Public Domain (19:10)
Licensing Audio Rights (:58)
Other resources on this topic:
- I created my Public Domain Narration Headquarters on my blog. It lists 10 reasons I love to do PD books, has links to numerous resources (including this course and my articles listed below), and Q&A in the comments.
- June 2022 Clubhouse chat about PD books
- My article Links to Help Narrators Research Rights Holders to Books
- My article Copyrighted Images in a Public Domain Book can help you determine whether you can utilize the images in your book as cover art and/or in a supplemental PDF to the audiobook.
- I curated a Tour of Sites With Public Domain Art that can be used on your audiobook cover.
- A picture of a person can be in the public domain, meaning free of copyright, but still protected. Be sure to read my article Right of Publicity to ensure you can safely use an image of a person on your cover or in your supplemental PDF.
- Public Domain Sherpa article Where to find public domain books
- Goodreads Most Popular Books Published In (Year) lists (shown in video)
- Goodreads Listopia Lists by year or decade (not shown in video)
- Great Penformances blog
- Project Gutenberg
- US federal government
- As I search through HathiTrust.org, I sort books that may make good audiobooks into the collection folders below. HathiTrust believes they are in the PD, but you’d want to do due diligence by researching the 3 sites I showed in the video to confirm the book is not still copyrighted. You might find your next project here…and if you do, let me know!
- 1925 Publications The books in this collection entered the public domain on 1 January 2021.
- 1926 Publications The books in this collection entered the public domain on 1 January 2022.
- Secretly Public Domain bot churns through the HathiTrust collection and may reveal a gem or at least some inspiration.
- Epson ES-500W Scanner on Amazon
- CamScanner app
Questions and Answers:
I want to point out that a text can be in the public domain, but a translation of that text may still be copyrighted. If you’re looking at a translated edition, you’d need to research the translator and their copyright. For instance, if a Big 5 publisher creates a harcover/paperback/digital book from a translation of a text in the PD, they or the translator could have a copyright on the text in that edition.
If I were to ask to pair my audiobook with an existing RH’s Amazon edition [to distribute through ACX or Findaway, which uses ACX to distribute to Audible and Amazon]:
1) Would I need to narrate word for word their derivative edition?
No. You don’t need to use their edition or worry about your narration exactly matching their text.
Per this ACX blog article, you must have a 97% match between the Amazon text and the audiobook to be eligible for WhisperSync. In a book with 100,000 words, your audiobook could vary by 3000 words and still sync.
2) Would that RH get a portion of my royalties?
No. You are only getting their permission to utilize the audio rights associated with their edition. Once they say yes, you won’t interact with them again.
Remember, ACX is owned by Audible, which owned by Amazon. Everything on ACX is part of Amazon’s ecosystem. You can’t publish an audiobook on ACX without first claiming an Amazon edition. You don’t need to have an Amazon edition if you use a different distributor like Spoken Realms.
3) Would I be responsible for creating a supplemental PDF of images and figures from the text, or does reference to the Kindle edition suffice?
Yes to the first question, and no to the second. If the images and figures in the text are necessary for the listeners’ comprehension, you would need to create the supplemental PDF. You can’t refer to the Kindle edition because you can’t assume the listener will buy or access it or any other printed edition in addition to the audiobook. You’ll find instructions for making the PDF below in the Publishing Resources section.
What should I do if no publisher’s name is listed?
Sometimes the publisher name isn’t shown in the Amazon Product Details, or it may be generic, like “CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform”. Be sure to check the Amazon Look Inside feature as it might reveal an email address and/or publisher name in the opening pages.
If your efforts to unearth the publisher are in vain or emails sent to a publisher go unanswered, you can always publish your audiobook using another distributor. Remember, only Amazon and Findaway have the requirement for a Kindle edition. Audiobooks Unleashed, Big Happy Family Audio, and Spoken Realms are 3 distributors that don’t have this requirement.
When looking to match your PD audiobook with an existing format, is it best to try to pair it with the most best selling listing version to increase its visibility?
Not necessarily. If you see multiple editions on the same Amazon page, the audiobook should appear as another edition for that book. Anyone who goes to that listing should be able to see that an audiobook is available.
The best-selling print edition could be the one attracting more page visitors in the first place, or it could be the cheapest edition.
- Amazon Wish Lists
- Library Journal
- Publishers Weekly
- NarratorsRoadmap Event Calendar
- My articles referenced in the video:
- An article not referenced in the video (be sure to read the comments)
- My author prospecting email template
- Get Clients Now! is the best book I’ve found about creating a workable and repeatable marketing plan to increase your client list.
- If you need a contract template, you can download one from ACX on this page. You can modify the Narration Services contract template to suit your circumstances, starting with removing “ACX” from its pages.
