ReelMusician Film smallerRecording an audiobook can be very rewarding, not only with the, “I did it,” but with sales and income to back it up  .But many authors and publishers for that matter, make critical decision mistakes when working on their books and only think inside a narrow box, leaving an array of marketing advantages, that vanish into thin air without their knowledge.  But all hope is not lost.

Creating an effective marketing strategy for your audiobook needs to consider not only your social media campaigns and most notable online retailers, but you need to start thinking beyond that. The fact is, that most who record their book are lost when it comes to the marketing and promotional part and they end up leaving their final work on a few places, namely ACX/Audible.  That’s fine if you want to try and be found in the ocean of audiobooks there. The reasoning seems logical. They sell a lot of books and so I should invest a lot of time, create those 192kbps mp3s, preferably mono files, with .5 second on the front end, 3.5 seconds on the back end of each file, with RMS between -18 dB and -23 dB and with no peaks above -3 dB – “I’m good to go” – are you?

The fact is, that Audible is pretty greedy with their percentages and royalties. Does it really make sense to give so much of your hard earned dollars away to be lost in the barrage of books there, and will it really sell? I would re-visit that question. Are you really making an impact in your marketing strategy, to put all of your eggs in one basket? The answer is no. So what do you do?

You build an online strategy where you have multiple, non exclusive distribution outlets and work with those companies who are reasonable with their costs and splits, etc. Do the math, on Audible you’re giving away 60% to 75% of sales – that’s insane, and yet people jump through an extensive hoop list, to give them the right to take 60 – 75% of sales income.  You would be better off to take time building your own brand, on your website or blog and build it with social media, article submissions, great sounding audiobook trailers, then to give the farm away. That’s the reality. For all of the hoopla about Audible, how many do you think are really making big bucks selling on ACX – not many. Most are making numbers not worth mentioning, to nothing at all.

You want to super charge your audiobook promotion and take it to the next level, then start with building your promotional ideas that go outside the box of the major online retailers.  The cost to do a book promo tour through radio and your local cable station is really quite affordable, you’d be surprised. When we secure a radio station who will interview you about your book, you’ll be calling them from home or your mobile – you didn’t fly or drive anywhere. Things are a little different with cable, still quite doable though, in that you might be going to the local cable channel’s station or a main branch – ie you live in Chattanooga, TN and you drive to Atlanta for the interview on CNN, etc.  See where we’re going here? When you really put time and effort into your book, you could do quite well, but you have to get out of the mind set of minimal. Everyone puts it on online somewhere and so I’m done. No you’re not, if you want real success with your book. You’ll be done if you want to look and go down the same route as most of the other travelers who have a dream, but don’t commit to seeing it come to life with real sales and real recognition and numbers. Sure the audiobook is recorded, but it’s not going anywhere.

Creating a real and lasting audiobook promotional campaign is absolutely necessary, if you want to not only re-coup your dollars in recording, but to make real money from your book. Take the time now to do that.  At ReelMusicianPro, we specialize in audio book production and recording audio books, with a vast array of voice over talent, music, sound effects and marketing ideas to create your next audio book recording. And as a Grammy nominated audio book production company, we do it all. From editing and abridging your book and script, to recording the voice over, adding custom or library music, audio book trailers to delivering a fully designed and marketable audio book CD with artwork included if you desire – We Do It!

Our client and production history is pretty impressive! With clients from William Morris LA, Pulitzer Prize nominees, to National Best Selling authors and large talent booking agencies – we work with a lot of folks, and we’ll give your book the same attention!

Mr Gauger is an accomplished radio and TV writer with too many credits to list here along with numerous national and best seller authors audio book productions. This author can be contacted at tgauger@reelmusicianpro.com or 615-300-5030. Mr Gauger works with small business to very large national brands and books and you may visit the author’s website at http://www.reelmusicianpro.com

As the ecReelMusician Film smalleronomy takes its twists and turns and with many authors wishing to place their next book into CD format and recorded for instant mp3 downloads and marketing ventures, the road to success can become blurred and difficult to follow, especially with tightened funds. And as a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency and founder of ReelMusicianPro.com, I know the difficulties and the financial hurdles that can be in play.  Let me share some insights that will help to make your next audio book both affordable and a success!

