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

The Wolf's Moon by Patrick Jones 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.

The River by Patrick JonesDuring 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.

ACX Audible

ACX Audible AmazonShe 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.

Doris-Maria Heilmann with Savvy Book Writers

Doris-Maria Heilmann with Savvy Book Writers

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…

  1. 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”)!
  2. 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!!
  3. 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.”

Further Resources

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):

Contact Patrick and Sandy

You can contact Patrick and Sandy on:

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

The Wolf's Moon by Patrick Jones #ACX #Audible #Audiobook #Amazon

Oh…and one last thing: YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!! (Tagline courtesy of Chris The Story Reading Ape featured post)

Chris The Story Reading Ape Blog

Chris, The Story Reading Ape