Audiobook sales increased 12% from 2008 to 2013, reaching 1.6 billion dollars in sales in 2013 alone. No wonder, then, that Abigail Young’s guest post on audiobooks proved to be quite a big hit with you. In the comments, my author friend Patrick Jones mentioned that he and his wife, Sandy, had already gone down that route. I asked for a guest post, to share their experience, and they kindly delivered in record time. Enjoy!
“The Wolf’s Moon” by Patrick Jones: Bringing the BEAST to life in Audiobook
After publishing “The Wolf’s Moon,” my wife and I worked very hard to make it a success and a reading pleasure for all. We worked hours to publish and deliver to the reading public a product they would love. Those were the key words: Reading public.
There was a vast segment of the population that we missed. They are the ones who can no longer read or, for various other reasons, do not have the opportunity to read.
We spoke about audio books. I remember audio tapes and new C.D.’s at truck stops. Checking into the costs of producing an audio book was just too prohibitive.
So, the idea sat on the back burner.
As time passed, many things happened – some good, some not so good. Still, we lived through it all – together.
During this time I wrote a novella called, “The River,” which has been recently published.
Again we spoke about “The Wolf’s Moon” as an audio book. Again, we found it too expensive.
My wife is not one to be told “no.” She is too resourceful.
She researched different companies. After her trek through cyberspace she found ACX Audible, an Amazon company.
We sent a copy of “The Wolf’s Moon” manuscript to Audible for narrators to audition. The first man that read a sample narration was a great narrator, but had a strong romantic accent that just did not fit the story. It turned out he was of Spanish origin. Now, there is nothing wrong with Spain or its people, but we wanted the narrator to have more of a Midwest accent, since the book centers around Missouri.
That is exactly what we got with the second narrator, Mark Westfield of Westfield Audio Arts. Read more about Mark on a post by Doris-Maria Heilmann with Savvy Book Writers, “How to Create an Audiobook on a Shoe String“. He was eager to proceed and we were excited to finally have the book put to voice… Can you just imagine the movie with this cast of characters in: If “The Wolf’s Moon” was a Movie…?
Mark spent countless hours recording the story and used different voices for various characters. He caught mistakes that both the editor and I had missed.
The audio book took hours for Mark to record. Sandy and I also spent hours listening and studying the inflection of the words to the story line. We started in February and completed in August. So this is not a project that is a quick finish! Mark let us know up front that any and all revisions or suggestions were possible and welcome. Any changes would be transparent in the final product.
It is amazing how exhaustive the narrators are in their dedication to the author’s slant. First they have to read the entire content so as to “feel” the “mood” of the literature, and then actually immerse themselves into the story so as to “become” the story. The narrators are indeed the true storytellers and bring the text from print/electronic medium into life! I cannot tell you the feeling of exhilaration in bringing your book to life. Mark did such a masterful narration that we also want him to do “The River” on Audible.
Important points to consider
Probably the most important consideration is cost. Now…make sure that you are sitting down and/or not driving.
The initial outlay for this project was…$0.00. Yes…you did not see it incorrectly. Notwithstanding estimating the hours of time invested, this project was free.
What is the catch, you ask? Yes..there is a catch…but there are also benefits. Among the many options that ACX Audible offers, we chose the author/Amazon/narrator Royalty Share. This option is free to begin…60% of the profit to Amazon and the 40% remaining split between both the author and the narrator. There is also a bounty program where if you find a new Audible customer there is a $50.00 bounty program. The legal document that we signed is for a 7 year commitment. Also note, this is a very important consideration to give your audio book rights up for that long a period of time.
On the One Hand…
- You have now gained more SEO (Search Engine Optimization) links to cyberspace. People can listen to your Audible ACX masterpiece right there on Amazon when you click the arrow underneath the book (of course the link in this sentence is to “The Wolf’s Moon”)!
