Demand Your (Audio) Rights!
Let’s jump right in with step one in getting your audiobook produced.
Confirm you have the audio rights for your book by checking your print or e-book contract with your publisher to see if you have retained the audio rights, so you can go ahead with audiobook production without the publisher taking any of the royalties.
If you’re self-published (say, through Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace or IngramSpark), you have the audio rights.
If you do not have audio rights, and the current rights holder has not produced an audiobook of your work, you may want to start the rights reversion process, requesting them to be reverted to your name alone.
The following is an example of an audiobook rights reversion clause you can request be inserted in your book publishing contract (or added as an addendum):
If the Publisher does not either exercise or license audio recording rights to any Work within 60 days from the date of the Publisher’s initial publication of such Work, the Author may request in writing that the Publisher revert to the Author such rights, and the Publisher shall revert such rights to such Work within 30 days of stated request in writing.
Make sure you retain your audio rights. You, not an outside publisher, should have them!
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