Draft2Digital’s Mark Lefebvre and Kevin Tumlinson are joined by Will Dages from Findaway Voices, to answer a ton of questions about audiobooks for self-published authors! You won’t want to miss this deep dive into one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative markets for indies.

Covered in this webinar:
– Exclusivity vs wide distribution
– Costs to produce an audiobook
– Finding and working with a narrator
– Using Draft2Digital to make getting your book to Findaway Voices that much easier!

We also announced that we are adding audiobooks to our Universal Books Links, making it that much easier for listeners to find your work!


Kevin Tumlinson: 00:00:04 You can if you wish.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:00:07 Right.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:00:13 Well, I have 4:00 PM on my clock and that’s Eastern time, which means it must be 3:00 PM central time. Hello everyone. My name is Mark Leslie Lefebvre and I’m the, um, what am I, what am I Kevin, what do I do?
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:00:28 Business development.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:00:29 Thank you. That’s what I do. Uh, and right. And Kevin, apart from us, uh, assisting me in figuring out what I’m up to. Kevin, what’s your title?
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:00:37 I am the, uh, I’m Kevin Tumlinson. I’m the director of marketing and public relations for Draft2Digital.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:00:41 And we are honored, very honored to have, uh, Will Dages, uh, from Findaway Voices here. Will, what is your official title at Findaway Voices?
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:00:55 Did we lose you Will?
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:00:59 There he is. Wait.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:01:00 There it is. Uh, why can’t we hear? I think your mic is off, my friend.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:01:08 He’s currently muted.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:01:09 Muted. I’m gonna … I’m gonna … I think I … Was I able to unmute him? Unmute audio.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:01:16 Wave and smile, Will.
Will Dages: 00:01:18 Hey everybody! I’m Will from Findaway Voices, here. Um, Uh, you know what, I have Facebook going on in the background. That’s the problem. I’m okay. So I’m good now. I apologize for the technical difficulty there. What happened, uh, was I had Facebook on in the background cause I was seeing the countdown and then I started hearing the timer and a loop and it was a freaking me out. Uh, so hi, I’m totally normal. I’m Will and I’m and audio experts at Findaway Voices here. Uh, I’m actually the head of Findaway Voices. I run the whole operation and uh, now that we have that snag worked out, I’m looking forward to answering everybody’s questions today.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:01:54 The audio expert …
Will Dages: 00:01:57 Yeah! Everything always goes according to plan and goes smoothly.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:02:00 You’re a time traveler apparently too. Cause when you’re watching the Facebook feed, you’re what? 20 seconds behind. So you were talking to us in real time and watching Facebook and going, wait a second, should I be talking now? Will, a first question came in. Thank you so much from um, and I didn’t catch who actually asked the question, but the question is, uh, I’ve published my audio book on Findaway Voices, I’ve received the free giveaway codes, I’d like to use them to encourage sign up to my email list. Do you know how to automate the process? If someone clicks to get the code, they won’t want to wait until I see their email. Can this be incorporated in Mailerlite or Zapier or Zapier if that’s how you pronounce it. Do you have a template?
Will Dages: 00:02:43 A great question. First of all. So, um, the short answer is no. Uh, I don’t have a great way to automate that. The way the giveaway codes work are you give away the codes and it’s kind of up to you to manage the distribution of that. Uh, that’s not saying that we won’t, uh, incorporate something to make it easier in the future. Uh, cause everybody who distributes with Findaway Voices gets 30 giveaway codes. If you go with our premium distribution tier called Voices Plus you get a hundred. Uh, and we’re always looking for ways to make those more valuable, easier to give away. We want them to drive reviews and uh, be reader magnets to help you, uh, get more people on your email list.
Will Dages: 00:03:19 What I would say is since you have 30 or a hundred, I’m sure your goal for your email list is probably more than 30 or a hundred people. You want more than that. Uh, so the way I would approach that is to say I’m gonna raffle off three giveaway codes every month or one giveaway code every month for everybody who signs up to my mailing list this month. At the end of the month, I’m going to give one away randomly. And that sets an expectation of how many you’re giving away. It’s not a one for one thing. It’s going to encourage a lot more people to end up on your list and it’s gonna lower the burden for yours so you’re not constantly giving away giveaway codes and using them up. And then at some point you run out of them and you don’t have your incentive anymore. Unless you, until you publish your next book. Uh, but that would be a great way to stretch those a little bit further.
Will Dages: 00:04:00 Um, if you’re looking for a way to kind of give them out and um, validate that you’re giving them to people who are actually gonna leave reviews, there’s a company called Story Origin, um, down in Austin, Texas. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them before, but they just released an audio book review feature that’s really great and it’s a way for you to give away your, uh, Findaway Voices giveaway codes or your ACX codes if you’re using ACX. Um, and the way it works is you kind of, you set up a landing page and then you point people to that landing page and reviewers, listeners have profiles there and they say, okay, I want to review your book. And they, they apply. And then you get a list of applicants and you get to see their past history. So if this person’s requesting a ton of books and they’re never actually leaving a review and you’re going to see they have like a a zero or a 10% review rate, you’re gonna say, okay, I’m not going to give one of my codes to that person.
Will Dages: 00:04:51 If somebody has like an 80 90 a hundred percent review rate, you’re like, yes, that’s the person that I want to give this code to cause I know it’s going to result in a review from them. So take a look at Story Origin. They just released this feature last week. It’s still brand new. We have a little writeup on our blog, at blog.findawayvoices.com or you can just check out Story Origin. I believe it’s completely free right now. So there’s, there’s no reason not to use it. It’s a nice little layer on top of a giveaway codes.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:05:17 That’s fantastic. Um, I’m wondering for, cause we jumped right into the giveaway codes and we got excited about that. But I’m wondering, and that’s my fault because I really wanted to know the answer. I saw, I think it was Charles who asked that question. So thank you for asking that question. But just for anyone who’s unfamiliar with Findaway and Findaway Voices, can you just give us a quick summary? Like who are you guys and why should we care? Why are you guys so awesome?
Will Dages: 00:05:41 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So, uh, you know, if you’re watching this, you’re probably familiar with Draft2Digital. So the easiest way to think about it is we’re like Draft2Digital for audio. You can upload your audio books to our service and we’re going to get it out to all the retailers that are selling books all over the world. So we work with retail partners, we work with Audible, Apple, Google, Storytell, Scribd that, you know, the big partners that you, you know the names of. And we also work with library partners who sometimes are behind the scenes. You don’t always know the names of, uh, Biblioteca and Baker Taylor, uh, these library partners that power libraries all over the world. Uh, we have amazing penetration of the U S in Italy and Australia and Canada. Um, and so we work with all the players basically to get your audio book everywhere. Also, if you need to produce an audio book, if you have a finished manuscript and you want to get it recorded into a professional audio book, uh, we can help with that too. So we have a service that helps match you up with narrators. We have a human casting team. We take a really hands on curated approach where we learn about your audio book. I’m sorry, your manuscript and our casting team is familiar with, we have about 4,000 narrators on our roster. You’re not the one sorting through 4,000 narrators. We’re doing that for you. And so we’ll learn about your book, we’ll present five to 10 top choices for you. Uh, and so if you’ve never made an audio book before and you’re intimidated by the process, we really make it easy for you to get a great quality product. Um, and we help you out through, throughout the way.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:07:07 So I like, I like the tagline, uh, D2D for audio books. And I think you guys should embrace that.
Will Dages: 00:07:14 Yeah, it’s good, right?