- You now have 3 entities marketing your work: Amazon/Audible ACX; yourself; and the narrator. It is a team effort, where everyone realizes a profit. And… since Amazon does outlay the investment, they are due the majority of the profits in order to offset the cost which would turn out to be about $2500.00. So, unless you are independently wealthy (we do not fit into that category), this option was attractive to us to get the audio book out there. Essentially, it was an experiment. In our experience, we were thoroughly impressed with the ACX Audible process. The whole experience was simple, enjoyable and, after creation of the audio book, the product was available on line within 2 weeks. We just received our first electronic payment of $17.00. Whoo-hoo!!
- You have now created a legacy. You can leave your creation to your significant other/children/pets/favorite charity for an eternity. After 7 years, they will be able to reap the benefits without the contract hanging over their heads. Make sure to tie up the loose ends with legally documenting your creation to your loved ones. That way, your significant others can enjoy a pleasurable experience. Please refer to the post “Access Denied” from Sheila M. Good of Cow Pasture Chronicles originally shared by Chris The Story Reading Ape for important considerations about protecting your electronic connections.
On the Other Hand…
• Your book will NOT be available on C.D. and cannot be distributed as a C.D. Once you sign on the dotted line, you must follow the rules documented in the ACX Audible legally binding contract.
• It must be downloaded on the Audible site itself. The audio book is available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. Thus, whatever electronic medium you choose is conducive to listening wherever you may be! The Wolf’s Moon” turned out to be about 9 ½ hours long. You can start, stop and resume where you left off. Although, when listening to “The Wolf’s Moon” you will not be able to put it down.
• If you travel a lot it is perfect… that is… unless it is a mystery/thriller/suspense story like “The Wolf’s Moon” or “The River.” Then you may want to pay CLOSE attention to the road!! Always be aware that whatever genre you choose to listen to is a distraction to your focus on safety while driving. Supporting documentation from the first review of our most avid fan drives (pun intended) that point home (permission granted to use the review):
“The last audible book I listened to was back in the early 1960s when my Mama got Disney’s “So Dear to My Heart” on 78rpm records. I decided then I would rather read the story myself. Listening to The Wolf’s Moon was a wonderful experience! I’ve read the book several times, in anticipation of the sequel, and am very familiar with the content. The voice of the narrator was not a distraction from the story as it would have been if someone like Sam Elliot or John Wayne did the reading, and was pleasant to listen to. I did discover that I can’t listen in my car. I made a trip to Birmingham last week and got so wrapped up in the story that I was 30 miles past my exit before I realized it! Since finishing it I have downloaded 5 more audio books. Thank y’all for opening an enjoyable avenue to me.”
As we researched creating an audio book, we found an excellent article by Joanna Penn which goes through all of her experiences as she investigated turning her books into audio books. We did employ her suggestion to add it to Soundcloud as follows (please make sure to follow us there): https://soundcloud.com/thelindenchronicles/the-wolf-s-moon-retail-audio
Contact Patrick and Sandy
You can contact Patrick and Sandy on:
- Linked In www.linkedin.com/in/thelindenchronicles
- The Wolf’s Moon book trailer https://youtu.be/18LUT5eyAjE
- The River book trailer https://youtu.be/Du5jh9YBOcc
- The Wolf’s Moon book https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0077F0DFI
- The River book https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0157GPKCE
- Website https://www.thelindenchronicles.com
- Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/author/thewolfsmoon
- Audible audio book https://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/The-Wolfs-Moon-Audiobook/B013TNC3H2
- Goodreads author page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/989230.Patrickjones
- Good reads The Wolf’s Moon https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17308144-the-wolf-s-moon
- Goodreads The River https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26335309-the-river
- Stumble Upon https://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/thewolfsmoon
- Tumblr https://www.thelindenchronicles.tumblr.com
Halloween is coming soon, so why not get your copy of “The Wolf’s Moon” and “The River”?
Of course, you can hear a sample of “The Wolf’s Moon” which is now available on Audible at https://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/The-Wolfs-Moon-Audiobook/B013TNC3H2
Oh…and one last thing: YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!! (Tagline courtesy of Chris The Story Reading Ape featured post)
Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.
Very interesting post. I never listen to audio-books, but it seems I am the only one who doesn’t. The few that I did buy over the years, sat unwrapped for a couple of years until I finally gave them away.
Love the new blog header, Nicholas.