First, let’s get right to it – let’s talk about costs. I can tell you from experience that audio book production costs are all over the board.  While most companies charge between $600 – $800 per hour of finished audio, there are more affordable ways to it.  And I can tell you that for a fact, that ReelMusicianPro is significantly more affordable than that. While I say that, I do not recommend, if you are serious about your book, buying a usb mic and trying to record it on a home computer. If you want people to take you seriously,  then don’t let them pay for an audio book where you hear computer fan noise, pops and plosives with a grissly high end sounding mic and where you or somebody else really isn’t a professional voice over talent – don’t let that be an option if you are really serious about the success of your book. And don’t be fooled – again I say that you can get a decently recorded audio book without mortgaging your home. I know this for a fact, because folks are really surprised when they listen to our, and I’m obviously biased, but great sounding voice over talent online and then call to get a quote.

Second, beware of online indie publishing companies that suggest that they put x amount of money into the deal, mostly “creative” time or website development and book trailer money and not real out of pocket expense money, and then you put in a sum of money – this is really part of their profit and not adding to the upfront costs associated with truly marketing a book. There’s a lot of good folks out there, just beware of this scenario.

Third, you can self publish your own book and put the time and energy into it, without paying the indie publishing company, and get the same results.  Creating online accounts with Amazon, Barnes and Noble and a number of other online retail outlets isn’t that difficult and neither is setting up a website. There are plenty of companies that can help you with a book trailer including our own.

Fourth, always aim to do it right. Do not settle for second rate talent and production. While on the topic as a side note it is significantly more affordable to have one voice over read your book then trying to cover all of the characters with different voice over talent – just fyi. And if I were you, I would always ask for a sample of the prospective reader, read part of your book for verification prior to beginning of production.

Fifth and final, don’t chins on music. If want to look larger than life from a marketing perspective, then always get great music. Like a movie it can really make it or break it. So don’t settle for library music that doesn’t quite fit the tone and genre of your book.

Mr Gauger is an accomplished radio and TV writer with too many credits to list here along with numerous national and best seller authors audio book productions. This author can be contacted at tgauger@reelmusicianpro.com or 615-300-5030. Mr Gauger works with small business to very large national brands and books and you may visit the author’s website at http://www.reelmusicianpro.com

Recording an audio book, with a reputable music production company, depending on the word count, takes a little bit of money.  Duplication costs can be even more, but can be minimized, though, depending on how and where you are going to sell your audio book.

1) Determine whether you need to have hard copy CDs duplicated. Some feel that they can get enough exposure with downloadable mp3s, through various websites, and minimize CD duplication costs altogether.  Others, for various reasons, need to have actual CDs available.

2) If you need to have actual CDs available, you might consider your demographics of who is going to be purchasing and listening, to see if you can use 128 kbps mp3s and duplicate those onto the CD (much smaller files, with most books fitting onto a CD or two).  One of the drawbacks to this approach, is while almost every vehicle that has been made for the last few years will have a CD player that will read mp3 files as well as wav 44/16, many of the older vehicles, will report an error message and will not play the CD when trying to read the mp3 files.  But to over come that, many will have a few wav 44/16 (traditional CD files) CD sets available for the few who can’t play them in their cars, and save them possibly hundreds of dollars going this route.

3)  When looking at a CD duplication company, look for those who can give you a deal on both the duplication and the housing or the setting up of a shopping cart area for your audio book.  This can sometimes save you money over time.  Not all duplicators have this service, but some do, and is worth checking out.

4) Look at ways where you can either partner with another company or instead of setting up a shopping cart on your own website, coming in at closer to $20 a month with some web hosting companies, look at marketing your book on a traditional website (more affordable and sometimes free) and link to either PayPal or Google Checkout. You will incur some processing costs, but may be worth it as you see how your audio book will sell.

