Over 100,000 Smashwords authors and publishers now have convenient access to audiobook production and distribution services. The agreement gives authors and publishers greater control over audiobook pricing, rights, and distribution, and all without exclusivity or lockups.
Effective immediately, you'll notice audiobook creation options integrated into multiple stages of the Smashwords publishing workflow. The new feature is visible in the Smashwords Dashboard, and also accessible at https://smashwords.com/audiobook.
Start Your Audiobook Production TodayWith a single click, you can instantly deliver your ebook and metadata into the Findaway Voices platform, at which point you’ll choose a password for your Findaway Voices account and begin the audio production process.
Your first step is selecting a professional narrator. You'll answer a short questionnaire at Findaway Voices about your audiobook’s desired emotional tone; the accent, dialect or gender preference for your narrator; the voice style; the heat level of the book; and information about the book’s main characters.
The Findaway Voices casting team will then use this information to recommend a curated list of six to ten professional voice actors for your consideration. Recommendations will include audio samples and hourly rates for each narrator. From this list, you can request audition samples where narrators submit sample readings of your book.
There is no cost or obligation during the audition process.
Production begins after you select your narrator and sign off on the production contract. You will pay production fees directly to Findaway Voices.
To assist your budgeting, here are some rough guidelines: Fees are based on the number of hours and minutes of the finished production. Each hour of recorded content comprises roughly 9,000 words, which means a 26,000-word novella might run about three hours and a 100,000-word book would run about 11 hours. Narrators typically charge between $150 and $400 per finished hour.
Global Audiobook DistributionWhen production completes, you'll control all rights to the audiobook. You'll also have the option to distribute your audiobook to Findaway Voices’ global network of over 20 sales outlets including Apple iTunes, Audible, Scribd, OverDrive and Google Play.
Findaway Voices will pay you directly.
If you already have a professionally produced audiobook, you can visit https://smashwords.com/audiobook to transmit your title's metadata to Findaway Voices, and then you'll see the option to upload your audiobook files to Findaway Voices for distribution.
No Exclusivity or LockupsThere’s no exclusivity or lockup period. You'll enjoy full control over your choice of distribution outlets.
You can remove your book from Findaway Voices’ distribution network at any time, and can also sell your audiobook anywhere else you please.
You set the price for single copy sales. The various outlets operate under different sales models (single-copy sales, subscription listens, pay-per-use, etc.), which means the calculation for royalty rates will differ from one channel and sales model to the next.
When Authors and Publishers Gain Control, Readers WinWhen authors and publishers gain greater control over pricing and distribution, new opportunities arise to serve readers.
Audible, the dominant audiobook subscription service, provides subscribers one download credit per month with its $14.95 monthly subscription. This credit system incentivizes value-conscious subscribers to download longer and more expensive books.
This credit system has the unintended effect of creating a void in the audiobook market for shorter or lower-cost audiobooks.
Thanks to our partnership with Findaway Voices, it’s now more economically feasible for authors and publishers to invest in audiobook production for shorter books, or books that might carry lower prices.
I think this could be a boon for authors, publishers and consumers alike who want to enjoy lower-cost audiobooks, whether we’re talking novellas, shorter non-fiction, free series starters, or erotica.
Why Audiobooks are ExcitingAudiobooks are the fastest-growing segment of the publishing market today.
I’ve long been a fan of audiobooks because they free up more hours in the day to enjoy books. Unlike printed words on paper or screens which require the reader’s undivided attention to read, audiobooks can be enjoyed while the listener performs other tasks, such as when they’re driving their car, cooking a meal or taking a walk.
For the last few years, audiobooks have been the fastest growing segment of the book industry. Sales for 2017 were up about 20% over the prior year.
Get Started TodaySmashwords authors and publishers can launch audiobook production today by visiting their Smashwords Dashboard or going direct to https://smashwords.com/audiobook.
If you’re not yet publishing with Smashwords, visit our How to Publish and Distribute Ebooks with Smashwords page to learn out our free book publishing and distribution services. The moment you upload your ebook to Smashwords, you’ll see the option to launch audiobook production.
Happy listening everyone!