Chris A. Baird | November 9, 2022
Just Sold 18,000 Audio Books!

Are your books already in audiobook format? Now is the time for you to consider doing it. Here’s how I just sold 18,000 audio books!

Doing So Many Things

Today's topic has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. Because it's a secret to my number one trick for maximizing audiobook sales. That's the reason why in today's article, we're going to discuss: Just Sold 18,000 Audio Books!

By the end of this article, you're going to know what it takes to maximize your earnings on audiobooks. You're going to have the steps necessary to produce your audio books and set yourself up as you are selling thousands of audiobooks as well.

You're going to feel great that you're not leaving money on the table. Or skipping any of the steps necessary to maximize this huge opportunity, especially right now. The thing is that after I've helped out thousands of authors in your exact situation, they are moving through this entire process.

One of the best ways that I've been able to help people out it's by giving free Discovery Sessions. We do one session and we go through your exact situation. We discuss your issues; we figure out how best to improve the sales of your book.

We figure out the steps to getting your book produced and that is if you want to continue working with me. You can but you do not have to. There's no reason to continue if you don't wish to and if you want to, just check out my free Discovery Session.

We will do it whenever it works for you. Just find a time on the schedule that works all right. So let's get into it, the thing was when I was first getting started with my books and getting them onto the market, there was already enough stuff to do.

We had to get the books written and we had to edit the books. Then, we had to figure out how to format these books, order covers, and all of these things. Then you had a Kindle version, an eBook version, and a paperback version to do as well.

Check out this related article: Dangers Of Publishing Low Content Books!

It was just getting a bit complicated. I even started putting out hardbacks at that time on Lulu where I am now moving over to Amazon. But at the time, it was on Lulu. So, there are so many things to learn.

But at the same time, I had heard there were not that many audiobooks currently on ACX which is owned by Amazon of course. And since there are not that many, that means the competition would be a lot easier to beat or at least take a small piece of that cake over on Audible.

So, I was thinking, I'm already doing so many things and this would be too difficult. But then it got even more difficult because I realized this is going to be too expensive as well. I have to find a narrator and somebody who knows how to do this thing.

Audiobooks require a lot of effort. Well, that was exactly what I thought until I realized audiobooks are easier for me than paperback books. So how exactly do we get to 18,000 book sales? Well, I can tell you a couple of things on the journey of the audiobook side.

There have been a couple of high points when they were giving out these bonuses that you would get. When you would bring new people in bounties into ACX for the very first book. So, when you had a lot of books on ACX, those would generate an awful lot of money.

At one point, I was pulling in a thousand dollars a month through ACX. Just on the bounties of new people coming onto Audible ACX and getting the books that I was putting on the market. But then they killed that completely making it nearly impossible now to do that strategy. 

Learning The Complexities

But the books themselves continue to produce and do make quite a bit of money. Now, there are two choices you're going to have to make. The first thing you're going to need to do is you're going to have to decide, do you want to use the narrators on ACX Audible. Or do you want to go find your own?

If you use theirs, they will produce it. They will upload the files and they will organize everything until it's perfect. The Audible will then approve or go back and forth with these narrators. At the end of the day, you will pay them nothing.

But they will take half of the profit that you get from your book. This means Audible is willing to give you 40% of the money that they make off of selling these books to people. Then, you would split it with this narrator 20-20.

This is exactly what I did for my first number of books. I would choose different narrators and they would go and do the narration for my books which was great in the beginning. But that's not a good strategy in the long run.

If you feel it's too much of a problem to find your narrator, this is the right strategy, and one of the things with keeping self-publishing easy and not doing it the hard way is choosing an easier route. When we're getting started, every phase of self-publishing has many layers of depth.

You're going to be moving downwards through this. Huge as it might be, some sort of a pit of different things. You can learn the complexities; it just gets so deep on each of the different phases of self-publishing.

