HOW CAN I PRODUCE AND PUBLISH MY AUDIOBOOK?

Choosing to produce and release an audiobook version of your publication has many benefits.  It will extend your reach, enhance accessibility and provide additional benefits such as increased engagement and monetization opportunities.  It’s a strategic move to make your content more versatile and appealing to a diverse audience. 

So the question then is how does one create an audiobook and publish it?  In short, the process of creating an audiobook involves recording the narration of your book using professional audio studio equipment and editing software, ensuring a polished and error-free final product. Once the audio is mastered and checked, digital artwork is created, and finally various outputs are then created and agreements made with distribution platforms, making it available to a wide audience.  To help guide you through this process, we put together a few frequently asked questions that might that can assist you in deciding on which direction to go.

Why should I release an audiobook version of my publication?

The Audio Publishers Association’s annual sales survey, revealed an 11th straight year of double-digit growth in audiobook sales.  For 2022, the 28 APA member publishers reported an overall revenue increase of 10%, bringing the estimated industry total to $1.8 billion in sales for the year.  Additionally, releasing an audiobook version of your publication can offer several benefits, catering to a diverse audience and enhancing the overall accessibility and appeal of your content.

Here are a few reasons why you might consider releasing an audiobook:

  • Reach a Wider Audience:  Audiobooks allow you to tap into a broader audience, including those who prefer to consume content through listening rather than reading.  This can attract individuals with different learning preferences or those who have limited time for traditional reading.
  • Monetization Opportunities:  Audiobooks can provide an additional revenue stream for your publication.  Platforms like Audible and others offer opportunities for authors to sell and monetize their audiobooks.
  • Leverage the Growing Audiobook Market:  The audiobook market has been growing steadily in recent years. By releasing an audiobook, you position your content in a format that aligns with current trends and consumer preferences.
  • Educational and Informative Value:  Audiobooks can serve as educational tools, making complex or technical content more digestible. This can be particularly useful for non-fiction works or publications aimed at providing valuable insights and information.

In summary, releasing an audiobook version of your publication can extend your reach, enhance accessibility and provide additional benefits such as increased engagement and monetization opportunities.  It’s a strategic move to make your content more versatile and appealing to a diverse audience.

Should I use a professional audiobook producer as opposed to doing it myself?

While creating an audiobook yourself is a possibility, there are several compelling reasons to consider using a professional audiobook producer like Phase 3 Studios:

  • High-Quality Production:  Professional producers have the expertise, experience, and specialized equipment to ensure high audio quality. They understand how to capture and edit audio to meet industry standards, resulting in a polished and professional product.  All audiobook platforms and distributors have specific requirements for the technical specifications and quality of audiobooks they will accept.  Professionals are familiar with these requirements and can help you meet them, increasing the likelihood of successful distribution.
  • Narration Skills:  Professional audiobook producers often work with experienced narrators who possess the skills to bring your story to life. A skilled narrator can enhance the listener’s experience, conveying emotions and character nuances effectively.
  • Time and Efficiency:  Producing an audiobook involves numerous tasks, from recording and editing to proofing and mastering. Professionals can efficiently manage these tasks, saving you time and allowing you to focus on your strengths, such as writing or promoting your work.
  • Legal and Licensing Considerations:  Professionals understand the legal aspects of audiobook production, including rights and licensing. They can guide you through the process of obtaining necessary permissions and licenses for any copyrighted material, ensuring that your audiobook complies with intellectual property laws.
  • Marketability and Sales:  A professionally produced audiobook is more likely to be well-received by listeners, leading to positive reviews and increased sales.  The marketability of your audiobook can benefit from the enhanced quality that professionals bring to the production process.
  • Customization and Artistic Direction:  Professional producers can work with you to understand the artistic direction you envision for your audiobook. They can provide valuable input, suggest improvements, and collaborate to create a product that aligns with your vision.
  • Audiobook Industry Insights:  Professionals are often well-connected in the audiobook industry and can provide insights into market trends, distribution strategies, and promotional opportunities, helping you navigate the audiobook landscape more effectively.

While it may be tempting to produce an audiobook independently, especially with the availability of recording equipment and software, the benefits of hiring a professional extend beyond technical expertise to encompass overall quality, marketability, and efficiency.  Phase 3 Studios has been producing professional audiobooks for over 20 years.  We have the experience and know what it takes to create a quality audiobook that will engage the listener and meet and exceed the Quality Control specifications of all major audiobook distributors.  If not done correctly, the distributors will reject the audiobook making it unsuitable for distribution.

Can I read my audiobook myself or should I hire a professional?

Generally speaking (pun intended), most listeners prefer an author read audiobook. With the proliferation of podcasts, most listeners say they get “A lot more out of listening to author-read audiobooks than I do from reading a book” The author knows their book better than anyone and many of the top selling audiobooks are indeed, “Read by Author” (i.e. Stephen King)  For example, if the book takes place in a different country, uses a different language at times, has certain phrases that are unique or anything else that may be hard to pronounce, the author will typically be able to narrate these more accurately than a professional.  If it is a memoir or autobiography, it may also be beneficial for the author to narrate the audiobook since it is about their own life and personal experiences.

