Speed listening

In addition to the convenience of a portable library on your phone, tablet or PC, software developers have been producing tools to enable ‘speed reading’ for audiobook listeners – one cryptically called: ‘Faster Audio’. The reader can complete an audiobook in 75% 0r 50% of the time by increasing the pace of narration without altering the pitch. Your three hour audiobook done and dusted in 90 minutes without having to listen to Alvin from the chipmunks!

An interesting piece on how audiobooks have grown in comparison to other formats:

Reading alternatives

So as not to incur the wrath of the largest single group of audiobook listeners out there (the paperback readers) and probably not surprise them either, my own Facebook polls indicate paperback format is the clear leader with not much between eBooks and audiobooks. If you have the option to jump into bed with Jules Verne or curl up with J.K. Rowling, it’s still your first choice. But, more and more people are choosing to jog around the block with Stephen Fry, drive to Dubbo with Hilary Clinton or catch the train with Michael Portillo! And of course, you can begin reading your ’who dun it’ with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and finish it with the dulcet tones of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Some folks love their audio with a passion. Check out this article:



It was revealed by the Audio Publishers Association during a presentation in 2017, that 56% of audiobook consumers are doing ‘nothing else’ while listening. Suggesting perhaps that aural learning is not just passive in its nature. Just like reading, it can command your full attention. And there may be learning benefits too. Michele Cobb at the Book Expo in 2017 said: “It helps you understand context, vocabulary, and pronunciation” Other areas, such as listening while heading off to sleep (50%), doing tasks around the home (43%)  and exercising (27%) all rated highly too, but there is a distinction to be made. And it is to make between reading and listening.


It was also revealed by the Book Publishers Association during a presentation in 2017, that 100% of paperback consumers were ‘incapable of doing anything else’ while reading. What a shock! Reading engages your entire attention.

Try this interesting article about audiobooks and driver attention:

Harry Potter audiobook can keep motorists alert on long drives: study

Vocal expression

Even without the benefit of body language, we have a raft of vocal tools used with words to express our message. Now we all know that the……….. pause……….. is the classic attention seeker (do you notice what I did then?) We might ever so gradually increase the speed and the pitch with which we are speaking to build to an important point… then just before delivering it – pause – then state the point in slow, deliberate, emphatic, low tones. All this to deliberately engage and emotionally connect with your listeners at an intimate level. All the information conveyed without need of visual support.

Some impressions from a first time listener:


Amazing audiobook offer!

Wonderful interview with my client Kate Christie about her audiobook experience and a special offer!

I’m offering a 25% discount on our standard price of AU $800 ex GST per 10,000 words for the first 20 authors who contact me at: author2audio and pay 50% of the quoted cost (balance payable on publication) before midnight on Friday May 11 2018.

My audiobook customers prior to May 6 2018 are able to take advantage of the same offer until midnight June 30 2018, for up to two future audiobook projects.

Take advantage of the incredible value being offered. Your target 30 year old busy professional customers (who are struggling to find the time to read your book), will be able to listen on a smartphone during their commute with industry grade sound and high production quality at whatever speed they choose.

And the distribution, exposure and royalties come your way pretty quickly. Your audiobook can be published within four weeks of project commencement on 20 local and international outlets in the world’s fastest growing publishing format.

Let me help you make your audiobook a success! Please share.

And don’t forget to check out our Q & A sheet for all the answers.

Warmest regards,


Storytelling and learning

So, why audiobooks?

We could start 100,000 years ago with pre human species, where grunts and gestures were the communication tools of the day. We can still utilise those same expressive techniques at 2 am on a Saturday night!

So, storytelling preceded language as a means of getting our message across. The written word came much later. Our hearing sense and ability to listen is an ancient learning tool and is the very first step toward communicating with others.


An infant’s ability to hear and respond to verbal messages occurs much earlier than speech. If you’ve had to yell “STOP!” to a two year old child about to cross a road, you’ll know what a helpful survival strategy listening is. Kids are usually in possession of a 1.000 word vocabulary by this age – all from listening, experiencing and remembering. And Mother Nature really puts her foot down when it comes to the order of learning language: listening first!

We refer to kids in their ‘terrible twos’. Anyone seen that in a crowd at the supermarket or face down on the kitchen floor!? Research suggests that the development of the facial muscles and mandible – the jawbone – required for early speech doesn’t really happen until a child’s third birthday. So by this time the poor little folks have thousands of words to say, but no cooperative mouth with which to say them! Of course gestures, pitch and tone can help us communicate a clearer message. It’s a great way of getting and holding people’s attention.

Have a look at this article on listening and education:


Why have an audiobook?

Do you struggle to find the time to curl up with a good book?

Would you like to expand the market reach for your book?

Have you noticed the increased use of headphones on mobiles?

