Audio Book Production by author Victoria Zigler (Tori)

Audio Book Production by author Victoria Zigler (Tori)

Audio Book Production

By Victoria “Tori” Zigler


Audio books have been a big part of my life as far back as I can remember.  They were easier to get hold of than Braille books when I was young, and my brother – who was totally blind from the age of two, so unable to read print at all – listened to them a lot.  My own reading was split between listening to audio books and reading large print books throughout my childhood (sometimes doing both, thanks to read-along books) and when the last of my sight was going, making print of any size no longer accessible to me, it was audio books I gravitated towards, despite having been able to read Braille for about ten years by that point.  So, when it came to publishing my own books, audio was one of the formats I wished I could produce, despite the availability of other accessible ways for visually impaired people to read my books with the use of screen reading technology by then.  However, I’d been publishing my own books for a few years before a way to do that presented itself.


Like most people, I’d been working under the assumption that production of audio books would be a complicated and expensive process.  Well, it turns out I was wrong on both counts.


Admittedly, if you have a very long book, or a lot of books to produce, and go with the pay for production option, costs can start to mount.  However, there’s the royalty share option that ACX offers – which is what I use – which means the only costs involved are any charges your cover artist might throw your way when asked to produce a square version of the book cover for you.  Sure, it does mean you get fewer royalties, because they’re split with the narrator.  However, I think it’s a small price to pay for actually having the book available for those who prefer audio books to purchase.  After all, you’ll get no royalties at all if nobody can buy the audio book, and even those who struggle with math can easily figure out that 20% of anything is better than nothing.


As for the process… Well, other than the additional tasks of deciding what kind of narrator would best suit your book, listening to auditions and picking someone to offer the job to, agreeing on a production deadline with that person, discussing any specific pronunciation requirements or other things you want your narrator to bear in mind when reading your book, and then listening to – and either approving or asking for changes to – what they send you, it’s just like publishing an eBook or paperback.  You just need all your title and blurb details, your manuscript, and your cover.  And, to be honest, from the author’s point of view you spend more time waiting for your narrator than working on audio production, leaving you free to work on your next book while this one’s being produced in audio.


Short of giving you step-by-step instructions, there’s not much more I can tell you.  Yes, it really is as simple as it sounds.  At least, from the author’s point of view.  But then, I don’t have to edit the audio files – that’s the narrator’s job.


OK, so I have, I have to admit, had a few times when things didn’t go quite that smoothly.  Times when ACX had to be contacted for contracts to be dissolved, and a new narrator had to be found.  Those were frustrating experiences.  But I’ve now got 57 titles available in audio, with another currently in production, and can count on one hand the number of narrators who have required me to do that.  Besides, it’s totally worth those few bad experiences to be able to have my books available as audio books.  At least, I think it is.




Victoria Zigler is a blind Welsh Pagan vegan poet and children’s author, who prefers being called Tori, and describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books.  She has a vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; whether created by her or other authors.  When Tori remembers to remain in the real world, it’s to spend time with her husband and petkids, or else to dabble in one of the various interests that randomly capture her attention.  Learn more about Tori and her books via her website at



  1. Victoria Zigler Reply
    February 18, 2022

    Thanks for featuring me today, Patty.

    1. It was my pleasure and privilege to do so.
      I also learned a few things.
      Thanks for writing the article.

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