Minimizes plosives (the “p” sound in “pop” or “pickle”). Mean to spend $5GarageBand or Audacity; you’ll actually record in these programs and also they’re totally free (Audacity) or currently installed ~ above your computer (GarageBand)

Step 2: tools & space Setup

Set up your equipment in a an are that is suitable as a record studio (read: QUIET) and also make sure all your equipment functions correctly. You’re going to have to dampen any type of hard surfaces, concentrating on covering areas both best in former of you and also behind you. Essentially, the more soft coverings (blankets, duvets, curtains) you deserve to put around your recording space, the better. Additionally be certain to save pets out of the room, turn off HVAC vents, and also stop the washing machine, dryer, and also dishwasher before you start recording. My wife is a voice artist for our company, and we have experienced all of these tiny interruptions throughout her record sessions.

Here’s a an excellent little video clip of the actual record setup I supplied in mine dining room to record my audiobook variation of recording Audiobooks.

Step 3: record your audio. Simple, not easy, but here are a couple key tips:

Potato chips. Eat a pair before you begin recording to store your lips moist.Shea butter lip balm. To trust me.Keep water to sip handy.If you’re record over several days, re-read the last couple of paragraphs you videotaped the day before. Then, hear to your recording the that same section too. Doing this will certainly help set the ton for your recording, and will assist ensure your audio sounds an ext uniform.If possible, record at the same time of day. Her voice alters throughout the day, so if you have the right to record around the same time every day, the will likewise keep her audio more uniform.

Step 4: Send her audio come an audio technician for editing.

This is something we can help you with and also you can additionally find an excellent engineers on sites like Upwork or Fiverr.

Step 5: Modify your cover for ACX standards

ACX requires a various size cover (square quite than Kindle rectangle) and also you cannot simply stretch the end your cover come square size. This is pretty easy—numerous Fiverr contractors can carry out this for $5.

Step 6: produce your ACX account

Be sure you go into your bank account and tax information for royalty payments! watch the “All about ACX” section below for a guide to carry out this, including a video.

Step 7: Upload your Audiobook & Cover

You’ll upload your book description, pick a category for your audiobook, upload your audio and also cover, and submit come ACX for their review. This is extended in the “All about ACX” ar below.


Audiobook Markets: wherein To Publish her Audiobook

As with seemingly many of the people economy these days (even grocery store stores!), Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla in the publication publishing room. Audible is own by Amazon, and ACX is owned by Audible. ACX is to Audible audiobooks as Kindle direct Publishing is to Kindle eBooks.

ACX hosts the audio files, book cover, and also metadata for the audiobook just like Kindle straight Publishing does because that Kindle eBooks.

Interestingly, ACX also distributes to iTunes. Once I uncovered out this reality years ago, i was together amazed as you room now, yet this is one example of Apple-Amazon collaboration, i beg your pardon is pretty exceptional for this stiff competitors.

There room other alternatives out there for audiobook publication, yet none as huge as ACX. It’s worth stating the other options here come make certain we sheathe all choices for audiobook publication, however it"s additionally worth noting that you’re walking to have to select a non-exclusive publication deal with ACX to go on any of this platforms. This method you will certainly receive substantially lower ACX royalties.

The 3 huge players are:


However, it"s probably Findaway Voices that you"ve heard around most, and also we"ll talk about that further down.

Overdrivedistributes to libraries, which might be a great opportunity to get your audiobook spread even more widely. However, Overdrive is very selective in choosing which authors to accept, and typically you’re walk to need at the very least a dozen or more audiobooks recorded to even get your foot in the door.

Audiobooks.comisin second place behind ACX in terms of audiobooks sales, however ACX is way out in the lead!

Downpourisanother communication that’s right behind in sales. Both of this platforms, however, space going to call for you come negotiate a transaction to be published on them, if on ACX you can simply upload your book and start marketing audiobooks.

Chirp is a platform that takes her finished audio and sees if it"s eligible for deals. Chirp is a sales platform with their own audiobook app, however are run by the exact same team behind BookBub, meaning it"s geared mostly for transaction seekers. However their with is large, and if you manage to acquire a featured deal, it can be very lucrative for you. In stimulate to it is in on Chirp, you need to be with Findaway Voices.

All about ACX

Let’s dive deeper right into ACX, together currently, lock the best place to publish her audiobook.