- In my Audiobook Distributors Chart, I compare 6 popular distributors (including the 3 below) across 22 individual criteria to help you make better-informed decisions about your distributor(s). It also includes at least 1 resource link that isn’t listed here.
- ACX Book Posting Agreement has the info about changing from exclusive to non-exclusive distribution after 1 year.
- Steven Cohen created this Q&A document that goes through a number of considerations of using ACX, Findaway Voices, or Spoken Realms.
- ALLI’s The Ultimate Guide to Self-Publishing Audiobooks includes some excellent info about popular genres, distributors, and royalty rates. Be aware that the vendor Soundwise contributed to the article and may have introduced bias in the discussion about distributors. Also, they didn’t add the comments from the linked deep dive of Audible titles concerning the high degree of reviews for romance books.
- Tips for creating a Kindle ebook are included in my article How I Started My Audiobook Publishing Company
- This site has instructions for creating a companion PDF for your audiobook. The ACX Help Section includes these instructions for adding the PDF to your audiobook. If you’re using a different distributor, ask them for instructions.
- My audiobook-pairing-with-Kindle request email template
- My Audiobook Marketing Cheat Sheet has a wide range of ideas and tactics to help you promote your audiobook.
Licensing Audio Rights
1 - Getting Started With iAnnotate (3:10)
2 - Customizing the iAnnotate Toolbar (4:22)
3 - iAnnotate Text Tools (3:43)
4 - More iAnnotate Text Tools (2:12)
5 - iAnnotate Navigation Tools (2:21)
6 - Changing Colors and Creating More Toolbars (2:14)
7 - Working with files in iAnnotate (4:33)
8 - Exporting Files in iAnnotate (4:39)
9 - iAnnotate Text Menus and Dictionaries (3:26)
10 - iAnnotate Settings (5:21)
11 - Custom Stamps in iAnnotate (5:12)
12 - Sound Clips Page in iAnnotate (6:41)
Other resources on this topic:
- iAnnotate User Guide
- iAnnotate Knowledge Base page
- Audiobook Corrections with iAnnotate 2:25 video
- Why Use Evernote for Audiobook Pronunciation Research (7:37 video shows using iAnnotate in a split screen with Evernote)
- My instructions explaining how to highlight all search results
Evaluate Royalty Share (1:32)
Exclusive vs. Non-exclusive Distribution (4:47)
Name and Awards On Your Audiobook Cover (2:29)
Prospecting With Authors (1:55)
Working With Friends And Royalty Share (1:31)
Prospecting Mindset (4:08)
Your Words Have Power/Retraining Your Mind (2:26)
If you’ve got a question that I can answer in a short video on this page, please send it to me in an email.
Other resources on this topic:
- For the site’s 3rd anniversary on 9/16/22, I held an “Ask Me Anything” on Clubhouse, which is an audio-only app. I posted the recording here because it doesn’t really fit in any other area of the site.
- How do you respond to criticism?
- Power of “I AM” in Maintaining a Positive Attitude
- Think/Write/Speak what you WANT into BEING!
- How to lose friends and irritate people further discusses points made in the video about Resistance.
- I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It by Barbara Sher
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Antidotes for Comparison-itis
and Bad Review Fever (37:02)
Other resources on this topic:
Bad Review Fever
- Amber Share turned negative reviews of national parks into an art form by Stephanie Merry
- Bad Is Stronger Than Good by Roy F. Baumeister and Ellen Bratslavsky
- How do you respond to criticism? by Karen Commins
- Processing Negative Reviews by Seth Godin
- Oprah’s advice about getting past harsh reviews as told by Ava DuVernay (2:08)
- 10 ways to stop comparing yourself to others by Claire Chamberlain
- Antidote For a Dry Spell by Karen Commins
- Commit to Creativity Workshop by Karen Commins Includes 2 writing exercises that really help!
- How I Use My Journal by Karen Commins
- One Line a Day Journals on Amazon
- Think/Write/Speak what you WANT into BEING! by Karen Commins
- The Irony of Close Competition by Seth Godin
- Training Our Trains of Thought by Kristi Nelson
- Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life by Sutton Foster
- Mirror Work by Louise L. Hay
- Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff, PhD
- Bart Simpson Chalkboard Generator free
- Telling Your Story by Kristine Oller (:55)
General Mindset Improvement
- Power of “I AM” in Maintaining a Positive Attitude by Karen Commins
- The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder (narrated by Karen Commins)
- The Power of Your Spoken Word: Change Your Negative Self-Talk and Create the Life You Want! by Louise Hay
- Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires by Esther and Jerry Hicks
- You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay