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Valuable, Accessible, Untapped

By Mary Lou Cheatham

How can you sell more books?

I don’t have many answers, but in all humility I’d like to suggest something uncomplicated that works. Many of the authors reading this blog are selling all the books they wish. Although I’m a newbie, I want to tell you about a resource I’ve discovered.

The more high quality venues you utilize to present your writing the more sales you will have. One way to enlarge the marketplace is to offer your book in more than one form: e-book (Kindle, Nook, etc.), paperback, hard cover, and audio book.

Audio book. Really? Why aren’t more books recorded?

Let me tell you about my experience. I recorded my books through ACX. I’m sure there are other companies, but I don’t know about them.

On my author page on Amazon dot com, I scrolled down and clicked on Visit Author Central at the bottom of the page.

After signing in to Author Central, I clicked on Author Creation Exchange (ACX).

At ACX, authors can meet narrators capable of producing finished audiobooks. Audible dot com, a subsidiary of Amazon, is a leading source of audio books. Audible has made the process simple for authors to read the instructions and produce quality recordings.
Cover of The Dream Bucket
Audible distributes recordings via Audible, Amazon and iTunes. Writers who hold the rights to have their books recorded can make arrangements with narrators. Independently published books belong to their authors. Some contracts allow authors to act independently and record books. (Check your contract and communicate with the publisher.)

Recognizing a huge opportunity, I selected The Dream Bucket, my most popular novel to release as an Audible book. First I confirmed I had audio rights to it. Following the simple instructions, I created a title profile and posted an audition script.

Step three was to find a producer. With more than 40,000 sample recordings, I narrowed the list by setting filters. On the top right corner, the search tab revealed a pulldown, allowing me to click on Producers for Hire.

It was possible to select more than one genre. I clicked History, Romance, Religion & Spirituality, and Fiction, thus eliminating 30,000 recordings. Continuing, I selected a middle-aged voice with a story-telling style. Since I didn’t want to spend any money, I opted for royalty share. A dozen choices remained. In the meantime, Clay Lomakayu, an actor with the perfect voice for the book, contacted me.

When I returned to my project page, a green banner on the corner of the announcement box announced that Audible had selected The Dream Bucket to win a stipend because the company considered the book to have outstanding sales potential.

A true professional, Clay paid attention to details. It was necessary for me to listen carefully to each word. He cheerfully made whatever changes I required. When he finished recording, Audible evaluated the book and released it. Clay received over $800 as the stipend. We received 25 free codes each to share with listeners.

Along the way, I called the help line and found pleasant employees eager to help me with all my problems. I’ve repeated this process book after book. Currently I have six audio books recorded by outstanding narrators and one in production. Everything I have done with Audible has been an experiment. Not thinking the experience would be discouraging, I dove into this project. The results have been anything but discouraging. The benefits have far exceeded my expectations.

Mary Lou Cheatham PhotoMary Lou Cheatham (Mary Cooke) is a retired teacher and nurse. She writes historical novels, which always contain a romantic element but are not typical romances. She and her husband love retirement in Louisiana. They enjoy family visits, church activities, home renovation, and riding down the road to look.

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One Response to Valuable, Accessible, Untapped

  1. Mary Lou, thank you! I’ve wondered how to go about this. But first I have to see if I have my audio rights…makes me think about indy publishing!