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:07:16 So what, what’s a kind of a, where do people start? Like what, what’s the sort of basic process when people come in with this? Cause I think audio books are a little intimidating for some folks. So, uh, how do you guys make that a little less intimidating?
Will Dages: 00:07:30 Yeah, well the, the easiest way to do it is to actually come through Draft2Digital. So if you already have a Draft2Digital account …
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:07:36 I like it.
Will Dages: 00:07:39 You’ll notice as soon as you publish your book or if you’re looking in your dashboard, you’re gonna see like audio buttons all over the place, right? Like you can like make my book into an audio book and we have a really nice integration between the two companies where with a single press you’ll be taken over to our website. We’ll create an account for you and we’ll type over your book’s metadata. So now, not all the metadata fields, uh, go one-to-one a into there, but all the ones that we can description, title, author name, like that kind of stuff gets ported over automatically. So you’re not typing it in and duplicating it and maybe making a typo and everything. So it’s a really nice, easy way to get started. Uh, and then, you know, the first step is basically deciding, uh, do I want help creating an audio book or do I just already have an audio book that I want to upload the files? If you want to upload the files, it’s a really easy process. It’s fill out the metadata fields, upload the artwork, choose where you want it distributed. Almost everybody chooses to distribute it everywhere. They just leave all the boxes checked. Um, if there’s some reason that you want to uncheck a box, um, or if you don’t want it in libraries (bad idea) or something like that, you’re, you’re welcome to uncheck the distributor retailer boxes. Uh, most people leave them all and then, yeah, you just drag and drop and upload your files and go,
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:08:48 Yeah, I can’t think of a reason why you would use you guys and not go to every retailer. I guess I can think of one or two reasons, but none that are worthwhile. Uh, everyone should just opt into everything you do, that’s [inAudible].
Will Dages: 00:09:03 And most people do. Most people do.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:09:05 Yeah. So, uh, just just to reiterate, cause you’d talked about 30 codes in a hundred giveaway codes. The hundred giveaway codes is a benefit you get when you distribute. Uh, when you use Findaway for, for everything. What’s that program called?
Will Dages: 00:09:18 So that’s called Voices Plus. And basically the idea was we had a lot of people who were just using us for everything. Uh, a lot of our customers keep all the boxes checked, they’re not going direct with anybody else. And we wanted to just give some benefits and rewards, uh, for that. So increasing the number of giveaway codes is one. Uh, another one is DMCA take down requests. So because I know you’re using me and no one else to distribute audio book, I know everywhere that it should be. And if you find it on a retailer where it shouldn’t be or uh YouTube is the more common, uh, example, uh, let us take care of that for you. We’ll do the DMCA take down requests. We have, you know, the documentation to say you’ve agreed that we’re the only place to distribute it. And I know I didn’t put it on YouTube, so we’ll take care of that for ya. And then there’s a couple of other benefits too, but those are the main ones. Yeah.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:10:04 Thank you. I appreciate that. Now this is just sort of a follow up, um, because I’m the Canadian in the room, so I’m going to address this as uh … Simon asks, do you work with a Canadian public libraries? And if so, which ones?
Will Dages: 00:10:18 Uh, yeah, I believe we have, uh, some good penetration into Canada through Overdrive. Um, and I’m not as familiar with, uh, the reach downstream from the partners, but we have 12 or 13 library partners that help, um, get your books into libraries all over the world. Uh, I apologize, I don’t have the stats, uh, top of mind for, for Canada in particular.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:10:40 It’s okay. I can, I can let Simon know that most major libraries across Canada, Toronto public library, Vancouver public library, Hamilton, Waterloo. I’m thinking of obviously places I’ve been to.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:10:50 I’m just surprised to learn there are libraries in Canada.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:10:52 Yeah, there are libraries that we keep them in our igloos here in Canada. But chances are, especially with uh hoopla and all the different library distribution platforms that you have, chances are if they have audio books that are digital, they’re probably getting into that Canadian library system through one of these major distributors.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:11:11 So Thomas Ray is asking, he says, I’d like to get some idea of typical studio production hours for a 450 to 500 page action slash Epic type paperback, uh to have a budget for the work … Uh, we’ll just, let’s stop there. Uh, so let’s go production hours. How about, how long would a 450 to 500 page, uh, book take for production and then we can ask the rest of his question.
Will Dages: 00:11:35 Yeah, good, good, great question. So we, we generally like to work in a words, not pages. Uh, it just translates better into hours. So if you want to get really technical, it’s 9,300 words is about one finished hour. Uh, I like to use 10,000 words as an hour just because it’s really easy in my head to do the math, um, but you’re looking at, you know, a 60,000 word novel or is going to be about six hours. That’s, that’s the easy way to think about it. And that will vary depending on, uh, how fast the narrator’s reading and how much, uh, extra material there is in it and that kind of stuff. But generally speaking, the 10,000 words per hour is a good mental, uh, milestone for that. And if you go to uh FindawayVoices.com/pricing, you’ll be able to see, uh, we have some sliders and calculators that gives you an X, gives you a feeling, uh, about how the finished product cost is effected by the length of the book and the cost of the narrator.
Will Dages: 00:12:34 Because then when you have a 10 hour book, uh, you’re multiplying that by the narrator’s per finished hour rate. So with audio books, it’s always per finished hour. It doesn’t matter how long it takes the narrator to make your book, it’s what the finished product’s length is. So most narrators are working on a three to one or a four to one ratio where it’s going to take them three to four hours to make one finished hour of audio book. That’s, I flubbed this line. I’ve got to stop and go back and fix it and rerecord it. And then mastering time and editing time at the end usually ends up three or four. I know a couple people who can do two, two to one instead of three to one or four to one. They’re very, very good. Um, but generally speaking, it’s going to take three to four hours to make one finished hour of audio book. Uh, you’re paying for the finished product, not how long it takes to make it.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:13:20 All right. Excellent. We’ve got other questions, uh, uh, Mark if do you wanna …
Mark Lefebvre: 00:13:26 Yeah. Um, so along those lines, uh, Luke asks, uh, do you have a royalty share option? So you were talking about like just the, um, narrators doing the per finished hour, et cetera. Is there a royalty share option?
Will Dages: 00:13:39 We do. We launched a royalty share option called voices share back in August, so it’s still pretty new. Uh, but we’re really excited about it. So, uh, if you’re familiar with royalty share options out there, you’re probably familiar with the ACX royalty share, uh, which is you pay nothing upfront and then you split your royalties 50/50 with the narrator, uh, and you’re locked-in exclusivity for seven years. So you’re the 40% right there. Uh, and so you’re making 20% the narratives making 20%. Um, we decided to approach this a little bit differently and we call it a hybrid royalty share. So instead of no payment upfront, there is some payment up front. Uh, and then you’re going to split your royalties with the narrator. Uh, it’s 60, 20, 20. Okay. So let’s say you made a $10 royalty, Oh, or $5 royalty is easier. Uh, finally, voices is going to keep a dollar cause we … our distribution fee is 20%, uh, the narrator’s going to get a dollar cause they get 20%, and then you’re going to get $3.
