When you’re first trying to break into publishing, you are thinking about a printed novel or possibly an ebook, but the big bucks in publishing these days is coming from audiobooks. And podcasts are a great way to build a fan base and author brand.
The sales numbers on audiobooks just continue to accelerate. More people are listening to podcasts and books in commute traffic, at home while relaxing, pretty much anywhere they have a mobile phone or mp3 audio system. And it doesn’t look like they’re going to put the brakes on this phenomenon anytime soon.
Because they’re so popular (and profitable) audiobooks have joined ebooks and print books as “must have” rights traditional publishers won’t do a deal without. Audible continues to innovate in this space with subscription-based services, original audio stories, and “all you can absorb” genre titles (romance novel subscriptions for now) for a monthly fee.
You can produce your own audiobook, although authors often feel that they are the best ones to record an audiobook because they know the book so well. However, audiobooks run an average of 40 hours, so you have to ask yourself if you have a week or two to record and re-record if you make mistakes or cough or just get jumbled up. And there’s a reason most professionally-produced audiobooks use professional voice talent. Have you ever listened to an audiobook with a narrator whose voice just grates on your nerves? This is sometimes the case with authors who are not professional actors, singers, voice talent or other audio professionals. Use Audiobook Creation Exchange, most commonly referred to as ACX, instead. It’s a marketplace where you provide the book, the voice talent provides the narration, and you share in the profits of the audiobook’s success. (Or you can pay the voice talent a flat fee.)
Find out more about ACX here: https://www.acx.com/
Podcasts are getting more and more professional and interesting. If you haven’t listened to a podcast ever, there’s a new year’s resolution you’ll be happy you made. They vary widely, but most often offer educational tips for writers on the craft of writing, inspiration, information on how to make money as a writer, and interviews with bestselling authors and other professionals in the community of writers. Here are a few podcasts you can start with that will help your writing and your publishing career. (Hint, there are hundreds of podcasts for writers, so dip your toe in the water with these, then keep exploring.)
Grammar Girl: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl
DIY MFA: https://diymfa.com/
Writing Excuses: https://writingexcuses.com/
Dead Robots Society: http://deadrobotssociety.com/
Carla King’s The Author Friendly Podcast: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/carla-king/the-author-friendly-podcast/e/56536354
The Creative Penn: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/podcasts/
The Manuscript Academy: https://manuscriptacademy.com/podcast
The Portfolio Life: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/portfolio-life-jeff-goins/id844091351?mt=2
Beautiful Writers: https://www.beautifulwriterspodcast.com/
Longform (for Nonfiction): https://longform.org/podcast
Podcasts are a convenient and fun way to learn more about writing and publishing and all manner of other things. Give them a try.