I am pleased to announce my audiobooks using Google auto-narrated! *Originally posted 1-16-2022. Are you wondering what the heck Google auto-narrated is? The following description is from Google:
Instead of being read by a person in a recording studio, auto-narrated audiobooks are read using Google technology. This high-quality narration offers a variety of gender and accent combinations. Publishers can convert their existing ebooks in under 2 hours, at a fraction of the cost of conventionally produced audiobooks.
Google recommends it for self-help and nonfiction books, but not for long dialogue and emotional content. This is the technology I used for four of my self-help books: Learn the Secret Language of Dreams, Personal Growth Affirmations, Insights for Singles: Steps to Find Everlasting Love, and Psychic Wisdom on Love and Relationships.
Benefits of My Audiobooks Using Google Auto-narrated
The number one benefit is for a limited time it’s FREE to use! Therefore, I can sell it to you for the same price as the eBook. Since my eBooks were already in the Google Play Store, it was a simple process for me to edit the text file for Google technology to create the audiobook. Easy-peasy and now I have audiobooks to offer. Plus Google Play audiobooks are available around the globe.
Usual Production of Audiobooks
An eBook costs are for editing, formatting, cover, and so forth, which can be from $500.00 – $3,000. Then add the costs of converting this eBook to an audiobook. According to Findaway Voices, an audiobook with about 50,000 words can cost anywhere from $1,000 – $2,000 to create. Of course, there are other routes to find a narrator that may be priced higher or lower depending upon their expertise and experience.
These narrators deserved to be compensated. I know the amount of labor involved just to record and edit a ten-minute podcast. There are some authors who do it themselves, which still costs them time and money for the proper equipment.
Perhaps you are wondering why I didn’t use Audible? Sadly, I have heard many complaints and horror stories from authors on social media, such as long contracts, ridiculous return policies, and low earnings on sales. If you’re interested, here’s an article from Alliance of Independent Authors.
Whatever route I decided to take, regardless of the production cost, I still need to share a large percentage for each sale with the distributor and/or book platform. This is true with eBooks and paperbacks, too. Everyone wants a piece of the pie!
How Does Auto-narrated Sound?
Before creating my audiobooks using Google’s auto-narrated, I did research. I listened to the majority of the voices, and I liked Mary and Michelle the best. There was a part of me that wanted to use Anya for my audiobooks, yet I thought it would be weird as an American to use a British accent. I decided to use Mary for my longer audiobooks and Michelle for the shorter ones. Then I listened to the auto-narrated books Google has on their platform and checked out their reviews. Many of the reviews were positive, although there were negative ones. Like always – opinions vary.
In my humble opinion, I felt the voices were well done. The feedback from a few of my family members and friends was positive. Who knows, this might be the future of nonfiction and self-help audiobooks?
Why not sample the auto-narrated yourself by listening to the samples of my four audiobooks? If you have an iPhone, click for their Google Play app.