How I Landed an Audiobook Deal – A Self-Publishing Journey

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Hey everyone! Welcome to the seventh entry in my series chronicling the self-publishing adventure of my book, The Dragon Squisher. My goal here is to give you some valuable tips and strategies based on both my successes and mistakes. Today’s lesson is all about how unexpected success can shake up your plans!

Sometimes, no matter how carefully you plan, surprises come along that change everything. I’m thrilled to tell you that thanks to the Complete Self-Publishing Package from BookFuel and the marketing guidance from Smith Publicity, I secured an audiobook deal with Audible—even before my book had officially launched!

The Original Plan

Initially, I aimed to publish The Dragon Squisher by the 2019 holidays. But a fantastic opportunity came up that made me hit pause for a bit. Here’s how it all went down.

About 18 months ago, just like many authors finishing a novel, I started querying agents and publishers. Having been through this grind before, I wasn’t too excited (I really dislike the querying process). Therefore, I only reached out to a few select agents who I thought might be interested. Sadly, they weren’t.

I also contacted my editor at Audible, where I’d previously published two humorous history books (Rivals! and Rivals 2!), with another one (Pirates!) on the way. My editor politely declined. Despite the setback, I decided to go the self-publishing route for this book.

The Shift Towards Self-Publishing

Once I connected with BookFuel, I chose their Complete Self-Publishing Package, along with various marketing packages offered by their partner, Smith Publicity. (You can find more details about this in “Book Marketing and Social Media Promotion,” part 2 of this series.) During one of my marketing calls with Smith, they advised me to create quote graphics and post them on Instagram. I did just that. Here’s the second post on my Instagram.

The Game-Changing Email

The very next day, my editor at Audible emailed me after seeing my post. She expressed interest in revisiting The Dragon Squisher. I sent it over, and guess what? She made me an offer! I’ve recently signed the contract, and the audiobook is now in production with a tentative release date set for June.

While I’m still moving forward with my plans for self-publishing the paperback and eBook versions of The Dragon Squisher, the only change is that I sold the audiobook rights. Audible has done a fantastic job with my previous scripts, so this deal offers the best of both worlds!

Lessons Learned and Advice

This series is all about offering practical tips and strategies, so here are my insights from this experience:

Don’t Give Up on Your Book

Querying can be a disheartening process. It takes a lot of effort to find agents who might be right for your book, follow their submission guidelines, and then face possible rejections. Remember, a “no” is just one person’s opinion on one particular day. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of your book. And sometimes, minds do change.

Self-Publishing Can Open Doors

Not every indie author has a contact at Audible or other major publishers, but if I hadn’t pursued self-publishing, The Dragon Squisher would still be gathering digital dust on my computer.

Promote Early

It’s never too early to start promoting your book. I began my marketing efforts in July, months before my original release date of October. I’m not sure if this opportunity would have come up if I’d started marketing closer to the publishing date.

Stay Flexible

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I initially planned to release my book in October to take advantage of holiday sales. This was a strategy I had meticulously mapped out over several months. However, a great deal is a great deal. I was happy to pause my initial plans to secure a fantastic audiobook deal and gain the exposure that comes with working with a reputable company like Audible.

Technical Considerations

For those gearing up to take this journey, remember the importance of technical details such as your PDF setup and trim size. These factors significantly affect the quality and presentation of your book.

With tools like BookFuel, self-publishing has never been more accessible or rewarding. Keep pushing forward, and don’t be afraid to seize unexpected opportunities when they arise.

Stay tuned for more tips and insights as I continue to explore the world of self-publishing!

If you have any questions or need further advice on your self-publishing journey, feel free to reach out. Happy writing and publishing!

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