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Here Are The Answers
You’ve Been Looking For
U.S. audiobook sales in 2019 accounted for $1.2 billion alone—the eighth consecutive year where the industry saw double-digit growth. One in five Americans now regularly listens to audiobooks, so they present an opportunity for you to connect with and reach new audiences, taking your message right to the brains and hearts of your listeners.
The audiobook market has risen to over $1.2 billion in sales in the U.S. per year, with double digit growth every year for the last 8 years. The major factor in the rise of audiobook sales over the last 5-6 years is accessibility. As a society, we are nearly always in motion. We have access to audio when we don’t have access to the written word or video. And with few exceptions, we always, always have our cell phones around! People are listening BIG. The typical American reads four books a year. But audiobook listeners listen to an average of 17 books a year. Audio also creates intimacy between the listener and the author. After all, your message is flowing directly into the listeners’ brain via their ears. You are literally becoming a voice in their head!
Hasmark Publishing International has partnered with Twin Flames Studios to bring you top-quality professional audiobook production. Twin Flames' audio-based solutions are customized to your needs and strengths. They save you time and advocate for your interests and goals to help you unleash your voice and achieve the influence you desire, as well as generate additional leads and sales.
Twin Flames is a non-fiction audiobook publisher. The majority of our clients in this non-fiction world are building a media platform for themselves, so their book is part of a larger marketing strategy. They’re using their books to promote their business, their bigger message, their speaking engagements, their coaching, and other aspects of their business.
Narrating Your AudioBook
With our professional narrators, we negotiate a fixed price per hour that we pass on to you directly (we do not mark this up). We don’t have to train or teach them anything, because narrating is their profession and the entire process runs easily and smoothly. For author-narrated audiobooks, we do full, live direction and remote recording with our authors through the entire book. And we make it easy – we are able to remote access your microphone, check your audio setup, and guide you completely in the comfort of your own home or office. AND, we’re also teaching you an entirely new skill. Narrating an audiobook is not as simple as just sitting down and reading your book. There is much more to it than that! All that being said, with the efficiency of the systems we’ve created, we’re able to keep the cost of an author narrated audiobook, which is more time and resource consuming, very close to the cost of a professionally narrated audiobook.
You can expect to spend 2–3 hours recording with one of our directors for every 10,000 words of your book. So if you have a 40,000 word book, expect to have a recording time of 8–12 hours total, spread over 1-2 weeks. Compare this time commitment to going it alone, where you could expect to spend 50-60 hours of time that would result in a lower quality end product. We discuss this further below.
A lot of this is up to you. Some authors take a “hands off” approach and trust us to do a professional job, so they only listen to the “first 15 minutes” required by ACX to confirm everything is in order. Others want to be sure everything sounds just right, so they review the chapters as they come through the pipeline. It all depends on your comfort level.
Finding the right narrator for your audiobook is crucial, and we take a ‘white glove’ approach to finding you the best narrator to represent you and your message. Twin Flames Studios takes the lead for the entire audition process, including working with you to choose an audition script and submitting the title for auditions. We usually receive between 60 and 120 auditions per book, which we then listen to and curate for vocal character, sound quality, professional background and their ability to meet budget and timeline. Once this vetting process is complete, we present you with our list of top favorites and you have the creative control to select the narrator you like best. We make sure you get someone whose voice is a great fit, who is qualified, who is a good “energy match” for your voice and message, and who is able to deliver the project professionally and on-time.
No. There is one narrator for your book, who will do all of the voices. That is where voice acting comes into play. During your strategy session, we will work with you to create a list of characters and what their voices should sound like to present to the narrator you ultimately choose for your project. A typical list of characters includes the narrator’s voice, which is basically your voice and the most important, and then the other supporting characters. Then, when we do the audition, we will help you choose a short section with dialogue for the narrators auditioning to read so that they can voice the characters in their audition.
Yes, absolutely! Some of our authors want to have their voice on their audiobook, but either do not want to or cannot narrate their entire book. We can work with you to have you narrate your introduction, or add a special ‘Interview With the Author” bonus chapter. Contact us and we’ll work with you to create the perfect scenario for you.
Producing Your Audiobook
About 10,000 words equals 1 hour of audio. So if you have a 40,000 word book, your audiobook will be about 4 hours long.
Audiobook production and distribution for an average 40,000 word book (about 4 audio hours) takes about 20-25 hours of production time—for an experienced team.
