My first audiobook is coming out soon! I've had people ask about the process, so here's a quick sum up about our journey so far:
I decided to try making an audiobook for my standalone book, Mira's Griffin. I figured I would test the waters, if you will, with a standalone before I committed to a whole series.
First, I used acx, which is amazon's audiobook branch. I chose a sample from my book that included dialogue from most of my characters, especially the ones with accents and that needed special effects (mind-to-mind speech, in this case). I put it up for audition. ACX asked me to provide the age, gender, accent, and style of the narration I'd like, and showed my book to those. Two people auditioned within the first week or so. I chose the best one, Talon David, and we exchanged some messages, making sure that we got along and could work well together, before I made it official.
I chose royalty share for our payment option, which means that the royalties we earn are split 50/50 between the two of us. You can pay a narrator outright, but it will cost many hundreds of dollars, so you'll have to be certain that you can sell enough books to cover the cost. And, of course, you can do it yourself, if you have the equipment and are willing to learn how.
I, as the author, was in charge of setting a date. I looked at my publishing schedule and sent Talon a large range, asking when she thought would be best (communication with your narrator is super important). She told me how long she thought it would take, I added on a couple weeks just in case, and we were ready to go. I sent her a pronunciation guide for some of the words and names unique to my fantasy world.
While she was recording, I did the cover. I made my own cover for Mira's Griffin, so it was pretty easy to adapt it to audiobook. The cover for audiobooks needs to be a perfect square, and they require that the bottom right corner be left without important information in case they want to stick promotional information there.
After she submitted, I listened to the whole thing and wrote down a few things that needed to be changed, and sent it back. It's really cool to hear the story come together--and it's also important to remember that it's not going to sound exactly like me, and that's okay.I put my book up for audition on May 3, 2021, and right now it's being reviewed by acx. It should be available for purchase sometime near the end of the month, so all in all, it took about 3 months. It's been a great experience so far. We'll see how it goes!