I’ve read about self-publishers recording audiobooks for a while now and it’s been something which I’ve always had in the back of my mind. You do hear some good things about it and there is definitely a committed market which are almost evangelical about the pros of listening to books. So, I thought I’d peel back the covers…
I didn’t peel back very far before I quickly replaced them and crept out of the house hoping that I didn’t wake it up. You see, the problem is that the costs just don’t seem to add up. Not for me anyway, not with the volume of books I’m likely to sell.
Don’t record it yourself
The one thing you read everywhere is DON’T READ IT YOURSELF. I guess it’s the typical car crash that’s caused by an egotistical author who wants to do things on the cheap and believes that they’re just as good as the professionals. NEWSFLASH, you’re not.
It’s the same scenario as the front cover of the book itself. If you want your book to look like a Primary School project then do it yourself and good luck with trying to gleam some kind of credibility from it. However, if you’re actually serious about writing as a career and want to appear just as professional as the big boys then you’re going to have to get someone else on the job.
An actor and a producer are needed in order to do the thing justice. I’ve looked around on Google and I can make out that you can expect to pay about £250/hour. I read somewhere that 8,000 words equals about an hour so do the maths. For my novel, it would be about 10 hours. £2,500
Royalties seem to be around 50% to start with so that would mean that I’d have to be sure of selling around 350 audiobooks just to break even. Now, I don’t know about you but I see the audiobook as a kind of marketing gimmick. A perception of quality, if you will. It would look good as an option but most people will still prefer to actually read their books.
I just can’t see how the numbers can add up. The last thing you need as a self-published author is something going out on to the market that’s sub-standard and the only way you can get this to work is if you push it out in an amateur way.
By the way, if you do record it yourself then Audible (the Amazon of audiobooks – owned by Amazon of course) won’t accept it anyway, so good luck selling that chocolate teapot.
I believe that the next level up of self-published authors can maybe consider such luxuries but for the pond feeders like me, this is one trick that I can’t replicate from the big boys.