Marketers & Coffee: Audiobooks and Should Authors Sell Them?


There are three big reasons authors should look at audiobooks:

  • There’s a certain market that only wants audiobooks, as opposed to a Kindle or paperback version
  • When potential readers come to your page and see an audiobook option, it gives a little bit more legitimacy
  • By having more options, you’re going to find higher conversions, which affects how Amazon ranks your book

Much like podcasts, audiobooks can be listened to almost anywhere, which is a draw for people who want to read but might not have the time. It’s no surprise Audible, an audiobook service of Amazon, has risen in popularity. Adding an audiobook version of your book to the options can appeal to even more potential readers, as well as add a little bit more credibility to your book.

Success from releasing audiobooks

Our guest on this Marketers & Coffee episode, Derek Doepker, has made audiobook versions of his nonfiction titles and saw significant success from them, especially as he did more and more of them and the readers/listeners began buying multiple audiobooks.

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Derek also found that many of his readers wanted the audiobook version, as well as the Kindle version, so they had to option of reading it or listening to the book. Audiobooks can also be a great incentive for people to sign up for your email list or as a bonus for purchasing the print or eBook edition.

When to make an audiobook

Authors should keep in mind that an audiobook may not lend itself to every genre. Romance, business, personal development, and sci-fi do very well, however cookbooks and manuals do not. You might also want to keep in mind the time it takes to do it yourself or if hiring out to do it is worth it.

With services like ACX, you can audition voice actors to find one that suits your book best, but take a look at the different payment options. There are two different structures: one is a set rate for the narrator and the other is a 50/50 split, which could end up costing much more.

However, if you don’t feel a narrator can do your book justice, consider doing it yourself. The equipment doesn’t cost more than $200, plus you can make sure your content is delivered exactly the way you want it. It also makes more sense to do it yourself if you’re a non-fiction author and an authority on the subject. Doing it yourself is also a great way to re-read the book during the editing phase.

“If I'm going to go through and read it anyway, then I might as well record it, and in doing so, I actually caught some mistakes that an editor didn't catch. And I caught some things that I realized I wanted to reword it in a way that I wouldn't have noticed that if I was just reading it in my head.”

If you’re an author looking to test the audiobook waters, consider recording an audiobook version of a book that you’ve already published and that is doing fairly well to see the conversions. If you are also an Amazon Affiliates user, you can even collect a bounty for converting people to purchase audiobooks.

Bio of the Author in the Case Study:

derek doepker audiobooks

Derek Doepker is a former rock guitar player turned seven-time best-selling author, a speaker and a coach on mind, body and business success. His books have sold more than 50,000 copies, and his book “The Healthy Habit Revolution” won the 2016 Readers’ Favorite gold medal for motivational books.

Derek's goal is to help busy professionals break through their BS and amplify their productivity, profit and performance by sharing clever mind games, life hacks, wellness breakthroughs and the secrets of success found in music.

Resources Referred to in this Episode:

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6 thoughts on “Marketers & Coffee: Audiobooks and Should Authors Sell Them?

  1. Rebecca Leach

    Hi Dave! Great episode and just what I need right now as I’m preparing to create an audio version of my recent book! Derek mentions that we can get the equipment needed to record our own narration for under $200. Does he have a suggested list of equipment that I could find on Amazon? aCX has a link to equipment that costs much more than $200 total, but I’m a believer in doing things myself and saving money! 😉 I’d love to hear more about what equipment Derek recommends!
    All the best,

    1. Dave Chesson

      Hi Rebecca, I do not know what he has, but I’d be surprised if the microphone was not the Audiotech ATR 2010 microphone. That is teh one I use and for the price It is insanely cheap. Doesn’t require a mixer or any of that other stuff.

      1. Rebecca Leach

        Thank you! I will absolutely check it out!

    2. Derek Doepker

      I recommend the ATR 2100 microphone, and if That is not available, the Samson Q2U.

  2. Jordan Ring

    Hey Dave and Derek,Great show! I’m a huge fan of audiobooks personally as well. Off to be the Wizard is one of my favorite audiobooks mainly because of the performance. Phillip kills me everytime… 🙂 The Martian narrated by RC Bray is great as well.Also loved Derek`s suggestion to read aloud and use that as the audiobook recording session. I’m gonna use that one for sure!This episode further cemented my plan to do an audiobook for my upcoming release. Thanks guys!

    1. Dave Chesson

      Awesome and glad you liked it. Yeah, Philip cracks me up EVERY time. hahaha

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