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Frequently Asked Questions:

If I am a book publisher, should I be on this page?
Are there any hidden fees?
How do I make any money?
What is an Audio Book?
What is the difference between that and a "professionally done" Audio Book?
Why should my book be available as an Audio Book?
Can I publish my book as an Audio Book, before it is published in print?
What if my book is published by a self-publishing firm, such as Infinity Publishng, Xlibris, Authorhouse, or iUniverse?
Do I need to determine the word count of my book?
How do I figure out the number of words in my book?
How many words fit onto a CD and what is the longest book you will record?
Who sets the price of my audio book?
How do I know how many books are sold? What about the royalties?
What is the "minimum list price" for my audio book?
How do I submit my book for consideration as an Audio Book?
What does Spoken Books Publishing look for when reviewing a book for audio production?
What happens if my book is not accepted?
What if my book is accepted?
Will my editor edit my book for content or abridge my book for me?
Does Spoken Books Publishing publish both abridged and unabridged books?
Why should I abridge my book and what is a good target for word count?
Why does my book need to be edited?
Will Spoken Books Publishing hold any of the rights to my book?
Do I still own the Copyright of my book?
Is there anything I can't do?
But what if a major publisher picks up my book; will they be able to use my audio version?
Why do you charge a setup fee?
What happens after you receive my publishing agreement?
How do you insure the quality of my audio book?
Why can't I just record my audio book myself? Why shouldn't I just record it all myself and self publish it?

Where will my book be recorded?
Who will be the recorded voice (the narrator) for my Audio Book?
Will there be more than one voice recorded for my audio book?
Can I be present while my Audio Book is being recorded?
Can I be the voice for my book?

Can I record my book at home and have you make it into an Audio Book?
Where are the CDs for my Audio Book reproduced and packaged?
Where will my Audio Book be available for sale?
Does Spoken Books Publishing accept returns of Audio Books from bookstores?
Can my Audio Book have a higher retail price than what is shown in the price list?
How and when are Royalties paid to me on sales of my Audio Book?
What about royalties on sales of downloadable books?
What will I, the Author, pay for my Audio Books?
Why isn't my book available on Audio Cassettes?


If I am a book publisher, should I be on this page?
No. If you are a publisher, please visit our For Publishers page to be in contact directly with someone who can help you, as most of the questions below will not apply to you. back to top

Are there any hidden fees? No. We charge a one-time setup fee for an exceptional array of services, and that's it. If you wish to purchase copies of your own audio book, you may do so at a significant discount, but that will be at your discretion. back to top

How do I make any money? Your book will be sold in audio format at all of the top retailers of audio books. Each purchase earns revenue, and you will be paid the highest royalty percentages in the industry. Most authors break even after just a hundred or so audio books have sold, which is a very attainable number. back to top

What is an Audio Book? An audio book is a book read aloud by a narrator while being recorded. Click here for a description of the various types of audio books. back to top

What is the difference between that and a "professionally done" Audio Book? It sounds simple enough, but a professionally done audio book takes as much as 30 man/woman-hours of work just to get one finished hour of audio prior to mastering. On each session, there is an engineer, a director and the narrator. After the recording is finished, an audio editor takes over and cleans the audio. It then goes through yet another round of editing called, "quality control." It is later sent to mastering to polish the sound and create the final product. An audio book that has not received this kind of attention will not be acceptable for distribution and sale to consumers by stores. back to top

Why should my book be available as an Audio Book? Audio books are the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry. Many busy people with little time for reading, listen in their car during a long commute, or when traveling. An audio version for people with vision problems or dyslexia is the only way they can enjoy a book. If your book is well written and has real sales potential, you will benefit greatly from additional sales with an audio version of your book. back to top

Can I publish my book as an Audio Book, before it is published in print? Yes.

What if my book is published by a self-publishing firm, such as Infinity Publishng, Xlibris, Authorhouse, or iUniverse? As long as you own the audio rights to your book, you are eligible to submit your book for review to Spoken Books Publishing. back to top

Do I need to determine the word count of my book? Yes. You need to know the number of words in your book to be able to determine your setup fee and also to figure out the number of CDs that will comprise your audio book. If you have a hard time figuring out your word count, please email us at info@spokenbookspublishing.com back to top

How do I figure out the number of words in my book? It is easy if your book is on your computer via a word processing program. Simply use the word processor's statistics function to tell you the number of words. In Microsoft Word, use the pull down menu called Tools and then choose Word Count. back to top

How many words fit onto a CD and what is the longest book you will record? One CD can hold Approximately 11,000 words. This is about 72 minutes. The longest book we can produce is twelve CDs which is approximately 130,000 words spoken in 15 hours. back to top

