Audiobooks for Indies: Unlock the Audio Potential of Your Book by Simon Whistler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For the sake of full disclosure, I need to say that I received an advanced reader copy of Audiobooks for Indies for being a listener of The Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast. A review was not a condition of receiving the ARC, but it was requested as a favor. In all honesty, even if I had purchased this book, it would have been worth every cent.
Audiobooks for Indies by Simon Whistler will soon become the definitive go-to guide for independently published authors looking to expand their streams of income by breaking into the audiobook market. Whistler’s guide is comprehensive and clear, and his instructions and advice are easily implemented. Whistler covers nearly every aspect of audiobook creation and his guide truly helps the reader which production methods (if any) to pursue with his/her novel(s).
The core content of Audiobooks for Indies revolves around the various audiobook production methods. Whistler fully explains how to execute each method, provides multiple pros and cons of each method, and even gives a case study detailing why another author chose this method and how it worked for him/her. The chapters are to-the-point but still packed with information, and they empower the reader to choose which (if any) method to implement.
Besides how to produce an audiobook, Audiobooks for Indies also explores why and when to pursue audiobook production. Whistler pulls no punches: he gives an honest opinion on when creating an audiobook will be profitable and worthwhile, yet he remains optimistic to his reader. Likewise, Whistler outlines several options for what to do after the audiobook goes on sale, listing several audiobook-specific marketing strategies and giving honest feedback on how well the reader can expect them to work.
Perhaps the most helpful parts of Audiobooks for Indies are in the details. Whistler begins and ends the book with definitions of important industry terms used throughout the text. This is a huge asset for any individual who is not experienced in audiobook creation and its retailers.
Additionally, throughout the text, Whistler directs the reader to resources that he has created. These include tutorials on how to create the best recording space, a detailed spreadsheet for calculating the financial costs/benefits of creating an audiobook, among others. In short, Whistler does everything possible to educate his reader on the basics terminology and functioning of the audiobook industry and then expands this into more in-depth material that the reader can customize to his/her own needs.
Personally, I only knew the most basic information about producing audiobooks (gleaned from The Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast which Whistler runs), but after reading this book, I feel fully confident in my ability to make an intelligent decision regarding when and how I will create an audiobook and what I will do with it afterwards. I even feel like Whistler gave me enough technical knowledge that I could narrate my own books (but I also know enough about myself to know that I will not). My only critique of the entire book is that I wish Whistler would have expanded on the areas he deemed “outside the scope” of the book.
If you are looking for a guide to tell you when, how, and why to create an audiobook, Audiobooks for Indies by Simon Whistler is worth a read. It is the best audiobook production guide that I know of to-date, and it is only a matter of time before it is held up alongside other indie guides as a “must-have” book for all independent publishers.
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