Feel free to contact this Grammy Nominated author with any questions on audio book book recording or audio book duplication questions.  Tom Gauger can be reached at 615-300-5030 or tgauger@reelmusicianpro.com  Tom has worked on many audio book productions, from pulitzer Prize to best selling authors and most recently “The Hope Diamond” which will be seen and heard at the Smithsonian in Washington DC and Grammy nominated!

1)  Don’t try to record your own audio book if you really want a professional product.  The notion that “Because I am the author, I can put more feel into my own book”, rarely holds true for a number of reasons.  You might have more of a feel for the content, but between an audio facility that is probably not near professional with a poor usb condenser mic, inadequate sound proofing, and without experience to know just where the mic should be placed to minimize recording artifacts, is usually the case.  Saving money to record one’s own book rarely yields the profits that a great sounding audio book production can.

2)  Don’t skimp, get the audio book trailer produced.  A great sounding audio book trailer, can be placed on numerous sites and really has the ability to connect with a potential buyer, and push them to the shopping cart.

3)  Don’t get so involved in the creative process, that you take away from the book.  Many authors starting out, are so involved, that they let really good ideas from the production and voice over talent be pushed aside, because they have an immoveable image in their mind – which may be great if you have an unending budget, but for the average audio book and costs, let the talent you are working with, help guide the book to get the absolute best outcome.

4) Don’t settle for sizzle over content.  Content and quality are king, and almost always, the sizzle will follow with book sales.

5) Always be looking ahead for ways to connect with other websites, blog posts and potential online partnerships that can further your book as much or in some cases, more than just posting to iTunes and other “giant” retailers.  With the help of smaller websites and medium sized companies that you create partnerships with, your book will be viewed, more likely, many more times over, than where you can get lost with the larger retailers.

Feel free to contact this author at 615-300-5030 or tgauger@reelmusicianpro.com and his website at http://www.reelmusicianpro.com

While everyone knows that a decently produced audio book with solid voice over talent takes some money, there are ways to capture the essence of your audio book while keeping it within financial reach.

1) Create a list of the absolutes for your particular book and see what there is that can be adapted or changed. For example, many want to have multiple voice over talent read their books. While this might very well be on the “creative” wish list, multiple voice over talent costs significantly more, especially if reading a novel. Consider either having one voice over talent read, who has great voice inflections and create multiple characters, or depending on the book, have a male and female both read your book, but by alternating chapters. The minute you have multiple voice over talent reading the same chapter with intertwining lines, creates an environment where now all of the various voice over talent have to have their schedules cohesive. This creates more strain on great sounding voice talent who would read for us a lower rate, but now they are torn with possible scheduling conflicts and are politely asking for more money, because they will actually make less running around. And the idea that one voice over talent will read in their home studio while another is recording in their home studio, often creates an audio book that doesn’t sound cohesive or flow, but has timing issues and is not convincing. Better to have one great voice over talent read your book, then multiple if not in the same studio reading at the same time.

2) Be sparse with music and sound effects. Unless you are prepared to pay handsomely for great sounding music and sound effects, it would better to have less than more. One mistake that beginning authors make when starting out, is that they want everything including the kitchen sink included and only pay a few bucks for production work. If you listen to many of the best selling authors audio books, you will notice that many if not most, do not have a great deal of music or sound effects. Best practice is to introduce the beginning and chapter entry with music to signal that the chapter is starting.

3) Don’t allow yourself to be lured into the “one stop” shopping with online publishers that get you an audio book – you might as well have not paid for it at all. A poorly recorded audio book is worse than not creating one at all. Do you really want to put your name on an audio book that has lots of hiss, poor reader skills, with choppy audio, dogs and lawn mowers heard in the back ground? Probably not. It would be better to spend a few more dollars on the front end and sell a few more when completed, along with the pride and respect as well as other potential opportunities that might come your way, because your book just sounded more polished and professional.

