Author Topic: Are you happy with your audio book(s)  (Read 603 times)  

Offline Martitalbott

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Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« on: June 13, 2018, 08:15:19 AM »
I'm thinking of taking the plunge into audio with my 50 books, but I'd like to hear from those with experience. What are the problems I might encounter? What you liked and didn't like about the process, if you paid upfront or worked with a split, and what NOT to agree to.

I will very much appreciate your advice.
Marti
       
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Online Cassie Leigh

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 08:42:29 AM »
I paid up front through ACX so there's really not much you can do about the contract. It is what it is, but read it so you understand what you're signing if you go that route. Seven years is an eternity in this business.  For some titles I'm pleased I did it, for others it has yet to pay off. My novel pays me the least per unit sold so have some idea of the economics of it all going in. That list price is not really what you're going to get paid from.

Make sure you select a narrator that has the depth to handle your full roster of characters and whose tone, etc. match the tone of your book. I went on the cheaper side for my fiction books and while the narrators did an adequate job and I've seen no customer complaints about their performance I personally had some disappointment around the final product. One because of the second character voices and the other because they sounded too posh for the character they were narrating.

If you're talking to people about money earned and numbers be sure to ask what they're seeing now because I think the romance package gutted a lot of people's audio income on romance titles, even those not in it, so numbers from two years ago may not be representative of what you'll see now.


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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 09:11:01 AM »
Everything Cassie said.

Also, for what it's worth, I average $2.10 per sale across AL, ALOP, and ALC. That's over several months of tracking with monthly sales (in units) in the four figures.

In my opinion, this is a good metric to know. You can use it to estimate how long it'll take your audio to earn out.

Keep in mind, earnings per sale vary by book. So you'll benefit from others chiming in with their per-sale figures.

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Offline Martitalbott

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 09:14:39 AM »
I paid up front through ACX so there's really not much you can do about the contract. It is what it is, but read it so you understand what you're signing if you go that route. Seven years is an eternity in this business.  For some titles I'm pleased I did it, for others it has yet to pay off. My novel pays me the least per unit sold so have some idea of the economics of it all going in. That list price is not really what you're going to get paid from.

Make sure you select a narrator that has the depth to handle your full roster of characters and whose tone, etc. match the tone of your book. I went on the cheaper side for my fiction books and while the narrators did an adequate job and I've seen no customer complaints about their performance I personally had some disappointment around the final product. One because of the second character voices and the other because they sounded too posh for the character they were narrating.

If you're talking to people about money earned and numbers be sure to ask what they're seeing now because I think the romance package gutted a lot of people's audio income on romance titles, even those not in it, so numbers from two years ago may not be representative of what you'll see now.

Thanks, Cassie. I didn't realize the romance package gutted the entire genre. Does that include historical romance? If so, then it doesn't sound like it is worth it at this time except maybe on the other distributors.
       
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Offline Martitalbott

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 09:16:38 AM »
Everything Cassie said.

Also, for what it's worth, I average $2.10 per sale across AL, ALOP, and ALC. That's over several months of tracking with monthly sales (in units) in the four figures.

In my opinion, this is a good metric to know. You can use it to estimate how long it'll take your audio to earn out.

Keep in mind, earnings per sale vary by book. So you'll benefit from others chiming in with their per-sale figures.


Good to know. Mind telling me what your audio is selling for and if you opted for a split instead of paying up front? $2.10 sounds pretty low.

edited to say, should have looked at your link before I asked.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 09:18:52 AM by Martitalbott »
       
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Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 09:58:39 AM »
I am very happy with my audio books.  I did them all as a royalty split with different people except the non-fiction, which all have the same narrator.  Luckily, my experiences have been positive and ACX has been very easy to work with...their representatives are quite helpful.  I haven't sold tons of ebooks, paperbacks or audio books, but I think (hope) once the two series are complete sales will increase. :)



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Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 10:53:49 AM »
I think audiobooks are 'the future', and if in the future you want to sell books, you need to have them in audio. It's the same argument that was made eight years ago with ebooks: your print book should be in ebook form too, because it's what you will have to have in the future.

This is also an argument for wide, but i think long-term, it's in your interest to make your books as widely available as possible in as many formats as possible, because you never want to hear "i would have bought it but it wasn't available in the form in which i consume books".

I paid up front, and all my books are in audio. I make about $4.50 per unit sold on average-- most of my books are between 9.5 and 11.5 hours. My sales in audio are very much the exception and not the rule, and it's easy (probably) to have a philosophy like the one i've espoused above when it self-evidently worked in my case, so use as much salt as you feel is necessary here.

