Alongside the continuing rise of audiobooks, podcasts have also experienced dramatic growth in recent years. Some podcasts have achieved million plus audiences, which has drawn the attention of advertisers and now Spotify, the giant of music streaming. The podcast space has tended to have a scrappy, DIY feel, but that may start to recede into history. Authors interested in audio books might want to also consider the possibilities of podcasting — there have been several successful attempts to create serialised podcast dramas, an interesting echo of the long-vanished era of full cast radio dramas.
Not content with dominating the world of ebook promotion, Bookbub is dipping its toes into the booming world of audiobooks by joining forces with Findaway Voices. They are up against ACX, Amazon’s successful audio production arm. Audiobooks are much more expensive to produce than ebooks, so there is a barrier to entry akin to the old traditional publishing world. Until someone trains an AI to narrate stories effectively, that is…
With the rise and rise of Audiobooks, some authors may be considering an audio version of their work. Whether they narrate it themselves (possible, but not always a good idea), or engage an actor at eye watering per-hour prices, there are many aspects to consider, most of which are covered in this excellent interview. Audiobooks are a powerful format with fairly high barriers to entry, platform independent, perfect for time poor people or those on the move, and only set to further expand. In my long experience as an audiobook consumer, the quality of the narrator is absolutely crucial — a good voice can make even indifferent prose sound oddly compelling. Some listeners will follow the narrator to different books just to hear his or her voice, which means some narrators are in massive demand.
In his youth James O’Brien was a republican firebrand, campaigning against the British presence in Northern Ireland and sympathetic with the aims, if not always the methods, of the IRA. Time and experience mellowed his views and he left Ireland for a prosperous life in Australia. We designed the cover for his memoir some years ago, and recently adjusted the layout for an audio book version he created in conjunction with Findaway Voices.
Audiobooks are currently the fastest growing segment of the publishing world. Listeners can login to audiobook services such as Audible, Playster of Apple Books on almost any device, and listen at home, the car or while walking. In short, it is a portable and very immediate format. Until recently, the process of recording a professional ebook has largely been restricted to publishers, due to the expenses involved. However, audiobook recording services have been established aimed at independent authors. An author client recently recounted their experience using Findaway Voices, and was vocal in praise of their service. This article posted at the Creative Penn in mid 2018 largely echoes his praise. Amazon’s own audibook recording service to authors is here.
Not content with dominating the online sale of printed books and ebooks, Amazon is also moving to extend its dominance in audio books. The e-commerce giant already owns Audible. ACX is aimed at small publishers and authors wanting to create an audiobook version of existing print editions. Given the increasing popularity of podcasting and streaming music services, it makes sense to offer independent authors a way to grab a slice of that audio content pie. Authors can create their own audio, but they would need decent equipment and some technical savvy to meet ACX's audio quality requirements. ACX steers authors towards their roster of professional narrators and producers, and offers long term distribution through Audible.