Create and Sell an Audio Book Using These 5 Simple Steps By Shelley Hitz

T oday, I’m thrilled to introduce you to our guest today, Shelley Hitz. Shelley is the creator of www.Self-Publishing-Coach.com and the author of 5 books and many audio CDs. In fact, Shelley will be sharing her experiences by walking us through the 5 steps of creating your own audio book CD. If you have ever entertained the idea of creating an audio book of your own title, you don’t want to miss the great tips in this post.

Create and Sell an Audio Book Using These 5 Simple Steps
By Shelley Hitz

Once you finish your first book, there is a huge sense of accomplishment. Wow… it’s really done. I’ll never forget the feeling of holding my first proof copy in my hands. My idea had finally become a reality!

However, these days, authors publish their books in many various formats: print, electronic and audio.


Create an Audio Book and Diversify Your Income

Have you thought about creating an audio version of your book? Some people prefer listening to books rather than reading them. Therefore, you may be missing out on additional profits from your book by not offering an audio version.

After I published my first book, “Mirror Mirror…Am I Beautiful?” I decided to create additional formats, including an audio book. Today, I’m going to share with you the five steps I took to publishing my first audio book.


Five Steps to Publishing Your Audio Book

Step #1: Decide who will record your audio book.

You can do it yourself or you can hire someone to do it for you. Personally, I decided to do it myself. It’s more personal and allows your readers to connect with your voice and personality. Plus, it can be very expensive to hire someone.

Step #2: Gather your equipment – audio software and a microphone.

I used the free audio recording and editing software called, Audacity. You can download it for free here. It truly is amazing what you can do with this software.

I also used a Plantronics headset which cost me between $30-40. It works well for me and gets the job done.

However, I will eventually upgrade to a higher quality microphone like the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. If you have the money to pay $99-150 for the Blue Yeti USB microphone, it will be worth it to go ahead and make the investment now. You can use it for your audio book, podcasts and much more.

Listen to a sample of my audio book recorded on Audacity with a Plantronics headset:

Step #3: Record your audio files.

I found a quiet space, configured my microphone, pressed record on Audacity and started reading. Pretty simple. You can view a short tutorial I recorded for you below:

(or you can link to this page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_EN_ICNKsE)

Step #4: Decide how to sell your audio book.

I recently interviewed Tim Hampton who has had success selling his audio books on CDBaby.com. I personally haven’t used CD Baby, but it looks easy to use and get started right away selling both MP3′s and CD’s. They also get you on iTunes, Amazon MP3 and other channels.

Personally, I used Clickbank to sell my MP3 downloads and Kunaki to sell my CD’s. With Kunaki, you can order copies of your CD for as little as $1 + shipping to sell in person. I take both my books and the audio book CD’s to my speaking events and this was the cheapest I could find to order CD’s to sell.

Step #5: Start selling your audio book!

I sell my book from my website and although I’m not getting rich selling the audio book, I am selling enough to make the investment of my time worth it.

You can see my sales page here.

That’s it! Now, it’s time for you to go and record yours!

—————————-

Shelley Hitz is an entrepreneur, speaker, author and consultant to organizations, individuals and businesses who want to multiply their impact through self publishing. She teaches from personal experience. Over a two year span, while working full-time, she self published five books, multiple audio CDs, authored two websites that attract thousands of visitors each month, and created multiple products that she sells through her website and at her speaking engagements.

www.Self-Publishing-Coach.com also offers a monthly newsletter, tele-classes, special reports, e-books, webinars, podcasts, videos as well as book marketing resources to help individuals, small organizations, and businesses achieve their goals and multiply their impact through self publishing.

 ——– Tony Eldridge is the author of The Samson Effect, an action/adventure novel that Clive Cussler calls a “first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure.” He is also the author of the Twitter marketing book, Conducting Effective Twitter Contests.

24 Responses to “Create and Sell an Audio Book Using These 5 Simple Steps By Shelley Hitz” Subscribe

  1. Cheryl Pickett March 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Thank you Tony for inviting Shelley & thank you Shelley for the well written, easy to follow resource. I know many authors would benefit from having an audio version of their book but don’t know where to start or they are a bit techno-phobic (like me). I think even I could handle this :-).

    Again, much appreciated information and I’m sure I’ll be referring my clients to it as well in the future.

  2. Tony Eldridge March 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Thanks for the comment, Cheryl. I was thrilled when Shelley offered to do a post on creating an audio book, the first here on Marketing Tips For Authors. Until I read Shelley’s post, I had no idea how simple, and financially feasible, creating an audio book could be.

  3. Shelley Hitz, Self Publishing Coach March 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Thanks Cheryl! I’m so glad it was helpful for you :)

    As the saying goes, “Information is Power.” So, now that you have the information on creating an audio book, I encourage you to use it and put it to action!

    It really is amazing what you can produce out of your own “home studio” these days! I encourage you to go ahead and get a higher quality microphone (I wish I would have done that initially) and then also buy some high quality royalty free music to add at the beginning as an intro to give it that extra pizazz.

    Let me know how it goes!

  4. Karen Lange March 22, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    Thank you, Shelley, for sharing this info. This is something that I never considered, but with this info, may in the future. Thanks also, Tony, for hosting Shelley today. Great info!