But when we're first starting, we just want to get through those phases. Then for the next book, we can focus on moving things deeper or we can go back. But I wouldn't normally suggest it if you're going to lose your motivation sometimes.

Check out this related article: Top 3 Reasons Why I'm Self-Publishing My Books

I have clients who ask, should I go back and fix it on the first book? I say, are you going to lose motivation if you do that? And they say, yes, I'm not going to feel good about this. Then I'd say, then it is not the right choice for you to go backward in time and try to get your book fixed. So, do not do that, it is a huge mistake.

If you're going to find a narrator which I recommend if you have the patience and the time and you need a little money as well to do that, then you're going to go into Upwork. On Upwork, you're going to find somebody, you're going to post a job for one dollar per finished minute (PFM).

Most books are done at a cost of like $3 - $4 per finished minute. When I first got started, I was doing it at 50 cents per finished minute for many books and that worked out just fine. Sometimes, you're trying to find a narrator who's newer and hasn't done a lot of this.

It can be frustrating because you'll go back and forth and maybe the audio quality has issues and Audible's complaining about something. So, don't have them do 20 books at a time. Have them start with your first book.

At the same time, I would not go to Fiverr. I've had several clients who tried Fiverr out to find these narrators and it never worked. So definitely, Upwork is the place to go. You're going to maybe need to try several narrators who can be the voice of your characters in your book if it's fiction or nonfiction.

Just somebody who will be reading through your book and be willing to do it at a rate of one dollar per finished minute. We need to hold the costs minimal, that is our first key point. 

Make It Available In Different Formats

The second point is you need to stick with the same narrator from book to book. So that your audience already knows the voice of the narrator that you have. They're going to stick with you as we're moving through multiple books.

The reason why this is so important is because of the third and secret answer of the day. It is bundled, that's right. You are going to pay per finished minute. So, if your first book, let's say is an hour, you'll pay for an hour for that. It'll be $60 for the narration of your first book.

If your second book is an hour, that's another $60. But if you take your first book and you combine it with your second book, we've now created a bundle that you can sell in the paperback, the Kindle, and hardback versions.

In addition, on Audible on ACX, you're going to be able to put this book out there. All you're missing is just the intro file and the ending file to get this book on the market.

And notice how much you have to pay? Do you have to pay $120 to get this bundle onto ACX? No, this audiobook, you've already paid for the file so you don't have to pay again. This is something that so few authors realize.

This is one of the big secrets that people just pass over but I am going to give you a secret tip, a secret number four tip of the day. That is on ACX, you can put every type of book you can imagine. I was surprised to discover that my cookbooks are also sold on ACX.

Some people put their programming books on ACX. It doesn't matter, put your book on there. You can even take a PDF version of your book, and attach it to the audiobook and the person will get that audiobook and then they can listen to it as they're working through the book.

Check out this related article: How To Get A Book Published

I don't understand why people would want to buy programming books in an audiobook format. But the thing to remember is that different people know which format they wish to have their books in and that's what they want.

Some people only like hardcover books. Some people only like eBooks, that's me. I read a hundred percent of my books right off my phone. I do not go somewhere else, I read them right off my phone.

When I'm trying to get through a book, that's how I do it. Either that way or I do as an audiobook and even some of the ebooks, I'll even have them read to me. So I like the audiobook format and I like the ebook format.

Now maybe you like the paperback but never assume that just because a format is great for you, everybody else is going to think that it's great for them. Because other people have other preferences. You may like to watch YouTube but other people like to watch podcasts.

Some people like to read blogs. That's the reason why even these very article is in all three formats. So it just makes it very very easy. So that you can consume content in the format at the time that works best for you.

These are things that most people don't tell you about audiobooks and I think it's something you're going to want to consider if you haven't already started. That is the reason why I have my question for you today, have you started with audiobooks?

If so, did you find your narrator or did you choose one from ACX when you were getting started? I need to know so write it below in the comments. If you found your narrator, if you have an audiobook out, say “Yes” and if you do not, write “No”.

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