Deciding whether to narrate your own audiobook or hire a professional narrator depends on various factors, and both options have their pros and cons. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision:

Narrating Your Own Audiobook

Pros:

  • Authenticity:  Your personal connection to the material can bring an authentic and genuine tone to the narration.
  • Cost Savings:  If you have the necessary voicing skills, narrating your own audiobook can save money compared to hiring a professional narrator.
  • Author Engagement:  Listeners appreciate hearing the author narrate their own work, as it adds a personal touch and insight into the author’s intent.

Cons:

  • Narration Skills:  Not everyone is comfortable or skilled in narrating.  Professional narrators can deliver engaging performances, and if you lack experience, it might affect the overall quality of the audiobook.
  • Time-Consuming:  Narrating takes a significant amount of time and effort.
  • Recording Environment:  Achieving professional audio quality requires a controlled recording environment. Background noise, echoes, or poor acoustics can negatively impact the final product.  Our studios have a welcome and creative environment with appropriate acoustics to create engaging recordings.

 

Hiring a Professional Narrator

Pros:

  • Narration Expertise:  Professional narrators have the skills to bring your story to life. They understand pacing, tone, and character portrayal, enhancing the overall listening experience.
  • Time Efficiency:  Hiring a professional can save you time. They handle the narration, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your work.

Cons:

  • Cost:  Hiring a professional narrator can add addition expense, especially if they are well-known or have a significant body of work.
  • Lack of Author’s Voice:  Some listeners prefer hearing the author’s voice, and using a professional narrator may remove that personal touch.

Ultimately, the decision depends on your comfort level, skills, budget and the overall goals for your audiobook.  Some authors successfully narrate their own audiobooks, while others benefit from the expertise of professional narrators. You may also consider a hybrid approach, such as narrating the introduction or specific sections while hiring a professional for the bulk of the narration.  Whichever option you choose, prioritize the quality of the final product to ensure a positive listening experience for your audience.

How long does it take to create an audiobook?

When we produce an audiobook, we work as efficiently as possible to ensure both a smooth and timely production.  For an average six-hour audiobook, production time is typically between 6 and 8 weeks from first day of record.  This would include recording, editing, proofing, mastering, QC approvals and submission to distributor platforms.  The timeline can also be affected by factors such as casting, talent availability, studio availability and any other unforeseen delays.

I don’t have the funds to do this at the moment. Is there another way or payment options?

As with all business ventures, an initial investment is required and producing an audiobook is no different.  Standard payment terms are 50% at the start and the balance due prior to distribution.  We do accept credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard, and other payment types including Venmo and PayPal.

Plus, the sooner you get started, the sooner you will be able to recoup your investment and start making money with your audiobook.

Where should I release my audiobook?

Phase 3 Studios works with all audiobook distributors including Amazon Audible, Apple, SRIBD, chirp, Hoopla, Spotify, Google Play and Kobo. If you dont have a distributor, we can take care of this part to get your revenue going as quickly as possible.

Let us walk you through the process and bring your book to life.

 

Welcome to Phase 3 Studios, the leading destination for crafting high quality audiobooks for self-publishers. With over fifteen years of experience, our nationwide network of studios provides an inspiring and comfortable atmosphere for nurturing a creative performance.

At Phase 3 Studios, we take the reins of the entire process, seamlessly guiding your audiobook journey from discovering exceptional voice talent, recording, editing, mastering and ultimately, distribution. Our distribution capability includes platforms like Audible, Apple Books, Spotify, Google and many others.

We’ve had the honor of working with multiple New York Times best-selling authors, affirming the trust they place in Phase 3 Studios—a testament to the quality of our services. The opportunity is yours to get started—reach out to us and let’s start the realization of your audiobook dream today!

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Top Voiceover Talent

Should the author prefer not to perform the read themselves, fear not! We have an extensive roster of top-notch voice talent ready to bring your book to life with professionalism and artistry. Our diverse selection of narrators ensures a perfect match for every project, meeting your unique requirements and bringing the characters and story to life in an engaging way.

Book-Saavy Studio Engineers

At Phase 3 Studios, we take pride in our friendly and talented team of engineers who ensure that the recording process is not just efficient but an enjoyable experience for all involved.  With their experience and expertise, creating captivating audiobooks becomes a breeze.

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    PRO SOUND RECORDING STUDIO

    We provide top quality talent and gear to make your project the best it can be.

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    We have studios located across the country for easy access to professional recording.

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    Top publishers trust us to deliver a quality experience for the author and quality book delivered on-time.

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    Three decade’s experience working with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, over hundreds of projects. Meticulous attention to detail and an artisan-like approach to our craft set Phase 3 Studios apart. We bring all of that to your audiobook project, no matter how large or small, executed with our signature “guaranteed smoothness”, for award-winning results on your project.

    Whatever your audiobook needs may be, Phase 3 Studios has got you covered. We are committed to delivering excellence and exceeding your expectations. Don’t hesitate – give us a call today to embark on your audiobook journey with us!