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December 2, 2022
By PW Staff

The audiobook market is growing rapidly in the U.S. and worldwide. In fact, according to the American Publishers Association, revenue from audiobook sales may soon surpass that of ebooks. Increasingly, traditionally published and independently published authors alike are broadening their readership through audiobook adaptations of their books. Recently, BookBaby, a platform for self-publishing authors, and Speechki, a company that utilizes artificial intelligence to create audiobooks, announced a new audiobook program. According to James Foley, BookBaby president, the program allows authors to set the retail price for their audiobooks and will earn 75% of the list price.

"Audiobooks are now a must have format for anyone publishing books. "
The process of creating an audiobook through the new program is particularly user-friendly, while it also offers authors options for customizing their products. After uploading a manuscript, authors are asked to select a language and a synthetic voice actor for their book. While some may be wary of having their work read by a synthetic voice, Foley assures authors that the quality is exceptional. “The narration sounds great – pretty much indistinguishable from human narration – in fact better than some of the human-narrated audiobooks I’ve heard.” The synthetic voice option also increases affordability and timely delivery of the product. “We do all the work and issue an audio proof in just five days,” Foley says.

Speechki’s technology offers more than 400 voices in 77 languages and dialects. Speechki CEO Dima Abramov said, “Speechki is delighted to partner with publishers large and small. Only about five percent of print books are available as audiobooks. Our goal is to create one million audiobooks in the next few years, and there is no better partner than BookBaby when it comes to working with authors who self-publish.”

The BookBaby BookShop also provides authors with resources for marketing including digital advertising programs, email list building, and the opportunity to customize their landing pages. Analytics tools also enable authors to track sales and activity on their product pages. Additionally, after an AI narration is completed, authors can make free corrections as they see fit. 

Foley sees the new partnership as a game-changer for self-published authors who want to see their own titles adapted for audio, but who previously found the process to be overwhelming or cost-prohibitive. “Audiobooks are now a must-have format for anyone publishing books. With this partnership, we have solved the biggest challenges blocking authors from entering the market. It’s no longer expensive or difficult to make audiobooks,” Foley says.