Audiobooks on YouTube!

Aug 01, 2023 5:04 pm


Story time!

Last year, I noticed an interesting trend of some indie authors uploading their audiobooks to YouTube. Weird... Why give away your audiobooks for free? So I started looking into it and realized that — in a way — it was kind of like Kindle Unlimited, where authors get paid for page reads, not sales. On YouTube with ads enabled, authors can get paid for how many hours of their books are consumed.

Around the same time, Elliot Brooks — a popular fantasy booktuber with 130k subscribers — uploaded a video saying that she was going to start trying some things on her channel. Which got me thinking... I sent her an email in September of 2022 with the proposition that she upload my full audiobooks on her channel. I even said she could keep all of the ad revenue! Fortunately, I never heard back.

Fast forward to November when I attended the 20Books indie author conference in Vegas. I met a friend, Richard Fierce, for the first time in person and we started chatting about his YouTube channel (link), where he has uploaded his audiobooks. I badgered him with a million questions, and came away with the opinion that it wouldn't make sense for me to go it alone, because of my small backlist of books. But what if I teamed up with someone? Or a group of someones? At the same conference, I met Jeffrey Kohanek (link) and pitched him the idea of a "collective" — I even created the YouTube channel and logo at night during the conference. When Jeff said he was interested, I started reaching out to other indie authors that were not Audible-exclusive. We spun up some contracts, and the channel was officially born.



On January 8th, our first 5 videos went live with books from myself, Jeffrey Kohanek, Levi Jacobs, Virginia McClain, and Matt Larkin. Thanks to Petrik Leo, we were able to pass the subscriber requirements (1000) for monetization quite quickly. Since then, we've added Rob J Hayes (March), Michael Webb (April), Jeffrey Speight (July), and S.A. Klopfenstein (August). Each author gets 90% of the ad revenue for their audiobooks. As of today, we have:

  • 26 books available (with uploads every other week)
  • Over 10,000 subscribers
  • Over 750,000 HOURS of audio listened to
  • Roughly $10,000 of ad revenue split between the authors

I hope this was an interesting behind-the-scenes look at a unique avenue only available to indie authors who choose not to be exclusive to Audible. Shoot, if you're looking for an excuse to reread the Threadlight trilogy, what better way than free on YouTube? Or if you like Travis Baldree's narration, we've got two full series available. I don't know if the channel will continue indefinitely, but it has been an interesting alternative to the Audible juggernaut. I mean, even Daniel Green followed our lead and uploaded his books to his channel!


I have continued to make progress on The Fall of Cloud Seven, though admittedly not as much as I would have liked. The first book in a new world and new series is difficult. How much worldbuilding do I introduce early on? How much should I balance the "new" with the "familiar"? How do I ensure that readers care about the main characters from the very beginning? What the hell do I name everything? Is it obvious that I like writing sequels more 😅 My plan is to have something I can share with alpha readers by the end of the year.

I am also working on a few short stories for anthologies. If you haven't heard about The Advent of Winter, Dominish Books has organized a stellar group of 24 indie authors that will each have a short story released in December of this year (like an indie fantasy advent calendar). My story is called "The Snowmaker's Child" and follows a young girl in the backwoods of Elymbeii, the same continent as The Fall of Cloud Seven. I wrote it as a sort of dark fairytale.

Beyond that, I do have another secret project I'm working on slowly that my writing group is screaming at me to finish (they loved the first few chapters). And a really cool anthology opportunity that was just presented to me this week, but lips are sealed until its official. I have a feeling that next year is going to be an exciting publishing year for me!

That's it for now!

You all are amazing and continue to make this author journey something special.

"May the winds guide you, and carry you gently home."

—Zack Argyle



Remember how Jeffrey Kohanek was the first author I recruited for the Epic Fantasy Audiobooks channel? He's running a double omnibus Kickstarter soon for his 6 book best-selling Fate of Wizardoms series!

Check it out!


One of my very favorite indie authors, JA Andrews, just released the first book in her new series! If you haven't checked out the Keeper books yet, I highly recommend giving it a go!

Check it out