Saturday, April 27, 2019

Audio books, part 2: how it's done by Peggy Jaeger #RomanceGems

So, last month I shared why I've embraced the whole new audiobooks generation of readers and listeners. Today, I'd like to tell you a little about how the process of getting a book into audio comes about. This is from my perspective as a traditionally published author. Self-pubbed/Indie authors have a different slant, I feel, because of the economics involved.
Let me explain...

First, you need a book. (Duh!)

Then, it needs to be published  (Duh,Duh!)

Easy, right? hee hee
Next you need to decide if you want it to be offered into an audiobook. If you do, my publisher requires a separate contract rider to be included in your original contract. This ensures that you'll offer your book for a minimum of 7 years via audio.

Now, the fun begins ( and by fun I mean the work of getting your book, your baby, onto audio.)
In an ideal book world, the author of the book would be the narrator. After all, you wrote those words; you know how they should sound when read aloud; you put your heart and soul into them and you want them interpreted the way you wrote them, the characters to speak they way you envisioned them, the words to flow as you spliced them together.

Yeah, this isn't gonna happen because this isn't an ideal book world.

Just like you hire a babysitter to care for your child, you need to hire a narrator who will care for your book baby. This can be either a tedious process or one of "love at first listen." I've been lucky. All the books I've put up for audio have been snatched up by narrators who first, auditioned for me, second,  mad me fall in love with their voices, and third, made my words come to life with their unique interpretations.

Getting the book to audio is time consuming, so know that going in. I have routinely been sent 2-3 chapters at a time from the narrator for me to listen to and to correct any mispronunciations, or offer any word changes. I have to listen to each segment, correct what is wrong, send the correction back to the narrator and then wait for it to be resent to ensure it is correct.

Like I said: time consuming.

The process from first chapter narration until inclusion in Audible can be between 3 and 6 months depending on how fast your narrator works and the corrections that need to be done.

But when I tell you that hearing your book come to life at the end is a soul-filling feeling, believe me, it is.

For those of you who want to know the money aspect of this, I can tell you this - and again, it's because I'm traditionally published, not indie: My narrators all work on commission. I pay them nothing to record my books. They get paid a portion of every audiobook sold with their name ( and voice) on it. So, it behooves a narrator to promote your work as much as you do, because the greater the sales, the greater the profits for all. But if you want to know a true breakdown, it goes like this: For every audiobook I sell, Audible/Amazon gets a cut, my publisher gets a cut, my narrator gets a cut, and finally, after they are all paid, I get a cut. Now, if I had an agent and publicist, I'm sure they'd get cuts, too.

Am I gonna get rich enough to retire to Maui and bask in sunshine all day from my audio booksales?

Not in this lifetime.
Probably not in any other, either. Even if I had a million-seller in audio, I'd still only make a modest royalty. But, as I've said before, I don't do this for the money. I do it because Writing is my Oxygen and I'd die if I couldn't write!
Coming up next week on my personal blog at I have an interview with one of my favorite narrators of my San Valentino audio books, Anna Marie Peloso. She's a hoot and has brought each of the San Val's stories to life perfetto! You won't want to miss it.
Here's the "cover" of my latest and soon to be released audio version of CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS, narrated by ( you guessed it!) Anna Marie Peloso:

Now, don't forget our April Giveaway:

The Romance Gems are hosting an Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt throughout the month of April, ending at midnight on Saturday, April 27th. ( Hey! That's tonight!!!)

Somewhere, on one of the my listed sites below, you’ll find an Easter Egg!

How to Enter

In order to enter the contest, you will need to make a note of the following:

Today's date, my name , where you found the egg (which social media site), and the color of the egg.

Should you find an egg on our Facebook page, note where you found the egg, the date you found it, and the color of the egg.

Then, using the “Contact the Romance Gems” link on the bottom left-hand sidebar of the Romance Gems blog site, send ROMANCE GEMS an email with the details of your discovery. Please also include your full name as part of the email.

The Drawing

We will compile all entries received and the person who finds the most Easter Eggs will win the Grand Prize. In case of a tie, the names of the winners will be put into a random draw and the final grand prize winner chosen. Winners will be notified between Sunday, April 28th and Tuesday, April 30th via e-mail.

The Prizes

GRAND PRIZE: $20 Amazon Gift Card

SECOND – FIFTH PRIZES: E-Books Donated by Romance Gems Authors

so? Where do you think I hid my egg? Hmmm... could it be here: Facebook  or here Book Bub  or here Instagram ? Where ever you find it, make sure you follow the instructions up above. And when you do find it please follow me at the site where it's hidden - just to show how much you love me! hee hee 


  1. Wow, it's really, really time consuming. And $$ consuming too - even without the "initial investment" of hiring a narrator, they get a % of sales.

    On the other hand, as stated in your last post, you can reach listeners who wouldn't read your books (either because they can't, or because they'd rather listen to audiobooks).

    In fact, I'm so lucky I have my eyes and I can read. I can't imagine not reading.

    1. Iris - my husband is an eye doctor and every day we see people who've either lost their vision ( thru disease) or who are going blind. I don't know how I would function without my sight, but knowing these people is a gift for me! And, thankfully, they can keep exploring their favorite authors.

    2. Indeed, we have to be thankful for what we have! Our sight is a gift!
      Great job making your books available in audiobook version!

  2. Wouldn't it be great to be the narrator of your own books? I think it'd make sense for indie authors - provided they can get a soundproof room for recording sessions, etc. No idea how it'd work, though.

  3. I would lovelovelove to narrate my own. I don't know many self pubbed authors who do it, tho. i think It's fairly expensive to do it "right" equipment wise and all.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I see many YouTubers who make animated videos - and they make their own dubbing. I know a YouTuber who was poor, started making short funny stories using The Sims characters (parody of famous people), and now he has 1.8 million subscribers! He makes thousands from AdSense every month. He still makes the dubbing.

      Not saying it's cheap, but it's affordable!

  4. Thanks for filling us in, Peggy. Iris, funny and exciting funny about the YouTuber. In another life, I'll do that.

  5. Peggy, I'd always loved audio books. When I had the opportunity to have my books turned into audio, I jumped on it. I've worked with some of the most talented and skilled narrators, all of whom work on stage, television, and movies.

    I'm excited to be putting together a new page on our blog, LISTEN TO ROMANCE. It will go live May 1 so our Readers can have anther way to "read" books when they're too busy to actually sit down and turn pages.

  6. I attempted audio books once, but the narrator had a lot of stuff happen to her all at once so we ended the contract. Now that I'm in one place and not traveling, I need to look into it again. I loved what she had done, and you're right, Peggy, it's a wonderful thing to hear someone read your work.

  7. Knowing you, and having read this book, I would LOVE to hear you narrate! :D Great post, Peggy!

  8. I had no idea it took so long! Months and months...I don't know if I have the time. Maybe a series though...not all of my titles!

    1. LIke I said, that's just from my trad experience. Maybe it's shorter with Indie. IDK!

  9. I hope some day I can get some of my books in audio! I'm sure yours are great!!


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