Advice on creating audio books

Not reading to jump into vlogging? Not all bloggers are comfortable being seen or filmed. A podcast or audio book can be a good way of expanding your multimedia skills without having to get in front of a camera.

Woman listening to audio book or talking bookIf you think that reading aloud is an archaic art form that is only practiced in front of children you haven’t listened to an audiobook lately. Talking books aren’t just for the illiterate or visually impaired either. Companies like audible.com boast millions of users. Further, the audiobook industry is growing at a very healthy rate. Obviously, audiobooks have found a more diverse audience that stretches beyond kids and those unable to physically read books for themselves.

The Audio Publishers Association offers a snapshot into the industry with this overview of their 2011 Sales Survey:

  • Unit sales of audiobooks increased almost 10 percent over the previous year.
  • Net sales grew by nearly 2 million units (after returns) and $2 million (based on the 61 percent of industry companies reporting).
  • The practice of downloading audiobooks has grown by 300 percent based on dollar volume and 150 percent based on units download during the last 5 years and the the practice continues to grow.
  • Downloaded audiobooks represented 36 percent of the dollar volume and 52 percent of units sold in 2010.
  • The total number of audiobooks published doubled between 2007 and 2010.

For authors, getting an audiobook published through a third-party publishing company can be just as challenging as getting a book published. Although news filtering out of the North American Booksellers Association event held at the end of May 2013 does indicate that some traditional audiobook publishers are seeking out popular bloggers hoping to turn their blogs into talking books.

If you aren’t among the bloggers being chased, however, audiobooks can be “self-published” just like books in other formats can. If you are considering taking the self-publishing route you must be the rights holder of the work if you plan to sell the audiobook.

Interested is creating your own audiobook? GigaOm offers some helpful advice on how to do it assuming you have access to both a Mac and an iPad (and a closet you can record in).

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