During the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, I started seeing this wonderful ad from Dell, titled “Beginnings”:
Perhaps it caught my attention because I have my own story about the quiet beginnings for a new business:
Place: 10634, the cabin number of a cruise ship docked in Mykonos, Greece
Becoming an audiobook publisher has been a rough road, full of potholes, downed trees, and diverging paths that didn’t necessarily lead me in the direction I wanted to go. Only by trudging forward and refusing to give up was I able to eventually reach the destination.
I offer this post as a road map for becoming an audiobook publisher on ACX with a public domain book. If you want to publish a book still under copyright, you may want to skip down to the end for more information.
I recently wrote about how ideas love speed. I did take several immediate actions 7.5 years ago when I had the idea to create an audiobook publishing company. I read several books that hadn’t been made into audiobooks and contacted the authors about obtaining the audio rights.
One author was interested, but the idea seemed to be squelched by her agent’s lawyers, who were reluctant to be involved with a start-up. Another author wanted to narrate her book. It took her several more years, but I see on Audible that she did narrate her audiobook. A third author was someone rather famous. I didn’t receive a response to my inquiries, but I see that her book is now on Audible, too. Perhaps I gave her the idea.
Life intervened. With the loss of my mother and changes on my day job, I put my dream of becoming an audiobook publisher on the shelf. While ideas love speed, some ideas can’t be implemented immediately and often take years to develop.
All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
— Victor Hugo
With the advent of ACX, I knew that I could finally see this idea through to fruition!
Rather than start with a book from a contemporary author as I originally envisioned, I decided to start Jewel Audiobooks with what I thought would be a simpler project: a book from the public domain (PD).
On 1 January 2013, I decided to publish the audiobook of The Heart of the New Thought by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, originally published in 1903. I wanted to produce a shorter work that would be new to audio and had a message I want to share. I often find myself in conversations about the power of our thoughts and words, so this little volume seemed perfect.