Changes in the publishing industry have made life easier for indie authors with every evolution helping us reach more readers. As I launch the audiobook version of my memoir this month, it’s been fun to go back and look at the journey of my first indie publishing venture from the beginning.
In 2008, I published Growing Up Country – Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl in paperback. To my surprise, printing after printing sold, and the paperback version continues to find reader interest eight years later.
In 2010 – after digital books were more than a gleam in someone’s eye – I jumped on the ebook bandwagon and converted Growing Up Country to an ebook format. New marketing opportunities abound.
Now I’m pleased to announced that Growing Up Country is available as an Audible audiobook.
While I know many readers enjoy audiobooks on a regular basis, I’m most pleased about this new format because it makes these stories available to people who have low vision, as my mother did.
The conversion to audio was far easier than I expected. I chose Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) to do production. If you haven’t checked into ACX, I recommend it. There are two key questions you’ll have to answer as you get started:
- Do you want to pay for production or do a revenue share with the talent? Cautious soul that I am, I chose to share revenue so I didn’t have to go out of pocket. I will make less on each sale, but it’s a new revenue stream for me, so I’m okay with that. Of course, I hope my narrator makes a ton on this one.
- Who will narrate? To find a narrator, you put a sample of your book up on ACX. Interested narrators do a sample read. You can choose one of them or if you don’t like any who apply, you can put the request up again. I found a narrator who was just right on the first try. You can also find a narrator independently of ACX and upload the finished piece through ACX, but staying within the system is much easier and can be less expensive, even free, as it was for me.
Once you choose a narrator, the two of you agree on a production schedule. My book took about two months, start to finish.
While production is turnkey, the author is responsible for making certain the final product is perfect. I listened to each chapter, following along in the book, noting any errors using the time code. I told the producer who fixed the errors and sent me a corrected file to review. Easy.
When you and the narrator are finished, the project goes through ACX review. That can take a couple of weeks. Once ACX approves, they set the price and post the Audible version on Amazon. They also send codes for free copies you can use in marketing.
Back in 2007, I had no expectations of what would happen with this memoir – other than that my mother would read it. So, it’s been fun to see my stories reach new readers as each new format opens the door to more folks.
Speaking of reaching more folks, on to marketing. This is where you, dear readers, come in.
- Do you know someone who enjoys listening to memoirs, stories of family and childhood, Iowa, history? Please tell them Growing Up Country is not available as an audiobook.
- Do you know anyone who would be interested in listening to Growing Up Country and doing a review? I have a limited number of audiobooks to give away for just this purpose. If you do, please let me know.
Finally, if you’re an author who’s looking at an audiobook conversion, what questions do you have? I’m always happy to share whatever I’ve learned.