Following our post in December introducing Author's Republic as an alternative and relatively affordable way to create audio books, New Zealand author Katherine Hayton shares her own experience of using this route.
As an author living outside the golden lands of the US and the UK, I’m not able to directly use the ACX platform. Not one to let my physical boundaries determine my fate, I set about to find an alternative solution and discovered Author's Republic, an Aggregate Distributor for Audiobooks. They accept international submissions and pay royalties through Paypal, so I love them (albeit in a way that won’t upset my darling).
How to Make the Recording
Uncertain if this venture would yield any benefits, I cast myself in the role of narrator. I didn’t take all those speech lessons as a teenager for nothing (it definitely didn’t cure my shyness) and, best of all, I’m free.
Author’s Republic introduced me to a free app called Recordio (iOS only) which breaks an ePub into teeny, tiny, easily read pieces and creates a script for your intro and closing. The app allows direct recording (iOS only), but I opted to use my laptop instead because my dual diaphragm condenser microphone only has a USB and my iPad doesn’t.
I recorded into the free audio program Audacity. This is an amazing program that allowed me to change my voice from a squeak machine into something approaching human. One handy feature is an add-on to check each track meets the requirements for ACX.
How to Create Your Own Recording Studio
To create a recording studio on the cheap (free), I put my laptop on the sofa, the microphone in front, sat on the floor, held my iPad to read from, and pulled a mink blanket over myself and everything I just mentioned. Sounds crazy, but it worked perfectly to dull out background noise and prevent echo. It doesn’t impress unexpected visitors, however, so make sure you have time.
One day of work and – Voilà! – a 40-minute recording of “The Breaking Wave,” my latest short story. I whipped up a cover (3000px x 3000px) and submitted the files through to Author's Republic.
The Fine Print
The royalty agreement with Author's Republic for Amazon/Audible/iTunes matches the non-exclusive royalty rate of 25%; the same as going direct. For other distributors, I receive 70% of whatever royalty rate they pay (many offer 50%, so I’ll receive 35%). Royalties will be paid quarterly into my Paypal account once I exceed the threshold of $10.00.
The contract with Authors Republic is binding for a seven-year term, renewable annually thereafter, in line with the ACX contract. I had to fill out and upload a W-8BEN (links are provided) then I was good to go. Author's Republic also assigns an ISBN to your audiobook and appears in listings as my Publisher.
The pages to submit are fairly standard; book cover, description, author, narrator, suggested price, and a section to upload the Intro, Closing, Sample, and individual chapter files.
As well as ACX (Audible/Amazon/iTunes), Author's Republic also publishes on the following platforms:
- Audiobooks.com (which has a $50 bounty payment)
The Audiobook Store
Findaway (provides availability through Sribd, Barnes & Noble, Playster and others)
I uploaded everything, then sat back to wait. The period between submission and availability on retail sites can be 30-60 days but luckily, for extremely-impatient me, not every distributor takes that long. I submitted my audiobook files on 23rd October and received notice of approval from Audiobooks.com on the 28th October, and then ACX on the 4th November. Two down, five to go.
Early days yet, but it’s exciting to have the opportunity to place my books in another market. Let the money roll in.
OVER TO YOU Have you tried Author's Republic yet? We'd love to hear about your experience. Have you found other effective economies such as Katherine's fab home recording studio? Case studies always welcome!How to #selfpublish an #audiobook from home by @kathay1973 #authorsrepublic Click To Tweet
Introducing new ALLi partner member Author's Republic
How to create audiobooks via ACX
Why indie authors should start talking about abooks, ebooks and pbooks
[…] oggi si hanno tanti strumenti a disposizione per creare un audiolibro da soli, ma le scelte che farai determineranno anche la qualità del prodotto finale e ci sono costi che si […]
Katherine, is there a market for single short stories then? It would be great to be able to get my stories out there. Does it matter if they already have been published in lit magazines? I would be interested in feedback from you and others about the level of sales you achieved.
They are a bit horrid. Apparently, I am with Findaway voices. I sent an email asking if we can edit their distributors – you know, how everyone else does it – and they said no and since i was Findaway I couldnt distribute with them. They should put this in WRITING! And, when i mentioned i was interested in their music distributions, they said they still couldnt – how does signing up with their music providers intefere with findaway voices (who gives 80% commission versus their 70%) intefere?
They are losing revenue on sales of the music only portion. That’s bad business. I hope they come to regret this decision.
I Have been with them for almost two years and I regret choosing this service. On top of paying very low commissions rates, they have been late in payments during the last few months and very bad at customer service who always blame PayPal. Would not recommend to anyone, it is a headache.
THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! For 7 years I’ve been slamming my head against closed doors. Finally a chance to self publish my work!
I have signed up for Author’s Republic — however, it’s email verification system does not seem to work, and there is not contact information on the website. It looked good but now seems a bit iffy.
Thanks, Katherine for your great info. I hope your audio story has done well for you!