If you answered yes to all three, then you are time poor like most of us, but love to read, would like to see your publication across international outlets, but don’t know how and finally, don’t really know what people are listening to apart from music.

They are probably listening to audiobooks.


The facts are that audiobook sales have increased 40% in the UK, 30% in the US and approached 20% in Australia in 2016.

If you have an audiobook up on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and a host of other international online outlets and libraries, then your book might be the one playing in those headphones! And I can get you there.

If you’re a self-published author, check out this article:


Paperback, eBook and audiobook

Listening is how we instinctively learn about our world – it’s not just passive learning. It’s a great opportunity to connect with your reader at an intimate level – you are literally ‘in their ear’.

In our fast paced lifestyles, reading is becoming a seldom luxury. But you can switch back and forth between your paperback and audiobook versions depending on whether you are in your lounge, walking the dog or travelling interstate. And you can listen to an audiobook while you are getting other tasks done.

So add your voice – along with your paperback and eBook – to your brand. It’s the third essential piece in your publication triangle and lets you take advantage of growing local and international demand.

Read this article ‘hot off the press’. Audible may be turning publishing on it’s head. Releasing your audiobook BEFORE your eBook or paperback. Watch this space!


Audiobook Q and A

Why do I want one?

Audiobook sales are increasing at 40% in the UK, 30% in the US and approaching 20% in Australia. These international markets for your book are extended when you also have an audio version of your book to sell.

How much does it cost?

Allow around $1,000 per 10,000 words. For example, if your book has a word count of 40,000, it will cost around AU $4,000 ex GST to convert to audio.

How do I know if I can narrate?

Many authors are also public speakers, particularly if you are writing as an expert (say on business topics). We recommend that you narrate your audiobook yourself, to reinforce your voice as a key part of your brand recognition. If you are uncertain about narrating, we are happy to receive a recorded sample of your voice to give you feedback. We have a voice coach to help build ability and confidence. If you have written a novel, and require voicing for some or all of your book’s characters, we have expert female and male narrators who can help.

How long does it take?

We begin by estimating the length of your audiobook. The rule of thumb is, one hour of ‘finished audio’ for every 10, 000 words of your book. So a 40,000 word book will result in an audiobook of around 4 hours of finished audio. Based on this estimate, the recording takes around 6 hours, the editing takes around 30 hours, and the production and delivery of the audiobook itself takes about 4 hours. We usually have your audiobook ready within 2 working weeks. If you would like us to upload your book for sale at Audible (Amazon), iTunes and another 10 online bookstores, libraries and radio stations, it will take a small additional investment, and a further 4 weeks to be published across those outlets. So around a month and a half in total.

Where can I record it?

We can record you audiobook in the comfort of your own home, office, motel room or in a studio. We come to you, use our own sound equipment to record and create a professionally mastered audiobook to industry standards.

Do you have samples I can listen to?

We have published to all the major audiobook online outlets. If you would like to hear samples from our author’s audiobooks, please visit:


Whose permission do I need to publish?

If you are a self-published author, then generally you own the audio publication rights. In this case, we can use your permission to publish. However, if you released your book through any publishing house (Penguin Random House, Simon and Shuster, etc), your contract is likely to contain a clause about audio distribution rights. It is essential to contact your publisher and discuss your audiobook plans. In some cases, the publisher may levy a fee to ‘buy out’ the audiobook production rights. This can significantly change the total cost of production and distribution.

Who is listening to audio?

The short answer is Generation Y and millenials. Although audiobooks are nothing new, smartphones, online outlets and multimedia have created unprecedented and easy access to all forms of audio. As time goes by, an increasing number of Gen X’ers and baby boomers are buying in too. In addition, as audio technology becomes more ‘voice driven’, earlier generations are adopting audiobooks as reading and television become less accessible with age.

How can I promote it?

Audiobooks can be promoted using the same techniques used to promote your book: PR (publicity), book launches, social media, chapter samples, public speaking events and through your website. Many authors are now coordinating the simultaneous release of their paperback, eBook and audiobook to drive their promotional budget further and extend their international market reach.

Can I do podcasts?

Yes, absolutely! A podcast series is a great way to re-purpose and promote your book content and expert advice. One of our customers reached the iTunes business podcast top 50 after releasing their first 6 episodes. Have a listen to ‘Anecdotally Speaking’ at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/anecdotally-speaking/id1336755633?mt=2 or Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anecdotally-speaking

Can I earn royalties?

Yes. Audiobook royalties follow a similar pattern to book royalties. Generally speaking, you will earn a higher royalty percentage for an exclusive arrangement (for example, if you chose to only distribute via Audible and iTunes). We publish via an ‘aggregator’ called Author’s Republic to maximise the number of online outlets where your audiobook will be sold. Your royalty payments are summarised in a single location and paid into your PayPal account.

