The explosion in the use of smart phones, tablets and ereaders has had an enormous impact on the audiobook market, so much so that now most audiobooks are downloaded rather than bought on CD in store. With voice-activated speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s HomePod storming the market, the audience for audiobooks is set to grow rapidly.

Of all the ‘book’ formats, audiobooks has historically been the most difficult and costly to produce for publishers. For self-publishers, the barriers to entering the audiobook market have been both the high cost of production and the technical challenges faced when producing an audiobook.

With the audiobook market now starting to expand significantly, Matador offers a high quality, lower cost audiobook publishing and distribution service to self-publishers. Lower cost, however, does not mean poor quality; in common with all the other services we offer, our audiobook publishing service offers top quality production values, with narration by professional actors and voice-over artists.

AudioBook production

Producing an audiobook chiefly involves hours spent in a studio with a book being read and recorded. Reading an average novel from cover to cover may take seven or eight hours, but recording the same book may take twice that time; the person recording the book needs to know it before it is read out loud, they need to know the characters, what happens and when, they need to understand the tone and pitch of the work before it is read aloud. Then when recording, actors are human too, they stumble, get the inflection wrong… cough!

Once recorded, the sound engineer has to edit the resulting audio so that all those extraneous bits are removed; and they have then to produce a set of audio files that meet the requirements demanded by the audiobook retailers. That isn’t just technical requirements, though they can be complex, but a requirement for a quality recording presented professionally.

Our audiobook production service uses a commercial recording studio and engineer, with all narration carried out by working professional actors. You can see and hear all of the artists available on this website. For practical reasons and reasons of quality, we are unable to offer author-narrated audiobooks. More detailed information on audiobook production can be found on our Audiobook Factsheet.

Production cost

Our audiobook production service is outlined below, but first let’s look at the costs involved, so you can decide whether to read on! The cost of production is determined chiefly by the length of time it takes to record a book, and that is obviously influenced by the word count in your book. We thus base our production costs on a book’s word count, as follows:

Up to 40,000 words*: £1450.00 *(equates to around 150 typeset pages)

Each additional 1,000–10,000 words*: £160.00 *(equates to around 40 typeset pages)

Note that all costs quoted are VAT exclusive.

Production process

The first step in the production process is to choose an actor to record your book. We offer a range of voices to suit different sorts of book. Opposite you can see those actors available, and listen to clips of them reading aloud; simply choose which actor you feel would be best to narrate your book. Note that an audiobook will use only one voice to record (eg. you cannot have multiple actors, each for a different voice).

Once you have made your choice of narrator, we can confirm availability and the likely production timescale (remember, these are working actors with their main job being in TV, film or on stage, and they may not be available immediately).

We then ask you to complete a questionnaire about your text, providing a brief for the narrator. This covers things that you feel the narrator should know, like any accents characters have, particular passages where you would like a certain tone, and so on.

The recording of an audiobook will usually take place over a few days (as an actor’s voice cannot narrate for eight hours solid!). Then the sound engineer needs time to edit the files and create the finished recording. Once we have the completed recording, a copy is sent to you for checking. We advise you to listen to the whole audiobook recording, and check for anything that is missing (note that this check is not to comment upon the actor’s voice, nuance, pace etc, it is purely to ensure that no text has been omitted during the recording). We allow up to an hour of studio time for necessary re-recording of missing text, and then the final recording is produced. Overall, the process usually takes around six weeks.

Cover artwork is usually recreated by us from your book cover to conform to the retailers’ requirements.

For authors who wish to distribute and sell their audiobook themselves, that is the end of the process. Many authors, however, ask us to distribute their audiobook to retailers on their behalf.


Choose who you want to narrate your audiobook from the voice-over artists available:

Alexander's acting credits include The young Guvnor in The Guvnor for BBC TV, the Butcher’s Boy in a TV adaptation of A Christmas Carol WAG TV, Lord Schofield in The School, for Avalon TV, Ronnie Winslow in The Winslow Boy with Newpalm Productions, Paul in Motortown at the Palace Theatre Westcliff, and Dame Sexy Sarah in Sleeping Beauty at the Bocking Arts Theatre.

Voice Type/Suitability
Young male voice, suited to children’s books and comedy.

Sebastian is an extremely experienced actor and voice-over artist. He recently appeared as 'Joey the Wig' in EastEnders and has been seen in many leading parts on TV. He has played Wilfred Owen in Wilfred Owen & Siegfried Sassoon Out of Battle for the BBC, and leading roles in two of the BBC's Play for Today series. He is perhaps best remembered for his role as 'Dick' in Flambards for Yorkshire Television. He is about to embark on a UK-wide theatre tour of ‘Calendar Girls’. Sebastian will be seen in the final series of Killing Eve which will be available on BBC iplayer. Sebastian is confident at a variety of accents, including North American, Yorkshire, Suffolk and Norfolk accents as well as many others.

Voice Type/Suitability
Older male, voice of authority. Suitable for all genres.

Rosie Akerman is an actress and voiceover artist from London, England. She has appeared in TV shows such as 'Eastenders' and 'Call the Midwife' and films such as 'The More You Ignore Me' and 'Dirty God'. She has narrated several audiobook titles spanning various genres - from psychological thrillers to children's books! She has a strong storytelling ability with conversational tones and a range of character voices available. As well as audiobooks, she has voiced language tapes, radio commercials and animations.

