If audiobooks were the same price as ebooks, would you read them?
I don’t listen to audiobooks myself, but if they were the same price as ebooks, I might be stirred into trying them.
And that will soon be possible.
Let me explain.
Audiobooks are SO expensive to make.
For a long time now it has bothered me that I haven’t got the budget to pay for the production of audiobooks. I’m a strictly DIY indie authors. Everything except the cover is done in-house, and the cover I get at a discount rate because my publisher puts so much business in the cover artist’s hands.
Audiobooks can be made by the author – but there’s an incredibly high learning curve that involves training yourself as a professional narrator, and also learning how to edit and produce audiobooks. Then there’s the equipment and the sound-deadening studio to record the book in.
Contracting a competent narrator costs thousands of dollars, and then there’s still the editing and production to do/pay for.
Now there is a very cheap alternative
Google Play Books is an ebook distributor, who just launched a beta program for authors who publish through them (and I am one of them), which allows authors to create audiobooks for no upfront cost.
What the catch?
The books are AI narrated.
Yep; they’re created by computer text to speech algorithms. And for AI narrators, they’re good. They’re discernably not human, but they’re not terrible to listen to, either. If you’re curious, check out some of the sample narrations on Google’s page.
And for many reasons, AI narration will get to be very good, very soon. The best way I can explain that statement is to direct you to a Medium post written by SRP’s Tracy Cooper-Posey. It’s written for authors, but it explains why Google’s AI narration will take a quantum leap in quality in the near future. The article is here. Go read it. I’ll wait.
I’ll be releasing audiobooks. Soon.
Stories Rule Press are gearing up to produce AI narrated audiobooks, and my Harley Firebird series (of which I am currently writing the first full novel) will be one of the first produced.
I’ll share details with you as I learn them myself.