by Lazarus Black
Sigh. Audio books.
They are SO expensive to produce. Here are some reasons why.
- First the book has to be re-written to be read aloud. That includes clarifying all the dialogue and untying any tongue twisters.
- Second, the voice talent has to be selected. Because True Dragon contains multiple POVs with many accents and foreign languages, this will require multiple voice talents who are, if not bilingual, at least able to act them out well. Also, the protagonist is female—so, I can't just read it myself.
- It also is 150,000 words, which is about 15 hours of recording, so twice the length of most books (that are 60,000-90,000 words).
All told, this comes to about $11,000 to produce. And then selling them through Audible (for example) only nets a few cents on the dollar per read. Especially with services that allow people to listen to unlimited books with a subscription and pay based on how far the listener goes before stopping. (Yes, that's a thing. If a listener stops half0way through, some service only pay the author half.) So, to make a profit, it would need around 30,000 listeners.
And if you listen to fans of audio books, they will tell you that EVERYONE listens to books. But the research doesn't hold that to be true. Some readers are definitely hard core listeners, but the fact is that unless an author is already a fan favorite with hundreds of thousands of fans—it will never make financial sense for an author like me with a book like mine to invest in them. (Heck, an very well known author friend of mine lost hundreds of thousands of dollars making them.)
In the mean time, please enjoy the written word as best you can. :)