Hey, folks. I’ve had a lot of people sliding into my messages recently asking about audiobooks, so I’m going to take a few minutes to talk about them.
Q: There is no set schedule for audiobooks. Why?
A: These things are wretchedly expensive and are very slow to earn back. I can only produce them when prior audiobooks earn enough money to cover those expenses.At current, audiobooks earn me enough to contract them once every two months. I am not going to bankrupt myself or spend beyond my means to make audiobooks. I do them because I want to be accessible, not because I make money off them.
As such, please be patient. They’re expensive and do not earn me profit at this point in time. One day, they might earn me profit… but right now? I’m bleeding money on them.
I know a lot of you like audiobooks, but that’s just how it is. (Each one of these things can cost up to $5k to produce, and that’s excluding the base costs to write the book; this is just the audiobook production, proofing, cover art adjustments, etc.)
Q: Why isn’t there a kickstarter for audiobooks?
A: I have enough trouble getting people to spend $15 on an audiobook. Most either can’t or won’t pay $25+ for an audiobook. They’re just too expensive, and I will not be doing a CD run or anything like that. Distribution is also a nightmare.
In short, I would take even more losses if I tried a kickstarter for these audiobooks.
Q: Why aren’t more of your books on audible?
A: The only three books that are audible are only there because of a traditional publication contract I cannot revoke for quite a few more years. If I could remove them from audible, I would.
As it is, Audible continues to illegally sell my books and refuses to even acknowledge emails asking for why they’re selling copies of audiobooks that had been removed from distribution a year ago. (It’s infuriating.)
Q: Why aren’t you selling on audible?
A: Amazon has many predatory practices that make audiobook sales a losing proposition for me, including their policy to allow people to listen to audiobooks and return them “because they didn’t like it.” It’s like going to a restaurant, eating everything on the plate, and then claiming you hated the food and you should be given everything you ate for free.
Considering how expensive audiobooks are to produce, this policy was lethal to my wallet, and there were months where books would earn me nothing despite people having listened to the entire product. And they would do this for every book.
It’s disheartening, and the best choice for me was to leave audible.
Anyway, you can get my books for cheaper on chirp, author’s direct, and so on. I choose the price on those vendors. Amazon does not. (Oh, yes. Amazon dictated how much I could sell my audiobooks for, which was a major annoyance.)
Q: When will (insert book title) come to audio?
A: I don’t know, and honestly, considering the cost of audiobooks and how much money I’m losing on them, I expect the process of bringing things into audiobook to slow down to no more than 3 or 4 a year. It’s expensive, it’s stressful, and it takes a great deal of time and effort away from writing new books.
Eventually, things will come to audiobook, but I am in no hurry to bleed my wallet dry, and it really depends on how much the older audiobooks bring in. Once they’ve earned back enough to pay for the next audiobook, I book in the next audiobook.
Please don’t ask me to go into debt over audiobooks. It’s exhausting. I appreciate how much you enjoy the audiobooks, but they’re truly very expensive, and the money is a significant barrier.
I’ve asked if people would be willing to pay $x per audiobook, and the majority replied no. As such, it’s being done this way, and that’s that.
I need to maintain my financial stability, and audiobooks are always the first thing to be slowed down or halted because it is a no-profit situation for me.
I do them because I want people to be able to listen. They’re thousands of dollars of investment each, and I carry that burden directly and solely, often for six months before the audiobook is released. It is a very long and tedious process.
Q: Why don’t you launch audiobooks the same time you launch the ebooks?
A: Money and time. I am not holding a new release back and losing even more money to launch the audiobook edition and the ebook edition.
Please understand I do the audiobooks as a courtesy. It was never meant to be a strong part of my business. It loses me a lot of money. I just like being accessible. But the quest for accessibility does mean I have to budget the money carefully.
So, I ask you to please just be happy when audiobooks release. They’re hugely stressful on me, they are a major source of debt, but I do it because people like it.
If accessibility for the vision impaired and those who struggle to read wasn’t a factor and so important, I wouldn’t be doing them at all. (I can’t even listen to audiobooks as a general rule because I struggle with anxiety from dramatized story telling. I can’t do radio dramas, listening to movies, etc, either. Not without medication.)
Will I continue to produce audiobooks? Yes. I just can’t promise their rate of production due to how expensive they are.
No, Silent Stalker has not been booked yet for production. I have too many other books in the queue right now. Once I have a few of the things on my plate off my plate, it’ll get booked in.
I hope you all have a good day.