For advice and pricing of your next audio book production, contact Tom Gauger at 615-300-5030 or tgauger@reelmusicianpro.com and his website http://www.reelmusicianpro.com

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Audio Book Production has really taken off in recent years as writers, looking for another revenue stream and avenue to push their artistic work, are combining both the text reader apps like the Kindle and others, and are creating their printed book in numerous forms, including audio books.  As the industry continues to expand, and more writers, voice over talent, and audio production companies hit the streets, what really are the crucial criteria that make, for not only a great sounding audio book, but one that sells.

1)  Have an understanding of your overall goals with the production of your audio book.  If you are looking to compete and are looking to garner attention from other various players in the market that might help boost, distribute, or turn your book into a feature film, then know the costs involved and expect to pay more than the guy who says he can record your book with a usb microphone while hearing dogs, over head planes and computer fan noise – that’s not an opinion, that’s just how it goes. Voice over talent, by far, is the biggest cost issue when recording an audio book.  For that reason, it is tempting to visit online sites that have voice over talent representation and look for better rates.  While the rates may be more competitive, you will want to be careful of audio quality that is either noisy, has a grisly high end, or has lots of plosives – plosives can virtually ruin a great book.  Plosives are those low end “thumps” that are generated usually with words starting with a P or a B.  Cheaper mics used by those who do this as a second job, usually are shallow sounding with a harsh edge and because they aren’t doing this as a regular job, are not as adapt at finding the right micing position, to minimize.  This point is not meant to pick apart any voice over talent or their gear, but just to inform you of what’s out there, and to keep you from avoiding what appears to be a “great’ deal, only to be very disappointed.  And this is especially important, because your listeners will most likely be listening for a number of hours.

2) Be reasonable with creative elements.  It never ceases to amaze, how many expect long time frames of music and sound effects all in a 6 hour book with “Hollywood” production, and then wonder why the cost is so much.  With an audio book, quality is king over “hyped” productions.  In other words, it’s far better to have an excellent voice over talent reading your book, with great sonic audio quality, then to either save money, have the guy on the usb mic record it, or include poorly designed sound effects that take away from the original goal and feel of the book, because they don’t sound realistic and pro, but just plain amateurish.  We do lots of great sounding sound effects and scoring, but the amount and length of those are understood up front and it does cost more.

3) Duplication is changing.  With the onset of most newer cars being able to read an mp3 file as well as a CD wav files, duplicating costs have gone down significantly.  Being that numerous hours of mp3 files can be put on a CD, rather than the traditional 80 minutes of wav 44/16 data, the cost savings are dramatic.  If you add up all of the discs, printing, bigger cases and shipping costs, you can save thousands of dollars in duplication costs.  The only downside and reason that some, still duplicate the traditional style, is that older cars, may not read mp3 files.  That is something to consider.  If nothing else, you might just have mp3 downloads available on a website or Audioble, as instant downloads without the fuss and cost of traditional CD duplication.

4) Marketing your audio book is king.  It’s not good enough to have a great sounding audio book, you want to sell it, or have it picked up as a possible movie, or TV mini series or as most want, just to move books.  One of the absolute best ways to market your book is with a great sounding audio book trailer.  Well thought out trailers, much like a film coming out on the big screen, have great looking and sounding trailers, obviously designed to entice you to buy a ticket and see the movie.  You need to do the same thing with your book.  YouTube and audio book trailers are very compelling and while it’s nice to have some sample text from the book to read, it’s another to actually hear the book with great voice over talent reading it and making it come alive in the listener’s mind!

5) Be cautious with online publishers and what they promise.  Usually when online pubs include a number of elements like the audio book recording, the inclusion of “we’ll produce the trailers” you won’t get near the quality as if you handled it apart from the print aspect to your book.  When at all possible, negotiate out the audio book part of the deal and do that on your own.  Cost more – perhaps, but sell more – likely.

Contact ReelMusicianPro at http://www.ReelMusicianPro.com

tgauger@reelmusicianpro.com or 615-300-5030

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