Setting up your ACX account is reasonably simple—you require your taxation information and your Amazon login to acquire started and also you’re required to this signup page below to input her data. Very simple and easy to do.


Once did you do it done every this, you’ll input your taxes information and also your financial institution account information, and also you’re prepared to begin uploading your audiobook!

This process I’ve laid the end in this video clip below to make it easy for you. You’ll need your audiobook files, your square publication cover, and around 5 minute to gain this job completed.

Now, friend do have actually one major decision come make v ACX prior to submitting her audiobook for review, and that is: do you want an exclude, or non-exclusive publication attend to ACX?

All around Findaway Voices

Findaway Voices is not a sales platform prefer all the others we"ve discussed. Rather, it"s a production and also a circulation channel. It helps you create your audiobook record by help you pick a expert narrator. Or it takes your publication that you developed with a various professional voice actor and sends it out to every the various audiobook distributors.

Apart indigenous ACX, there"s yes, really not one more audiobook publisher the is a large seller for plenty of authors, yet all together they can still make you a lot of money. However, it have the right to be a substantial hassle come send her audiobook to all those vendors.

And that"s wherein Findaway Voices come in. They conserve you all the time and also effort come upload the audio variation of your publication to every those various sites. Some platforms, favor Chirp, also require girlfriend to be on Findaway Voices. If you"re not exclusive to ACX, it"s a great option to consider.

Speaking that exclusivity…

Exclusive vs Non-Exclusive

Similar come deciding whether or not to walk exclusiveon KDP v your Kindle book, you have actually the exact same decision to make through your audiobook. Right here are the key pros and also cons that each:

Exclusive – Publish ~ above ACX Only

Pro: Royalty share will certainly be higher40% vs 25% v non-exclusive publication. Have the right to start marketing fast and don"t should negotiate a publishing deal.Con: Exclusive come ACX and cannot publish your audiobook on completing platforms.

Non-Exclusive – publish in multiple Places

Pro: publish audiobook top top your very own website and also other markets. Usually, a good choice if you have actually a large email perform and large distribution base that would certainly love to buy your audiobook.Con: reduced royalties ~ above ACX – 25% vs 40%

Importantly ACX permits you to change your decision on exclude, vs non-exclusive only after you’ve had actually your book published v them because that one year and also ONLY if you select “pay for production” (i.e. You’ve had your publication recorded and you’re not sharing royalties v an ACX narrator).

Here’s a chart the helps define each choice:


You have the right to switch in between Exclusive and also Non-Exclusive, detailed your publication has been v ACX because that at the very least 90 days.

How Much deserve to You Make marketing Audiobooks?

One inquiry that always seems come come increase is nobility payments, and also how much you have the right to expect to do off audiobooks. This is nice confusing, so let me an initial explain how books are priced on ACX.

With ACX, they select the price because that you based on the runtime of your audiobook together follows:

Under 1 hour: $3.95 to $7.001-3 hours: $7 come $103-5 hours: $10 come $205-10 hours: $15 to $2510-20 hours: $20 come $30Over 20 hours: $25 come $35

Clearly, this is somewhat subjective, as there’s overlap between the pricing malfunction above, yet this is best off of ACX’s site and this is exactly how they set prices.

Royalties then are based on how the audiobook is sold. Here’s an example of what you’ll check out on her monthly PDF of your sales data. The example listed below is for a brief audiobook that sells because that $3.95 on Audible:

Doesn’t make a lot of sense, walk it?

Let’s rest this down. ACX royalties are based upon whether or no the customer is one Audible Listener (i.e. Has an Audible membership) and also whether they buy it on iTunes or Audible.

“AL” sales space audiobook sales wherein an Audible Listener buys your audiobook with among theire member credits

“ALOP” sales space sales wherein an Audible Listener purchases your audiobook however NOT using among their member credits

“ALC” sales are ala carte sales by human being without one Audible Listener member or by iTunes sales.

You can see indigenous the example over that audiobook listener credit transaction royalties are much reduced than the various other categories. But, don’t forget the ACX Bounty payment!

Make much more Money v ACX Bounty

The ACX Bounty is a $75 payment made come you as soon as someone indicators up for an Audible Listener membership and also they buy your audiobook as their an initial purchase. You deserve to generate referral links in your ACX account to distribute to your email list. This can add up fast!

