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How to Make an Audiobook and Monetize It

by | Jun 18, 2024

Content Manager

Ara Koetts

Ara Koetts, a leading voice at Voxtury.com, specializes in AI content creation, blending technology with creativity. Her insights into AI's impact on storytelling and ethical considerations make her a pivotal figure for anyone exploring digital innovation. Ara's work is a guiding light in the dynamic world of content creation, inspiring confidence and curiosity in her readers.

How to Make an Audiobook and Monetize It

Writing a book or even making an audiobook is a dream for many, and maybe even you. However, it’s a long process that requires consideration before you start down this path. We’re here to help answer some of your questions, ease your nerves, and tell you how to create an audiobook, from writing the story to finding a narrator. We’ve even got valuable tips on using AI tools to help expedite the process.

What Is an Audiobook?

While we’re all familiar with hardcover and paperback books or even ebooks, an audiobook is a digital version that has been narrated. The narration allows for easy content consumption by the listener, freeing their hands and eyes to other tasks while the audiobook plays.

Just as with a regular book, the range of audiobooks varies with fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, self-help, psychology, and any other genre you can imagine. Additionally, audiobooks are more accessible because they require no holding or sight, letting a more diverse audience enjoy the stories and insights available. Regardless, you’ll still need a marketing plan if you decide to make your own audiobook.

Why Make an Audiobook?

Whether you’re a writer waiting to tell a story or an expert in your field with insight to share, there are many reasons to make an audiobook. Being digital, these files are universal and can be sold in virtually any location, from the USA to Europe and everywhere in between. The prominent market makes audiobook creation a great enterprise to enter.

Audiobooks are also easily consumable content, with at least 45% of Americans listening to one. As the industry grows, this statistic will only grow larger. The choice can even help launch your book.

With the versatility of audiobooks being available on any smart device, it’s one of the best ways to monetize your ideas and start earning from your creations. Join the increasing number of authors turning their work into audiobooks.

Finding a Story to Tell

Girl with headphones looking at bookshelves

To have an audiobook, you need a compelling story or topic. For many, this will be the work you’re creating and transforming from one media format to another. As such, you’ll have to make a compelling story before turning it into an audio file.

However, if you don’t want to create your own original work, why not adopt one of the many books that are now in the public domain, giving it new life with your own narration and cover? Great examples of stories to turn into audiobooks are The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Twilight Sleep, and The War of the Worlds.

Starting with the Book: Your Options

If you’re creating your book before making it into an audiobook, there are many ways you can go about it. Having a readable version is also an excellent option for monetizing, as many readers still opt for a readable version of a novel rather than the audio format.

Using AI Tools

AI tools have improved immensely in recent years and will continue to improve as they develop further. While many tools claim to create an entire novel from scratch with a single prompt, we recommend careful editing for this process, as readers may notice inconsistencies or poor grammar at times. Having a clean edit of the AI-generated content will also make the narration process easier.

Writing it Yourself

If you’re creative with a story to tell, you’ll need to write the book before you can transform it into an audio format to sell online. However, writing a book is never easy, so here are some tips for writing your next book to help get your novel from your mind and onto the page. Pick from fantasy to sci-fi, even making an artificial intelligence audiobook that chills listeners to the bone.

Hiring a Ghostwriter

Having another person write your story may seem odd, but there are many benefits to using a ghostwriter. The most significant advantage is that it saves you time in your busy life while getting a professional product from a vetted expert. Hiring a ghostwriter or writing service can be the best option if you have no expertise or desire to write or edit a book.

Turning the Book into an Audiobook

Now that you have your book, it’s time to convert that into an audio file for listeners to enjoy. If you’re working the old-fashioned way, this process will require a notable amount of time as an investment and potentially money, depending on the route you take. However, you can use AI to help you in several ways, from writing a synopsis that helps sell your book to narration.

Planning

As the recording process can become very time-consuming, you’ll need to plan out the process carefully. Begin by considering the length of your book and that, on average, one hour of an audiobook consists of 9,000 words. When recording, you’ll likely do multiple takes throughout the process and need to edit pieces together.

Look at the length of the manuscript to determine the approximate length you’ll have to record. If you’re recording yourself, it’s important to read the novel before you start, as this will help you plan and influence how you read it.

This all takes time. Even if you’re using an AI to speed the process along, you’ll need to carefully verify the quality of the finished project. Ensure you have the right tools, from book writing software for edits to audio tools and software.

Finding a Narrator

If the words are what make a book, the narrator is what makes an audiobook. Hiring a skilled narrator or learning to perform this task carefully is necessary. Doing the narration yourself can save money but will cost you time; however, the process is fun if you enjoy the novel you’re reading and get into the process behind the narration.