Who sets the price of my audio book? We have a minimum list price for any audio book. This is determined by the number CDs in your audio book. However, you may choose to set the list price higher, which will vastly increase your royalty percentage. Just be sure not to over price your audio book because you want to maintain a goal of pricing it competitively. Luckily, our minimum list price for audio books is well below industry standards, so it is not detrimental to pricing your book higher. back to top

How do I know how many books are sold? What about the royalties? We issue a report each month, as well as a royalty check if one is due. Royalty checks will only print when the $20 threshold is reached. In other words, we do not print checks for less that $20. back to top

What is the "minimum list price" for my audio book? Take a look at our audio books page, but first,  determine how many words are in your book. If you do not have the book on your computer, you can make a reasonable estimate of the word count by counting the number of words on one full page, and multiplying that by the number of pages. back to top

How do I submit my book for consideration as an Audio Book? Carefully follow the guidelines on our submissions page. back to top

What does Spoken Books Publishing look for when reviewing a book for audio production? We review your book for interest, readability, and writing quality. back to top

What happens if my book is not accepted? We will notify you within 60 days of receiving your book. back to top

What if my book is accepted? We will assign an editor who will be your personal contact at Spoken Books Publishing. This editor will discuss the next steps, which will involve the selection of the voice talent, the cover design, the setup cost and the selling price of your audio book. You will also receive a simple "plain english" Publishing Agreement for your review and signature. Once the signed agreement is returned to us with a 60% deposit, we will proceed with the recording, editing, and mastering of your audio book. back to top

Will my editor edit my book for content or abridge my book for me? Your book will not be edited, unless you make a special request for us to do so. back to top

Does Spoken Books Publishing publish both abridged and unabridged books? Yes. We believe that some books are best left as-is, while many books can benefit from being edited and streamlined into an abridged version. Fewer words means that your audio book will have fewer CDs and this will result in a more competitive retail price. Fewer words also lowers the setup cost for you. We can produce an Audio Book with as many as 12 CDs. back to top

Why should I abridge my book and what is a good target for word count? As stated above, a lower word count equates to a lower setup fee for you, and a lower retail price for your audio book. back to top

Why does my book need to be edited? There are two forms of editing: 1) content editing (which we do not do, as your book must be edited for content and be a finished product when we get it) and 2) editing for abridgement (which we can do upon request and for an extra fee). back to top

Will Spoken Books Publishing hold any of the rights to my book? No. You keep your book rights and our publishing agreement is non exclusive. You have great freedom now and in the future. back to top

Do I still own the Copyright of my book? Yes, you own the words; the intellectual property. We will copyright the sound recording that we make, so that we can protect the Audio Book of your work against illegal reproduction and piracy. back to top

Is there anything I can't do? You can't make copies of our audio books. back to top

But what if Hachette, Random House, or Houghton Mifflin pick up my book; will they be able to use my audio version? You still own the audio rights to your book, and you are free to publish with one of those big publishers and sign over your audio rights to them. They would either record their own version, or ask us for the rights to use ours. The latter is the more common scenario as our audio books are of the same quality as those published by the larger houses, both artistically and sonically. back to top

Why do you charge a setup fee? There is an incredible amount of work and expense that goes into the making of your audio book. Many hands, ears, and eyes will devote careful attention to your book in order to make it a great. Each person involved is a master professional. The narrators have golden voices plus a unique ability to speak expressively. The producers and directors have golden ears, a superior artistic vision, and years of technical know how. Up to 30 hours of work by these skilled artists goes into each finished hour of audio. back to top

What happens after you receive my publishing agreement? Upon receiving the signed publishing agreement, a deposit of 60% of the setup fee, and 3 additional copies of the book (or a digital file of the book), your book will be recorded over many sessions with a professional narrator of your choice. It will then be edited. proofed and reedited as every minute of the recorded audio will be listened to. It will then be professionally mastered; bringing the audio up to or exceeding industry standards. The entire audio book is then burned to 1 or more CDs. For example an 11,000 word book will fit onto 1 CD, a 22,000 book will fit onto 2 CDs, etc. You may provide us with artwork to use for the cover, and upon sending us the balance of setup due, we will send you a proof of the final audio book. Beyond that, the title will be submitted into the books in print database, submitted to amazon, audible, and the iTunes store. It will also be made available for sale on Buy Books on the Web.com. back to top

How do you insure the quality of my audio book? A typical 6-CD audio book can have over 1000 editing points. The mastering engineer will finalize the audio recording by employing techniques to insure that we publish the highest quality audio books in the industry. As a final step, your book will then be screened by a "proof listener" who will inspect your audio book for quality and accuracy and approve your audio book for publishing upon satisfactory review. back to top

