What goes into publishing audiobooks?

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🤦‍♂️ My first attempt at publishing audiobooks on Spotify, Audible and 40-some other audiobook networks failed! ❌

Mostly because they didn’t accept my AI-cloned voice reading my books. Whoops. So now I’ve been going through “Is marketing a good career?” and have been “manually” voicing over/reading the book into the system.

Let me tell you. It’s tiring. It’s also hard not wanting to edit again for the 12,000’s time. But if I believe in throwing content a parade, which I do, this is just a necessary step that I needed and wanted to explore. Especially now that Spotify is promoting audiobooks so heavily and has already published over 200,000.

publishing an audiobookSo, I thought, why not get my “Is marketing a good career?” book out there as an audiobook. Now that it has been accepted and is publishing, let me share the steps on how to self-publish your audiobook.

So here’s how I did it.

Get ready for the recording

Determine where you will record and what your schedule might look like. For example, my book has 20,000 words, which amounts to about two hours of audio for people to listen to. So, I estimated, it might take me double that to record. Maybe more. So, if I could do two hours of recording per day for four days, ta-da, that might be it.

Of course, if you have to/want to redo takes, it would take longer. I did some retakes, but it wasn’t crazy a lot. After all, I got the recording done in about three days – splitting each session up into roughly equal times.

home recording studioI recorded my narration in my home studio, using a Yeti mic and recording (not livestreaming) in Restream. 

Set up a Findaways Voice account

Findaway Voices by Spotify is the platform I used to distribute my book to 40-some audiobook platforms.

Once signed up, it walks you throw the process and asks you to fill out the metadata, which includes the basic details of the book, pricing, etc.

meta data of an audiobook

Then determine the distribution channels. I picked all the ones they recommended – 40-some channels. After that it’s time to upload the audio. There’s a process and the platform walks you through it. There are opening credits, front matter, the meat of the book, closing credits, and a retail sample – which is really just one of the shorter chapters (under five minutes). So I simply followed the list and recorded sections and then uploaded them in order.

audio sections of an audiobook


Each chapter or section needs to be recorded one by one and as individual sections. That’s so the book can be listened to chapter by chapter. It also makes the production easier when self-narrating your audiobook. On average, each audio chapter in my book is four minutes. Some are shorter, some are longer, but recording four to six minutes at a time is not that huge of a task.

I pulled the book up on one screen and had Restream open on another screen. Click record, wait a second, and go.

Read next: How to publish a podcast with video on Spotify

Find your voice

I didn’t bring my TV anchor voice or EA Sports voice – not that I have those anyway, but my point here is I simply tried to read in my voice. After all, the book is from me; it’s me self-narrating my first audiobook – so no need to over-engineer it. Voiceover Coach Daniel Friedman shared some tips on this episode of “The Business Storytelling Show” on how to make your voice sound good on a recording.

Converting and uploading each recording

converting files for an audiobookOnce done with a recording in Restream, I would download it, give the file the chapter title name and then upload it into Cloud Converter to convert the file into a FLAC file. That’s the file I would then upload in the right section in Findaway Voices.

So recording, converting, and uploading correctly is what takes the most amount of time. Once everything is in Findaway Voices, you simply submit it for their review. My review and approval took less than a day, and from there, it will take a few more days and even weeks for some platforms for the book to go live, according to Findaway Voices.

So overall, it was some work to get my book self-narrated, but it was also a lot of work to get the book written and then promoted in the first place, so a few more hours are worth the investment, in my opinion. Plus, I’m always a big fan of trying new content formats and testing them, so why not? Some platforms certainly have published audiobooks for a while, but as of this writing, there are just over 200,000 audiobooks on Spotify so getting your audiobook onto Spotify this early in the game is worth a shot.

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