audiobook success

Points to consider with your Audiobook before offering a Royalty Share deal on ACX.

So you have decided your book is going to make a great audiobook and you are looking for a suitable narrator to bring your words to life.
Exciting times!
However you don’t have a huge production budget for this new endeavour and narrators don’t get behind the mic for free.
Or perhaps you have heard they do?

Perhaps you have been advised that there are lots of keen narrators out there willing to spend hours recording your book on a Royalty Share Deal? And this sounds a perfect solution. Ok so you will have to share the profits but no up front costs sounds exactly what you are looking for.

However before you post your book on ACX as a RSD you might be wise to think about things from your would be narrators point of view.

audiobook success gamble

Your precious book is a gamble.

Any narrator taking it on has to decide if it’s worth the risk or not. After all it’s going to take at least six hours to produce each hour of finished audio, depending on the complexity of the read. So if your book is six hours long that’s thirty six hours solid work for them at least.

And with a Royalty Share deal they have to hope that over the next seven years the 20% of the book sales they get will cover that time and hopefully more.

And so they will be considering a number of things to work out the odds.

  1. Has the author had success with previous books?
  2. If the book is published in other formats how are the reviews and sales?
  3. Does the author have a good following on social media sites?
  4. Is the author marketing their current books?
  5. Is the books subject matter popular?
  6. How complex is the read?
  7. Is the cover art attractive?

If this is your first book there is obviously no previous work for narrators to judge you on but if your book has been published in other formats at least that will give an indication of its saleability.

A first time author offering a newly published and un reviewed book is definitely a big gamble for a narrator to take on so it may be an idea to hold off the audiobook until your book has sales and reviews in other formats and looks a better bet.

If you have already had books published which are selling and the reviews are good, this latest book will look a better bet but your social media presence is also an important factor to your would be narrators. It shows that you have followers who are interested in your work and hopefully will be looking forward to your latest release, whether as an audiobook or other formats.

Do you have a website?

As a first time writer you probably don’t but at least having a Facebook page dedicated to your writing which you are actively promoting shows your enthusiasm to market your audiobook.

Of course, not being on social media doesn’t mean your book isn’t going to sell, but it is a very competitive world and, as I say, your narrators want to see that you are active with your marketing.

Is your subject matter going to sell as an audiobook?

I have mentioned this in a previous blog – – but it’s worth mentioning here as an experienced narrator is going to check the stats to help with their decision.

In general, cookery books, highly illustrated books and ones containing diagrams, tables and other visual aids don’t translate well into the audio world. Also certain subjects are far more popular than others – romance, thrillers, self help, and fantasy.

That’s not to say your book about insect life in the Rockies won’t make a fascinating audiobook , but you might find offering an upfront fee to narrators will get it published a lot quicker than offering it as a Royalty Share.

The cover art matters to the narrator as well as the buying public.

When I am looking through ACX titles I scan the cover art before I read the titles. I look for ones that appeal to me and that look professional. And that is how a lot of readers and listeners look for their next book too so the cover definitely will affect the audiobook sales.

If you do decide to go down the Royalty Share route – and I do appreciate that paying a Per Finished Hour rate upfront can be a considerable outlay – I suggest you give as much information as you can about your marketing efforts and past success (if you have had any) in the notes section when posting your book for production.

Write from the heart about the characters and plot to stir up interest in potential narrators. Even if you have no track record of book sales or reviews, if your book sounds interesting enough to some narrators they may decide it’s worth producing simply because they might enjoy the book themselves and can imagine others will too.

I hope that these few points may help your book become a better bet for your potential narrator and that it becomes a winner for you both! And if you think my voice may be able to help you please contact me at