Will Dages: 00:14:34 You keep 60% of the royalties. So that’s on the distribution side. On the production side, you’re going to pay half upfront of whatever the rate would have been. So again, all the narrators on finally voices are independent contractors and they set their own rates and their per finished hour rates. So you’re going to cut those rates in half up front. Uh, the reason being is we think it’s fair for everyone involved if there’s some skin in the game at the beginning of the process. So you’re not just throwing a book out there, uh, no skin in the game, getting it produced for free and assuming all of the risk goes on the narrator. Uh, the narrators generally speaking, do not just have sweat equity in these projects. They are actually putting money on the table for mastering and editing and anything downstream of them. Uh, so this lets them pay off those downstream, uh, uh, you know, or subcontractors that they’re using, which helps them make a really professional high quality project.
Will Dages: 00:15:27 And it gives them some income right off the bat. So they’re lowering their risk and reliance on those royalties as their only way to make back the investment. Uh, so just to recap there, it’s 50% upfront and then you’re sharing 20% of the royalties with the narrator. And remember, you’re not just on Audible at this point. You’re on the wide distribution networks. You’re making royalties from 40 different distribution platforms. Ah, and the narrators are excited about that too because narrator’s when they participate in the royalty share, they’ve never had a chance to participate in library royalties before or Google royalties before a Scribd or the subscription platform royalties. It’s really exciting for them to be able to, uh, market to their fans cause narrators have fans that follow them. And not all of those fans want to buy them on Audible. Uh, so it’s fun to be able to say it’s on the libraries. It’s on Scribd, it’s on Storytell on Scandinavia and all the countries, uh, that we’re, we’re reaching.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:16:20 Yeah. So, and our, our authors, anyone distributing through us, they’re going to be pretty familiar with some of the names of your dropping there, like, you know, like Scribd and uh, uh, let’s see what, what you said Bibliotecha earlier. So all those are part of our fam.
Will Dages: 00:16:34 And hoopla, right? Hoopla’s big news for you guys.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:16:36 Hoopla was big news! Exactly.
Will Dages: 00:16:40 I’m so exctied that Draft2Digital is distributing the hoopla. We … hoopla’s great. Uh, and you know, ask anybody who’s on Findaway Voices, they’re gonna, they’re going to know the name hoopla too because they’re gonna see it on their royalty statements. They’re … They’re a really nice player in the library space.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:16:51 I believe, Mark, you’re actually kinda cleaning up on, on hoopla with libraries, right?
Mark Lefebvre: 00:16:57 Yeah. Well, I was surprised cause I’ve been with final way voices since the very beginning, well before my days at D2D when I saw the announcement and the great partnership and, uh, and I was surprised, uh, that I was earning a royalties and income from places I, I had never heard, admittedly, I’d never heard of hoopla. I’d never heard of high books. I’d never heard of so many of these platforms. And I kept getting the statements going, wow, I made money from a place I’ve never heard of. I liked that.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:17:21 I like that. I think I take money from people I’ve never heard of all the time. I’m just like …
Mark Lefebvre: 00:17:26 That’s my favorite. It’s like, Oh mom, you bought my book!
Mark Lefebvre: 00:17:30 I want to go back to a question Marci asked a while back early on and they didn’t get a chance to ask this yet. Um, Marci says, I have a question about kids’ picture books. Some of the platforms have the ability to add text along with the embedded text, uh, like to make it bigger. But this is done separately from the picture regardless if it has already been texting the image. Okay. How do you handle this? Oh, this is, this is a tough one. I don’t know if this is the forum to answer that cause uh, this isn’t talking about E pub threes and embedding audio into eBooks. I think it’s right. Like we’re talking straight out audio books. I think that’s probably a question we’d have to, uh, talk to you offline with, right?
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:18:07 Yeah. I’m not sure. This is an audio book question actually. I think she’s just asking straight up.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:18:13 Yeah. It’s like an enhanced …
Will Dages: 00:18:15 It’s worth … It’s worth talking about though, because Audible, uh, you know, has been in the news recently for their Audible captions feature, which is a little bit reminiscent of this question. It’s not exactly the same, right, but, but it’s worth, it’s worth talking about that I think. And, um, you know, when we distribute an audio book, we distribute to over 40 retail platforms and library platforms. Right now we don’t send the texts with it. Um, in fact, if you’re not producing with us, we don’t even require you to upload a manuscript. There’s really no reason for us to have it. Um, Audible is actually, uh, transcribing the audio and making it into texts and they’re not pairing it. This isn’t whisper sync for the Audible captions a thing. So they’re not pairing it up with the text. You’re actually transcribing it. Um, and you know that it’s been in the news lately. Not everybody’s happy about it and they, they’ve kind of backed off a little bit. But, um, there’s, there’s nothing that we do right now with audio books that includes the text is, is the short answer to the question.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:19:10 Excellent. Thank you. I appreciate it. I hope that answered your question, Marci. Marci, if it didn’t, uh, feel free to, you know, reach out to us and we will, we will do better. Uh, we’ve got a, a question. I really want to throw this one out there, but this one is from Simon. He says, I do voiceovers. Can I narrate my own book? The answer of course is no, right Will?
Will Dages: 00:19:31 No, you can’t do that. Yes, absolutely you can. We have a lot of authors that narrate their own books and, and you know, especially with nonfiction, if you have a speaking career or you have a podcast and you, you have fans that know and love your voice, absolutely encourage that. Uh, we have our audio specifications listed on our site. You can find them in our knowledge base, or when you go to the audio upload page, they’re right there at the top. If you’re recording yourself, just make sure that they’re gonna hit those specs. Um, and if you have any questions about that, you know, make sure you can reach out to us. You can send us a little sample if you need to. Or um, we have some great YouTube tutorials on mastering. Uh, our, our lead engineer Wes did a great, it’s like 15, 20 minutes really in depth with Adobe audition on how to do the mastering.
Will Dages: 00:20:14 I would just make sure that you’re running through that process with a small clip before you invest the time in doing the full production. Now if you’re a professional, you’re not going to have any trouble hitting these specs. If you’ve done some books for Audible before, you’re not going to have any trouble hitting these specs. They’re not like crazy, ridiculous specs. Right? But yeah, if you, if you want to record your audio book, you are more than free to do that and you get to skip our whole production flow. Cause our production flow is really, it’s about marrying the, the author and the narrator together and all the back and forth to manage the production. And you don’t need to do that with yourself. So you would just choose the flow, like you already have a finished audio book and you would just upload the finished files. Uh, it’s out and there’s no fee for that. It’s just the, you know, the normal distribution fee. You’re coming through, Findaway Voices and uploading a finished audio book. We don’t charge you anything. It’s just the 20% of the royalties you make.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:21:03 So thank you. And that, that actually answers Sydney’s question cause Sydney had asked, can you give me guidance on where to learn the formatting steps and a, and we’ll mention those articles that we’ll probably include links to those in the comments for this, uh, for this, for this broadcast.
Will Dages: 00:21:19 Yup. And subscribe to us on YouTube as well. We’ve got more tutorials coming.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:21:23 I use, I use that all the time by the way. I use Wesley’s, he’s got a YouTube video, extended YouTube video walks you through how to do it. And every time I master audio I go through it again just to refresh cause I’m not, I’m not an audio pro. So on. Yeah, it’s been amazing.
Will Dages: 00:21:37 Such a, he’s such a good teacher. Is he, you know, he goes through it really step-by-step. Um, so I, I guarantee if you’re in this space, you’re looking to do some mastering, you’re trying to figure out the specs. This video will help you. It’s fantastic.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:21:50 Excellent. Uh, there’s plenty of plenty more questions in the I, I’m tempted to ask questions to myself, but there’s so many in the, uh, in the chat. Uh, so, uh, do Don asks, do you do translated, uh, book audios? English to another language? I imagine, I’m guessing he’s asking, do you guys translate?
