Should you Turn Your Book Into an Audiobook?
The quick answer is yes. Now is the perfect time to cash in on the booming audiobook market. In 2016, the audiobook industry was worth 2.1 billion dollars in the US alone, according to the internet’s leading statistics database, Statista.
More than 50,000 audiobook titles were published in the United States the same year and 76% of the sales were fiction audiobooks.
On recent news report , Google has launched audiobooks in Australia, which only goes to show that more and more people are listening to books.
Are Audiobooks the Future of Reading?
This new format has been questioned by advocates of traditional print books. They say, it’s not real reading if you don’t consume a page. However, studies have shown that reading comprehension is strongly correlated with listening comprehension. The brain apparently processes the information from books that were read or listened to in much the same manner.
People with reading disability or poor eyesight also find listening to audiobooks a great way to still enjoy books. Verbal (linguistic) learners decode print book well while auditory learners process information better when they hear them. Ergo, an audiobook version of your printed or digital book is one way to cater to struggling readers or people with auditory inclination.
As people get busier managing career, study, and family life, it can be hard to find time to read a book, both digital or print. Fitting reading in our lifestyle has been on everyone’s New Year’s Resolution, but we often fail to keep this promise because of our busy lives. Audiobooks provide a solution to this dilemma.
Listening to audiobooks is a great way to catch up on your reading. Whether you’re at the gym working out, commuting to work on a bus or train, or cooking dinner for your family, audiobooks meld perfectly with your everyday life.
As of 2016, there were about 67 million listeners to audiobooks in the United States. So why haven’t you recorded an audiobook version of your work to tap into this market?
How to Make a Book into an Audiobook
Publisher's Weekly has cited a few companies that can help you find professional narrators for your work. Just like movie auditions, you can screen voice actors who are applying to read your books.
Professionally narrated audiobooks don’t come cheap. If your novel has 90,000 words, for instance, this would take about eight hours of narration. New voice talents would normally accept $100 an hour while seasoned narrators command around $500 an hour.
If you’re writing a book with a lot of characters, you want to make sure that the narrator is flexible enough to adapt her or his voice to each of the characters. If you have a non-fiction book, it only needs one voice personality so it is easier and usually cheaper to produce than an audiobook with multiple characters.
Thinking of Making Your Own Audiobook?
Recording your voice reading you own book is, of course, an option. As long as you are confident with your skills and you are willing to carve out time learning the craft, you can definitely go for it.
However, note that the learning curve can be quite steep. You also need to invest in specific tools, a quiet environment, and about a month or so of deliberate practice to hone your voice and narrative skills. Like all skills, there is a lot to learn when recording an audiobook so either you record your own voice or you hire someone else to do it for you.
While it’s tempting to just produce a machine-read book, human readings usually have a better quality. Try to learn from the best, visit Audible or Youtube, and listen to dozens of excellent audiobook samples. Look for best-sellers, take note of the things they do well, and put these pointers into practice on the actual recording of your book. You may also volunteer to read classic books for LibriVox and get feedback for improvement.
Audiobook publishing is a trend that won’t likely go away anytime soon and will just keep growing, so jump into the chance while you can and reap the benefits such as word-of-mouth marketing, sales growth, and a potential lucrative second career. If you’re simply intrigued by the idea of making your own audiobook, follow your curiosity, and you might end up having a great time in the process.