Most people I run across are stunned to learn how little market competition there is in the audiobook space when compared to the overwhelming number of books that are being published each day (traditional and indie).
And it is for this and other reasons that I have focused my creative and marketing energies on audiobooks. I now make the majority of my book royalties from audiobook than other formats combined, albeit as an indie author.
For traditionally published authors, royalties from print and ebook tend to be much more than audiobook, but whether for the indie or traditionally published book, one should not ignore the audiobooks channel, unless you like leaving money on the table. In fact, many traditionally published authors are choosing to retain audiobook rights to their works, since those royalties are more valuable.
Please note that there are other options to self-publish your audiobook, but none have the market reach that ACX does. I could spend time comparing various audiobook publishing platforms, but that is not the purpose of this post. Others might have a higher royalty percentage or a non-exclusive license, but ACX gets your audiobook in front of the largest crowd. PERIOD.
There are certainly even cheaper ways to record and self-publish your audiobook, but you don't want to cut too many corners. People will be able to tell if the sound quality is not up to par.
So let's get to it!
1. Schedule 30-90 Minute Sessions & 3-4 Total Hours on Recording Day
I intentionally led with this step as #1, since many of us talk about completing many projects that we never seem to get around to doing.
The only way to succeed is to set self-imposed deadlines on your calendar, then stick to them. It really is that simple. Don't buy any equipment or complete any further steps until you have achieved this one. Put the dates on a physical wall calendar or your smartphone calendar; don't underestimate this simple, practical step.
Continuing for longer sessions will get easier the more you do this, but I don't recommend going longer than 90 minutes in one sitting. After session one, get up, walk around for 5-15 minutes, then get back to session number two.
After 3 or 4 hours of total recording time in one day, you should stop, since you could damage your vocal chords. I recommend waiting 7 days before recording again.
I typically can record an entire audiobook in 3-5 Saturday mornings (3-4 hours each Saturday), but yours might take longer or shorter depending on a variety of factors.
Schedule these regular, weekly times on your calendar, so you get in a rhythm and complete them within several weeks. If you don't put them on your calendar, you will either not start or not finish. Both are tragic when we all have much to offer others in our audiobooks by publishing them.
2. Purchase a Quality Digital Mic & Pop Filter
AudioTechnica makes a solid entry-level mic for $54.99 (stand not included). It is their ATR2100 model; you can get it with free shipping on Amazon.
I decided to invest a little more in a higher quality mic (which include its own stand), since I am committed to producing many audiobooks. I chose and am partial to my Blue Digital Microphone which I got at BestBuy for very reasonable price.
Amazon sells it as well for $190.04. Blue has a reputation for studio quality microphones at a fair price, and this one has a conencter (USB or Apple connector), so you can use Audacity or GarageBand as suits your taste.
I also recommend a pop filter to attach to the mic to reduce plosives. There is one for less than $7, but I chose the one Blue makes for $54.