Lesson 27: Audible, Publishing Digital Audio Books 

Prison Professors Masterclass Digital Economy: Lesson 27 - Audible

Discover how to transform your manuscript into an Audible audiobook with our step-by-step guide, from narration to publication. Start your journey! #AudibleAuthor #AudiblePrisonReform #AudibleCreation

Audio Lesson

Publishing Digital Audio Books

As we discuss in our introductory course, Preparing for Success after Prison, every person in prison makes a choice about how to adjust. Those who want to accelerate prospects for success upon release will invest time on personal development, including learning about the digital economy.

Since people have time to develop skills in both reading and writing, we encourage them to memorialize the journey they’re on to prepare for success. By documenting their preparations, they can create digital assets that could add value upon release. One way would be to convert writing into books and courses. With the digital economy, people can earn an income by distributing those books in different modalities–including audio books. 

In this lesson on the digital economy, we’ll offer insight into converting a manuscript into an audiobook.

Manuscript Preparation

  • Write the manuscript: The first step is to write the manuscript. When I was in prison, I had to write manuscripts by hand. Today, different options may exist to convert a manuscript into a digital file–such as by sending versions to [email protected].
  • Finalize Text:  Ensure the manuscript is fully edited, proofread, and ready for narration. This might involve adapting or modifying the text to suit the audio format better, such as clarifying elements that work visually in print but not audibly.
  • Scripting for Audio: Sometimes, the author needs to modify the text, or annotate for the narrator, indicating pauses, emphasis, or character voices.

Selecting a Narrator

  • Audition Narrators: Depending on the budget and the project’s scale, you might audition professional narrators or select a voice that suits the tone and style of your book. This could be the author or a hired professional.
  • Narrator Agreement: If you choose to hire a narrator, you’ll need to agree on terms including payment, deadlines, and any specific requirements for the narration.
  • Self-Narration: If you’ve invested time to develop reading skills while inside, you should be able to narrate your own work. Further, that skill can allow you to contract with others. You could earn an income by reading the manuscripts or books that others write.


  • Recording: The narrator records the manuscript, often in a professional sound studio to ensure high-quality audio without background noise or interruptions. This process is meticulous and can take several hours for each hour of finished audio. Another option, is to use a personal computer and software to record the audio version at home–which is the version that I use.
  • Editing and Post-Production: After recording, it’s crucial to edit the audio file to remove mistakes, pauses, or any unwanted sounds. I use Adobe Audition software to assist me with this process. We then master the audio file to ensure the sound levels are consistent throughout the audiobook.
  • Quality Check: The final step in production is to thoroughly review the audiobook to ensure there are no errors, and the audio quality meets Audible’s standards.

Submission to Audible

  • ACX: Audible Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) is a platform where authors, publishers, and rights holders can find narrators, produce audiobooks, and distribute them. You’ll need to create an account and submit your audiobook through ACX.
  • Meeting Audible’s Requirements: Audible has specific technical and quality requirements for audiobooks submitted to their platform. This includes audio file format, bit rate, noise floor, and more.
  • Rights and Pricing: You’ll need to decide on the distribution rights (exclusive or non-exclusive to Audible) and set your pricing according to Audible’s guidelines.

Publication and Marketing

  • Approval and Release: Once submitted, Audible will review the audiobook to ensure it meets their standards. This process can take a few weeks. Upon approval, the audiobook will be published and made available for sale.
  • Marketing: It’s up to the author and publisher to market the audiobook, utilizing social media, book reviews, promotional codes, and other strategies to increase visibility and sales.


  • Earnings: Audible pays royalties based on sales, and the rate depends on the type of distribution agreement chosen (exclusive or non-exclusive), and whether the sales come from Audible, Amazon, or iTunes.

This process, from manuscript to a published audiobook on Audible, requires careful planning, a focus on quality, and adherence to Audible’s guidelines to ensure a successful publication.

Accompanying Video Lesson: Audible, Publishing Digital Audio Books

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. What benefits does an audio book have over a printed book?
  2. In what ways could you convert your story into an asset that others would want to buy on Audible?
  3. In what ways could you develop skills to earn an income using the Audible platform and marketplace?

Advocacy Initiative:

Prison Professors encourages the exploration of blockchain technology to create positive social changes, such as improved access to education. We invite you to be a part of our initiative by documenting all that you’re learning through our MasterClass on the Digital Economy.

Please share your story and responses through the manner that works best for you:

  1. Send through email to [email protected]
    • Subject line: Digital Economy Course
  2. Send through regular mail:
    • Prison Professors
      ℅ Digital Economy Course
      32565 Golden Lantern, Suite B-1026
      Dana Point, CA 92629
  3. Send through the Edovo tablet:
    • Prison Professors
      ℅ Digital Economy Course
      32565 Golden Lantern, Suite B-1026
      Dana Point, CA 92629

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