According to Writers Digest, audio books make up the fastest growing publishing platform. And like ebook and print book publishing, audio book publishing is affordable and accessible to indie authors. Using a royalty-share option through Amazon’s ACX, an indie author can have an audiobook recorded for nearly nothing, sharing the income earned off audio sales with the reader.
However, what many indie authors may not know is that you can get an audio book publishing deal where the author could earn an advance, and the publisher takes care of everything to create the audio at their expense, and pays a royalty similar to how traditional book deals work. If you have a traditional book deal and your publisher doesn’t have audio rights, you can seek an audio book publisher as well.
How to Get an Audio Book Publishing Deal
1. Build a track record of sales of your book.
While you can self-publish your audio book on your own regardless of how well your ebook or print version is doing, most audio book publishers will want to see that your indie book has a track record. Is it selling? Does it have more than just a few reviews? Unfortunately, I can’t give you a specific sales number, ranking, or review count. I have a friend who’s first book in her series sits a 330,000 sales rank with 56 reviews and she got a deal with Tantor. However, at the time she got the deal, the book could have been ranked higher. She’s great at selling her books, so I’m sure her sales, at least around the time of release, were high.
2. Gather your book’s information
While you might not need to submit a full synopsis or written manuscript, the publisher will like want the following information:
~ Your Name
~ Book title
~ Book genre
~ Publisher (if not you, you’ll need to prove your publisher doesn’t have audio rights)
~ Link to your website
~ Information about book sales: This may include linking to a bookseller or gathering information from your distribution resources
3. Write a query or introduction letter
This is the first and best chance you have to grab the interest of an audio book publisher. You should have a hook about your book, a little about you as an author, info about the book sales, awards, and other kudos, and anything else the publisher asks you to supply.
4. Consider getting an agent
Many agents are now taking on indie published clients to sell additional book rights for audio, but also foreign and movies. While these are all things you can DIY, there can be an advantage to having an agent to access publishers and navigate contracts. Plus, some publishers below prefer to or only work with agents.
I plan to use my agent to sell my indie books to an audio publisher. While I could do it myself, there are enough moving parts that I’d rather have her do it and I can focus on writing.
Audio Book Publishers
Many of these publishers you can submit to on your own. Those with an asterix will also work with agented authors. Some will only work with agented authors. A few are not currently accepting submissions, but could open up in the future.
Audible * – Audible is currently closed to submissions (as of this writing, June 2022), but you can check back at a future date to see if it’s open again. Note, this is difference than self-publishing your audio to Audible through ACX.
Blackstone * – Prefers to work with agents
Brilliance Publishing *(also owned by Amazon) – It’s not accepting submissions at this time, but check back.
Dreamscape – Dreamscape publishes audio, but also provides distribution services for audio, movies, and more.
NovelAudio – Says it likes to work with traditional and indie authors, including backlist books.
Podium * – Podium is popular with indie authors, especially in the romance and fantasy genres.
Oasis Audio * – Has indicated it is more responsive to submissions through an agent
Penguin Random House * – The big publishing houses normally publish audio through their own published resources, but there is some indication that Penguin Random House accepts submissions for audio books, but only through agents.
W.F. Howe – UK publisher that publishes audio books in many catagories and genres.
Is there a romance audio publisher I don’t have listed? Let me know in the comments below.