Why can't I just record my audio book myself? Why shouldn't I just record it all myself and self publish it? Many people send us their home recorded audio books, or even those that are recorded in local music studios. The quality of this material, even when "professionally recorded" can be abysmal. The shame of it is that these authors may have put a great deal of effort into creating these audio books, and the fact is that they just aren't good. These audio books, despite the enormous effort of the author, will not be acceptable for sale at stores or via other retailers and distributors. back to top

So you have to ask yourself, "Do you want to publish a professional audio book (comparable to anything you buy in a store), or an amateur audio book?" No reputable book store or distributor will handle your self published audio book. And the irony is that most people try to record their own book with the idea that they will save money. When you consider the time and energy wasted trying to do it yourself, only to realize that the end result just isn't good enough, well, you can't put a price on that kind of frustration and aggravation, not to mention the feelings of rejection when book sellers and distributors shoot down your book as "amateur."  back to top

We exist because YOUR BOOK DESERVES BETTER THAN THAT!

Where will my book be recorded? Your book will be recorded in the Philadelphia area utilizing a professional narrator in our state-of-the-art facility that specializes in audio books. A staff of editors, recording engineers, and directors will ensure the highest possible quality. back to top

Who will be the recorded voice (the narrator) for my Audio Book? The narrator perfectly suited to your book will be cast based on your selection from the narrator pool. We will provide you with some audio samples of that narrator for your inspection. back to top

Will there be more than one voice recorded for my audio book? No. One narrator will handle all voices and text in your audio book by changing pitch and tempo to properly address changes in character, headings, chapter starts, etc. These are highly skilled, highly trained voice professionals who know how to convey the wide range that your book will require. back to top

Can I be present while my Audio Book is being recorded? No. Recording sessions require great concentration. Only the vocal talent, director, and the recording engineer can be present during the session. back to top

Can I be the voice for my book? In most cases, no. The logistics are daunting and most authors are not suited to be the reader for their books.  There are exceptions, but in most cases, it will take a lot longer, require additional costs, and yield a final product that would have been better with a professional narrator. back to top

Can I record my book at home and have you make it into an Audio Book? No. We only publish those audio books that we record in our facilities. Amateur recordings sound bad for numerous reasons and are not suitable for publishing, regardless of what you may read on the web. Our recording and mastering engineers possess a skill that cannot be duplicated at home, and our state of the art recording gear and environment is engineered to record and produce audio that exceeds industry standards. back to top

Where are the CDs for my Audio Book reproduced and packaged? Because of our high standards and our desire to control every step of the process, we manufacture all of our CDs and package them as audio books in our own facility. We maintain an inventory of every audio book so that we can ship retail sales generated on our Web site buybooksontheweb.com that same day. back to top

Where will my Audio Book be available for sale? CD versions: Amazon.com and BuyBooksOnTheWeb.com. Downloadable version:  Audible.com and the iTunes.com. The book can be ordered also by any store, direct from us, via fax: 610-941-9959 or via phone at 610-941-9999. back to top

Does Spoken Books Publishing accept returns of Audio Books from bookstores? Yes. This is for all sales in which we sell directly to the store. This enables any bookstore that orders your audio book directly from us, to do so without hesitation, as it is fully returnable for full credit for up to one year from date of purchase.

Can my Audio Book have a higher retail price than what is shown in the price list? Yes. Our posted retail price for any audio book is the minimum retail price. For example, a five CD audio book will retail for a minimum of only $21.95, but if your audio book deserves to be priced higher, you can set the price higher and this will earn you an even higher royalty percentage. If you decide to set a higher retail for your audio book, you will still get your 50% discount off the minimum retail price, not the higher price you set. There is free shipping in the U.S. for any order of 20 or more. back to top

How and when are Royalties paid to me on sales of my Audio Book? Royalties are paid monthly after one full calendar month from the date of the sale. For example royalty for an audio book that sold in January will be paid to you in March. You will receive 15% on any wholesale sales and 30% on any sale on our online bookstore BuyBooksOnTheWeb.com. For any audio book that has a higher retail than the minimum, you will be paid the above royalty percentages on the minimum price and additionally 75% of the difference between the minimum and your higher retail price. back to top

What about royalties on sales of downloadable books? We sell the downloadable book exclusively via Audible. Audible is the largest retailer of downloadable books in the world. They are also the exclusive provider of audio books to iTunes. When your audio book is sold as a download, we will split 50/50 the royalty received from them, which is 20% of the dollar amount the downloadable book sold for. The actual dollar amount the downloaded book sells for varies, as Audible has one discount for members, and a different discount for non-members.

What will I, the Author, pay for my Audio Books? You may purchase copies of your audio book at 50% off. This means that if you sell any copies of your book, you will make 100% return on your investment. back to top

Why isn't my book available on Audio Cassettes? The Cassette format is no longer supported by Audio book publishers, because the CD has gained acceptance as the dominant medium for audio books. The audio quality of the CD is also superior to the cassette. back to top
 

 

 

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