Will Dages: 00:22:11 We do not translate. So if you want to record a in audio book in a different language, that’s totally fine. We have narrators with over 30 different accents and dialects all over the world that chances are we have somebody in our roster who can help you out, but we don’t do the translation itself. So you need to bring us the finished manuscript in whatever language you want to do. Uh, we need to pass along whatever it needs to be read to the voice talent. Um, we don’t do the translation ourselves.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:22:36 Excellent. I’m going to throw in one from Kate, who asks, do you offer any advice for authors? How do you price your audio books? Where, where do you start researching that?
Will Dages: 00:22:45 Yes. Uh, we do. So we, so um, let me back up a little bit and tell you a little bit more about, Findaway really quick cause that’s going to help me answer this question. So Findaway Voices has been around for a little over two years now. Uh, but Findaway has been around for over 15 years and we’ve been in the audio book business the whole time. We started with little preloaded physical devices that were a single audio book players and then we moved into a digital distribution platform that powers most of the retailers. This is the infrastructure that Findaway Voices works off of, right? So I’ve built all this stuff, uh, in Findaway Voices that helps collect the audio books from authors and helps you produce them. Well, once you hit publish, it goes into the rest of the infrastructure.
Will Dages: 00:23:24 at Findaway that helps us get it out to all these retailers. This is why we’re able to do so much because we didn’t just spring up overnight. We’ve been around for 15 years building this stuff. Um, and through that we have sales data from publishers and retailers all over the world. We’re able to aggregate a ton of information, uh, and give you guidance on what’s a good price for this link book and this genre and retail and library platforms. And so as you’re going through, Findaway Voices, uh, you’ll see in the pricing section where we’re asking you to fill out what is your retail list price and library list price. You’ll see a little button that that helps you calculate it and you pick your genre. If you haven’t already, uh, you know, selected on the page and you input, uh, the length of the audio book, uh, or we scrape it automatically.
Will Dages: 00:24:08 If you’ve already uploaded the audio cause every now and we give you kind of a range on, we think this is a safe place to be. This is our ideal and this is the minimum and the maximum. And you’re free to choose any price that you want. But we wanted to give people a little bit of guidance because coming from a world in a ACX and Audible, you don’t get to set your price, you know, every book’s 15 bucks. Uh, and, and for Audible to make that credit look appealing to people, they need the price to be more than $15. So it looks like when you’re redeeming your credit that you paid 15 bucks for it’s a deal. And so they’re really, you know, they’re pushing the prices up. But in a retail environment, when you’re selling an Apple and Google and Nook audio books and Kobo, you really want to price more aggressively.
Will Dages: 00:24:48 You want to price aggressively to that $15 and make it look like a deal so people don’t use their credit on Audible. Um, so, so people were asking that, you know, when we started, people were like, I have no idea how to set my audio book price. And so we actually did some number crunching and data analysis to really help, uh, for almost every genre give you a range of prices. And I hope you find it helpful. It is a guide. It’s not a definite, you have to be in this range, but we think you’re very competitive if you are in that range.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:25:17 So we have a question from uh, Cheryl and she’s asking if we make the audio books through D2D, can we put them on other platforms? And I’m guessing that’s if they transfer it from D2D to you guys. Do they get the full range of platforms?
Will Dages: 00:25:35 Yes, absolutely. You don’t lose, you don’t lose or gain anything. Um, if you come through Draft2Digital. You, you do gain something. You get a waiver on the casting fee. Yeah. If you use us. But, um, you know, the, the payout rates are exactly the same. You don’t lose anything by coming through Draft2Digital. So if you transfer your project through Draft2Digital, we tag you as a referral. And then, you know, we, we, we thank Draft2Digital for that. Uh, but you as the author see no difference in your account, uh, as far as which retailers you can reach, what rates you’re being paid or anything. It’s all exactly the same.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:26:09 Very good. Thank you. Uh, I’m gonna throw out a question from Stephanie and Stephanie says, if there’s a mistake you need to fix, I imagine in your, uh, audio or, uh, in your metadata, um, that you want to update your book. How hard is it to change an audio file? I guess once you’ve loaded something.
Will Dages: 00:26:26 So, so there’s a couple different ways we can take this question. It’s like if you, if you have produced an audio book and then you’re like, Ooh, that sentence was wrong, I need to rerecord it. That can be difficult. If you self recorded it, awesome. Just get back in the booth and fix it. Um, if you had hired a narrator, and this has already passed the review period, maybe a couple months went by or a year and a reader like submitted it and it’s a really critical thing and you need to, you find that narrator again, need to engage them for another bit of work that can take some time. It can be expensive. Most narrators have a one finished hour minimum, meaning they’re not going to get back in that booth for less than whenever there one hour’s worth of work is. Um, so it, it costs you a couple of hundred bucks to get that fixed.
Will Dages: 00:27:07 So it’s really important, uh, to either get it right or convince yourself that, that, that doesn’t matter to go fix. Um, it’s like that old Mitch Hedberg joke, like when he’s in a hotel room and he thinks of a joke, it’s his job to write it down or convince himself that what he thought of wasn’t funny. Um, which is just the favorite. Um, but on the other side of it’s in your metadata, it’s really easy to fix. Um, you just basically can go back into your Findaway Voices dashboard. You update your description or whatever it was, you hit save and then you republish. Um, so every time you hit save, we do not send all of the changes out to the retailers, every time you hit save, you have to like bundle up those changes and be intentional about, I want to take this set of metadata that’s in the site now and push this back out to retailers.
Will Dages: 00:27:51 So as soon as you save the first change, after you published, we pop up a little green republished button, uh, in the nav. You can’t miss it. It’s all the way at the top and, and very right in green and big a. And then you go there, you review the changes, you see the before and after of everything your, your changing. Uh, and then we push it out to retailers. Then. Now I will say that the audio book market is a little bit younger and slower than the ebook market. Uh, so whereas changes that you make on Draft2Digital might go out really fast and you see your book in the stores right away, uh, it can take 15, sometimes 30 days, uh, for a retailer to refresh their catalog. So basically we’re going to deliver those changes very quickly, but their refresh cycles on those storefronts, uh, sometimes take quite awhile.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:28:35 We have a question about bundling audio books. So this ought to be a fun one. It says a, I’m looking to do some series and have read after have heard that bundling a group of books together can be a draw for some readers slash listeners. How would one go about doing that on Findaway? Is it possible?
Will Dages: 00:28:52 It is possible and it’s a great idea. Um, so if you have, if you have a series of books, what you’re going to want to think of, uh, is the glue that you’re gonna need to make these into a bundle, right? Because you’re going to need the narrator to probably introduced the bundle a little bit differently. Uh, they’re gonna need to introduce each of the books a little bit differently. When you’re going from one book to the other in the middle of the, the audio book purchase, uh, they’re gonna want to introduce this as a do thing. You’re not going to want to do the full title credits and everything like the beginning of the book. So you’re going to think of the glue that you want to stick it together. And I would also encourage you at this point to think of some bonus content that you can put in the bundle to make it different and more appealing than just buying the three books individually.
Will Dages: 00:29:33 Think about, um, one of my favorite is authors notes read by the author. So even if you’re not a great narrator, even if you’re not confident in your voice, you can make such an emotional connection with your listeners. If you were the one reading your author’s note and they might not want to listen to you for an eight hour book, but they will listen to you for a couple of minutes while you talk about the book and your process and your experience with the audio book in particular is something that they are not going to get, uh, in the ebook. So make something unique, make something a little bit special that you can bundle in that book and then make sure you’re advertising that too. Like on the cover art and the description to let them know that they’re getting something special. Ah, from the bundle, we’re going to see bundles do really well in the credit subscription models.
