Best platform for publishing audiobooks

Compare audiobook publishing platforms and choose the right one for your needs

  • Given people’s busy schedules, audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular among young and seasoned readers alike.
  • Authors and ebook publishers can tap into this market to increase book sales and make more revenue.
  • If you’re planning to self-publish an audiobook, this guide will help you familiarize yourself with the major audiobook publishing platforms and their advantages and disadvantages.

Tap into the growing audiobook market

In our digital age, audiobooks have taken the literary industry by storm. Providing a practical alternative to traditional reading, their popularity has grown massively as modern life continues to get busier. 

Literary connoisseurs and reading enthusiasts worldwide rely on audiobooks to entertain themselves during traveling and daily commutes, relax, or preserve healthy vision and avoid eye strain.

Likewise, readers with vision-related problems can enjoy their favorite novels and non-fiction works, making audiobooks an accessible alternative to traditional paperbacks and hardcovers - a feat that is becoming more popular thanks to the ease by which audiobooks can be generated with AI tools.

Whether you're planning on self-publishing your audiobook or partnering with publishing companies to assist you with the process, choosing the right platform for audiobook publishing and distribution can make or break audiobook sales and success. 

In this article, we dive into several well-known and niche audiobook publishing and distribution platforms. Keep reading to explore your options and choose from the best audiobook publishing companies and platforms available.

The best audiobook publishing companies and platforms

With so many audiobook publishing platforms to choose from, deciding on a single platform may seem overwhelming. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of audiobook publishing platforms, from the most popular options like Amazon's Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) to niche options like Scribe Media. Note that their policies around use of AI narration are evolving so you should consult any platforms terms of service before uploading, particularly in regard to the use of AI narration and text to speech.

Without further ado, let's dive into the best audiobook production companies and publishing companies on the web!

Amazon's Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX)

Amazon's Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) audiobook distribution platform is undeniably an industry leader. ACX connects authors, publishers, and professional narrators, providing audiobook production, publishing, and distribution services under one roof. 

Pros 

ACX possesses a vast market share, opening you up to a wider audience. It distributes audiobooks to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, allowing you to access audiobook enthusiasts on all three platforms.  It's the largest audiobook store on the market, with over 200,000 titles available to audiobook listeners. 

Likewise, ACX allows you to upload ready audio files or produce your own audiobook directly through the platform (for instance, by assisting you with professional narration by helping you hire an ACX professional narrator). 

Cons

Under their current policy, ACX/Audible does not allow the publishing of audiobooks narrated by AI voices. This means you will not be able to publish your ElevenLabs audiobook there.

Although ACX has many benefits, publishing your audiobook on this platform has drawbacks. Firstly, publishing your audiobook on major audiobook platforms like ACX opens you up to significant competition. 

Moreover, higher royalty rates (40%) on ACX require exclusivity, meaning your audiobooks can only be distributed to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. If you're not exclusive with the platform, authors only receive 25%.

Findaway Voices

Another industry leader in the audiobook industry, Findaway Voices, provides all the essential services to self-published authors to reach a wide audience and boost audiobook sales. Independent audiobook publishers can find everything they need at Findaway Voices.

Pros

Findaway Voices is an excellent self-publishing platform. With no exclusivity required, the audiobook publishing platform allows you to distribute your audiobook to a broader range of retailers and reach more listeners. 

Likewise, audiobook authors are given control over critical aspects such as audiobook prices. They also receive 80% of the 25% royalties from Audible, Amazon, and iTunes at a non-exclusive rate and 80% of the 40-50% royalties from other retailers.

Cons

Although Findaway Voices provides authors with a vast distribution network, it doesn't have the same visibility as platforms like Audible. Additionally, some consider the platform's pricing structure complex.

Kobo Writing Life

Kobo is a well-known Canadian ebook, audiobook, e-reader, and tablet retailer. Regarding audiobook publishing, the company also has an ebook and audiobook platform called "Kobo Writing Life" - a helpful and comprehensive platform for self-publishers and independent authors.

Pros

Kobo Writing Life may not have reached industry giant status just yet, but it's growing rapidly, generating over 150% more book sales in 2023 compared to 2022. 

Regarding distribution strategy, Kobo Writing Life lists your book on the main Kobo platform, as well as Walmart, Indigo (Canada's top bookstore), and Bol. 

Regarding royalties, Kobo's structure is relatively simple: 35% royalties for audiobooks priced $2.99 or lower, 45% royalties for audiobooks priced over $2.99, and 32% for specific subscription customers.

Cons

While Kobo is growing rapidly, it has a considerably smaller audiobook market share compared to industry giants like Amazon and Audible. It also has a limited audiobook catalog, and audiobook marketing and promotional tools are limited.

Google Play Books

Alongside thousands of other services, Google also offers self-publishing options for ebooks and audiobooks via Google Play Books, allowing audiobook authors to tap into a giant market. 

Pros

As a Google sub-service, Google Play Books has a massive reach, especially considering that the Google Play Store comes pre-installed on every Android device. Reach customers in over 40 countries, receive 50% royalties with distributors like Publish Drive, and benefit from non-exclusive publishing.

Cons

Google may be an industry leader, but its audiobook section is smaller than that of publisher-only platforms. Regarding revenue share, some authors may prefer flat royalty rates offered by other platforms compared to Google Play Books' revenue share model. Lastly, marketing and promotional tools are also limited.

Author's Republic

Known as a user-friendly platform among audiobook enthusiasts and publishers, Author's Republic is a staple choice for audiobook publishing and distribution. 

Providing access to major retailers and libraries, transparent royalty rates, and advanced analytics tools, Author's Republic is an excellent choice for publishers looking to upload and distribute audiobooks and track performance.

Pros

Author's Republic offers transparent royalty rates, with authors typically receiving 35-70% of the list price. Royalties depend on distribution channels and pricing models, allowing you to choose from several options. 

Other pros include a vast distribution network and non-exclusive distribution for more flexibility and selling options.

Cons

Like the other publishing platforms listed above, Author's Republic provides limited promotional tools and lower visibility than industry giants. 

Additionally, while some authors consider the platform the most user-friendly on the market, others find it less intuitive, making it a matter of personal preference.

Apple Books

Apple Books is a popular platform for those looking to tap into Apple's broad audience. It is also an excellent choice for authors who want to distribute their ebooks or audiobooks across the Apple Ecosystem.

Pros

One of the platform's advantages is full distribution and integration across iOS devices. Other benefits include non-exclusive distribution and attractive royalties (45-70% of the list price, depending on your chosen sales channel and pricing model).

Cons

Apple's Ecosystem is undeniably large yet still smaller than Amazon and Audible, leading some authors to opt for platforms with more comprehensive audiobook selections.

Final thoughts

We hope this article serves as an informative and actionable guide for authors looking to publish audiobooks for listeners worldwide to enjoy and appreciate. 

If you're looking for a reliable and comprehensive platform to publish and distribute your audiobook, consider the Audiobook Creative Exchange (ACX), Findaway Voices, Kobo Writing Life, Google Play Books, Author's Republic, and Apple Books.

Looking for a way to bring your audio book to life? Hiring a traditional voice actor to record your audiobook is expensive and cumbersome, making it hard for new and self-published authors to tap into this lucrative medium.

Instead, AI tools like ElevenLabs make recording an audiobook fast and accessible, and it all starts in our Voice Library. Check out the library below and record your first audiobook today.

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