“But I can’t turn my book into an audiobook! It’s got so many pictures, graphs, charts, and other information that just wouldn’t make sense for listeners!”
You’d be amazed how many times I’ve heard this one problem stop authors from getting their book professionally produced as an audiobook (and how much money these authors are missing out on).
Most books can and should be produced as an audiobook if done the right way.
The digital audiobook market is absolutely booming right now, and the cost of professional narration and production has never been cheaper thanks to the massive marketplace of professional narrators at ACX.
If you’re not sold on why you should publish your book as an audiobook in the first place, check out the interview below with Rob Archangel from the publishing company Archangel Ink first.
Then, I’m going to share with you how to turn just about any book into a great audiobook by creating a companion PDF and an audiobook version of your manuscript that will leave listeners thrilled, and help you reach a whole lot of new readers and increase your royalties dramatically (whether you write fiction or nonfiction).
Watch The Interview with Rob Archangel on Audiobooks
How to Create an Audiobook Script for Your Manuscript
If you’re a novelist or write fiction, there’s not really much if anything you would need to change for the audiobook version. Basically 99% of the time, it’s best to keep the manuscript exactly the same for the audiobook script, so that readers will get the same experience, and also so that Whispersync on Amazon functions properly without glitches.
For nonfiction authors, things can be a bit different. Since narrators can’t speak charts, graphs, pictures and tables, it’s best to take every single one you have and add those to your PDF companion document that all purchasers of your audiobook will have access to through Audible or iTunes.
Instead of having the audio script exactly match a book that might say something like,
“See the chart below for more information on audiobook sales data.”
You should rewrite the audiobook script to say something like,
“Refer to your audiobook companion PDF that comes free with your purchase of this audiobook to see the chart with more information on audiobook sales data.”
Any skilled nonfiction narrator should be familiar with PDF companion documents, and should be able to help give you guidance or advice on what to include, what not to include, and what you might want to change about your script. Of course, they might charge a bit extra for the extra time and effort, but if it helps you create a better quality audiobook, then it’s probably worth it.
If you follow the instructions in this post, however, and take the time to go through your entire manuscript and make the necessary changes, it should be a simple, straight-forward process.
If you’re not sure if a certain part of your book would work well in audio format, just read it out loud yourself! See how it sounds, and if there’s something not quite right, feel free to make a change.
How to Create a PDF Companion for Your Audiobook
For a novelist or fiction author, if you have maps or additional material you want your readers to see, consider creating a PDF companion for your audiobook.
Here’s how I create PDF Companions for my audiobooks.
1. Title Page
The first page should be your title page, just like in your eBook version. It should have the title of the book, copyright information, and should say something like “SPECIAL AUDIOBOOK COMPANION DOCUMENT” so that readers know it’s not your eBook, but rather a supplement for the audiobook.
2. Table of Contents (Optional)
If your PDF Companion document is very large, you may want to include a Table of Contents. I usually leave it out since my companion documents are usually around 10 pages.
3. Information by Chapter
Next, I list each chapter of the book along with any relevant links, images, graphs, charts, footnotes, or additional material that the reader might want to refer to.
(Again, see the PDF Companion Template above for examples of how this looks in action).
4. End Matter
Next, at the end of your PDF Companion document for your audiobook, include your author biography, information on how readers can contact you, and any extra links or resources you want to share.
5. Call to Action
Finally, on the very last page, I leave a quick call-to-action, asking readers to leave an honest review for the book on ACX and/or Amazon.
Sending Your Audiobook Companion PDF to ACX
There you have it!
Now that you’ve created your awesome, helpful PDF Companion for your audiobook, it’s time to send it to ACX.
The easiest way is to just email them your PDF Companion document at support at ACX.com
Just let them know that you want to add your PDF Companion document to your Audiobook on ACX so that readers can access it, and the title of your Audiobook (or a link to it on Amazon or Audible) so that they can match your PDF Companion to the right audiobook.
Got any questions? Post your comments and questions below and I’ll be happy to help!
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.