IWSG-My Books In Audio

How is it April already??? This year is moving too fast for my liking. But I can’t slow time. So new month, means a new IWSG post. I took off last month and considered for April as well. I wasn’t really sure what to talk about. 

I’m still working on my current project which I’d hoped to be done with by now and sadly I’m not even to the halfway point. I’m struggling with maintaining my focus and self-doubt has been a major bitch. I’m trying to push through, but I feel like I’m wading in a tar pit most days I attempt to write. 

My writing has its ups and downs. I usually find a way out, but I also don’t want to wallow in the lack of progress for much longer. The next 20kIn5Days challenge starts next week and I’m super hopeful I’ll make some real progress on this book.

In the meantime, I’m gonna focus on this month’s optional question:

Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

I currently have four books that are in audio. One I had produced myself, the other three I sold my audio rights and they were produced by Bryant Street Publishing (aka Scribd). 

A breakdown of my experience. For me, the biggest challenge in producing my audiobook was cost. Let’s be real, getting an audiobook done isn’t cheap. There are ways to make it more affordable like with the royalty share programs places like Amazon and Findaway voices offer, but there is still a cost. On top of that, using those programs limits where you can sell your book, at least that is true with Amazon. They are a hoarder plain and simple. They want authors on their platform and their platform only while also screwing over said authors, but that’s a convo for another day. 

I’m not a fan of exclusive, tried but didn’t like KU for my books, so I wasn’t thrilled with the idea that for the royalty share by book would only be on Amazon/Audible. And I’m not 100% sure, but I think if you had them produce your book, even if you paid full price, they had some sort of exclusive clause still. Or they paid us less in royalties if we went wide. My thought was/is, if I’m using all of my money, I should be able to put my book where I want it without being penalized. 

The owner of Pink Flamingo Productions hosted a Q&A live with the Wide for The Win FB group and I attended. I wasn’t sure which production company to use so having someone you could ask questions to helped in my decision making progress. I hired them to turn Being Hospitable into audio and for the most part it was a smooth process. 

I liked being able to pick out the narrator I wanted. The quality of the product is great and I was happy with my overall experience with them. The only downside to me was the marketing aspect. It was geared more toward the Amazon platform and I’d chosen to upload my book via Findaway Voices instead which meant I didn’t get the audible codes they normally gave to their reviewers. Findaway gave me their own codes, but it wasn’t for the Hoarder so I can’t say I got much out of the marketing aspect of the package. But would I use them again if I ever decided to produce another audio? Yes I would. But as of today I still haven’t earned out on the audiobook I did have done. And I’d gone with a novella which was CONSIDERABLY cheaper, and still haven’t broken even. 

On the flip side, last year I sold my rights to my Love on Madison Island books. I wanted them in audio, but also didn’t have the couple grand it would have taken to produce them myself since they were fulls at about 65k+ each. The process here was way more hands off once I signed that contract. 

I didn’t have any say over the narrators which was a bit hard for me. In my head, I knew how these characters should have “sounded” but not being part of the selection process meant it was up to the publisher. And, yes, that is the norm. Just like when you give the rights to your book to any publisher, they have final say on things like covers and what not. Also that whole exclusive thing I was opposed to with Zon, I had to do with Scribd. 

They paid me for my rights, so they are in control of where it’s available and as of right now that’s only on their platform. They do have plans to eventually take the books wide, but for now if you want to hear any of the Bryan Street Publishing books, you have to get the subscription on Scribd. 

I tried to keep this from getting too long, but if anyone has questions, pop them in the comments and I’m happy to answer.

Until next time

~Meka

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.

The awesome co-hosts for the April 6 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise – Fundy Blue, and Kim Lajevardi!

19 thoughts on “IWSG-My Books In Audio

    • Meka James says:

      It’s not. Something about having all my eggs in one basket makes me a bit hesitant. I’m glad your publisher gave you a say! Not many will do that.

      thanks for stopping by

      Like

    • Meka James says:

      Yeah, they aren’t author friendly at all and routinely find new ways to screw us over. But they are also the biggest retailer so it’s hard not to do business with them sadly. Paying for your own production does give more freedom, but again the cost is not cheap.

      thanks for stopping by

      Like

    • Meka James says:

      Yes. It’s a risk. Same as with producing the ebook when you consider cost of covers and editing depending on how you do things. But at least there the chance to earn out comes faster (at least for me). I also admittedly am not the best at marketing the fact that I have an audiobook which is something I need to get better at.

      thanks for stopping by

      Like

  1. Julia Quay says:

    Thanks for posting this, Meka. Very interesting as I start to think about finishing a project and what to do next.

    Glad you are staying in the game even though the work can feel like a slog some days. Keep at it!

    Julia Quay

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meka James says:

      Thank you. It would have only been the one if I hadn’t sold my rights because otherwise it wasn’t in the budget. The business end is very hard, and made harder if it’s not something you excel at. Learn new things about it every day.

      thanks for stopping by

      Like

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