Empowering indie authors and small publishers
More and more book lovers are listening to audiobooks, yet only a fraction of books are converted to audio — leaving millions of titles unheard. Many authors — especially independent authors and those associated with small publishers — aren’t able to create audiobooks due to the cost and complexity of production. Apple Books digital narration makes the creation of audiobooks more accessible to all, helping you meet the growing demand by making more books available for listeners to enjoy.
Digital narration technology
Apple Books digital narration brings together advanced speech synthesis technology with important work by teams of linguists, quality control specialists, and audio engineers to produce high-quality audiobooks from an ebook file. Apple has long been on the forefront of innovative speech technology, and has now adapted it for long-form reading, working alongside publishers, authors, and narrators. For information on how you can take advantage of this new technology, see the How to get started section below.
Digitally narrated titles are a valuable complement to professionally narrated audiobooks, and will help bring audio to as many books and as many people as possible. Apple Books remains committed to celebrating and showcasing the magic of human narration and will continue to grow the human-narrated audiobook catalog.
Our digital voices are created and optimized for specific genres. We’re starting with fiction and romance, and are accepting ebook submissions in these genres. Hear samples of voices available for these genres below, or check out the full books in our audiobooks store.
Our nonfiction and self-development narration program is kicking off and will be available more widely in the future. You can work with our preferred partners, listed below, to get updates on the timing of when these genres and others will be available for use in digital narration. Hear samples of our nonfiction and self-development voices below, or check out the full books in our audiobooks store.
Production and distribution details
- Easy to produce and deliver via preferred partners
- Wholesale price limits will apply
- Distribution solely via Apple Books and to public/academic libraries
- Publisher/author retains audiobook rights, and there are no restrictions on producing and distributing other versions of the audiobook
How to get started
Sign up with a preferred partner
Apple’s preferred partners make the digitally narrated audiobook production and distribution process simple.
Draft2Digital: Independent authors currently selling ebooks directly on Apple Books or through Draft2Digital can work with them to produce and distribute audiobooks narrated by Apple Books.
Ingram CoreSource: Existing and new publishing clients can work with Ingram to produce and distribute audiobooks narrated by Apple Books.
Here are some steps to get set up with one of our preferred partners. You can find additional requirements for eligible ebooks as you start to work with them.
Select your title
We are currently accepting title nominations via preferred partners based on the following guidelines.
- Ebook must be available on Apple Books.
- You must own the rights to produce the audiobook.
- Primary category must be romance or fiction (literary, historical, and women’s fiction are eligible; mysteries and thrillers, and science fiction and fantasy are not currently supported).
- Book must be in English.
Nominations will be evaluated based on several criteria, including file quality, content compatibility (no complex formatting elements, and limited foreign language words and phrases), and editorial review. Note that since every book is unique, even titles that meet these requirements may not pass synthesis. We are working to expand the program and qualify more titles, so if nominations are not currently accepted, they may still be eligible in the future. More details on title candidate criteria can be found on partner sites.
Select your voice
Listen to the samples for your genre and choose which type of voice works best. Titles will appear in the store as “Narrated by Apple Books.”
Choose your cover art
You can provide custom cover art for your audiobook if it meets cover requirements. If you do not submit a custom cover, Apple will convert your rectangular ebook cover into a square audiobook cover by adding a customized background inspired by the colors of your cover art.
Add a description
Get tips on crafting a compelling description for your audiobook.
Decide on a release date
Once your request is submitted, it takes one to two months to process the book and conduct quality checks. If the digitally narrated audiobook meets our quality and content standards, your audiobook will be ready to publish on the store. If your chosen release date does not allow sufficient time for production, your audiobook will go live as soon as it’s completed. Pre-orders are not currently supported.