Recording Audiobooks on a Budget

I’m Heading INTO the Closet

There have been a couple of running jokes here in our house. The first is that I’m going INTO the closet not coming out. My tween thinks that is very funny.

The other is that this tiny 17″ deep space is not a closet, it’s my recording studio.

The tween loves to rub it in, “So I’ll be sure to be really quiet when you go into your clos…er, recording studio.”

My husband’s only comment? “Well, you had better record in small batches because otherwise you will run out of air.”

Well, there is that.

So, it’s small and my elbows jab into the walls and I fight for space for my mouse to work and strain to see the screen, but I did a test run and I think it will work.

All I need to do now is decide which book I will start with.

Because Audiobooks are EXPENSIVE to Hire Out

Do YOU have $1,500 – $4,000 to spend per book? Because I don’t. Not even close.

I was rather shocked when I researched the cost of audiobooks. It ends up being around 12-20 hours of recorded audio and at a cost of $150-$300 per hour to record, edit, and send the author the full MP3 file.

And don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of work, but as with anything else I weigh what my time is worth versus how much disposable income I have. The answer was simple, I’ll be doing this myself!

A Voice Folks Have Commented On

It might be hard to imagine, but I worked in offices for over 20 years – secretarial work, Admin Assistant, Office Manager, call centers, et cetera.

Heck, it’s hard to imagine I lasted that long. Looking back I realize how much I hated it.

There were some benefits to it. I certainly learned a lot about business – how it can be run, how I prefer to run a business, bookkeeping, and more. One of the many benefits I developed during my time in the corporate world was a well-cultivated phone voice. It was smooth, professional, and warm.

I received many compliments over the years from callers. And my daughter says she loves hearing me read out loud.

And it struck me that I have something other authors might not, a good voice for storytelling. I need to practice reading at a steady pace and learn how to handle mistakes, but other than that, I’m good.

Which is kind of perfect because readers often prefer hearing the books in the author’s voice.

Multiple Formats, Spread Wide

I recently moved from KDP Select, which is an exclusive contract with Amazon, to wide. I now have all of my ebooks available on Draft2Digital, which distributes them to Barnes&Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Scribd, Tolino, 24 Symbols, Playster, Overdrive and Biblioteca. And of course I still have them on Amazon as well.

I have all of my books in multiple formats as well – ebook, paperback, large print paperback, and soon…audio. I will go wide on the audiobooks as well – AuthorRepublic, the equivalent of Draft2Digital, will probably be my choice of host for those.

I’m also working on getting my books available, in ebook (.mobi, .epub, .pdf) and audiobook (MP3) formats that can be uploaded directly from this website. Buy directly from me and I end up getting most of the cut, minus a small amount for a payment processing fee instead of losing 30% or more by going through Amazon and the others.

The Plan

The plan at present is to knuckle down and…

  • Work on the monthly free stories (I need to write at least four more ASAP) and continue to work on my existing book projects
  • Expand to offering the different formats of ebook (.mobi, .epub, and .pdf) for sale directly on my website. This means finding the right payment processing tools (possibly Paypal? hmmm).
  • Record five of my six books into audiobooks
  • Offer the audiobooks for sale on Authors Republic and my website
  • Continue to educate myself on marketing, work on better book blurbs for all of my books, and continue to improve my ads on AMS and Facebook
  • Finish a book – what book, I don’t yet know!

Rinse and repeat.

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