Making Audio Books From Your Novels

Cat making musical audio booksIf you think it’s expensive making audio books from your novels, you’re right. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $5000. But there’s an easy way for making audio books without paying any fees…if you’re willing to sacrifice part of your royalties.

Today’s post will be very short compared to my usual posts. I recently found out about this opportunity for all you fiction authors out there. Making audio books available on Amazon’s audio bookstore has become very easy to do! 

First, go to ACX stands for Audiobook Creation Exchange (they forgot to hire a spell-checker). The first thing you see is a menu of options to click on depending who you are: author, agent, publisher, narrator, or studio pro. If you’re an author, I recommend clicking on the “Author” button. If all those options are overwhelming, you can watch the video to get a better feel for what ACX does. Here’s the video:



When you click on “Author,” you can sign in with your Amazon account, enter your information, and claim which books are yours to convert to audio book. You can set up the book’s information and make it possible for narrators to audition for your book.

Don’t want to wait for auditions? You can find talented narrators listed on the site to create the audio files for you. The best part? You can hear samples of their work and find the one you think is perfect. Then you have three choices, one of which requires selling (and losing) the audio rights to your work so really you have two good choices. One, pay the narrator for their work. Two, split the royalties 50/50 so that you have no out-of-pocket expenses!

Once you have the recording completed, ACX will distribute it to,, and iTunes and their up for sale! You don’t have control yet over the price but that may change in the future. For now, sets the price according to the length of the audio.

By the looks of it, Audible seems to charge about $2.25 per hour. They calculate 9300 words per hour so if your book’s 74,400 words long, that’s about 8 hours long. And 8 hours of audio sells for $18.

If you grant exclusive distribution through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, then the royalties are 50%. That means from the $18, ACX takes $9, your narrator gets $4.50, and you get $4.50. You get 25% of the sale (if you’re doing the 50/50 split). That’s still more than I make from my ebook sales! (I make 70% royalties from my $3.99 ebook version of The Torah Codes).

My client Liz Adams is eager to give this whole 50/50 royalty split audio book a try with her erotic version of Alice in Wonderland. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out!   Alice's Sexual Discovery in a Wonderful Land

So what do you think? Are you interested in trying it out?


Book marketing mentor, Ezra Barany is the author of the award-winning bestseller, The Torah Codes. Contact Ezra now to begin the conversation on how he can help you. You can connect with Ezra via FacebookTwitter, contact him through this blog, or by email: EZRA at THETORAHCODES dot COM.

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  • Erin Jamison says:


    This is exciting news. I had looked into having an audio book made and the cost was $1200 for about four hours of recording. So glad to find something that makes it affordable.

  • Ezra,
    Thank you for this run-down. I recently learned about ACX, got very excited about it, but had not had time to read everything to understand how it works. I’ll be heading back over there shortly to start the process on my book, The Sugar Divorce. Your detailed description is much appreciated!
    Suzanna Stinnett

  • Thanks for the informative post,
    I heard about ACX but never had a chance to look into it yet.
    I’m more of a do-it-yourself kinda guy and that’s exactly what I tried to do with my novel, DEAD HUNT, about two years ago. Although I have a background in audio recording and production, narrating was not one of my strong points. I hated my voice narrating! Of course, everyone hates the sound of their own voice and performing a novel is not the same thing as reading it, especially when I had so many different characters, and even though I was a stranger to the podcast community I turned to them and asked for their help.

    Within minutes, thirteen minutes if memory serves me correct, my first volunteer was on board to perform a voice role. They in turn passed the message on to their friends and before I knew it all 20+ roles were filled… and another author volunteered to narrate it for me! All I had to do was concentrate on the production side of things.

    Hiring people is one option but don’t forget to reach out to the podcast community for help and of course, keep practicing your narrating skills – you will get better with practice (as a side note, I have since narrated a couple of my own short stories and did a few voice-over roles for other productions.) My total cost was $0. I decided to go with the free model and give the audio version away to help establish myself as a writer. If paying someone to record your book is not an option you’re willing to entertain don’t let your desire to have an audio book fade into obscurity… make your own audio book!

    -Kenn Crawford

  • Ezra Barany says:

    Erin and Suzanna, I’m so happy you’ve appreciated my article. I’m still working out the kinks to see how I like it.

    Kenn, your idea is great on many levels. Not only is it free, but you’re connecting with the community and getting multiple people excited about being a part of your recording project. That way it’s not just you marketing the final product to your friends and family, but 20+ people marketing it to all their friends and families! A huge difference. Way to go!


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