Will Dages: 00:30:12 So this is like Audible, right? Where somebody, they’re paying 15 bucks a month, they’re getting credit and they’re looking at where to spend that token and when they’re looking at spending their token on a two hour audio book versus a 20 hour mega bundle, like the 20 hour mega bundle wins every single time. So you’re going to see your, your bundle do really well on those kinds of platforms. Uh, and it’s a great idea. I would try bundling in a bunch of different ways. Uh, you know, books. One, two, three books, two, three, four books, five, six, seven, uh, bundle them up in a, in a bunch of different ways and price them accordingly. And it’s as easy as just creating another project on Findaway Voices and uploading the audio as if it’s a new audio book. Just remember that you’re thinking ahead while you have the narrator engaged to make the glue that you’re going to need for all those pieces. So hopefully that answered it. Uh, feel free to follow up with me if you want any more specifics
Mark Lefebvre: 00:31:01 And, and, and we’ll, uh, your answer actually answered, sort of talked about a few things. Um, because I recently did a book where I had a commissioned, um, an editor or a narrator that I knew and I wanted his voice, but I also wanted the, um, I wanted the notes to be for me and in my voice cause it sounded weird in his voice, which was really awesome and amazing. And so, um, it was relatively easy to go in and either replace some existing file that the narrator had already done or in this particular case because it was a newer title, uh, I love the flexibility of that. Uh, I could just have him do the stories and then in the, in the post, you know, notes at the, sort of the end matter I added in those notes. So I love that flexibility, which kind of addresses how easy it is relatively to update the, um, the metadata for an audio book. I’m going to throw out the next question. A Roland asks are there different audio slash narrator quality expectations for fiction versus nonfiction?
Will Dages: 00:32:01 Oh, I’ve never had that question before. I don’t think so. I think that everybody expects it. Professional, good sounding audio book. I think some readers are turned off by some narrators, but I don’t think that that goes by genre. I think that just some voices like ruffle feathers a little bit, uh, and are a little bit more polarizing. Uh, but no, I think the expectations and the audio book market are for really high quality products no matter what genre it is. Um, I don’t think you get a pass if you’re a nonfiction author. I don’t think you get a pass if you’re a fiction author. I think everybody is paying a lot more generally for any, uh, an audio book than an ebook. And they expect the quality to be up to their standards. And, and we enforce this due to technical standards. Right? But the performance, we expect to be good too. Um, [inAudible] and you know, don’t expect a bad book to sell. Well, good books sell well that books don’t. Uh, so the quality, the quality matters no matter the genre. Good question though.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:32:53 I got a question from Don asking, does your hybrid royalty share have a seven year contract? Like ACX does?
Will Dages: 00:33:01 No. It actually has a 10 year contract actually longer. And I would actually love…
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:33:06 It involves nails and spikes.
Will Dages: 00:33:08 Yes, no, no. There’s a, there’s a good reason for this. So one, the narrator is taking a smaller share, right? They’re taking 20% instead of 50%. So we want the upside to be a little bit longer for them. Right, too. We have a, we have a buyout option that’s actually baked into the agreement. So unlike ACX, which does not have a buyout option, they do not let you out of it. If you sign up for this, uh, or at least you’ll find it very difficult to get out of it. We have a mechanic builtin. Uh, we’re basically, if you pay 150% of the production costs, you’re out at any time. There’s no minimum term, um, for when you can exercise the buyout option. And so, so basically it works like this, uh, the production was going to be 1000 bucks, but because you went voices share, it’s 50% off and you paid 500.
Will Dages: 00:33:53 Now at any point in that 10 year period, if you want to pay us $1,000, you’re out of Voices Share the narrative, keeps all the royalties they’ve shared up to this point and then we’re going to pass that payment onto the narrator. So they’re going to get kind of a surprise payday as like an exit bonus. And this means that they took a chance on your book uh if you want out, it’s probably because your book is doing pretty well and the neighbors probably enjoying their share that they’ve been getting up til now. And so they’ve, they’ve shared some royalties and they were probably pretty happy about that. And then they get a whole nother payment unexpectedly with the whole price of the audio book as if they wouldn’t have taken a chance on it. So they’re getting 150% plus all the royalties made. And we think this is fair all the way around it if you want out at, at any time, you should be allowed out. And so we wanted to really make sure that we baked in that escape hatch, that mechanism right into the contract. Um, so that, that kinda, uh, uh, counterbalances the tenure. Ah, scary hopefully is that you can still get out at any time.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:34:52 So we have a followup on that question and Dorothy asks. Um, so after the 10 years, after the 10 years, uh, who owns the files?
Will Dages: 00:35:01 Uh, the author does. Okay. Yup. It’s that simple.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:35:06 I am going to do a another question. I was actually gonna ask from Dorothy. Um, but just to follow up to that, I think, I think there’s a significant difference, at least in my mind, as an author, between being locked into a single retailer and being locked into everywhere. Yeah. One of them feels a little bit more restrictive to me, seven years, 10 years. It doesn’t matter.
Will Dages: 00:35:26 But I mean, look, you know, since we’ve launched voices share a month and a half ago, I’ve added five new retailers to that distribution network. You’re getting more all the time and as we add new retailers, you’re automatically opted in and we want your book for sale everywhere it can be. Uh, so, you know, I’m going to be adding even more a hint in just between you, me and the, the world here.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:35:48 I don’t think people realize how much effort and work goes into adding those additional sales channels. So adding five and six, you said five in six months?
Will Dages: 00:36:00 Uh, so I think we added, we added for a couple of weeks ago.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:36:04 Okay. I’ve got five more coming. So you gotta send me nine.
Will Dages: 00:36:07 Yeah. So now we’re nine in like the span of 30 days.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:36:11 Okay. Third. Wow. I’m getting tired. Just imagining that there was full work that went into that beforehand, but it’s just one time. People are always like outcome D2D doesn’t add channel X? You know, like we should have done it over the weekend.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:36:29 Yeah, you’re looking at six months ofwork in, in a lot of cases. But, but that’s beside the point. I’m going to go back to another question Dorothy had asked earlier, which I thought was a really cool one because I had a, it’s a good one for authors to consider because a lot of authors have done eBooks and looking at print. They’re looking at audio and Dorothy says, are there any ballpark figures for how successful or work should be in ebook or print before you can tell that it’s worthwhile to make that investment in audio books?
Will Dages: 00:36:54 That’s a good question. Uh, I don’t have a met a metric as far as, um, sales or units or anything like that. That would be just like a, a blanket statement that I could throw out. Uh, what I will say is, um, producing an audio book is not going to make a low performing book magically perform better. Uh, so you’re going to want to start with your audio book. It’s an investment, right? You’re going to be paying a thousand, two thousand bucks to make this audio book, you’re going to want to take your highest quality, best performing eBooks and do those first, or your best performing series a. An audio book is not a way to turn around or magically revive a series or a book that’s dead, right. Um, uh, yeah, and get an estimate for the full price of the audio book and look at your trend in royalties and see if your royalties are going to pay for the audio book. That’s an easy way to do it too. If you want to, you know, keep investing in that asset. Think of it as a business asset and if you want to reinvest in another format where you can have two things for sale instead of one, you know, the hard work is writing the book. You want to get as much leverage out of that as you can. Um, I would just, I would try to think about it in that framework. Okay.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:38:06 Um, Wolf O’Rourke, who has one of the coolest names I’ve ever, uh, had the privilege to say out loud. Asks, uh, didn’t catch this, this was mentioned, but do the audio books show up in the D2D reports? That’s a question for us, Mark. So how about you answered that?
