Will Dages joins us today from Findaway Voices, part of the larger company, Findaway. Will is Head of Product there, which is perfect for him since he's an avid audiobook listener and the kind of guy you can tell really wants to help you, the author, succeed.
After a quick background into how they started and how the company works, Will explained the process of how you go about making an audiobook. One of his marketing tips is to leverage an audiobook narrator who already has a following. Many regular listeners will follow the narrator just as much as they follow an author. [Note: I've done that!]
When a narrator signs up with Findaway Voices, there is a casting team that evaluates them so there is a great summary to read of every narrator and what they can do (accents, etc.). When an author comes in and starts looking for a narrator, Will jokes that they try to match the author and narrator almost like an online dating service. :-D In fact, about 95% of authors find the narrator they want to use on that first suggested casting list!
If an author chooses, they can use Findaway Voices to find a narrator and create an audiobook, and then take the finished files and go someplace else with them. While the company would love to help you distribute your audiobooks, you don't have to use them.
If you're interested in the royalty share deal that ACX allows, Findaway Voices is coming up with a great way to help you with that - without making you go exclusive. You heard it first here! :-D
Will gives us advice on how to decide if you should hire a narrator or read your book yourself, when to create book bundles, using your narrator for marketing and creating bonus content around them, testing your audience and their likelihood to convert to audio by starting with just a short story (2-3 hours might be best, a couple commutes' worth to get listeners hooked), experiment with wide distribution with a short/shorter story that's an aside to your series if the rest of your series is currently exclusive on ACX, getting your audiobooks into libraries, and much more!
And finally, the big announcements Will wanted to share with us! :-D First, they are launching with Storytel this quarter! Storytel is a massive player in the audiobook world with over 750,000 paying subscribers to their service. They are targeting countries where Audible doesn't have a presence, and they're working to get people reading in audio first.
Second, Findaway Voices now has a direct deal with Apple iBooks! Authors can get almost double the royalty rate by going through Findaway Voices to reach Apple. :-D Additionally, you get control over your list price. Authors can also create promotional prices (sales) with several of the stores Findaway Voices is working with including GooglePlay, Nook Audiobooks, and soon Apple iBooks. I'm so excited about this!
If you haven't tried getting into audiobooks yet, or if you stepped away from it because it didn't seem to be working for you, this might be the time and Findaway Voices might be the company for you to try again. :-D
You can follow Findaway Voices on Twitter, on Facebook, and they have a blog as well. You can find out where they'll be in a coming-soon blog post so you can meet with Will and his team and talk more about your specific situation. In 2019, they will be at Smarter Artists Summit, Sell More Books Show, Romance Writers of America national conference, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, NINC, 20BooksVegas, and more.