There is nothing quite as enjoyable as listening to an audiobook when you’re elbow-deep in suds. The audiobook part, not the suds part; chores are not at all enjoyable (unless that’s your thing—you do you).
And what is better than one audiobook? An audiobook bundle, especially if you’ve got an entire series of books that you need to catch up on before Netflix releases the next season.
I don’t know about you, but I have been dreaming of the day when those will be my books folks are listening to. Creating and publishing your own audiobook series isn’t as complex as you may think. Sure, there are some nitty-gritty things to nail down first, but once you’ve jumped the hurdle, you’re all set for the finish line.
Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) is the home of all Amazon audio books, and that is where you will be uploading your amazing audiobook bundles.
You Need a Book Before You Can Have a Book Series
ACX and Amazon are two peas in a pod. You need to get your ebook published on Amazon before you can have your audiobook up on Audible—it’s quite as simple as that.
If you already have a few ebooks published on Amazon, you’re one step ahead, and getting your very own audiobook bundle up on ACX will be a walk in the park.
No stress though, because once you have your ebooks written, the process is quite simple.
6 Steps for Setting Up Your Audiobooks on ACX
You will need to have a couple of audiobooks already set up on your ACX account before you will be able to create your audiobook bundles.
Once you have added your ebooks to your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account, you have two options to get your audiobooks up.
Option One: I have a book, but I need a narrator to help me create my audiobook.1. Create an ACX account.
- Your Amazon account does not automatically link to your ACX account.
- Choose a narrator to suit your style.
- Prepare the script.
- Design your book cover.
- Add a detailed description of your book.
- Set the price.
Option Two: I already have the audio files for my audiobook.1. Create an ACX account.
2. Create a profile for your book.
- Each book needs its own.
- Upload the audio files.
- Design your book cover.
- Add a detailed description of your book.
- Set the price.
Book Series and Audiobook Bundles
Now that you have a few audiobooks set up on your ACX account, you are ready to take the plunge to make your book series into its very own audiobook bundle.
The rules associated with creating an audiobook bundle are slightly more complex and require careful consideration.
The Bundling Process
The process involved in taking your book series from slow-read singles to a bundle of audio joy seems daunting at first, but stick with us and we’ll guide you through everything one step at a time.
Choose Your eBooks
This is arguably the most important part of the process. In order to create a bundle, you need more than one book (duh!). However, what you will need to decide on is which books you want in your audiobook bundle.
If you have a series of 6 books but only three are currently published and you choose to bundle those available, you cannot bundle the rest of the series.
So choose a series that is already complete for bundling. The more bundles you create, the more money you could potentially make. Take a look at what is available before you decide on how to bundle your own book series.
Alternatively, if you’re creating a bundle for your non-fiction titles, it is best to group together the ones that fall in a similar genre.
In that same vein, if you bundle together book A and B, you cannot bundle either in a different bundle. Once bundled, it cannot be unbundled. This counts for any book in any genre.
As far as pricing goes, you could decide how to bundle up depending on the length of your audiobooks (if you already have audiobooks on ACX) in order to determine what your royalties could be. The longer bundles have more royalty payouts (due to more books being bundled together) but the shorter ones make for an easy, quick listen. Listeners want value for money, so bigger is best.
Create a New Book Cover for the Bundle
You can hire a professional, or, if you’re feeling whimsically brave, you can design one yourself. Just keep in mind that the title that appears on this cover needs to match the name of your book bundle exactly.
Choose something catchy, something that embodies the essence of your series. If you’re bundling some non-fiction titles, get a little creative and choose a title that reflects what people can expect to find within.
Think Twilight Saga or Paleo Plus (it can contain something to the effect of a Paleo Recipe Book and Paleo Diet book bundled together).
Create Your Bundle Manuscript
You’ve chosen your books, thought of a name, and started designing a brand new cover for your audiobook bundle.
The next step is taking the books that you have chosen and creating one giant manuscript. Some people aren’t planning on using this bundled ebook to make money, however, it is still best to make sure the formatting is right.
Add a new title page to identify your new bundle and publish it to KDP.
- Your Table of Contents for each ebook can remain as long as they still function.
- Create a new Table of Contents for your bundle that contains only the titles of the books within the bundle.