Voice Type/Suitability
Female voice suitable for all genres.

Christine is an experienced television and radio actor and voiceover artist. Her stage appearances range from Shakespeare and Shaw to Tennessee Williams and T.S. Elliot. Her radio career began in the long-running BBC Radio Merseyside soap opera, 45 Darby Terrace, and since then she has worked on documentaries, travel videos, as well as numerous audiobooks, including novels, biographies, non-fiction books and short stories. She has appeared in Coronation Street and Brookside, as well as several commercials, and recently dubbed ten episodes of a French animation into American.

Voice Type/Suitability
A warm and neutral narrative voice experienced in a wide range of character, age and regional accents. Children’s books and cartoon voices are also a strong point in her repertoire. For generous audio demo samples visit

As a professional stage and screen actress, Hazel has appeared in many TV and social media adverts, and has several TV and film credits. She has performed in, directed, produced and stage managed over 70 plays over the past 40 years. She has also won several acting awards throughout her career. Hazel lived in Dubai for five years where she appeared in many stage shows and adverts, and provided voice overs for several social media and training projects. She stage managed, and performed in, a long running show at the Madinat Theatre and before leaving Dubai she was the Manager of Artistic Operations and performer for an Immersive theatre production of Gatsby on board the QE2.

Voice Type/Suitability
Female voice suitable for all genres.

Sally trained at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama (1979-82) after which she performed in regional theatres around the country. Some of her credits include Leeds Playhouse, The Belgrade Coventry, Chester Gateway Theatre, Manchester, York Theatre Royal, The Mill at Sonning, The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and for Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatre Co. Her TV credits include Casualty, Shine On Harvey Moon, Paradise Postponed, The Bill and Minder. Her film work includes The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Voice Type/Suitability
Female voice, suitable for all genres.

American actor Mike Muldoon’s film work includes Obamaland, G.I. Jesus and When Seconds Count. He regularly appears on stage in both LA and New York in productions such as The Three Sisters, Life With Ike, Caravan and Mixed Signal. He is a regular voice-over artists for both training films and advertising.

Voice Type/Suitability
American voice suitable for all genres.

Anne-Marie has an extensive career in audio from playing regular Annette Turner in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers to winning a Golden Earphone Award for the “Death Below Stairs” series recorded for Dreamscape. Other work includes the “Little Beach Street Bakery” series for Isis Audiobooks; “Silence” series for Audible and books for Naxos AudioBooks, the RNIB and radio drama for the BBC.

On stage she has worked for the Royal Shakespeare, Globe Theatre, Rose Theatre Kingston, New Vic Theatre, Stephen Joseph, York Theatre Royal and more. Roles range from actor musician productions to Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” heroine Beatrice -which won her Best Actress nominations of Off West End and My Entertainment World awards. She has also sung in recordings for the RSC and National Theatre.

Voice Type/Suitability
Female voice suitable for all genres.

Audiobook Distribution

The major name in audiobook distribution is Audible (Amazon). But there are many other audiobook distributors. We distribute and sell through both Audible but also through the other major players, with two distribution options: a Basic Distribution service, where an audiobook is sold exclusively through Audible; and a Full Distribution service, with distribution through Audible, Apple, Spotify, YouTube, Deezer, Google Play, Napster and others.

Note that, to distribute any audiobook, you must already have either a physical book or an ebook available for sale. Distribution of an audiobook must be for a minimum time period of six months.

Basic Distribution service (£40+VAT)

Matador makes a one-off charge of £40+VAT for distributing an audiobook through Audible for up to two years. A royalty rate of 40% of the cover price (set by Audible) is paid; we take 15% of the net receipts on sales made. We also add an audiobook sample to our website, and provide information on marketing that an author can carry out themselves to promote their audiobook.

Full Distribution service (£100+VAT)

Matador makes a one-off charge of £100+VAT for distributing an audiobook through our extended retailer network for up to two years. A royalty rate of 35% of the cover price is paid; we take 15% of the net receipts on sales made. We will assign your audiobook an ISBN and disseminate the metadata out to the trade. We also add an audiobook sample to our website, and provide information on marketing that an author can carry out themselves to promote their audiobook.

Audiobook pricing

As with books an ebooks, audiobooks have a general price bracket within which retailers expect to see an audiobook priced. An audiobook can carry a Recommended Retail Price (RRP), but the actual sale price is at the discretion of the retailer. Note also that the RRP will have tax at the local rate added by the retailer (as audiobooks are sold internationally, this will vary depending on which country the sale is made in). The retailer accounts for any local taxes on sales to the relevant countries’ tax authorities.

What next?

Your Initial Quotation from Matador may already have given a costing on audiobook. If you want to go ahead then just let us know by email. Authors who have previously published with Matador should email us and we can confirm costs from your book’s word count.

If you have not published with Matador but have published elsewhere, then as long as you hold the rights to your work, we can still help you publish your audiobook. Either send us a copy of your book electronically (as a PDF or MS Word file), or let us know what the word count is in your book. We can then confirm the costs to you.