Many month my Bounty payments have outstripped my nobility payments, and this is the an essential method whereby ACX provides up for their relatively low aristocracy payments (20% to 40% vs. Approximately 70% ~ above Kindle).

In summary,producing an audiobook via ACX continues to be the ideal option today especially for startup authors, yet there are other alternatives out there once you begin publishing an ext audiobooks.

Audiobook Marketing – exactly how To industry Your Audiobook

Once you’ve produced your audiobook and its live for sale ~ above Audible and iTunes, you’ll have actually a distinct opportunity to market your audiobook. About 7-10 work after your publication is live, you’ll get an email from ACX through 25 complimentary promotional codes the you can distribute come anyone friend like. This is a superb chance as the viewed value of an audiobook is high (and it should be due to the fact that the shortest audiobook sells for $3.95!).

As such, you should maximize this chance to distribute these codes in stimulate to do things like:

Build your email listGather reviews for your audiobook (obviously complete disclosure is necessary by the reviewer as well as compliance through Amazon’s regards to Service, but this is still a great way to obtain reviews)Reward loyal readers and customers

Now, friend should understand that marketing one audiobook is still rather in its infancy. And, uneven Kindle straight Publishing, ACX really has no integrated promotional techniques like the Kindle Countdown deal or totally free promotional work for your Kindle eBook.

So essentially, you’re walking to need to work harder to promote her audiobook. Yet with much fewer audiobooks published compared to Kindle eBooks, if friend wisely work-related the marketing end, friend can get ahead of the reasonably smaller competitive field.

A basic strategy for marketing your book is to conference reviews as detailed above. How have the right to authors get reviews?

Below is a perform of web page (both free and paid) where you can write-up your audiobook to assist promote it and ask because that feedback.

Free Audiobook promotion Sites

Goodreads Audiobooks team → great place to get solid reviews of your audiobook and also audiophiles often tend to gather here.

Reddit Audiobooks subject → on Reddit court you can article your publication but be conscious that Reddit can get nasty (I’ve checked out it happen) so you need to ensure your book is excellent prior to posting! that said, i have had an excellent results through Reddit for my audiobooks as this is a well-traveled subreddit.

Facebook group for Audiobook Giveaways → although Facebook team marketing type of sucks for eBooks, this certain group currently has end 6,700 members and you can distribute promo codes here. Through this group, though, you can not post an ext than three total giveaways for any given book.

Facebook Group every little thing Audiobook → This team is smaller however still has 3,000 members and its one more place you deserve to distribute promotional codes for your audiobook.

Facebook group for Audiobook Promos → One an ext place to post your cost-free promotional codes on Facebook with 2,500 members.

Christian Audio → If you have a Christian-themed audiobook, you can simply write-up it together a said title for them to organize on their website by consisting of the publication title, author’s name, and a quick reason why castle should incorporate your book.

Asking because that Reviews From experienced Reviewers

Another strategy because that gathering reviews is to ask expert reviewers for one, and also fortunately, there room a fair variety of websites whereby you can uncover these reviewers.

Here’s a list of sites to uncover reviewers:

Don"t miss out ~ above the explosive audiobook market. Make your very own audiobook there is no spending a ton the money #SelfPubClick come Tweet

How To make An Audiobook Summary

If you’re serious around book publishing, you fan it to yourself to for sure you’re getting to as plenty of readers together possible, and the numbers nothing lie: The audiobook industry is broadening rapidly through no real end in sight.

There are a number of great options to produce an audiobook ranging from cheap (really simply the price of a good microphone) come expensive if you rental the $1,000/hour ACX narrators.

With that, there space very an excellent middle ground options for self-published authors that enable you to create an audiobook because that a reasonable price. That reasonably low cost merged with the burgeoning sector makes a solid organization case for developing audiobooks from your eBook or paperback content.


How lot does it expense to do an audiobook?

The expense of one audiobook depends on many things such as if you are going to record the audio you yourself or salary a professional and how lengthy the recording will certainly be.

What are various ways to develop an audiobook?

Audiobooks can be developed in 2 ways. You deserve to record your own audiobook or you deserve to pay a expert to do. ACX has various ways to salary a expert such as a aristocracy share or a one-time fee.

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Can i make my very own audiobook?

Yes! friend can develop your own audiobook for use on Amazon’s ACX or other platforms. In this post, we will certainly tell friend about specific equipment, setup up her recording space, recording her audio, editing, and also ACX’s standards.