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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As we're all aware, the standards of what is needed to be taken seriously have shifted. In 2010, covers made in Photoshop and Paint were common. No more.

I've been perusing the titles of the high-selling, big-name indies. (I'm not using trad-pubbed authors as the basis of comparison here.) It seems that every "big name" indie has an audiobook for most, if not all, titles.

I'm wondering if the audiobook, like advertising, is becoming another winnowing factor? I heard it suggested on a podcast the other day that readers take titles far more seriously when all formats are available. A title without an audiobook screams, "indie author!"

Most of us can manage print and ebooks with few difficulties. But audiobooks are expensive to outsource. (A few grand each, from what I've seen.) If you record one yourself, you need to invest in audio equipment, and the process is very time consuming.

Questions:

1.) Is an audiobook now the new mark of a "serious" title (as high-quality covers became circa 2014?)

2.) Up until now, the emphasis has been on piling more and more content into the Kindle store. Would it be better to slow down, and focus on producing all formats for each title, versus constantly cranking out new Kindle titles?

Where do the rest of you stand regarding audiobooks? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, Patty, I appreciate your candor. This is one those "I heard it on a podcast" things...Not something that I'm advocating myself.

If I may extrapolate a bit, then, from what you said: It really only makes sense to have an audiobook done when the proceeds from print and ebook (which again, most of us can manage solo) are high enough so that the investment in the audiobook doesn't put the balance sheet for a given title in the red. If you have to wonder, "will I make my money back?" then wait.

This might also suggest that while the DIY approach is possible, it isn't the best use of most authors' time.

I'm experienced with public speaking, and I did some acting in my school days. (My point here being: I'm not shy, or freaked out by the sound of my own voice.) And I find the book narrating process very, very cumbersome.

Patty Jansen said:
That is seeing the situation ass-backwards.

People who sell well get audio books made because:

1. Audio books are a thing and they can sell really well
2. They can cost a lot of money to produce so if you don't sell terribly well (yet) you have to fund this out of pocket.

There are plenty (most) of trad books that don't have an audiobook. There are plenty of selfpublished books that sell well that don't even have a print version, let alone audio. Readers don't care who has published a book.

"Taken seriously"? By whom? I suggest people shouldn't worry about people who want to be "taken seriously" because you get taken as seriously as you behave yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, Amanda, I've been listening to all your old podcast appearances. I'm amazed at your output.

I am assuming that you don't even try to narrate your own books (?) Lately there has been a DIY audiobook push on some of the indie author podcasts. Joanna Penn, ML Buchman, and some others have doing it. But I guess you would say that it isn't worth your time---kind of like trying to do cover design (?)

Amanda M. Lee said:
If you don't make money on ebook, you're unlikely to make money on audio. That being said, if you do, I've found that timing the audio to hit at the same time as the ebook and print book means double the revenue on an audio title. I work hard to release everything simultaneously and I've slowly been building up my audio. My next goal is to get it to 30K a month. It's much slower than building ebooks but I've found it's pretty steady. I would eventually like to get audio to 50K a month but it will take years. It's still a goal I'm working on.
 
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