Remember, you need an ebook version of your bundle before you can create an audiobook version.
Time to Record Your Audiobook Bundle Intros and Outros
As mentioned previously, you can:
- Have audio files ready to be uploaded
- Have existing audiobooks on ACX
- Or, have an ebook series that requires full audio to be recorded
Whatever the case, the opening credits (or intro), as well as closing credits (or outro), should be recorded for your audiobook bundle. The way the bundle should be structured with the intro and outro is as follows:
- Intro for your bundle
- Book 1 in the bundle, opening credits
- All chapters of book 1
- Closing credits for book 1
- Opening credits for book 2
- All chapters for book 2
- Closing credits for book 2
- Outro for your bundle
In the event that you have chosen to make a bundle with more than two books in it, you will repeat steps 5-7 for every additional book until you have all the audio files and appropriate intro and outro recordings completed for each book in the bundle; then you can proceed to step 8 to finalize the process.
More often than not, the narrator of your audiobooks would be happy to record these for you.
Since the intro and outro audio is a smidge less time consuming, the cost could be estimated between $10 and $15.
- Here is some information you need to pass on to your narrator regardless of if they’ve recorded for you before:
- Production date
- Copyright date
Download. Save. Store
This counts for every single one of your audiobooks (Yes! Even the ones you won’t be bundling—it’s a good habit to cultivate).
When your ACX approved narrator uploads their audio files to the ACX platform, you will need to download them to your computer and save them. Be sure to create a new folder for each book in your bundle and name each downloaded file appropriately.
Save yourself a headache and do it right. It takes a minute longer in the moment, but it saves you a ton of time down the road.
The intros and outros your narrator uploaded for you will also appear here. Again, download, save, and store.
You can also do a bundle out of the gate. What this means is that you can create your ebook bundle and have a narrator record the audio for the whole kit and caboodle in one fell swoop instead of having single audiobooks on ACX.
- Your bundle needs to contain all files for each book that will appear within.
- Listeners prefer the same narrator per series. This is true of bundles as well, so take this into account.
- If any of your existing audiobooks that will be appearing in the bundle have been completed through Royalty Share, your bundle audio and individual titles need to have the same narrator.
Here are step-by-step instructions on what you can expect when you’re finally uploading your audio bundle to ACX:
- Log in to your ACX account
- Click “Assert More Titles”
- This is why it is important to ensure that your bundle is in ebook format and published on the KDP platform. You need to find and select your book in the next step.
- Search for the name of your book. Click “This Is My Book”
- Be sure to select the right one.
- Choose “I Have Audio Files” on the pop-up block.
- You should have already downloaded and saved the audio files your narrator has uploaded for you.
- Fill in the Rights, Distribution, and Language fields.
- Be sure to double-check your Region’s rights.
- Fill in the “About My Book” section as completely as possible.
- The Print Copyright Owner Name refers to the name or pen name used for the author.
- Sometimes these forms are self-explanatory, and sometimes not.
- Click through to the homepage for your book bundle.
- Upload the audiobook cover.
- Upload your audio files!
- Remember the first “chapter” to upload is your bundle’s opening credits.
- Upload the retail audio sample provided by your narrator.
- This will take between 1 and 5 minutes. This is the audio that will draw in your listener.
- Click “I’m done!”
- Audio files should contain only one chapter per file.
- Chapter title should be read aloud. If you have separate sections (i.e. Part 1, Part 2), those should be read aloud as well.
- Each audio file is limited to 2 hours a piece.
- Your sound and formatting need to remain consistent.
- Here is some technical information if you’re recording things yourself:
- Room tone in beginning and end of each audio file (for the uninitiated, it means complete silence in a room)
- No ambient sounds
- Between -23dB and -18dB RMS
- -3dB peak values
- -60dB noise floor (the total volume of all recorded sound)
- 192kbps or higher
- MP3 can be compressed at a constant bitrate of 44.1 kHz
- All mono or all stereo files; do not mix and match
Just like that, you’ve got your own audiobook bundle and a nice little ebook bundle on Amazon to boot.
The only thing left to do is market your new audiobook bundle and reap the rewards, and maybe get started on the next one.