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 11:28:35 AM »
Thank Gene and Lorri, very helpful advice.
       
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Online Cassie Leigh

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 11:41:28 AM »
Good to know. Mind telling me what your audio is selling for and if you opted for a split instead of paying up front? $2.10 sounds pretty low.

edited to say, should have looked at your link before I asked.


My novel averages $1.10 on ACX. (I'm not exclusive.)  My erom short story collection that's 60K words averages $3.29. And my top non-fiction titles average between $1.50-$2 per "sale". That's excluding bounty payments and the romance subscription program payouts.


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Offline Martitalbott

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 01:28:18 PM »
Has anyone tried putting a book on youtube?
       
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Online Cassie Leigh

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 01:32:12 PM »
I have not but it's pretty common to be pirated and have someone else put your audiobook on you tube so my novel is up there with a total of zero views.

In order to monetize you tube these days I think you have to have 1,000 subscribers to your channel...


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Offline Kathryn Meyer Griffith

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 04:50:36 PM »
Everything everyone else said. I did royalty share with all my 25 (soon to be 26) audio books in ACX because I couldn't afford the initial outlay and over the last 5 years have learned a lot. I am exclusive with ACX, which sells them through Audible, iTunes and one other (can't recall it now). (1) ACX is easy to work with. (2) If you do go though ACX, or any place really, make sure you wait long enough for a really good narrator to audition (I moved too quickly on my first 3 audio books in 2013 and gave them to one narrator too quickly and in the end, as I was so green about the whole audio book thing, she wasn't very good and it has hurt my sales on my 3 best novels - and I have to wait another 2 years to redo them now (7 year contracts and you have to cancel 3 months before the 7 years run out or it will automatically renew for another year).  After that, though I was pickier and have had some amazing narrators. Nila Hagood is now doing my 26th book, Witches II: Apocalypse, and she is fantastic! (3) I learned that the price ACX puts on my audio books is not set in concrete. I have no control on what they finally sell them for. They have sales on them and then there is 'Whispersync'. Which is when someone buys the eBook they can also buy the audio book at the same time to listen to on their Kindle along with the eBook and that sale of the audio can be as low as $1.99, which means you and your narrator both only get about 40-50 cents a piece royalty for the audio. That was a surprise. The thing is, though, I spent 0 to produce all my 25 audio books (except for all the hours I had to listen, correct and approve) and I make a nice little check every month. Extra income. For an old timer who always wanted her books in audio, ACX has been a dream come true.

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Offline jmb3

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 05:32:49 PM »
My experience is similar to Gene's. I got into audiobooks 1.5 years ago and have 4 audiobooks total. I hired my own narrators independently outside of ACX and uploaded my books. With each audiobook I've earn out within two weeks (usually less). I get about $4.50 per audiobook. Two of mine are in the Romance Package (which, so far, pays awful but the bonuses have been very good). I've found many new listeners in this program and have had good sell through to the other two in my series which are still outside the program. I do still sell the first two audiobooks despite them being in the Romance Package but at about half the rate that I sell the ones outside of the program. I'm exclusive to acx and earn 40% of the profits so audiobooks have been a great investment for me.

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Offline Kathy Dee

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2018, 02:01:26 AM »
One because of the second character voices and the other because they sounded too posh for the character they were narrating.

^For this reason, it's a good idea to have a dialogue passage with a few of the characters talking in the audition script.

Actually, there's no reason you could not write a special audition script that uses all, or a good number, of your character voices.

Offline T. M. Bilderback

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2018, 05:01:06 AM »
Marti,

Check out Findaway Voices.  They're affiliated with both D2D and Smashwords.  They have several great narrators, and Findaway will work with you any way you need them.  Of course, you pay for your audiobook up front, which is fine by me, and they have lots of places to distribute your audiobook besides the ACX trio.  They DO distribute to ACX, but on the lower "non-exclusive" contract.

I've begun paying for my audiobooks up front, and using Findaway.  I'm very pleased.  Full disclosure:  I brought my own narrators, and provide my own audio files from them.

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Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Are you happy with your audio book(s)
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2018, 12:06:37 PM »
I'm thinking of taking the plunge into audio with my 50 books, but I'd like to hear from those with experience. What are the problems I might encounter? What you liked and didn't like about the process, if you paid upfront or worked with a split, and what NOT to agree to.

I will very much appreciate your advice.
Marti

I have made great money in the audio market.

One thing i would recommend though. If you have already had out a book for a long time you might not want to do a pay upfront deal unless you can be sure it will do well again in the audio market.

I have had better luck with newly released books ( audio ) than doing my old ones.