Here are the skills of a good narrator that you can embody or look out for:

  • Pausing at the right moment
  • Varying pace as the manuscript requires
  • Giving each major and sometimes minor character their voice
  • Varying tones and, depending on the novel, accents
  • Reading out loud with an engaging and pleasant voice

Set Up a Recording Studio

Whether hiring a professional or recording yourself, you need a proper location with a high-quality microphone to deliver a quality audio file. Fortunately, if you’re hiring a professional narrator, they already have this and more in their own recording studio.

However, if you’re narrating it yourself, you’ll need a few things first. The two most needed items for a bare-bones recording setup are soundproof headphones and a professional microphone. These elements result in a crisp, clear voice quality that your audience will appreciate. You can also work towards soundproofing the room, reducing as much echo and stray noise as possible.

Record the Book

Now that everything is set up, this may be the most straightforward part of the process. With a hired professional, you’ll need to respond to back-and-forth questions regarding the novel, but most of the heavy lifting will be done on their side. However, if you’re recording the book, be prepared to do multiple takes of the same line.

While this may seem like a tedious process, you’ll need multiple takes to properly express your characters, story, ideas, and opinions. Still, this task is easier than self-publishing a book.

Edit the Audio

With the recording done, whether yourself, a professional, or an AI tool, it’s time to edit the audiobook into its final version. Hire a professional if you can, but you can edit the file yourself by using dedicated software. While you’ll still need to be hands-on, there are tools that use AI to detect and edit the file as necessary using AI transcriptions.

When working yourself, focus on removing popping sounds, stray noise, and more as you blend your best takes in order. Pay attention to your publishing site for limits such as audiobook length and noise level.

Promotion and Monetization

Girl with headphones and glasses in front of bookshelves

With the audio file in hand, it’s time to promote and monetize your work. Promoting your work is the most challenging task on this list.

Cover art

A part just for the creatives, picking a cover image is the best way to express your book in one picture. If you’re set on a specific idea, the best option is to hire an artist. Alternatively, you can license artwork, which means that while it won’t belong to you, you can still use the chosen piece. This non-exclusive option is a great way to find a professional image while on a budget.

Various AI tools can also help you complete this task. Remember, the image format will be specified by the website you’re putting the audiobook on. Often, the requirements are a JPG file under 5 MB. The image should have a pixel resolution of 2400 x 2400.

Publishing

You can choose a traditional publisher or self-publish the audiobook, and potentially ebook, yourself. Distributors will send the audiobook to a wide selection of retailers; however, they will take a cut of the profits. Often, you’ll need to use a distributor to publish the book, so make sure you read the contract thoroughly and investigate the benefits of each choice.

There are limited options available when self-distributing. However, if you’re up for the challenge, there’s a space for your Audiobook on YouTube, and creator services such as Patreon may be a good choice for your work.

Monetizing

Many distributors monetize your work automatically. If you’re self-publishing, this process will be a lot harder. In most cases, you’ll receive a royalty for each audiobook sold. In some cases, authors and narrators receive royalties separately.

Promotion

Promotion for audiobooks will come in many shapes and forms, from social media posts to sharing trailers and snippets of your work. More prominent distributors will do their own promotions to help with book sales. Additionally, you can hire a well-known creator to advertise your book. Another option is to share the audiobook with a select group in exchange for their review.

Using an AI to Aid the Process

Using AI audiobook tools can significantly help you with the workload, speed up the process, and save you money compared to hiring a professional. However, it’s important to note the publishing website’s terms and conditions, as not all publishers welcome AI-generated novels or narrations.

Art

One of AI’s most expansive uses is in the art department. Generating an image as your cover before adding text is simple, cheap, and highly effective. However, read the terms of whichever software you use for AI art to ensure you can use it commercially before you monetize your audiobook. The tool is a great aid if you don’t know how to make audiobook covers.

Audio

There are many narration software options available that use AI to create a realistic voice. AI narration lets you read your work aloud without the hassle of hiring a narrator or recording it yourself. It also lets you easily control the tone, pitch, pace, emphasis, and more.

The Book Itself

There are many ways to use an audiobook AI tool, from using it for your chapters and simple aids like advice and editing to tools that can create a complete book from any information given at the start. However, these tools aren’t perfect and are still developing, requiring you to read the work done and edit yourself or with AI where necessary.

Get Creative

Knowing how to make an audiobook and then doing it is a process. You should enjoy it and have fun no matter your stage. Whether you’re writing the book and recording yourself or using a professional’s work and hiring a narrator, the process is still full of opportunities to make it your own. Whenever you need help, rely on one of the many AI tools, from writing to narrating and more. Many AI audiobook options on the market tell great stories.

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