Over the past few years, it has became easier than ever to self-publish a novel thanks to services such as Amazon, CreateSpace, and Smashwords. That lower barrier of entry has not extended to audiobooks, however, where production can often be prohibitively expensive for new authors. Smashwords and audiobook producer and distributor Findaway Voices have teamed up to make it easier and more affordable for new authors to break into the growing audiobook market.
In an announcement, Smashwords CEO Mark Coker said the partnership between Smashwords and Findaway Voices would give authors greater control over the pricing and distribution of their audiobooks. Corker says this will make it more affordable for authors of smaller works to produce these publications.
Once authors have filled out a short questionnaire and provided Findaway Voices with their ebook, they’ll be given a curated list of voice actors to chose from. This list will include audio samples and rates, which tend to run between $150 to $400 per finished hour of work. Additionally, authors can request these voice actors to audition by having them submit sample readings of the author’s book.
Once production of their audiobook is finished, the author retains full rights to distribution of the work. They will also have access to all 20 of Findaway Voices’ distribution channels including Audible, iTunes, Scribd, and others. Authors will also be able to sell their book on any other platform of their choice.
Interested authors will be happy to know that they can get started right away simply by going to the audiobook section of Smashword’s author platform.
Coker believes that this partnership will provide a boon to readers and authors alike. Audiobook sales is the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry, thanks in large part to the rise of services like Audible. Coker notes, however, that Audible’s credit system, which give subscribers one free audiobook a month, has unintentionally had a negative impact on authors of smaller works. Coker believes that the credit system incentivizes readers to seek out larger and more expensive works as a way to ensure they get the most out of their $15 a month.
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