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