If you're considering distributing your audiobooks through PublishDrive but are unsure where to begin, follow the step-by-step guide below. You'll also find the technical requirements at the end of this article.
1. Prepare your audio files
Assuming you have your initial manuscript, the primary task is preparing your audio files for seamless acceptance across various stores. Keep in mind that audiobook production costs a bit more than creating ebooks or print books.
The key is to find a skilled audiobook narrator to bring your book to life. Typically, audiobooks are around six hours long, and narrators with varying levels of experience charge hourly rates ranging from $150 to $400. To understand the financial aspect, delve into articles discussing the math and costs of producing audiobooks.
You could also explore professional audiobook producers to ensure top-notch quality. Often, they request a royalty percentage from sales.
Once you have your narration, ready your files for audiobook distribution:
- Audio files should be in MP3 format.
- Cover design must be at least 1400x1400 in resolution.
For an enhanced listening experience, most stores require:
- Chapters divided distinctly.
- Chapter numbers or titles recited at the beginning of each chapter.
- Individual chapters not exceeding 78 minutes.
Note that if an audio content file surpasses the length limit, the audiobook won't be sent to all available stores, although it will still be accepted.
Here are the current length limits per store; exceeding these limits results in the audiobook not being sent to that particular store:
- Audible: 119 minutes
- Libby: 78 minutes
Remember that the length limit applies to each individual file.
2. Set Up Your Audiobook Easily on PublishDrive
PublishDrive simplifies the process by allowing you to upload not only content and cover files but also audio samples and marketing materials for promotions. Just drag and drop your audio files or browse your computer to add them. Once uploaded, we'll list them on the right. Ensure that all files for your book are uploaded and that your audio files meet the necessary criteria.
After uploading all your files, add the chapter names, and arrange the files in the desired order. You can modify the sequence by dragging the files within the list.
Don't overlook the essential step of adding at least one narrator.
3. Publish to Stores like Amazon and More
Crafting a robust distribution strategy for your audiobook starts with identifying your target audience. It's advisable to explore multiple channels rather than relying on just one. Distributing across all feasible stores leads to the highest potential earnings.
Once your audio files are set up on PublishDrive, simply enable the stores where you wish to sell.
4. Technical Requirements
- Preferred format: .jpg with RGB color scheme.
- Must be in square format (equal width and height).
- Minimum resolution of 1400x1400 pixels.
- Must be at least 72 dpi.
- Title and author's name must appear on the cover.
- The cover image should match the metadata precisely.
- The image must be a true square without borders.
- Borders, whether vertical or horizontal, are not allowed.
- The cover image should not reference physical media other than the presented audio.
- Scanned images are not acceptable.
- The cover image must not be blurry or pixelated.
- All audio files must meet the following criteria:
- Valid MP3 file.
- Stereo (recommended). If there are any files shorter than 3 minutes, then all files need to be stereo.
- 192kbps or higher 44.1kHz MP3, Constant Bit Rate (CBR).
- All files must share the same bitrate and sample rate.
- High quality, minimal background noise.
- Must encompass complete chapter(s).
- Each file must have a 0.5 to 1-second pause at the beginning and 1 to 5 seconds of room tone at the end.
- No longer than 78 minutes each.
- Opening and closing chapters should include title, author(s), narrator(s) information, and optionally publisher and copyright details.
- Each file must measure between -24dB and -14dB RMS.
- Peak values of each file must not exceed -6dB.
Ensure that the following sounds are removed:
- Mouth noise and vocal artifacts.
- Clicks and pops at the start or end of a file.
- Extended periods of audio silence within a file.
- Excessive background noise.
- AI narration can be used, but it must be indicated in the 'Narrator' field and/or the book description. Keep in mind that Audible and Findaway currently do not accept AI-narrated books.