Knowing how to sell audiobooks on Amazon is a fantastic way for authors to emerge into a growing industry.
Although the popularity of audiobooks was lackluster at launch, their sales are steadily increasing, showing a 16% growth in the last few years. With the help of this guide, you can easily get your book published in an accessible format for millions of people to enjoy.
Why Should You Sell Audiobooks?
Undoubtedly, audiobook files didn’t succeed immediately, with many readers and authors failing to see their solid business benefits.
Many groups suggested that listening to a professional voice actor wasn’t similar to reading a physical copy. However, the growth of audiobook sales by people isn’t something to be understated.
Let’s look at some major reasons authors and readers prefer audiobooks over traditional print. You may find your dream business is right around the corner.
The most notable benefit of Audible audiobooks for countless people is that they can be far more convenient than a paperback or hardcopy novel.
According to surveys, most readers prefer audiobooks because they can do something else while reading. For example, many people listen to audiobooks while at the gym or heading out on road trips.
Instead of having to hold an actual book, you can quickly pop in your headphones and consume audio files. By keeping your hands free, you can even do daily chores while being entertained, compared to listening to music.
Another important factor of the convenience they bring relates to the growing popularity of eCommerce. Shopping online has shown significant growth in the past few years, totaling approximately 22.3% of all retail sales.
Instead of having to go to a brick-and-mortar bookstore, readers can buy an audiobook production from the comfort of their homes. It’s a far better way to digest digital media and can allow you to listen to fantastic titles within minutes.
Another massive reason you need to consider selling an audiobook project is that they’re compatible with all digital devices. With services like Audible, readers can download audiobooks to their smartphones, laptops, tablets, and eReaders.
By making them easily accessible to a large audience, you’ll find they’re a popular solution for future-ready readers.
Even if you choose to publish through a different platform than Audible, you’ll be reaching a much larger audience. This can be incredibly beneficial for authors, especially if you want to broaden your demographic to increase sales.
Accessibility was the initial thought when audiobook distributors first generated the audio version of popular titles.
Before significant audiobook market growth, visually impaired readers would have to rely on text-to-speech to reach novels. Although this feature is incredibly beneficial, it doesn’t convey the true tone of the book, creating a less-than-enjoyable experience.
With audiobook retailers, you can provide a rememberable experience to those who can’t read books in their traditional format. Not only does it make the content easier to digest, but it also creates a cinematic landscape for readers to be immersed in.
Telling Your True Story
As an author, much time and effort go into developing a novel, even for non-fiction writers.
You’ll dream of landscapes and character descriptions while trying to convey specific emotions through your pages. Still, it can be challenging to give the perfect experience to all of your readers through the basic text.
The audiobook production process can help bring your written words to the next level.
You can hire voice actors to represent each of your characters, add sound effects at meaningful points, and more. It helps to bring the words alive, creating a far better reading experience than a paperback book idea can offer.
Many authors find that their book idea translates better when read aloud, offering a new experience for their readers. Not only does this help to build an online business for affiliate income, but it also brings your creative vision to the world.
How to Sell Audiobooks on Amazon
With a good understanding of the numerous benefits of the audiobook industry on Amazon, let’s look at the steps. Fortunately, the steps you’ll need to take are straightforward for any author to follow.
Before You Get Started: What Is ACX?
ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) is the platform Amazon uses to publish audiobooks in several places.
Naturally, you’ll have your work published on Audible, but you can also bring audiobooks to iTunes and Amazon. It’s an incredibly intuitive tool to use, especially if it’s your first-time publishing an audiobook.
There are a few notable benefits to using ACX, which include:
- High Royalty Payments
If you’re searching for an audiobook publisher that will give you the highest possible royalty rates, ACX is highly competitive.
They often pay authors up to 40% royalties for their published work. This is a notable source of income compared to what you earn with a paperback or hardcover copies.
- Access to Staff
There’s no doubt one of the most expensive costs associated with publishing an Amazon Kindle audiobook is hiring professionals to do the recording.
With ACX, you can access several actors, studios, and producers in their network. Some professionals are available to hire for no cost, while others require a fee or royalty-sharing partnership.
- Easy Distribution
When you use ACX to create your audiobook, you’ll also have a team available to distribute your work.
As mentioned, this program allows you to publish on the leading audiobook providers: Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. There are also additional global partners, helping you reach a worldwide audience.
- Whispersync Compatibility
One of the more unique benefits of using ACX is your audiobook could be eligible for Whispersync compatibility.
Using this feature, readers can switch between your Kindle eBooks and the professionally recorded audiobook. They can do so seamlessly without losing their spot.
