Why You Should Not Self-publish an Audiobook on Amazon and Audible Via ACX

A discussion of the expensive, distraction and excessive time you can spend on recording audiobooks.

Audio Connection Exchange (ACX) is an Amazon company allowing indie authors to self-publish audiobook recordings for sale on Amazon, amongst others. The ACX web-based platform can also be used to hire narrators to record your book for you. Once the book has been produced, ACX will place it on sale at Audible, Amazon, and the Apple iTunes store.

There are two big reasons to publish an audiobook recording:

To generate additional revenue. Some authors have received a huge revenue boost from audiobook sales. Sadly, I'm not one of them

To make your Kindle eBook look even more impressive by providing an audiobook option for sale on your Amazon product page.

Still, based on my experience, I recommend that you skip recording an audiobook or paying to have one recorded for you. Here's why:

I began working with ACX by recording two audiobooks – a novella that I wrote named "The Kiss" and one of my wife's books. I found that it took a lot of effort to produce recordings that didn't sell well afterward. Later we hired a narrator off ACX to record another of Melanie's books. The narrator charged us almost $400, which we eventually managed to recoup, but I doubt we'll ever recoup the $800 we paid for our next recording.

Recording audiobooks is either hard and time consuming or expensive. Besides, one of my marketing tips is to write a series of books. I'd rather see you writing and publishing books than spending your time and money recording audiobooks. Again, it's a revenue/time/cost balancing issue.

Here's how to find out how much it will cost to have your book recorded by a professional narrator. There is an average of 9600 words per recorded hour. Divide your word count (e.g. 60,000) by 9600, and this will indicate the number of hours of finished recording time it will take to narrate your book (e.g 6.25). Multiply this by the narrator's rate per finished hour (e.g. $100), and you'll have the total cost of hiring the narrator for your project (e.g. $625).

Note that publication of your book in audiobook format using ACX is not excluded by a Kindle Select exclusivity contract with Amazon (because Amazon owns Audible, which owns ACX).