If you are planning on distributing your audiobooks via PublishDrive, but you are unsure how to start, simply follow the steps listed below. You can find the technical requirements listed at the end of the article.
1. Prepare your audio files
If you already have your initial manuscript (assuming in ebook format), the hardest part is over. What’s next is preparing your audio files to be easily accepted into various stores. Do note that audiobook production is a bit pricier than creating an ebook or print book.
It’s important to find a good audiobook narrator to read your book out loud. The average audiobook is about six hours long, so expect to pay an hourly rate of $150-$400 depending on your narrator’s experience. Read these helpful articles about the math behind audiobooks and costs.
You can also look for professional audiobook producers to ensure high quality. Most times, they ask for a royalty percentage of sales.
After you have your narration, prepare the files for audiobook distribution:
- Audio files should be in MP3 formats
- Cover design should be at least 1400x1400 in resolution
To ensure the best listening experience, most stores require:
- Your book must be separated into chapters
- All chapter numbers or titles be read out loud at the start of the chapter
- A chapter does not exceed 78 minutes
If one of the audio content files exceeds the length limit, the audiobook won’t be sent to all available stores, but the book will be accepted still.
Here’s a list of currently known limits per store, if a store limit is exceeded, the book won’t be sent there:
Audible: 119 minutes
Overdrive: 78 min
The length limit is per file.
Set up your audiobook easily on PublishDrive
PublishDrive helps with uploading not just the content and cover files, but any audio samples and marketing materials used for promotions.
- Please drag and drop your audio files or browse your computer to add them.
- After you upload your files, we will list them on the right. Please make sure all the files for your book are uploaded.
Double-check that your audio files meet the criteria.
After uploading all your files, set the chapters for each one to ensure they are ordered correctly. You can change the order by dragging the files in the list.
Don't forget to add at least one narrator:
2. Publish to stores like Amazon and more
Setting up a strong distribution plan for audio starts with finding the right audience. And we highly recommend you look at not only one but multiple channels. Distributing in all possible stores results in the highest payout.
After setting up your audio files on PublishDrive, simply switch on the stores you’d like to sell in.
- Preferred .jpg format with RGB color scheme
- It must be square format (same width and height)
- At least 1400x1400 pixels
- No smaller than 72 dpi resolution
- Title and author must be on the cover
- The title and author name on the cover must match the metadata exactly
- Images must be a true square, not a rectangular image with borders
- Neither vertical or horizontal borders are allowed
- The cover image cannot refer to physical media (such as CDs) other than the audio presented
- Cannot be a scanned image
- The cover image cannot be blurry or pixelated
- Valid MP3 file
- Stereo (recommended)
- 192kbps or higher 44.1kHz MP3, Constant Bit Rate (CBR)
- All files must have the same bitrate and sample rate
- High quality, no background noise
- Must contain whole chapter(s)
- Chapter number/title read loudly at the beginning of all files (Chapter X: "Chapter Title)
- Each file must have 0.5 to 1 second of room at its beginning and 1 to 5 seconds of room tone at its end
- No longer than 78 minutes each
- Opening and closing chapters that tells: title, author(s), narrator(s) info and optionally publisher and copyright information
- Each file must measure between -24dB and -14dB RMS:
All files must fall within a specific volume range. By keeping all files within this range - not too loud and not too soft - listeners won't have to constantly adjust the volume of their playback device.
- Each file must have peak values no higher than -6dB:
By leaving this headroom you'll reduce the possibility of distortion, which can reduce the quality of the listening experience. This headroom is also needed to ensure files are successfully encoded.
- Please make sure the following sounds are edited out:
- Mouth noise and vocal artifacts
- Clicks and pops located at the beginning of a file before the performance begins and at the end of a file after you’ve finished recording a chapter
- Long gaps of audio silence within the middle of a file
- Heavy background noise
- AI narration can be used, but it needs to be indicated in the 'Narrator' field and/or in the book description. Please note that Audible and Findaway currently do not accept AI-narrated books.
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