Audiobooks have now become the most rapidly growing book publishing format, but it is also one of the least saturated markets compared to ebooks and paperbacks. Audiobooks have introduced a new form of reading for avid bookworms—one that doesn’t require hours of page-turning—and has also made stories and novels accessible for non-readers and people with special needs.
The many benefits of investing in publishing your book as an audiobook was discussed in Audiobooks for Authors: Should You Make One? article. Here we have compiled a list of the 4 best audiobook publishing platforms available for indie authors, with their benefits and pricing.
01. Audible’s ACX
The largest audiobook collection belongs to Amazon’s Audible store, with over 200,000 audio content available worldwide for listeners of varying preferences. Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), Audible’s audiobook publishing service for authors, allows you to collaborate with experienced narrators—or even narrate your story yourself!
- Allows you to narrate your story yourself so the production cost will be low.
- When hiring a narrator, ACX offers you the choice of paying upfront or pay a royalty share for a certain time period (as per contract).
- Audiobooks published via ACX are distributed throughout popular sites like Audible, Amazon and iTunes.
- Narrating your audiobook yourself requires you to have professional-quality equipment and a proper experience of sound editing to pass ACX’s quality check.
- Takes time: since narrators are likely to be working on several projects at once, it could take several weeks or even months to complete your audiobook. ACX will then take up to three weeks to process the project and approve.
- Authors cannot set the price for their audiobook.
- Exclusive Royalty: Earn 40% of retail for sales on Audible, Amazon and iTunes only.
- Non-Exclusive Royalty: Or retain the right to distribute elsewhere and earn 25% of retail sales on Audible, Amazon and iTunes.
02. Kobo Writing Life
Kobo Writing Life (KWL), one of the fastest growing services in the world, is dedicated mostly to self-publishers, offering a variety of ways to publish and promote ebooks and audiobooks.
- No upload fee.
- Your audiobook is distributed in Kobo.com, Walmart (with over 250 million visitors on its website), and Indigo (Canada’s #1 bookstore).
- You’re not required to be exclusive to KWL (you can distribute your book for free).
- No Kindle distribution.
- Requires a bank account for royalty payment (Kobo pays author royalties monthly via direct bank deposit, but only when the earnings exceed $75).
- Since it is a single distributor, it does not provide additional services besides its support network.
- 45% royalties for a-la-carte buys greater than or equal to $2.99 USD
- 35% royalties for subscription buys
- 32% royalties for original works priced below the threshold price
03. Findaway Voices
Founded in 2016, Findaway Voices belongs to the audio-technology company Findaway. A relatively new platform, Findaway Voices offers audiobook production and distribution services.
- Authors and publishers can choose where to sell their audiobooks and at what price to sell them.
- Distributes your audiobook among many platforms like AudioEngine, Audioworks, OrangeSky Audio, and Playaway Products.
- Doesn’t require exclusivity of audiobooks.
- Has partnerships with several companies that distribute to libraries, like OverDrive.
- Charges a $49 setup fee for each book (which is waived if you sign up through Draft2Digital).
- Limited in what they can do for authors since they act as an aggregator to retailers, and have no direct control of what the retailers decide to do.
- Pays authors 80% of the royalties. Audible retailers will pay Findaway Voices 25% non-exclusivity royalty, out of which 80% is given to the author and 20% is kept by Findaway Voices. Non-Audible retailers will pay Findaway Voices 40%-50% royalty, out of which 80% is given to the author.
Sharika Hafeez is a nerd, and she’s proud of it. Growing up, she fell in love with books and writing, and is currently following her undergraduate degree (for some mysterious reasons) in Physics. She likes procrastinating by watching the stars with a steaming cup of tea, composing poetry in her head.