Can I use images?

Audiobooks are available in two formats: MP3 and M4A. MP3 files are the current standard required for online outlets. If you would also like to offer your audiobook for direct sale from your website shop, then the M4A format allows you to include a graphic image for each part, chapter and section of your audiobook. This allows easy navigation from your customer’s smartphone, providing a table of contents and a graphic for the section currently being listened to.

Can I use music?

Yes. We can provide short, musical interludes to introduce chapters. Please be aware however, that even so-called ‘royalty free’ music licenses can be quite expensive, and for some audiobook use is prohibited. A recent enquiry discovered that a single song could cost as much as AU $450 for a perpetual license. We do offer cheaper options, but the choice of genre is more limited.

Can I record it myself?

The ultimate quality of your audiobook is determined by the standard, clarity and consistency of the original recording. For this reason, we always suggest that our engineers conduct the recording on our equipment (regardless of the narrator). It gives you piece of mind, avoids equipment costs, and if you are narrating, you have an ‘audience ear’ to narrate to. This tends to improve narrator performance, allows for discussion around pronunciation, and note taking around mis-reads, quotable quotes and candidate passages for later audiobook promotion. The subsequent editing and production processes are also greatly simplified.

Will I have to travel?

The short answer is No, but we can certainly accommodate it if you choose to. A Sydney customer was travelling to Melbourne on business for a week, so we conducted the recording in his Melbourne motel room. The savings to the customer were the additional airfares and accommodation charges necessary for us to record his book in his home state.

Where can things go wrong?

Like any project, creating an audiobook can sometimes have it’s problems. And like health care, prevention is always better than cure! Preventative measures include: consulting with us in detail before deciding to record yourself, thinking about how to reference any book infographics orally, and be realistic about your determination to narrate yourself. Most authors have only been able to cope well with 6 hours of narration in a given day. Anything beyond that has sounded tired and usually necessitates re-recording and additional cost. It is most important to be very familiar with your book content – a well rehearsed narrative always produces a better result. Our professional narrators are worthy of consideration, especially for busy authors running enterprises, for whom a 2 or 3 day recording session is going to be difficult to schedule. And finally, always provide us with a paperback (and if available eBook) copy of your book, so we can get the tightest possible match between your written and spoken words.

author2audio update

Hi from Dave,

Just a quick narrative on author2audio’s activities in the past few months.

09 Busy it's a disease

I have had a great start to the year that really began in December with the release of Kate Christie’s audiobook  Smart Time Management for Doctors on Audible, iTunes and more than 10 other online outlets.

Kate is keen to record another book in the coming months when she’s able to take a break from her international speaking engagements.


Earlier this year, I was introduced to Duncan Fish. Duncan is an organisational psychologist who specialises in helping executives to brush up on their communication skills.

His book, Engage – A Practical Guide to Understanding, Influencing and Connecting With People is a great read and is available as an audiobook at the Engaging Executive website

Duncan is a great storyteller. Have a listen to his ‘Schadenfreude’ story Ahhhh paris!


And the storytellers have continued with Shawn Callahan from Anecdote. Shawn’s audiobook version of Putting Stories to Work – Mastering Business Storytelling is now in final proofing stage and due for release within the next month.


In addition to Shawn’ book, author2audio are producing Anecdote’s weekly podcast: Anecdotally Speaking. Shawn and his long time business partner Mark Schenk get together with occasional special guests to discuss all things narrative.  After just 11 episodes, they are regularly featuring in the iTunes Business podcast top 50!


I’m also delighted to be working with Dr. Louise Mahler. Louise’ book ‘Resonate’ combines the practical wisdom of careers in corporate and voice training with a calling that saw her performing lead roles in opera performances across Europe.

During production, it’s been astounding to listen to just how well the audiobook version really brings Louise’ voice, presence and advice to life (it’s obvious now I think of it, but still very engaging!)


Wishing Hunter Leonard the best with his new book: ‘Generation Experience’ . Hunter is and will always be our first customer, and we are looking forward to him narrating his new book, which strikes a chord for all of us in our ‘very late 20’s’!


Author Susan Spelic and illustrator Cassandra Storm D of ‘The Reading Mountain’ are busy compiling audio into a series of 5 interactive children’s books – in both Mandarin and English. They are at the ‘bleeding edge’ of publication technology, which will ultimately further help young children overcome reading challenges. Watch this space.


Last but not least, our favourite publicist, Jules Brooke of ‘Handle Your Own PR’. We are in the midst of producing audio visual versions of Jules’ popular webinar series.

She’s a wizz at book promotion and can teach you all the tips to get free publicity. Check out her lifetime membership offer

Thanks to my business support group and social media ‘likers’

Warm regards,