I’m in the U.S. and did the process backwards and created the audio before publishing the book.Turns out Audible won’t publish the audio without the actual book. So that’s next on the docket.
Your post encouraged me on my journey into this brave new writing world.
Hi Eva. I did something similar. I’m based in the UK and my students wanted my book produced as an audiobook so I put together a two CD version to sell to them. I then decided to sell the book on Audible. ACX (Audible) would only accept submission if they could find my book on Amazon.com rather than Amazon.co.uk. So I got an Amazon.com account and listed my CD version there.
Audible are happy to accept a CD version if it’s listed on Amazon.com rather than an printed book if you choose to produce it that way.
[…] Book Publishing: How to Self-publish an Audiobook on Author’s Republic […]
I recorded a story with Audacity in 2 parts.
When I came to uploading them to Author’s Republic, I found the max file size was 170MG.
My 2 parts in .wav format were both over 200MG.
I wanted to charge 0 to read Part 1 and 0.99 to read Part 2.
Do I need to make 3 files, each of 150MG?
Publish file 1 as Part 1 separately? Publish files 2 and 3 as Part 2?
Cool nice article. I’m planning on making a series of children’s Audiobooks call the “The white fairy”. A friend is now creating an audiobook and I am following the process.
It’s easy to be your own narrator and make decent recordings at home in a quiet room with low noise and low reflections of the sound on the walls. Actually with a budget of 200 – 300 , a quiet good sounding room and by following a few simple steps to setup your recording you can get it done.
You have to focus on the narration, tell the story not just read the book. Don’t worry about mistakes they can be removed later. Just clap ur hands close to the Mic for an indication of mistake and continue.
Find someone how knows how to edit and produce the sound, remove mistakes, uuus uuuhms, plosives, sibilance, noise etc and enhance the sound to make it all sound professional. You can find good affordable rates for audiobook editing and production online. http://www.audiobag.com are good, i will probably be going with http://www.e-AudioProductions.com because they have the best rates found untill now and also helped my friend with the recording process. There are more if you search a bit.
Thanks for this info.
Thank you! I’ve been wondering how this Aussie was going to get audiobook versions of her works out there. I think it sucks that ACX will only handle the US or UK markets. I assume Author Republic realises this and has tapped into this lucrative market.
[…] How To Use Author’s Republic | Self-Publishing Author Advice From The Alliance Of Independent … […]
Thanks for this interesting information, Katherine! I too, live outside ACX coverage, in France, and the ongoing “coming soon” conversation with them has been going on so long, I’m definitely going to look into Authors’ Republic now.
Katherine, this is wonderful news.
I live in Australia and have wanted to have audios of my historical fiction done since 2013. I have had the ongoing ‘when’ conversation with ACX for that long.
I vaguely knew about Authors’ Republic but hadn’t followed it up because I knew no one with experience with them.
You sound so positive about what you have done that I am now marking them as a real option. The novels are full-length 100,000 word pieces, but with a suitable voice (not mine), I think recording is a way to go.
Thanks so much for this information. It’s gold.
I am at the bottom rung of success as far as eBooks go, but it seems to be what I do best.
My western frontier eBooks are way too long to be an audio book I am sure.
But I wish you the very best of success.
I just listed with Author’s Republic (from the US) without any prior existing audio retailer relationships. Loved the experience.
Things to watch out for: They give you free ISBNs for the Digital product and the Digital Library product. They’re willing to override those with your own ISBNs if you choose (and I do), but you need to know to request that. They’ll also urge Amazon to consider you for Whispersync, if you ask. (They may be updating their forms after dealing with me so that you don’t have to email them separately with these issues.)
Took me just a couple of days to go thru their approval/retailer-submission process, and my audiobook popped up on the first retailer (Audiobooks.com) just a couple of days later, with everything looking correct there.
hmm, seems Recordio is not available in the US iTunes store….
As a UK citizen I was able to publish via ACX but I don’t like their exclusive contract and when looking for extra distributors I found Author’s Republic. I emailed them to ask if I could remove amazon from their outlets and also maintain the right to publish anywhere they didn’t offer (I was thinking of Talking Books for the Blind and charity outlets in particular but I didn’t duck one exclusive distributor to be tied to another!) The communication was clear and helpful, I got the contract I wanted and the carrot that if the audiobook was popular enough, Author’s Republic would consider making a CD. I’m not holding my breath but I would love a CD too.
I was approached on ACX by a top voice actress, was lucky enough to have the budget to treat myself and not worry about returns, so ‘How Blue is my Valley’ has top production values, was published in Dec 2015 and sold 37 via ACX in the first couple of months It was published via Author’s Republic in January so it’s too early to say report sales there but my impression of the site is that it does what it says on the tin – gets your audiobook out there. I had a problem with the upload interface (size of text) but worked around that and the whole process was otherwise painless. It will take a lot more sales to make my money back but I was prepared for that and it’s good to have the book in different formats – which all contribute to its rank on amazon.