L0l – Patrick’s is my first one 🙂
Thanks! So glad to hear it 🙂
Thanks for this info, Nicholas and Patrick!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Great information and best of luck. I did have an audio produced independently but now I’ve also gone the route of sharing with a producer. And I agree on your comment about keeping a close eye on the road if the book is very exciting…:)
Lol – sounds like good advice, indeed 😀
Reblogged this on Books and More and commented:
I’m working on getting one of my books turned into an audiobook, but needing a little help https://www.gofundme.com/fs48u8as
Thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds fascinating.
This was really a great post, thank you Patrick (and Nicholas for sharing). I am so nervous about trying new technology and tend to put it off for…ever. But you make it sound so painless, I think even I can try it. Everyone has long drives where I live and audio books are very popular. Hmm. Excellent post. Thank you so much.
You sound like me, which is why I asked Pat for this 🙂
It is scary…but now that it’s done…we are ready for the next one! It just takes hours of listening and making sure you have the right narrator to tell your story. Good luck!!
I’ve wondered about doing this, but It would be better to wait until my books start selling more… currently I wouldnt be much of an investment lol! Thanks for all the tips and good luck with this new venture!
I assume you mean a time investment, as Patrick pointed out that you can do it for free nowadays 🙂
Thanks so much, Ali! It’s worth thinking about just for the extra marketing help 🙂
Great post, Nicholas, Sandy and Patrick, thanks! A lot of food for thought.
Hi Elle! Yes…we did a lot of thinking about it as well…it is an exercise in looking at a lot of information for sure! Not sure I am “thrilled” about the 7 years…but it is only on the audio book and not the actual book…maybe someday it will be a legacy 🙂 Who knows? Thanks for visiting! Have a great week!
So glad you found it useful 🙂
Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere.
Thanks so much for reblogging, Charles! Most appreciated! Have a great week 🙂
You’re welcome. 🙂
Reblogged this on The Linden Chronicles: The Wolf's Moon/The River and commented:
Nicholas Rossis features “The Wolf’s Moon” ACX Audible Audio Book newly released!!
I like the idea of audio-books, but think it is all-important to get a narrator who is pleasant to listen to. I am sure that they will become a substantial section of the book market in the future.
Best wishes, Pete.
I think you need more that a pleasant voice. You need someone who ‘gets’ the story and what you’re trying to say. An actor/narrator, then.
Good point Nicholas. Some audio books are narrated by well-known actors of course, but I would imagine that their fees are likely to be huge.
Sigh… I know… 🙂
I know, we would have liked all the sound effects and visualization, but then again, that would be the movie in which Gerard Butler would agree to be the star! 🙂
Lol – fair enough 😀
Thank you so much for your good wishes!! Have a great day!
Very interesting post. Audiobooks are on the rise. My experience with them has left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s great to listen to a book while doing other things. On the other, the fact that a single narrator does all PoV characters–sometimes a woman narrator deepens her voice to show it’s a guy talking–was hard to stomach–and quite hilarious I must say.
But Amazon gives you the opportunity to add Audible narration to an ebook you just bought for just $2.00 and that’s enticing, so I’ll keep listening. Good luck to The Wolf’s Moon!
Thanks for bringing that up! Yes, it can be rather upsetting to have a single narrator act all the voices in a story.
Thank you so much for all of your good wishes!! You are right, though, we did have a couple of “funny” moments when we knew it wasn’t a girl talking 🙂 Although Mark is quite talented in changing his voices to fit the characters!
I loved listening to this book and thought the narrator was great! As a narrator myself, I well know the time and care that goes into production of an audio book (about 6 hours work per finished hour of audio). You do have the alternative NOT to go exclusive with Amazon/Audible, but of course, your royalty share does go down if you do that.
Thanks for sharing the narrator’s point of view!
Thank you so much, Wendy!! You have a unique perspective being a narrator. Just love that English accent!!
How interesting! I’ve loved the idea of making my series available on audio books for that part of the market that for whatever reason prefers audio books part or all of the time.Thanks for sharing your insights!
Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
Important points to consider 😀
Thank you so much for re-blogging, Chris! Most appreciated!
My pleasure Pat & Sandy 😀