Producing an audiobook is not as simple as just recording a book being read. For the sake of calculation, keep in mind that about 10,000 words of your book equals an hour of “finished” audio. First, there is prep. Special features that you may have in your book, like charts, captions, exercises, sidebars, calls to action, etc. need to be “translated” into audio. Next is raw recording. People can’t just read a book from start to finish—they make mistakes, have pauses, need to take breaks, and so on. Audiobook recording sessions are no more than 2-3 hours at a time due to vocal and energy fatigue. You want your audiobook to be consistent and engaging, drawing in the listener - so your performance is paramount. Production itself involves a detailed editing process that includes removing extraneous noises, reducing breaths and any “ah”s or “um”s, ensuring the pacing sounds right, and making sure the audio itself conforms to the stringent technical standards imposed by ACX (the Audiobook Creation eXchange, Amazon’s audiobook platform). It’s also vital to check the recording against the text of the book to look for mistakes—the spoken word version of typos. Corrections must be made for anything missing, misspoken or otherwise incorrect, and then those corrections must be sound engineered too. This is a deliberate process for professionals. It is a snail pace process for amateurs.
Extra audiobook items might include:
- • Video trailer
- • Bonus chapter
- • Creating and Uploading your ACX account
- • Cover design
To start recording, we’ll need a finalized manuscript. That being said, it’s best to plan your audiobook production and publishing well in advance. If you’d like to narrate your audiobook yourself, you’ll also need a microphone. But no worries, we’ll make sure you sound “studio perfect.”
We have compiled a list of top-rated professional narrators over the years. Whenever we post a new audition we also reach out to them directly to let them know we’ve got a new project. We treat our narrators like they are our clients, so they’re happy to work with us.
Marketing Your Audiobook Successfully
Audiobooks extend the life of your new book launch. Releasing your audiobook at the right time during your initial book release allows you to keep the momentum and excitement going. Your audiobook content—that is, pieces of the audiobook itself—also can be used to promote your audiobook. Pieces of your audiobook can be turned into ‘audiograms,’ and/or a killer video book trailer to share on social media, through email, and on your website. If you’re podcasting (as a host or guest) to promote your book and message, you can also use your audio content in your podcast interviews or show notes. Just like your book, your audiobook is an evergreen marketing asset that can help you share your message with the world for years to come.
Yes! Your previously launched books can absolutely be relaunched as audiobook. This strategy gives you the ability to have an entirely new product launch (with a new income stream) without having to create ANY new content. Hallelujah! Even better, if your previously published book wasn’t a bestseller and you want to give it another chance, releasing the audiobook version allows you to make that happen.
Book trailers are dynamic video trailers. We create yours by using part of your audiobook, quotes from your book, moving images and music to market your audiobook. Authors use them for promotion on social media, on their websites, and they upload them to YouTube. This is left up to the author to decide where they’d like them to go. Book trailers are a great replacement for putting your full audiobook on YouTube—after all, you don’t want to give that away for free!
Audiobook Distribution and Royalties
We are not a traditional publisher. We are advocates for our authors, and everything is owned by you. All the accounts will be in your name, you will have full access – we’re basically working on your behalf. So we do not retain any of your rights! You keep all your rights – and your royalties.
All royalty payments are made directly to you through the platforms where your audiobooks are sold, such as Audible. Those platforms provide accounting / reporting of your audiobook sales and royalties. Royalties paid to you vary from 25% to 40% of your audiobook purchase price, depending on the platform where the purchase is made. You can also sell your audiobook independently via your website and keep 100% of your sales.
No. Just like with the paper books and Kindle eBooks that we publish, authors keep 100% of their royalties and everything is paid directly to you from the audiobook sales platform.
You would contact the sales platform, such as Audible, where your audiobook is on sale, if you need support with your audiobook. We will make sure you have contact information, and you’ll also be provided with tutorials and information when your audiobook is published. You will have an account with each platform where you can find your sales numbers.
First, there is no charge for distribution of your audiobook or any additional fees you have to pay, ever, to Hasmark Publishing International or to anyone else. Depending on whether you have an exclusive or non-exclusive sales agreement with your primary platform, your audiobook may also be submitted either immediately or in the future to around 40 other platforms, such as Audiobooks.com, Scribd, Downpour, and it will also be made available to libraries. Hasmark Publishing International will submit your audiobook to these platforms which will then decide to accept your audiobook and make it available. Most authors can expect to have their book picked up by at least 20 platforms.