Mark Lefebvre: 00:38:24 Yeah, the audio books show up in the D2D report and no, they do not show up in the D2D reports because we are basically a partner of Findaway. We do eBooks really, really awesomely and we partner with the best in the for audiobooks. So we partner with Findaway. Will, where do you find the sales reports for Findaway audio books?
Will Dages: 00:38:42 We have a, a main tab right on the left hand side that says sales and you can see provisional, realtime sales for several retailers there. Um, and then historical sales are also piped into those, uh, once they’re official. Uh, and then on your invoices tab and your, my account page is where you can get your, your, uh, official sales reports. We do those monthly. I can download those as a CSV or a PDF.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:39:05 Thank you. Good. Uh, Tonya asks, Uh, I just uploaded my, this isn’t, Oh, like uh, let’s, let’s help her out question. Uh, I, I just uploaded my latest audio book and did not notice the price suggestion button. Once the book is approved and distributed, am I able to go back into my account and look for a price recommendation and possibly change my price? Sorry, I’m plugging in it cause I’m about to die here. Will Will’s like, no, I’m out. I should go for this one. Yeah.
Will Dages: 00:39:38 Yes. You can change your price at any time.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:39:40 Does she get the, uh, recommendation, uh, that she missed out on?
Will Dages: 00:39:45 Yeah, you just go right back in there. So even if you published a couple of years ago, uh, I’d encourage you to go back to the site. It’s changing all the time. It’s, it’s, uh, it’s really nice and we have more guidance in each of the fields as well. But yeah, just go right down to the pricing section. It’s on the metadata page, um, with all the other metadata input. So near the bottom, click that button, see the recommendations, see how you’re doing. Uh, you might be within the range already and if not, you’re welcome to update that at any time. Save. And then make sure you’re republish that change so that we can send the price out.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:40:15 Very good.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:40:17 And I’m going to ask you a question from Lana. Lana asks, are chapters like the, you know, the copyright page and the table of contents and all that front matter, um, are they recorded for the audio book?
Will Dages: 00:40:29 Yes. Yeah, there’s a, there’s a pretty strict requirements. The narrators know what to read, so if you give them the, your manuscript and the ebook, they’re probably gonna pick out what they need to read. If you want to give them any special guidance, you’re welcome to. But also if you are uploading it yourself, you’ll see on our audio page we have the sections like really nicely broken out. So this is your, your opening credits and here’s what’s your go in the opening credits. Here’s what you don’t put in the opening credits. Um, some, some retailers have really strict requirements about what can go in each section and how it’s broken out. So we try to give a bunch of guidance there so that you don’t run into problems down the line. Yeah, most of that stuff is, is in audio.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:41:06 Thanks. There, there was a followup to that that she had had, uh, that uh, it’s now been deleted so I can’t see it but I remember it was related to, uh, what about URLs? Cause you know, in an ebook you can say, Hey, go check out my other book to go check out whatever. How does that, how is that handled for audio? Usually?
Will Dages: 00:41:21 Yeah. URLs are tricky, right? Because people are probably listening in the car or whether running or doing something else where the hands aren’t free. Uh, so URLs you’re going to want to make a memorable, you’re going to, to make them on a domain that you own. Uh, I would not recommend using something like Bitly or something that could just go away in the future. A Bitly is nice because it’s a nice URL shortener. There’s a really nice URL shortener services there, but if any of those services go under you’re toast, there’s no way to get to it. Uh, and then you’re back in the situation we talked about 15 minutes ago or whatever about having to find that narrator again, have him rerecord those pieces. So use point them to a URL that you own, uh, spell it out. If you have a name that’s hard to spell or a, uh, you know, it’s easily mistaken, um, and, and try to have like a little landing page to aggregate the links. So I would say you’re always pointing somebody towards, you know, findawayvoices.com/pricing. Uh, and, and that’s that. Then like you were your place to aggregate. Here’s all the links I mentioned in, in chapter one, here’s the links I mentioned to chapter two. Keep it consistent. And if you reinforce that this is the page where you go for all that and you repeat it 15 times in the book, you’re more likely that they’ll remember it.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:42:32 And of course, if your links are pointing at eBooks, then you should be using Books2Read to you, get your universal book links just by sheer coincidence that exist. Um, Joanne Smith Ainsworth’s asking, I have an audio book distributed via find way. It released 2017 and this is the first time I’ve heard about giveaway codes. Can I get some, even though it is a year old, is I really two years old? It’s 2017. So yes.
Will Dages: 00:43:02 Yes. Great question. Yes. So give away codes. We introduced that a little over a year ago. So you were a little, uh, early on the Findaway to train, which I love. Um, well they were manually given away at first. Uh, so a bunch of people have them in their email boxes right now, which is how we were distributing them. Um, the program was kind of in beta. Um, now there is a tab on your Findaway Voices project for giveaway coats. Uh, so if we had ever emailed you the codes in the past, you’re going to be able to see them in the dashboard. Now you don’t have to ask for them again or anything, they’re there, we remembered, we kept track of everything and we gave those codes that you have are going to show up there and nicely. You’re going to be able to see which ones were redeemed and on what date. So as you give away these codes, you’re going to know whether they were used and you’re going to say, Sally, I gave you this code to do a review and you never even downloaded the book. So you’re able to to, to follow up.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:43:52 Oh … code shaming!
Will Dages: 00:43:58 But if you haven’t gotten codes before, you’ll see a button on there that says generate my codes and you know, give you their 30 or a hundred depending on whether you’re in Voices Plus or not. And a you’ll be able to get them right there and they generate right away. Exactly. Yes. You’ll be able to get them.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:44:12 Thank you. Simon asks, um, I got a question. How about publishing extracts of the audio book on, on my website? I’m not sure if it’s a, are we allowed, are there authors allowed to do that?
Will Dages: 00:44:23 Yeah, yeah. Yes. So if you’re publishing like extracts, um, of your audio book, you’re allowed to do that. You’re on finally voices cause it, we’re nonexclusive right? Like you’re not locked. If you’re in an Audible exclusivity. I would be careful about that and check your contract. I’m not going to tell you either way. Uh, but I would say probably not, depending on the length. Uh, you can do some sampling and stuff, but if you’re giving away like the first chapter or something, I probably would be careful with that. Um, if you want to sell the book on your website, you’re welcome to go for it. Absolutely.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:44:55 I love that. All right. Charles asks, Do you have something like whisper sync our plan on having this in the future?
Will Dages: 00:45:02 Oh, the whispersync questions. This one’s … This one’s, you know, a kind of near and dear to my heart because I [inAudible] was working on a demo for Findaway before whisper sync was even announced, uh, like eight years ago, um, of matching up audio and eBooks. And it was just a proof of concept. It never really went anywhere. But we, we dust off the shelf couple of years ago and it’s, uh, we call it Duobook. Uh, and Duobook is still in the app store. You can see something that I was working on like three years ago. Um, but in an official capacity, no. Uh, so we don’t do anything with eBooks. Uh, we would recommend you book the Draft2Digital for the eBooks and us for the audio books. And we don’t do any merging.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:45:43 We’re going to have to figure out a way to get our peanut butter with your jelly man, and get and get this whole thing cooking for some whisper sync like action. We’re going to have to figure that out.