  5. Joe Giacalone March 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    Hi Tony and Shelley,
    I have been meaning to get around to do a podcast and this has definitely inspired me to do so. I will probably use Garage Band on my Mac, however, I do have Audacity on my PC – great tools once you get over the fear of creating an audio file.
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Joe

  6. Shelley Hitz, Self Publishing Coach March 23, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Joe,
    This tutorial will work great for a podcast as well! I highly recommend starting your podcast – it’s a great way to connect with your readers/fans :)

    And, yes, GarageBand, Sound Forge and other software work great as well. But, since Audacity is free and available to everyone I wanted to highlight it!

    And you’re welcome for the inspiration – that’s what I love to do…empower others with what I’ve learned. So, it is most rewarding to see people put it to action! Let us know how your podcast goes.

    ~Shelley

  7. Hilary Melton-Butcher March 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Hi Tony .. what a great guest .. succinct information .. and yes I’d probably use my own voice .. as we can our own emphasis into the words, together with various nuances.

    Love the thought .. thanks Shelley for that insider knowledge .. cheers to you both .. Hilary

  8. Barbara Techel April 3, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Thank you so much for having Shelley as your guest blogger with this great audio information. I’ve always wanted to do this, but didn’t know a cost effective way. So glad I now know. And I’m so happy to have discovered Shelley’s wonderful website as well.

  9. Tony Eldridge April 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    You’re welcome, Barbara. I felt the same way. Shelley really opened my eyes to the possibilities of turning my book into an audio book.

  10. My Power and Me May 1, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Thanks for the great tips. I am a new author, but have many projects lined up. I will definitely be recording, not only my books, but poetry, n spoken word (inspirational) as well. Thanks and Be bless.

    Please feel free to visit my blogsites…

    http://www.realwomeninthemaking.com
    http://www.useyourwillpower.com

  11. Whitney June 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Great post!! The steps are simple and straight forward for everyone to understand!
    You can find Voice Talent reasonably priced to record your audiobook. Sites like Voices.com eliminate the need to get a recording studio or pay an agency. You simply find the talent you like and they record it from their studios!

  12. Jennifer July 5, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    I love using audio and hearing how other authors are putting this medium to work! I just recorded my 1st audio book. You really can do it yourself in the quiet of your own office, just let loose and have fun with it!

    One question. How much did you record at one time? I found that I had to break it up in segments to keep my voice fresh and energized. And because I wasn’t doing any fancy editing I didn’t want to get to the end of a big section and mess up LOL. First time on you site…Enjoyed your reading. I think its powerful to have non-fiction books read by the author. You get up close and personal with the creator! Great info. Thanks!

    Jennifer

    I have an interview audio from a writer’s conference I attended featuring an expert panel talking about the future of audio books. Your readers may find it interesting. http://www.queensvoice.com/2011/05/interactive-audio-interview-audio-books-from-an-expert-and-reader-pov.html

  13. kingdomelectlady November 25, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    Thanks, this information is a God send. http://kimberlyjacksonbooks.com

  14. The Torg April 10, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Shelley,

    Glad to find this and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Where does a person find your audio book to buy it? Is it on Amazon and/or iTunes?

  15. Shelley Hitz April 11, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    You can sell it on your website using Clickbank or Paypal, but I also use CDBaby.com to allow my audio book to be posted on iTunes and Amazon as well. Hope that helps!

    Shelley

  16. Anonymous April 28, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    Just a heads up–there are several companies out there that will help you sell your audiobook on iTunes, Audible and a bunch of other places. I’ve used some for a few of my clients including Open Book Audio and West Voice Audioworks. Open Book Audio is my go-to these days, but if you’re looking at selling your audiobook in a number of places, you ought to give them a call.

  17. rensina June 3, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    Thank you so much for your help in showing me how to take my book to an audio book….great site :)

  18. Teaching of Talking June 11, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    Just wanted to say what a refreshing person Shelly is! She has great content at a terrific price and I plan on reading her materials, and also love this site Marketing Tips! My new book The Teaching of Talking, Learn Expert Speech Therapy Methods for Children and Adults, is coming out at the end of the month, and I have to scramble to get this book promoted and to my audience.
    Thank you Shelley and Tony for putting this excellent content on the web to share. We will all benefit.

    Thanks

  19. Tim Holmes August 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Thanks Shelley. I have just found this article and plan to follow your information on audio books. I have a book already published but did not even think about audio.
    Cool
    Thanks
    Tim

  20. Murem Sharpe August 20, 2012 at 3:33 am #

    Just saw this topic and thread. Authors can easily record their books by using our service: Evoca. Recording is easy using any phone or the online recorder we provide. Visit http://www.evoca.com and our How It Works section: http://www.evoca.com/how-it-works. We offer a free trial, no credit card required.

  21. Ann February 10, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Thanks for the great info. How long did it take you to record the entire book?

    There is a great new service that allows authors to sell audiobooks very easily – check out affabl.com

  22. Shelley Hitz April 25, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    UPDATE: I now use http://www.acx.com to distribute my audiobooks to Audible, iTunes and Amazon.

  23. Jennifer R. April 29, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    Shelley, what if you want to only record other authors’ books? How do you find out which ones need recording, which ones have been overdone, etc.?

  24. Tyson Mckenzie September 16, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    This is great information for creating audiobooks. Found it very helpful, lots of tips.

Leave a Reply