Last week, Smashwords challenged Amazon's hold on the audiobook market. This is an informational posting. The Second Mouse is not recommending or discouraging anything. The plan is too new for a real evaluation of how the process will work. However, if you have considered getting into the audiobook market, you need to know that this option is available to you. Here's what Smashwords has to say about the new program:
"Smashwords entered the audiobook market via a partnership with Findaway Voices. Over 100,000 Smashwords authors and publishers now have convenient access to audiobook production and distribution services. The agreement gives authors and publishers greater control over audiobook pricing, rights, and distribution, and all without exclusivity or lockups. Effective immediately, you'll notice audiobook creation options integrated into multiple stages of the Smashwords publishing workflow. The new feature is visible in the Smashwords Dashboard, and also accessible at https://smashwords.com/audiobook.
"Start Your Audiobook Production Today. With a single click, you can instantly deliver your ebook and metadata into the Findaway Voices platform, at which point you’ll choose a password for your Findaway Voices account and begin the audio production process. Your first step is selecting a professional narrator. You'll answer a short questionnaire at Findaway Voices about your audiobook’s desired emotional tone; the accent, dialect or gender preference for your narrator; the voice style; the heat level of the book; and information about the book’s main characters.
"The Findaway Voices casting team will then use this information to recommend a curated list of six to ten professional voice actors for your consideration. Recommendations will include audio samples and hourly rates for each narrator. From this list, you can request audition samples where narrators submit sample readings of your book. There is no cost or obligation during the audition process.
"Production begins after you select your narrator and sign off on the production contract. You will pay production fees directly to Findaway Voices. To assist your budgeting, here are some rough guidelines: Fees are based on the number of hours and minutes of the finished production. Each hour of recorded content comprises roughly 9,000 words, which means a 26,000-word novella might run about three hours and a 100,000-word book would run about 11 hours. Narrators typically charge between $150 and $400 per finished hour.
Global Audiobook Distribution: When production completes, you'll control all rights to the audiobook. You'll also have the option to distribute your audiobook to Findaway Voices’ global network of over 20 sales outlets including Apple iTunes, Audible, Scribd, OverDrive and Google Play. Findaway Voices will pay you directly."
Further details are available at: http://blog.smashwords.com/2018/03/smashwords-audiobooks.html