Creating an Audio Book
When I decided to turn my novel, Finding Charlie, into an audio book the first thing I had to figure out was whether I had (or could get) the rights. Since my publisher, Kindle Press, owns the rights, I had to ask for a “rights reversion”. Check your contract. Many publishers retain the audiobook rights for a shorter period of time than the other book rights. I sent an email and had them back within a week.
There are currently a lot of different options for audio book platforms, as far as production and distribution. Every author needs to consider the pros and cons of each and decide what works best for them. Everyone is different. I can’t tell you which option to choose, but here’s a helpful guide that compares the most common platforms.
I chose Audible.com and did a royalty split with the narrator. The website allows you to search for narrators based on various criteria: gender, accent, payment options considered, etc. You can listen to sample auditions, then email select narrators to ask them to audition for a section of your book, which you upload to the site. I chose a section that included several characters so I could hear the variation.
The narrator I chose, Kaitlin Chin, is fantastic and made the process so much fun. Kaitlin embodies the two main characters so well and her performance is captivating. I asked for a few minor edits and sent it for approval. Then the site does a master check that caught a volume issue, which was quickly fixed as well. I began this process in January and finished in April. It took longer than I expected because all the tech support emails claimed they were overwhelmed by more users than usual.