Will Dages: 00:45:54 I know it’s something we’ve definitely thought about and toyed around with and we’ve done proof of concepts and tried out the technology and we know it’s something that’s pretty attainable at this point. Um, the technology keeps getting better and better. This sinking is not that hard to do anymore. Um, so it’s, it’s just a matter of we don’t, we don’t do anything without eBooks right now. So, uh, at this point, uh, no, we don’t do anything like that. But it could be happening in future.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:46:16 No, but stay tuned. Who knows what could happen. So that is not promise. No feature reveals going on. Nope. Nope.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:46:31 Stephanie is asking, are there benefits to going direct to the audio places? Uh, I guess instead of going through find only voices. And are there any areas you can’t get to without Findaway Voices? Meaning there is no
Will Dages: 00:46:42 going direct? A great question. I don’t get this question nearly as much as I thought I would. Um, you know, when I started asking, answering questions for people, um, yes. So Findaway. Voices has a 20% distribution fee. That’s how we stay in business, right? So if you go direct to a retailer, you don’t pay the 20% distribution fee. So, uh, if you wanted to go direct through ACX and not use us for Audible distribution, you’d be making more money. Right? Uh, Kobo writing life also just launched their audio upload. Uh, you can go direct and Kobo writing life and that’s totally fine. You want to do that you could our site and you just make sure you uncheck those retailers. So we don’t try to double send it to them cause that’s, that’s when the problems start to happen. But there’s, there’s no problem with that at all.
Will Dages: 00:47:24 Again, if you’re doing Voices Plus and you’re saying, I’m just using Findaway Voices, then then you don’t do that, then you use us for everything in the 20% fee just kind of gets taken off the top of your royalty statement. You keep 80 percent of your royalties, you get that convenience of only having to deal with one place where your book is. Metadata is when you, when you find that typo or whatever, you’re only going to one place to fix it. There’s a whole bunch of benefits to going, uh, wide with us. But if you want to go direct, you’re more than welcome to, to do that. And the, the, the only thing that I can think of that makes it better is that 20% distribution fee, avoiding that for a particular retailer.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:47:59 Excellent. Uh, Roland Denzel is asking if you’re going to be at 20 books, Vegas. Man, I think he wants to buy you a beer.
Will Dages: 00:48:07 Awesome. Yeah, I will be there. I’ll be there the whole time. Uh, I’m on stage the very first day. There’s like a vendor round table thing. Um, and Draft2Digital’s going to be up there too. I don’t know if I’m going to be up there with Mark or Dan or, or, or whoever, but I’ll be up there on the first day.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:48:21 I’m a whoever now? What the …?
Will Dages: 00:48:22 Yeah, you didn’t know man? Come on.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:48:26 I’ve been reduced to a whoever.
Will Dages: 00:48:29 And then there’s an, there’s an audio book panel on, I think it’s Thursday, um, where we’ll be up there talking about audio books and answering more questions. So definitely please attend that and hope to see you there.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:48:39 Yeah, I mean, I don’t see how you could possibly have any, any more answers than you’ve provided today, man.
Will Dages: 00:48:45 Well, it’s going to be great. We’re going to be on that panel with ACX, so it’s going to be fantastic.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:48:49 Oh, that’s going to be, are there knives involved? You guys going to …
Will Dages: 00:48:53 No, I think, no, they, I mean, look, they’re good people. I w I have a good relationship with them and everything’s gonna be, it’ll be, it’ll be a fun, um, great discussion, I’m sure.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:49:03 Yeah. Well, I have an ACX question, a make it maybe get started before you get to Vegas. And Tonya Williams asks, if I decide to publish an audio book bundle, is it considered a new book? And the reason she’s asking is she’d like to publish a bundle with Findaway Voices, uh, despite the three titles being sold through ACX individually. So is it, is it kinda like, um, Kindle unlimited with eBooks where you’re prevented from doing that and that way it wouldn’t be Findaway preventing it would probably be Amazon, right?
Will Dages: 00:49:29 Yeah. So I mean, I gotta tell you the disclaimer of like, check your contract. I’m not gonna advise you there. My understanding is that if you are exclusive on any of the individual books in the bundle, you can not make a bundle of it. So if, if you’ve gone exclusive, if you’d done it with a royalty share and you’re locked in the exclusivity because of that, or if you just chose that 40% royalty rate on any of the individual books, you can not put those as part of a bundle and bring them wide or anything. So that’s my understanding of it.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:49:55 We should just make a blanket statement that if you have agreed to any sort of exclusivity, it means exclusivity. And that means you can’t, there’s no work around, uh, to get your ebook, audio book or other book, uh, out there in a bundle or otherwise. So …
Will Dages: 00:50:12 I should say though, if your audio book is not in the royalty share program, right? Cause the road teacher program is pretty ironclad. Like it’s tough to get out of that. But if you just chose the exclusive rate and it’s been more than a year, you can just email them and ask to get out of exclusivity. So it’s a seven year term, but after one year you can go from exclusive to non-exclusive status and then you can do whatever you want with it.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:50:35 Excellent. So, uh, I’m going to pronounce this Margot, uh, Margo ass is the agreement with Findaway exclusive for audio distribution?
Will Dages: 00:50:45 Uh, no by default, it’s non-exclusive, right? We do have the Voices Plus a tier of distribution where if you want to commit to using us, uh, as your only distribution partner for audio books, we’ll get you to every audio book platform. And then we do ask that you don’t use anyone else. You don’t go direct, you don’t use another aggregator. Uh, there’s really no reason to. There’s, um, uh, you know, we hit everywhere. You’re not gonna get more with another, another, uh, party out there. Uh, so by default, non-exclusive, we do have an exclusivity option if you want to commit to using us. And, and uh, that actually that reminds me, it was a second half of a question a while ago that I didn’t answer, um, about that,
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:51:26 About contracts and exclusivity and …
Will Dages: 00:51:29 yeah. Um, or am I just, I just had it and then it’s like, you know,
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:51:34 I blew it out of your brain.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:51:36 Well, it’ll come back, I’m sure. Yeah. And we are just, we’re less than 10 minutes. We have about nine minutes left. I’m going to kind of throw a really tough one at you from Dan.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:51:44 I like it where you’re doing all the work Will, uh, this is, I’m in sipping bourbon and uh, just kinda kinda letting you do your thing.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:51:55 Uh, Dan says, and this isn’t Dan from Draft2Digital, it’s another Dan says, I tried to use Findaway but found the process too long and complex. Will you simplify it o make it faster? I have many books to submit.
Will Dages: 00:52:03 Um, so I have to assume that you’re talking about the production side of, of the business as opposed to the distribution side where you’re just uploading books. Um, I’ve heard this from authors before. Our, our process for production is very much geared towards the first time author who finds the process intimidating. We do a lot of handholding. We make sure that yes, everybody understands in double understands and triple understands deadlines and dates and prices and everything. And if you’re really a pro at making audio books, it can feel like we’re really slowing it down. So I’ve heard that feedback before. What I would encourage you in that situation is don’t use us for production. If you’re really a, an ACE producer and you have a relationship with a narrator, there’s not really a reason to use us.
