Should You Turn Your Novel Into An Audiobook?

by Roma Gray, author of The Hunted Tribe: Declaration of War

For me, the choice was natural. I live on audiobooks. I listen to them at work and during my commute, going through approximately two to three audiobooks a week. I couldn’t do this with a Kindle or paperback book (I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to read while driving). The only time I have to read a book in ‘standard’ book format is when I’m relaxing before bedtime, which means it takes me an entire month just to get through one Kindle eBook. So, while most would-be authors dream of holding their books in their hands, I dreamed of hearing the voices of my characters brought to life by a skilled narrator. Yet at the same time, I know I’m in the minority. Most authors never turn their books into audiobooks. So, why should you?

If you were paying attention, and I know you were, I just told you why.

  • Consumption Rate:

People like me listen to audiobooks for a reason. We have long stretches of time where we need entertainment while we are doing something else. Let’s face it, there are far more hours in the day that allow a person to listen to an audiobook than read a standard-format book. For a Kindle or paperback book, you’re a captive audience. You can’t garden, you can’t work, you can’t walk, you can’t cook. In this fast-paced world, seriously, the moments you can dedicate your mind, eyes, and hands 100% to a book are few and far between. But the number of dull hours in the day where I’m engaged in some less-than-thrilling activity probably make up 80% of my day. A sad truth, but a truth, nonetheless. It’s no wonder I plow through so many books, as  do many other audiobook readers.

  • Access to a new audience, the non-reader:

Welcome to the iTunes/MP3/television generation. Most people were raised on television shows and movies, not books. And while an audiobook is not quite the same experience, it is certainly closer than reading off a Kindle. The narrators act out the books, bring the characters to life for them, use their voice to create the scene and mood. Now, flash forward to the present. People are addicted to their smart-phones that provide easy and constant access to music and podcasts. Audiobooks can now be downloaded to iTunes, an app already on their phone, and a tool they already love and understand. There is also a Kindle audio app. And if they are an MP3 person, the files download automatically in this format, as well.

Thanks to the audience’s past and present obsessions—television in their youth and smart-phones now—audiobooks are hitting an all-time high right now.

  • Smaller market, a better chance to get noticed:

There several million authors on Amazon and several hundreds of thousands of authors on Audible. Enough said.

Of course, most authors resist making an audiobook because: 1) authors are afraid of the cost and 2) authors are afraid it’s difficult. Well, neither of those cases are true. For myself, I did a royalty-share with my narrator and it cost me zero up front. In regard to difficulty level, I found  the process to be exceedingly easy and enjoyable. In three days, I was signed up and had a narrator, and in another couple of months, I had a finished product. In all honesty, the narrator did all of the heavy lifting. For more details on the experience, I have links below to interviews with authors who have created audiobooks (yes, I’m one of them), describing in their own words what their personal experience has been like.

Interviews About Creating Audiobooks: 

I hope that this article has answered your questions and will encourage you to take the big, scary step into the unknown and create an audiobook. I, personally, believe it was the best decision I ever made. And honestly, at the rate I’m going through audiobooks, I need your books out there so I don’t run out. 😉