Why making an audiobook makes no financial sense…and why I did it anyway Part 1

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I am an AVID audiobook listener (as you can see from my Audible stats), so I always envisioned there being an audio version Vague Pains.  When it came time to crunch the numbers it became clear that it made no financial sense.  Using ACX.com (a pretty cool service) it is free to post the completed file on Audible, iTunes, etc.  Side note: being an Amazon company, ACX will take a smaller cut of the sales if you agree to just post it on Audible.

The real cost is in making a good recording.  Sure, home recording set ups are relatively inexpensive, but most authors aren’t so great at being narrators.  I remember listening to a clip of Joseph Heller reading a passage for Catch 22- included as a bonus feature at the end of the professionally-narrated Audiobook.  Guess what?  Pretty underwhelming by comparison, even though the work was his vision!

I gave narration a try.  It wasn’t pretty.  Hiring a talented narration can easily cost into the hundreds of dollars per hour of finished audio.  It takes some pretty optimistic math to imagine enough sales to make it a money-maker.  That being said, I still went for it.  I’ll explain why in the next post!