Will Dages: 00:52:49 Go, go do it on your own and upload it once the finished files are there. Um, and I’ve got no, no problem with that. I, I would love it if you would go non-exclusive and upload the audio book with us when it’s done. Uh, but if you want to go around us and we slow you down too much, that’s, that’s totally valid feedback. I don’t think in the near future we will be changing that process significantly because it is so helpful for so many people. Um, but again, it doesn’t matter where you produce your audio book, you could always distribute the finished audio book files through us. Uh, and I’ve had, I’ve had customers upload, uh, 400 books in a weekend, uh, like just through their backlist, these are like small indie publishers and stuff. Uh, so I know that that you can power through our, our upload process really fast and easy. Um, if you’re having any problems there, please reach out to me or our support team. I’d love to, uh, help you out. But I would also encourage you to, to get and go through the process one more time cause they’re always making the site better and there’s always more guidance and more, uh, a better error messages and stuff if you’re hitting problems along the way. So …
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:53:52 Okay. This could end up being the last question since we’re getting on towards time to do some housekeeping stuff. Uh, Dana Dunbar asks, uh, what I’m going to add to this question too. What do you think about putting an excerpt on YouTube and directing people to your website or a retailer link? Is that doable when using Findaway, and I want to add to that, do you have some tips for how people can promote their uh audio books?
Will Dages: 00:54:20 Yeah, I think that’s a good, I think that can be a good strategy if you have an audience. And you can find people on YouTube and you want to give them a little teaser, uh, and then direct them to where to buy the book. I think that’s, I think that’s great. I think that’s a fantastic idea. I would, I would, giving that first book a first chapter of the book away for free to, to draw people in, I think is, is great in general, all the things that you do to promote your eBooks and get people hooked on your eBooks will work in audio. There’s not a whole lot, uh, that is specific to audio is like, this is how you reach listeners. Uh, it’s not like you should advertise on podcasts because I haven’t seen that really work yet. Uh, it’s, it’s most of the stuff where you’re trying to, you’re getting a reader base, you’re engaging them on social media, you’re running, you know, BookBub and chirp ads. Uh, um, you’re doing all the things you can to find the listeners and then you’re just directing them to the audio book links instead that ebook clicks.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:55:12 Excellent. All right, well we’re at the five minute Mark. Uh, Mark, uh, do you want to add anything before we, uh, dive into housekeeping stuff?
Mark Lefebvre: 00:55:21 Well, yeah, I know Kevin, you have a exciting stuff to talk about. So Will, I want to say on behalf of Kevin and myself and the rest of the Draft2Digital team and all the amazing authors who attended this, thank you so much for lending your expertise and your and your, uh, options and the advice that you shared with us today.
Will Dages: 00:55:39 Thank you for having me. It’s been fantastic to answer these questions. Uh, I was in a great questions. Uh, so thank you everybody who attended and ask great questions and uh, we’ll have to do this again sometime.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:55:49 We’ll definitely do this again sometime. I think we were, we ended up with more questions than we could ask, so we definitely need to do this again. We got some, uh, first up we got an an a, an announcement that actually ties in with our topic and that is that we will soon be releasing probably within the next five to 10 days. We’ll say five days, I think is next week. Uh, we will be releasing business update business days. Uh, no. So, so midweek next week ish, uh, we’re going to be adding audio books to our universal book links, so you’ll be able to, uh, you know, we’ll, man, we’re never, we’re stupid excited about this one because it means that because we’ve gotten our requests from this, I mean, Joanna Penn alone is probably requested this more than any living human. Um, but this, you’ll be able to use universal book links to send your potential listeners to your audio book wherever it is sold.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:56:45 It’s going to be a fairly manual process. Um, not, not an automated scrape the way the eBooks are, but you know, we’re, we’re doing our best to make sure this is going to be a high functioning, powerful tool for you. So really looking forward to that. Um, and uh, as always, we are, uh, once again offering our free one-on-one author consultations to anyone who is attending this, this event live. Uh, you’ll be able to find us and there should be a link appearing magically in your Facebook feed right now. But if you go to Bitly, it’s bit dot L Y slash I know, and you just trashed Bitly earlier bit.ly/d2dconsult …bit.ly/d2dconsult. We’re going to keep that open for 24 hours-ish. Uh, I usually forget and leave it open for like an extra 45 minutes or so.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:57:40 So you may have some wiggle room, but, uh, you can go a book some time with me, Mark or Dan Wood, uh, for a free 30 minute one-on-one consultation. We’ll talk to you about anything you want, including audio books, if that’s what’s, uh, that’s what’s got you excited. Uh, we’ll do our best. And uh, we have really enjoyed doing those. Mark, I’ve [inAudible] really, we had, we went to NINC, uh, lastly a couple of weeks ago and discovered that even the, uh, the pros, we thought we were only talking to folks. These consultations were only in these webinars. We’re only benefiting the sort of incoming will be authors. But come to find out, even the folks who’ve been around for a while are kind of appreciating the stuff that we’re talking about these things.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:58:21 Yeah. That, that kinda surprised me cause I thought there might be a person who’s just getting started. They’re just learning things. Um, but, but again, yeah, the folks who were showing up at NINC as well, who’ve been in the industry for a little while, uh, I love the fact that we can help authors no matter where they are on their author journey. And that’s what these one-on-ones are all about. That’s what this webinar series is all about. Just just trying to put extra information out there for you to help you on that journey.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:58:45 And on that same note, audio books are a big deal, Will. We, we uh audio books and libraries. That’s our two … We, we think those are the wave of the future. So we’re, we’re, we’re combining those kids as much as possible. So we, uh, we greatly appreciate you sharing your audio book wisdom. Uh, even though you were muted at the beginning of the call, uh, we’re glad to hear it out. We’ve got it on video now. So yeah,
Will Dages: 00:59:09 That’s great. That’s great.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:59:10 We’ll remind you that you have it from time to time whenever, you know, whenever things are getting too awesome. “Remember that time …?”
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:59:17 Real quick …Uh, we didn’t ask you this, uh, maybe or maybe covered it, but
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:59:22 tell everybody the best way to get to ya. Where, what’s a URL people can fall back on. I know they can get to you through … through D2D, but uh,
Will Dages: 00:59:30 And you should. If have a Draft2Digital account. You should absolutely do that because it’s so easy and simple. But if you would look into this, look, learn more about us. Findawayvoices.com.
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:59:39 Excellent.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:59:41 Thanks Will, so much. Thank you, Kevin, for reminding me who I am and thank you, uh, our, our faithful, wonderful author community for being there and asking some amazing …
Kevin Tumlinson: 00:59:51 Don’t forget, Elyssa, we got to thank Elyssa and Dan.
Mark Lefebvre: 00:59:52 Oh my God, Elyssa! Our producer out in the background helping us make this happen.
Mark Lefebvre: 01:00:00 That is right. And we can’t have a less of walking into the room because she’s hiding in the back producing this show in an amazing way with [inAudible].
Kevin Tumlinson: 01:00:07 She’s so mic, she could pop in,
Mark Lefebvre: 01:00:09 She could pop in if she wanted to just say, Hey, but she’s saying no way. But Alyssa, thank you so much. It’s worked out quite brilliantly. And, uh, thank, uh, thanks to all the amazing support that we get from our colleagues that drafted a agile, because we actually get to take all the credit for all the cool stuff that you guys are doing. So we will be doing another one of these next months. So keep an eye on the Draft2Digital blog or checking out the emails that we’re sending you and we’ll let you know when the next one for October is. Uh, I mean, November, November, it’s October now, right? I don’t know what month to do.
Kevin Tumlinson: 01:00:42 Don’t make me do another one in October, man. Three more webinars.
Will Dages: 01:00:46 And it starts now…