Step #1: Create an Account
Once you’ve decided that ACX is the platform you want to use to publish your audiobook, it’s time to create an account.
You can use the same login for this platform if you already have an Amazon account. Otherwise, you’ll have to create a new account.
After making an account, it’s important to ensure you own the full audio rights for your entire book.
Most authors will have a print book contract that should outline who owns the rights for what. You can continue with the process if you own exclusive audio rights.
Step #2: Create a Profile
It’s important to remember that you’ll be using ACX to hire professionals to create your audiobook.
As such, you’ll need your team to understand who you are and your goals. You’ll want to create a profile that describes your book and the type of narrator you’re looking for.
It can also be helpful to post one to two pages of your novel along with your profile. This will give prospective narrators and voice actors a script to use for their auditions.
Step #3: Choose a Narrator or Voice Actor
Once you’ve created a profile, professional narrators can begin “applying” to be the narrator for your audiobook.
Known as auditions, when individuals submit their recordings for your consideration, you can review them as needed. Alternatively, authors can independently seek professional narration for their book title.
Once you’ve made an account, ACX has a list of sample narrations startup authors can browse through.
If you find the perfect voice actor to bring your audio file format to life, you can invite them to audition for your Audible book. It’s a far better alternative to recording your audio book.
Some of the largest benefits of using a professional narrator include:
- No background noise in the recordings
- Efficiency for self-published authors
- Access to professional actors with established audiences
- Easier editing in post-production
- Generates considerable passive income with less effort
Step #4: Make an Offer
After you have had the chance to review all of the audio files for your auditions, it’s time to pick the perfect person for the job.
On ACX, you’ll make an “Offer to a Producer” to assign them to your project. You’ll need to do this through the “Production Offer Page.” On this page, you’ll outline the expectations for the job and the pay, if any.
The offer should also outline your expectations regarding completion time. Once your favorite voice actor accepts the deal, you can start getting to work making passive income.
Step #5: Begin Recording
In the beginning, your narrator will provide a 15-minute sample of your audiobook for review.
This clip gives you a better idea of what you can expect from their work. Also, you’ll want to use the recording as a way to provide important feedback to be used for the remainder of the project.
When you’ve approved the sample, the rest of the job is in your voice actor’s hands. Once they have completed the full recording, it’s time to move on to the next round of corrections.
Step #6: Approve Your Final Recording
With the full copy of your audiobook in hand, you’ll want to spend ample time reviewing it. That is because ACX only allows real authors to go through two rounds of corrections per finished product.
Giving your narrator the most critical feedback is important to ensure the audiobook is polished.
As soon as you’re happy with the recording, you can approve the product. Depending on your contract, you can pay your producer at this point.
Step #7: Choose a Distribution Channel
While creating an audiobook, you must review all of your contract’s components. With ACX, startup authors can sign up for a non-exclusive or exclusive contract.
Let’s look at the differences between the two distribution options.
Exclusive Retail Distribution Contracts
Many self-published authors prefer exclusive distribution when getting their audiobooks to the public.
Exclusive contracts mean the audiobook content can only be published through Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. You will not be able to publish the content on any other platforms.
The reason why exclusive distribution is so popular is because of its royalty percentage. With this agreement, indie authors will bring in 40% royalties, helping you get the most out of your work.
Non-Exclusive Retail Distribution Contracts
If you know your audiobook will sell well on other channels as well as iTunes, Amazon, and Audible, non-exclusive can be preferred. With that said, you’ll take a considerable cut to the number of royalties you’ll be receiving.
With non-exclusivity, indie authors will receive 25% of their audiobook, but you’ll retain your distribution rights.
After choosing your ideal contract, your distributor will get your audiobook into stores. You can also begin contacting retailers of audiobooks to see if they’d be interested in the digital audiobook edition of your novel.
With an easily digestible MP3 format, you’ll start to see your book cover on a ton of top-rated platforms.
Step #8: Earn Royalties
Now that your audiobook is on the market, the only thing left is to enjoy the royalties your sales bring in.
Fortunately, ACX has fantastic tracking features that allow you to monitor the sales progress of your titles. Real authors can also expect to receive a monthly digital royalty statement and email reminder to see their audiobooks’ success.
Successfully Selling Audiobooks on Amazon
Learning how to sell audiobooks on Amazon is a fantastic way to bring your written text to an explosive audiobook market. You can enhance the accessibility of your work while also benefitting from 40% or 25% royalties.
With the help of services like the Audiobook Creation Exchange, the process is elementary for any author.